Hollow Fires by Samira AhmedMeet: aspiring journalist Safiya Mirza, thrown into a murder investigation when she discovers the body of Jawad Ali. His death stemmed from the misidentification of his cosplay jetpack as a bomb.
How it's told: in lyrical alternating perspectives that show Safiya's grit and Jawad's innocence, with images, text messages, and articles woven in.
Read it for: a compelling mystery and chilling examination of how extremist views and misinformation spread through social media.
The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jen FergusonWhat it is: a journey of self-discovery for 18-year-old Métis girl Louisa "Lou" Norquay over a summer working at her uncles' ice cream shop on the Canadian prairie.
What happens: Lou grapples with threats against the family business from her father, newly released from prison. Meanwhile, a friend back in town introduces her to the concepts of asexuality and demisexuality.
Author alert: This sweet, nuanced novel about connection and community is the debut from Métis author Jen Ferguson.
Family of Liars by E. LockhartWhat it is: a prequel to author E. Lockhart's BookTok hit We Were Liars, chronicling the Sinclair family during the summer of 1987.
The set-up: Caroline Lennox Taft Sinclair recalls the first appearance of her drowned sister's ghost and the arrival of three teenage boys on Beechwood Island, then confesses the worst thing she's ever done.
Is it for you? This suspenseful tale of a rich family's greed and silence is both atmospheric and emotionally intense.
I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuistonThe search: for Shara Wheeler begins shortly before graduation, after she kisses Chloe Green and vanishes. Chloe needs her rival for valedictorian back so she can win fair and square.
The search party: Chloe plus two other students Shara kissed, who collect cryptic notes and untangle the mystery of Shara's disappearance and Shara herself.
Author alert: I Kissed Shara Wheeler is the YA debut from author Casey McQuiston, whose adult romcom Red, White & Royal Blue found a wide audience.
Ballad & Dagger by Daniel José OlderStarring: Brooklynite Mateo Matisse, destined to help bring back San Madrigal, his Caribbean island home that mysteriously sank into the sea 15 years ago.
What happens: Mateo and his crush Chela Hidalgo explore the history of San Madrigal's West African, Jewish, and Indigenous roots while coming to understand their roles as children of the island's gods.
Duology alert: This vibrant, folklore-tinged urban fantasy kicks off author Daniel José Older's YA duology from Rick Riordan Presents.
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. BrownStarring: Malik, a refugee who makes a deadly deal to save his sister; and Karina, a princess who turns to bloody necromancy in her grief over her mother's death.
What happens: Although they seem fated to destroy each other, Karina and Malik are irresistibly drawn together amidst the magic and high-stakes intrigue of this Afrofantasy series opener.
For fans of: the layered plots and vivid world-building in Tomi Adeyemi's Legacy of Orisha series.
Wicked As You Wish by Rin ChupecoWelcome to: the mostly un-magical town of Inveirno, Arizona, one of the Royal States of America and home to spellbreaker Tala and her best friend Alexei, the refugee prince of Avalon.
What happens: After a visit from the legendary firebird, Tala joins Alexei on his treacherous quest to liberate his enchanted homeland from the Snow Queen.
Why you might like it: A diverse cast of characters grounds this exciting mash-up of fairy tales and mythology.
Spin by Lamar GilesThe crime: up-and-coming DJ Paris Second, AKA DJ ParSec, is murdered before a show, tragically cutting short her bright future.
Who do we suspect? ParSec's best friend, Kya, and her biggest fan, Fuse, each think the other did it. To clear their names, these enemies must team up and find the true killer.
Read it for: a gripping mystery that pays homage to cutting-edge hip hop, thoughtfully examines class difference, and slyly references social media fanbases like the Beyhive.
I'll Be the One by Lyla LeeStarring: singer and dancer Skye Shin, who defies her mother's fat-shaming to win a spot on a fiercely competitive K-pop competition show.
What happens: Skye is determined to win, both the contest and the heart of fellow competitor Henry Cho. But are her skills, charm, and persistence enough to conquer the judges' prejudice?
Further reading: For another body-positive rom-com, try Julie Murphy's Dumplin'; for another peek into the high-profile, high-drama world of K-pop, pick up Maurene Goo's Somewhere Only We Know.
Be Not Far from Me by Mindy McGinnisThe place: Tennessee's Smoky Mountains, where experienced camper Ashley and her friends go to party.
The problem: A drunken mistake leaves Ashley barefoot, injured, and stranded without supplies, forcing her to find her own way back to safety before her infected wound gets the better of her.
Try this next: Kathryn Holmes' The Distance Between Lost and Found, an equally intense (but less gritty) survival story that similarly places a compelling character in a struggle against the wilderness.
Contact your librarian for more great books for age 14 and up!
McFarland E.D. Locke Public Library
5920 Milwaukee St.
McFarland, Wisconsin 53558