Not If I Save You First
by Ally Carter
Starring: Maddie, who's spent the last six years in a remote Alaskan cabin with no company except for her dad, a former Secret Service agent – until Logan, Maddie's childhood friend and the President's son, brings trouble to her door.
What happens: As Maddie uses her survival skills to protect Logan, their rekindled friendship evolves into romance.
For fans of: author Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series who are looking for similar stories with a darker edge.
Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay ColesWhat it's about: After his twin brother Tyler is killed by a police officer, high-achieving high-schooler Marvin Johnson is overwhelmed by grief, anger, and the public's response to his personal loss.
Why you might like it: Similar to Angie Thomas' The Hate U Give or Nic Stone's Dear Martin, Tyler Johnson Was Here takes a knowing, heart-wrenching look at the effects of injustice, oppression, and violence in one black teen's life.
The Summer of Broken Things by Margaret Peterson HaddixWhat it's about: Pretty, privileged Avery is annoyed after her dad invites Kayla, Avery's misfit former friend, to join them on a summer trip to Spain, and both girls are thrown when the journey reveals a long-hidden secret about their families.
Try this next: Robin Benway's Far from the Tree, for another multiple-perspective story featuring sympathetic characters in a complicated family situation.
Dread Nation by Justina IrelandWhat it is: a disturbing alternate version of post-Civil War America in which the undead prey on the living, and black kids are forced into combat schools where they're trained as the first line of defense.
Starring: Jane McKeene, who's just about to graduate from combat school when she's caught up in a terrifying conspiracy.
Who it's for: anyone who loves zombie horror, sharp social commentary, or scythe-wielding heroines.
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. PanWhat it's about: Following her mother's suicide, 15-year-old American Leigh travels to Taiwan to meet her grandparents, learn about her mother's past, and follow her mother's spirit, which has transformed into a brilliant red bird.
Why you might like it: Blending magic with painful reality, The Astonishing Color of After offers a portrait of grief and resilience that you won't soon forget.
Naked '76 by Kevin BrooksStarring: 16-year-old Lili Garcia, who's never played a bass guitar until the moment she accepts a gig as the bassist for Naked, a rising punk band.
What happens: Lili throws herself recklessly into the 1976 London punk scene, as well as into thorny relationships with bandmates Curtis and William.
Why you might like it: With cameos by the Clash and Siouxsie Sioux, Naked '76 is an exhilarating, messy snapshot of a moment in music.
Exile by Kevin EmersonWelcome to: Mount Hope High's PopArts program, where students prep for jobs in the music industry.
What happens: After senior Summer falls for rock singer Caleb and starts managing his up-and-coming band, Dangerheart, they're drawn into the mystery surrounding Caleb's father, a legendary musician who died young.
Series alert: Find out what's next for Dangerheart in the sequels, Encore to an Empty Room and Finding Abbey Road.
Grace and the Fever by Zan RomanoffStarring: college-bound Grace, who secretly blogs about the boy band Fever Dream...until an unexpected relationship with Fever Dream heartthrob Jes forces her to reconsider her ideas about fame, fandom, and public identity.
Who it's for: anyone who's ever obsessed about a band or spent waaaaay too much time on Tumblr.
Read it for: an insider's view of fandom paired with a moving coming-of-age story.
Coda by Emma TrevayneWhat it's about: Making original music is an act of rebellion in Anthem's futuristic world, where the sinister Corp uses addictive, encoded music to control the population.
Why you might like it: Fast pacing and an absorbing dystopian setting will keep you riveted as Anthem and his underground band launch a revolution.
Try this next: The Last Days, by Scott Westerfeld, for another edgy speculative story about the defiant power of music.
The Scar Boys by Len VlahosWhat it is: Harry Jones' college admissions essay, in which he writes well over 250 words about the bullying incident that left him scarred; the relief of finding his best friend and bandmate Johnny; and the confusion, thrills, and heartbreak of their band's first tour.
Is it for you?: Rife with angst and the heady atmosphere of 1980s punk, The Scar Boys is an unforgettable read for music lovers.
Don't miss: Scar Girl, the follow-up book about bassist Cheyenne.
Contact your librarian for more great books for teens!
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