Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola YoonWhat it is: a collection of six compelling, joyful love stories, each starring Black characters and written by a big-name Black author.
What happens: After a blackout darkens all of New York City, a pair of exes reconnects on an hours-long walk home, their path intersecting with five other couples along the way.
You might also like: Color Outside the Lines (edited by Sangu Mandanna) for another inclusive romance anthology; or Black Enough (edited by Ibi Zoboi) for further short stories centering Black teens.
My Contrary Mary by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi MeadowsWhat it is: a historical fantasy set in Renaissance France, featuring inventive magic, snarky humor, and sly references to modern pop culture.
Starring: Mary, Queen of Scots, whose secret shapeshifting ability is punishable by death; her loyal fiancé Francis, the French dauphin; and Ari, daughter of Nostradamus, who finds herself tangled in the treacherous web of the French court.
Series alert: Newcomers can start with this series opener, while fans of the authors' earlier Jane trilogy will relish returning to the same quirky alternate history setting.
Rise to the Sun by Leah JohnsonThe setting: Georgia’s Farmland Music and Arts Festival, where always-in-love Olivia aims to recover from her latest (and most awful) breakup without a rebound hookup, and reluctantly college-bound Toni seeks healing from grief (plus direction for her life).
The set-up: The festival's music contest throws the two girls together, sparking inspiration, attraction, and challenges.
Author alert: If you loved author Leah Johnson's breakout hit You Should See Me in a Crown, don't miss this smart and swoony follow-up.
You're So Dead by Ash ParsonsImagine: the Fyre Festival disaster, but with murder.
What happens: Using a stolen invitation, high school senior Plum and her best friends plan to crash the influencer-filled Pyre Festival. When they arrive at the isolated destination, however, they discover that they're trapped there with the other guests -- and a killer who's picking them off one by one.
Who it's for: Extremely Online readers, as well as fans of suspenseful, darkly witty thrillers like Gretchen McNeil's #murdertrending.
Blood Like Magic by Liselle SamburyWhat it's about: For centuries, all of the witches in Voya's Trinidadian Canadian family have received their magic through an ancestor-assigned challenge, but Voya's challenge has the highest stakes yet: she must find and kill her first love, or else every witch in her family will lose their magic.
Read it for: powerful, complicated family bonds; an authentically diverse cast of characters; and an intriguing near-future setting in which magic and tech exist side by side.
Forget This Ever Happened by Cassandra Rose ClarkeWelcome to: Indianola, Texas, a small town where time is out of whack, monsters live in the old power plant, and unexplained memory-altering qualities prevent anyone from sharing these facts with outsiders.
What happens: While spending the summer of 1993 in Indianola, Claire notices that the monsters seem unusually interested in her, leading her to investigate the town's eerie history along with monster exterminator (and potential girlfriend) Julie.
Who it's for: readers who enjoy the retro-creepy vibe of Netflix's Stranger Things.
The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds ReedWhat it's about: In 1992, following the acquittal of the police officers who brutalized Rodney King, wealthy Los Angeles teen Ashley bears witness to the violent response that transforms her city, her family, and her perspective.
Why you might like it: This character-focused story offers a complex, specific look at the ways in which racism and privilege shape one Black girl's life.
For fans of: Renee Watson's Piecing Me Together.
Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. JacksonWhat it’s about: After up-and-coming rapper Stephon is murdered, his sister, Jasmine, and his best friends, Quadir and Jarrell, keep his talent alive by promoting his music under a different name. Yet the closer they get to success -- and to finding Steph’s killer -- the harder it is to keep their secret.
Read it for: convincing characters, emotional depth, and a vivid '90s Brooklyn setting.
You might also like: Lamar Giles’ Spin or Angie Thomas’ On the Come Up.
You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali PerkinsWhat it is: an intimate glimpse into the lives of the Das women, spanning the '60s through the '90s and 2000s.
Featuring: aspiring actress Tara and her activist sister Sonia, uprooted by their Bengali mother for a life in New York; their daughters Anna and Chantal, both navigating the connections and divisions between cultures; and Ranee, the matriarch who clings to tradition.
Who it's for: Culturally distinct and utterly relatable, this family saga holds appeal for all kinds of readers.
Calling My Name by Liara TamaniWhat it's about: Growing up in a close-knit, conservative Christian family in 1990s Houston, thoughtful Taja tries to figure out how the rules she's been taught intersect with her own evolving understanding of spirituality, sexuality, and ambition.
How it's told: Short, lyrical chapters will keep you turning pages while also creating a sense of intimacy with Taja's thoughts and emotions.
For fans of: Elizabeth Acevedo's The Poet X and Jacqueline Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 14 and up!
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