The Whispering Dark by Kelly AndrewStarring: Delaney Meyers-Petrov, a scholarship student at Howe University, where (according to rumors) students learn to slip between worlds.
What happens: Delaney, who is Deaf and uses a cochlear implant, is struggling because of poor accommodations and ableist professors. When students start turning up dead, she must hone her newfound powers to solve the mystery. Are the deaths linked to Delany's hot, arrogant teaching assistant Colton and his secret occult club?
For fans of: lush writing and dark academia.
How to Excavate a Heart by Jake Maia ArlowThe best laid plans: Shani is spending winter break devoted to her internship at the Smithsonian. Recently heartbroken, she's focusing on fossils.
Go awry: When Shani gets snowed in with May on Christmas Eve, the two girls begin to bond over their shared Jewish faith. As their connection becomes undeniable, Shani considers taking a chance on love again.
Read it for: a cozy twist on the Christmas rom-com, perfect for fans of Casey McQuiston and Kelly Quindlen.
Whiteout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola YoonWhat it is: a heartwarming collaborative novel about teens on a romantic adventure in the midst of a historic winter storm in Atlanta.
What happens: Stevie hurts her girlfriend Sola by claiming love is only a biological process, as her AP Chemistry research indicated. To win Sola back, Stevie enlists friends to stage a grand gesture. The scheme ends up bringing multiple couples together.
Mystery alert: The book's authors' note provides tantalizing clues about which all-star writer wrote which character.
Strike the Zither by Joan HeThe setting: an alternate historical China, where the young empress Xin Bao is controlled by ruthless overlord Miasma. Within this fractured realm, warlordesses plot to take control of the continent.
Enter: Zephyr, the clever strategist serving honorable warlordess Xin Ren. Zephyr must create and execute a plan to rescue Xin Bao and let the Xin family maintain their dynasty.
Series alert: This riveting, gender-bent reimagining of the Chinese classic Three Kingdoms opens an immersive new series.
I Was Born for This by Alice OsemanThe superfan: Fereshteh "Angel" Rahimi lives for The Ark, a hugely popular boy band. Her Muslim family simply doesn't understand how The Ark has given her everything. EVERYTHING.
The frontman: Despite The Ark's success, Jimmy struggles with anxiety and his desire to keep his trans identity secret. When he meets Angel, the two help each other face uncomfortable truths about themselves.
Author alert: Fans of author Alice Oseman's Heartstopper series -- or its Netflix adaptation -- will enjoy this cinematic, emotional story.
What We Harvest by Ann FraistatWelcome to: Hollow's End, a picturesque American farm town known for magical crops. Tourists flock to see the rainbow-colored wheat Wren's family grows.
What happens: A gruesome blight first strikes the crops, then the livestock, and finally the people. To save her beloved home, Wren and her ex-boyfriend Derek must team up and confront the twisted secrets behind the town's prosperity.
For fans of: Rory Power's Wilder Girls and Claire Legrand's Sawkill Girls.
Icebreaker by A.L. GraziadeiOn the ice: Mickey James III is a star on Hartland University's hockey team. Unsurprising, since his father and grandfather were Hartland and NHL legends.
Off the ice: Mickey is clinically depressed and has a rocky relationship with his father. When Mickey's rival Jaysen comes out to him, Mickey's hatred softens into feelings that inspire hope for his future.
Try this next: Ngozi Ukazu's Check, Please! or ZR Ellor's May the Best Man Win, two further LGBTQIA sports romances.
Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. TaylorChecking in: The magical Hotel Magnifique appears once per decade, whisking guests to new places when it changes locations at midnight. 17-year-old Jani and her younger sister Zosa can't afford a stay, so they apply for jobs.
The twist: Despite the glamour and the handsome doorman Bel, Jani discovers the hotel is a trap. Can she free the guests and staff from their unbreakable contracts?
Why you might like it: This enchanting fantasy blends mystery, adventure, and romance.
This Place Is Still Beautiful by Xixi TianWhat it is: an emotionally intense story exploring the complicated relationship between two biracial sisters, Margaret and Annalie, whose house is vandalized with a racist slur.
How it's told: in alternating perspectives that illuminate the two girls' realities. Margaret, out for justice, has more obvious Asian features. Annalie is white-passing and wishes everything would blow over.
Read it for: a quiet, powerful portrait of the long-lasting effects of racism and the uncertainty that accompanies the end of high school.
Lulu and Milagro's Search for Clarity by Angela VelezOn the bus: Lulu and Milagro know their older sister Clara has changed since going to college. They need to talk to her in person -- without their overprotective mom -- during the week-long college tour organized by their Catholic girls' school.
The goal: Uncovering Clara's secrets while also discovering what the future could hold for Lulu and Milagro.
The long and winding road: this angst-filled and funny coming-of-age story touches on relatable topics like parental expectations, first love, ambition, and sisterhood.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 14 and up!
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