Teen High Reads
The Closest I've Come by Fred AcevesWhat it's about: Stuck living in a poor neighborhood with his mom's abusive boyfriend, it's hard for 15-year-old Marcos Rivas to see any way out. He's got some solid friends and a surprising new crush, but when an unexpected opportunity arises, Marcos is afraid to let himself hope.
Author alert: Get in on the ground floor with this authentic, gritty debut from author Fred Aceves.
For fans of: Jason Reynolds and Matt de la Peña.
Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna PriemazaWhat it's about: After moving from Ottawa to Alberta, Kat (quiet and anxiety-prone) bonds with Meg (an extrovert with ADHD) over their love of the game Legends of the Stone and their mutual obsession with LumberLegs, a popular LotS vlogger.
Who it's for: If you've ever felt socially awkward or used the word "fandom," this moving story of friendship is for you.
You might also like: Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson's Gena/Finn or Steve Brezenoff's Guy in Real Life.
The Truth Beneath the Lies by Amanda SearcyStarring: Betsy, who's starting over in a small Texas town but can't escape the shadow of her past or the sinister calls from the burner phone hidden under her bed; and Kayla, who's working hard to get out of government housing in Washington and can't escape the suspicion that she's being targeted by a serial killer.
Why you might like it: Dual narrators (who might not be trustworthy) and simmering tension will keep you glued to every twist in this suspense novel.
This Mortal Coil by Emily SuvadaWhat it's about: Teen hacker Catarina is the only one who can decrypt the cure for Hydra, a devastating virus that causes cannibalism and combustion. But can she do it before the cure is stolen by the scheming Cartaxus organization?
Who it's for: With a gruesome plague, pulse-pounding action, and complicated romance, this dystopian adventure will appeal to a variety of readers.
Series alert: Yep, there's already a sequel in the works.
Here We Are Now by Jasmine WargaWhat it's about: Though Taliah Abdallat doesn't know her father's identity, she suspects that he might be indie rock icon Julian Oliver – and her suspicions prove true when Julian turns up on her doorstep and asks her to meet his side of the family.
Read it for: A multicultural, multilayered family drama laced with romance and bittersweet song lyrics.
You might also like: Solo, by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess.
The Leaving by Tara AltebrandoStarring: Scarlett, Lucas, Kristen, Sarah, and Adam, who've just been dropped off in a park with no memories of how they spent the 11 years since their kidnapping and no idea why Max, who was taken when they were, isn't with them now.
Why you might like it: The voices of multiple narrators, each written with distinctive formatting, combine to create an unsettling, thought-provoking thriller about memory and identity.
Infinite in Between by Carolyn MacklerWhat it's about: Thrown together at freshman orientation, five high school students write letters to their future selves and pledge to read them together at graduation. In the four years that follow, Zoe, Jake, Mia, Gregor, and Whitney change and intersect in surprising ways.
Who it's for: Anyone looking for an insightful, character-driven slice of high school life as experienced by five very different students.
How It Went Down by Kekla MagoonWhat it's about: After African American teen Tariq Johnson is shot and killed by a white gang member, everyone has a different story about what happened. Brief, fast-moving chapters reveal the perspectives not only of witnesses and police, but also Tariq's family, friends, and enemies.
Why you should read it: This complex look at a painfully realistic tragedy is sure to get people talking.
Try this next: All American Boys, by Jason Reynolds and Brandon Kiely.
Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope PérezWhat it's about: The real-life explosion of a Texas school in 1937 anchors this award-winning novel, which imagines the events leading up to the tragedy. Two perspectives stand out: Naomi, a Mexican American girl who's just moved to town, and Wash, the African American boy she loves.
Who it's for: With graceful, inventive storytelling, Out of Darkness will fascinate readers who crave sophisticated historical fiction.
Salt to the Sea by Ruta SepetysWhat it's about: Before embarking on its doomed final voyage in 1945, the Wilhelm Gustloff offered a last chance of escape for thousands of Eastern European refugees fleeing the brutality of World War Two.
Featuring: Joana, a guilt-ridden Lithuanian nurse; Emilia, a pregnant Polish teen; Florian, a secretive Prussian artist; and Alfred, a young Nazi soldier.
Try this next: Allan Wolf's The Watch That Ends the Night is another gorgeously written tale of a deadly shipwreck.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Forsyth County Public Library
585 Dahlonega Street
Cumming, Georgia 30040