All That I Can Fix by Crystal ChanStarring: Ronney, who wishes that his family -- suicidal dad, pill-popping mom, and super-smart little sister -- wasn't so infamous in their small Indiana town.
What happens: The local eccentric releases exotic zoo animals into the town, further complicating Ronney's life and sparking raging debates about gun control and animal rights.
Why you might like it: Honest, angry, and fiercely funny, Ronney is a character you won't soon forget.
Bruja Born by Zoraida CórdovaWhat it's about: Beautiful Lula Mortiz is a healer from a long line of brujas, but after her boyfriend Maks is in a terrible accident, healing isn't enough, and Lulu's desperate magic disrupts the balance between life and death.
Series alert: This eerie, intensifying follow-up to Labyrinth Lost (starring Lula's sister, Alex) will leave you longing for the next book in the Brooklyn Brujas series.
My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi MeadowsWhat it's about: Teenage Charlotte Brontë is working on a novel about her dear friend Jane Eyre, but it's not quite the classic you'd expect: for one thing, this Jane can control ghosts.
About the authors: After recounting the supernatural adventures of Lady Jane Grey in My Lady Jane, this trio of authors returns with a hilarious and feminist "deconstruction of a gothic novel" (Booklist).
For fans of: Mackenzi Lee's The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue.
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, editorsWhat it is: a collection of reimagined myths from diverse Asian cultures.
Featuring: Roshani Chokshi's tale of a lovelorn Filipino mountain spirit; Lori M. Lee's android version of a Hmong folktale; Alyssa Wong's bittersweet take on the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival; plus stories by Renée Ahdieh, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, and many more.
Who it's for: anyone looking for an authentic, inventive, "own voices" take on Asian mythologies.
Wild Blue Wonder by Carlie SorosiakWhat it's about: Quinn's memories of good times at her family's magical summer camp in Maine are poisoned after her best friend Dylan dies in a boating accident. Blaming herself, Quinn sinks into guilt and grief until a surprising romance helps her find a way forward.
Why you might like it: Quinn's journey from heartbreak to healing -- told in then-and-now style alongside the unfolding mystery of Dylan's accident -- will keep you turning pages all the way through.
The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick BurdStarring: Dade, a high school grad who's stuck in a stifling Midwestern suburb. Weary of his bickering parents, pathetic job, and hook-ups with his closeted friend Pablo, Dade can't wait to get out.
What happens: Mere months before his escape to college, Dade falls hard for handsome, enigmatic Alex Kincaid.
For fans of: A.S. King's Ask the Passengers, Peter Cameron's Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You, and other novels with messy, true-to-life characters.
The Loose Ends List by Carrie FirestoneWhat happens: Maddie's post-graduation plans take a sharp detour after her Gram announces that she has terminal cancer and is taking the whole family on a "death with dignity" cruise.
Featuring: irreverent dialogue, international locales, and a memorably quirky cast of characters.
Why you might like it: Hefty doses of humor and romance help to balance this thought-provoking look at life and loss.
That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba KarimWhat it’s about: It’s the summer after senior year, and Shabnam is in love for the first time. She’s dying to tell her outspoken best friend Farah, but first she’ll need to repair the rift that’s been growing between them since Farah starting wearing the hijab.
It is for you? If you like Jenny Han's books and want further relatable, realistic stories about the complications of friendship and romance, be sure to pick up That Thing We Call a Heart.
Radio Silence by Alice OsemanWhat it's about: While studying for college qualification exams, stressed-out British teens Frances and Aled bond over Aled's notoriously secretive podcast, forming an intense friendship that leads them to question both their shared past and the futures they're supposed to want.
You might also like: Natalie Standiford's How to Say Goodbye in Robot (for another thoughtful look at unconventional friendship) or Kathryn Ormsbee's Tash Hearts Tolstoy (for another take on internet fame featuring an asexual character).
Like Water by Rebecca PodosFeaturing: Vanni Espinoza, whose college swimming dreams are shattered after her dad is diagnosed with Huntington’s disease (a condition she might inherit); and Leigh, the captivating newcomer who shakes up Vanni’s ideas about who she is and what she wants.
Read it for: an inclusive group of characters, believably complex relationships, and a vivid small-town New Mexico setting.
You might also like: Julie Murphy’s Ramona Blue, another book about family obligations and a life-changing relationship.
Contact your librarian for more great books for age 14 and up!
If you are having trouble unsubscribing to this newsletter, please contact NextReads at 919-489-3713, 3710 Mayfair Street, Durham, NC 27707