This Is What It Feels Like by Rebecca BarrowStarring: Dia, Jules, and Hanna, three former best friends who decide to get their band back together after the Sun City talent search offers a prize they can't resist.
What happens: A lot has changed since the last time they played together: Dia had a baby, Jules got out of a bad relationship, and Hanna got sober. Can they still make music like they used to?
Read it for: loud music, relatable characters, and rekindled friendships.
Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful by Arwen Elys DaytonWhat it is: six interconnected stories, all set in a future in which human genetic manipulation has astonishing -- and sometimes terrifying -- consequences.
What's inside: designer babies, cyborg convicts, a dolphin boy, and a powerful zealot who undergoes a dramatic change.
For fans of: Dhonielle Clayton's The Belles, TV's Black Mirror, and other stories that question perfection and make you think about what it means to be human (or humane).
The Lying Woods by Ashley ElstonStarring: Owen Foster, who leaves his life of privilege in New Orleans to move back to his tiny Louisiana hometown after his father embezzles millions of dollars and disappears...but not without leaving a coded letter for Owen first.
Why you might like it: Alternating between Owen's predicament and a similar incident years earlier, this atmospheric, multilayered mystery ramps up the nail-biting tension with every chapter.
Your Own Worst Enemy by Gordon JackWhat it is: a biting political satire about an out-of-control race for student body president.
The candidates: frustrated overachiever Stacey Wynn; secretive transfer student Julia Romero; and stoner Tony Guo (whose motives include the school's ban on chocolate milk).
Who it's for: Readers who feel frustrated with real-world politics might appreciate the combination of angst and outrageous humor in Your Own Worst Enemy.
Empress of All Seasons by Emiko JeanWhat it's about: The empress of Honoku is chosen through a grueling competition: whoever survives the palace's enchanted seasonal rooms gets to marry the prince. Anyone can compete -- anyone but the monstrous yōkai, enemies of the emperor.
Featuring: Reluctant human prince Taro; half-human, half-yōkai Akira; and Mari, a yōkai in human guise who's been trained to win the competition at any cost.
Is it for you? This exciting standalone story will grab readers in search of Asian-inspired fantasy.
Little & Lion by Brandy ColbertWhat it's about: After a year at boarding school, Suzette is back in Los Angeles, hoping to reinforce her shaky bond with her brother Lionel (who has bipolar disorder.) She's also reeling from a shattered romance with her school roommate, which complicates her newfound feelings for her old friend, Emil.
Why you might like it: An inclusive supporting cast underscores the realistically messy emotions in this story about love, loyalty, and uneasy secrets.
Now Is Everything by Amy GilesWhat it's about: Hours after surviving the accident that took her family, Hadley McCauley -- lacrosse captain, salutatorian, Ivy League-bound -- attempts suicide. Is it survivor's guilt, or is something else driving this seemingly perfect girl to the brink?
Who it's for: Alternating between past and present, Now is Everything draws back the curtain on the abuse that eroded Hadley's family; though it may be too intense for some, readers interested in trauma and survival will be riveted.
When I Am Through with You by Stephanie KuehnStarring: Ben Gibson, who wants you to know that he loved his girlfriend, Rose. And he killed her. And he's not sorry.
What happens: From his jail cell, Ben describes the disastrous school hiking trip from which Rose and several other students never returned. Yet the more Ben reveals, the more you'll wonder if he's leading you astray.
Who it's for: mature fans of dark, twisty psychological suspense.
Vanishing Girls by Lauren OliverWhat it's about: Before the accident, Nick and her sister Dara were inseparable. Afterwards, Nick can't remember what happened, and Dara, who was badly injured, won't talk to her. Then Dara disappears, and Nick is forced to confront her sister's shady secrets and her own frightening memories.
Read it for: family drama, psychological tension, and an unforgettable ending.
For fans of: E. Lockhart's We Were Liars or Courtney Summers' Sadie.
History is All You Left Me by Adam SilveraWhat it's about: Griffin and Theo are no longer a couple by the time Theo drowns, yet Griffin is still forced to grapple with how Theo's death colors his understanding of both the past and the future.
Why you might like it: Dual timelines allow you to watch Griffin's romance and grief unfold simultaneously.
You might also like: For another poignant read about love, loss, and thorny questions, try Shaun David Hutchinson's We Are the Ants.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 14 and up!
Downers Grove Public Library
1050 Curtiss St.
Downers Grove, Illinois 60515