All These Bodies by Kendare BlakeWhat it is: a fast-paced thriller inspired by a real-life murder spree from the 1950s which left victims mysteriously drained of blood.
Starring: 17-year-old Michael Jenson, an aspiring journalist hoping to cover the murder in his Midwestern town. Fifteen-year-old Marie Catherine Hale, found covered in blood at the scene, chooses Michael alone to hear her horrifying story.
For fans of: tales of small-town murder with supernatural speculations, like Lauren Oliver's Broken Things.
Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by Brandy ColbertWhat it is: a compelling account of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, a violent incident against a thriving Black community and part of a larger pattern of brutality and displacement in Oklahoma and beyond.
Who it's for: readers interested in difficult chapters in American history and anyone struck by the harrowing scenes of the massacre in the HBO series Watchmen.
Author alert: This book marks the nonfiction debut for author Brandy Colbert, known for novels like Little & Lion.
Things We Couldn't Say by Jay ColesThe set-up: Giovanni Zander's mom walked out years ago, but now she's reaching out to him. He's a Black bisexual pastor's kid dealing with insensitive teachers; he doesn't need additional stress from her.
Enter: David, a new student who shares Gio's interests in music and basketball. He’s a bright spot in all the mess.
Author alert: If you liked author Jay Coles' debut Tyler Johnson Was Here, pick up this emotional depiction of first love.
Beasts of Prey by Ayana GrayThe setting: a fictional jungle city called Lkossa, where a fearsome beast called the Shetani has been terrorizing people for nearly a century.
Starring: Koffi, an indentured servant at her city's Night Zoo, and Ekon, an aspiring elite warrior. They form an uneasy partnership to hunt the Shetani. Catching the beast could free Koffi from servitude and demonstrate Ekon's might to his family.
Read it for: an action-packed, Pan-African fantasy.
Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire SaenzWhat it is: a lyrical and thought-provoking exploration of what "happily ever after" looks like for two Mexican American boys in a relationship during the final year of high school.
The setting: 1980s El Paso, a border town where few understand Ari and Dante and the AIDS epidemic is a looming threat.
Series alert: This is the highly anticipated 2nd novel in the Aristotle and Dante series, following Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.
Verona Comics by Jennifer DuganIn fair Verona: This Romeo and Juliet retelling takes cues from the original, only with rival comic books stores, queer characters, nuanced treatment of mental health, and a less tragic ending.
Starring: Ridley, whose struggles with anxiety and depression make him feel like a disappointment to his successful parents, and Jubilee, an accomplished cellist preparing her next big audition.
How it's told: Alternating first person perspectives provide deep insight into the flawed but likeable characters.
These Violent Delights by Chloe GongWhat it is: a bloody and fantastical retelling of Romeo and Juliet set in 1920s Shanghai.
Featuring: Juliette Cai, ruthless heir to the Chinese Scarlet Gang; her ex, Roma Montagov, leader of the rival Russian White Flowers; and rumors of a guài -- a monster -- inflicting madness on people across the city.
Why you might like it: Combining the intensity of Shakespeare's tragedy with an intriguing mystery and a cast of unrepentant criminals, These Violent Delights offers historical fantasy with an edge.
The Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman and Megan SpoonerAbove: the sky city Alciel, where North reluctantly reigns as prince, wishing for a different life. Then an accident sends him crashing to the Surface.
Below: Nimh, a living goddess, sees North's fiery descent as the potential salvation for her suffering people. Their meeting sparks this action-packed and romantic tale of entwined destinies.
Series alert: The Other Side of the Sky is the 1st book of a planned duology.
An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret RogersonWhat it's about: At first, fairy prince Rook is outraged by human artist Isobel's too-insightful portrait of him. Yet when the two are forced to become allies, hostility gives way to forbidden love.
What’s inside: a bold heroine, breathtaking romantic tension, thrilling action, and unexpected twists.
Why you might like it: Flashes of humor (such as Isobel’s kid sisters, who were transformed from literal goats) lighten this lush, gripping tale.
This Savage Song by Victoria SchwabThe setting: Verity, a city in a dystopian Middle America, overrun with violent monsters. Rare monsters called Sunai appear human.
The set-up: Human Kate and Sunai August have families with opposing views on how to contend with the monsters. Can an unlikely allyship between Kate and August bring about a better world?
Series alert: This Savage Song is the 1st novel in a completed action-packed urban fantasy duology, ideal for fans of Holly Black and Laini Taylor.
Contact your librarian for more great books for age 14 and up!
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