|We have 9 YA spotlights this week, most of which are contemporary romances. I love contemporary romance and yes, they are popular with students. What I don't see is a burning need for more of them. Here's what stands out most for me this week:|
|Change Places With Me (Lois Metzger)|
This is one of those books where everything is surreal and readers either love its brilliance or just don't get it. Rose is different today, but she's not sure how. She still lives with her stepmother, lives in the same house, attends the same high school with the same kids. But something is different, wrong somehow. Sci-fi, dystopia.
|How It Feels to Fly (Kathryn Holmes)|
Lately, I've seen an increase in fiction titles that tackle anxiety disorders in teens. I've had some discussions about this with my students, and their perception is that teens today have more pressures than teens in my generation. I'm not here to debate that, but teen anxiety is certainly more openly-discussed these days. In this one, a ballerina struggling with self-image, anxiety, and panic attacks attends a summer camp for teens with mental ad emotional obstacles. Realistic fiction, contemporary romance, mental disorders.
|Look Both Ways (Alison Cherry)|
Brooklyn is excited to get out of the city for her summer theater internship. She meets her roommate Zoe, and they hit it off right away. Brooklyn is happier than she's ever been, but when her friendship with Zoe starts to turn into something more, Brooklyn begins to have doubts about who she is and who she wants to be. Contemporary, GLBT.
|The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love (Sarvenaz Tash)|
How cute is that cover? A rare romance told from the male perspective. Sixteen-year old Graham has loved Roxana since they became neighbors and best friends eight years ago. Now, he plans to score tickets to Comic Con and wants to use the 3-day trip to New York City to tell Roxana exactly how he feels about her. Contemporary romance.
Also releasing this week:
|Lessons in Falling (Diana Gallagher)|
This friend-drama stuff isn't my thing personally, but I do think many girls will see themselves in Savannah. How many of them have a best friend who holds them back? Savannah blows out her knee, losing her chance at a gymnastics scholarship. She's happy to spend more time with her best friend Cassie...until Cassie tries to kill herself. Savannah grows closer to Marcus, the boy who saved Savannah's life, but Savannah strongly disapproves. Contemporary romance, friendship, suicide.
|How to Disappear (Ann Redisch Stampler)|
Finally! It's not a contemporary romance or GLBT! This is a mystery about a murdered girl and a young hit-man chasing a high school girl marked for death. I've seen lots of positive early praise for what looks to be a high-action race of life and death. Mystery, thriller.
|Cure for the Common Universe (Christian McKay Heidicker)|
Sixteen-year old video game addict is committed to rehab only minutes after meeting a real-live girl! Determined to get out of rehab in time for his first date, Jaxon will do whatever it takes--lie, cheat, steal, cross-stitch, and even open up to other teens about his mother's absence. Realistic fiction, male POV, video game addiction. Realistic fiction.
|Steeplejack (AJ Hartley)|
Ready for something different? Steeplejack is an alternate history, set in a Victorian-esque South Africa. It's about a girl named Ang who is attempting to solve a murder mystery and taking care of her sister's newborn baby. There are also racial problems--it is South Africa, after all. The description sounds a bit...full...but the early Goodreads ratings on this one are glowing. Steampunk, mystery.
|Tell Us Something True (Dana Reinhardt)|
Remember About A Boy, that book/movie where a bachelor pretends to be a single dad in order to meet women in a support group for single moms? This book reminds me of that. A 17-year old boy lies his way into a support group for teens with various addictions. He finds him connecting with the other teens, especially a particular girl. Sounds cute! Contemporary romance, male POV, addiction.