FOOLISH HEARTSAuthor: Emma Mills
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co
Publication Date: December 5, 2017
A contemporary novel about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream leads her to new friends—and maybe even new love.
The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn't supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn't know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they're both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia's ever seen. As Claudia's world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.
Why I recommend it:FOOLISH HEARTS has some of my favourite characters that Emma Mills has ever created. I love Claudia's character and the way that this story progresses. There is a great character study and you learn so much about high school pressures and how to overcome adversary. I just have such heart eyes for this book and would push it on everyone - but especially people struggling with their own identity.
THREE DARK CROWNSAuthor: Kendare Blake
Series: Three Dark Crowns #1
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
When kingdom come, there will be one.
In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.
The last queen standing gets the crown.
Why I recommend it:Okay look. This is one of my favourite fantasy series so I just want more people to read it in general. There are a lot of themes in this one, plus plot twists that made my jaw actually drop, so it is perfect. And there's always the added bonus of girl power too.
YOU KNOW ME WELLAuthor: Nina LaCour and David Levithan
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?
Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.
That is, until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.
When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other—and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.
Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, You Know Me Well is a story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.
Why I recommend it:A coming of age story with LGBTQ+ themes? Yeah teens need to read this. Both characters fall into and out of situations and learn to come together with someone they never expected to. And this happens all the time, especially as a teenager. You make new friends, you have new experiences, and you have to learn who to trust. This book definitely helps with that.
WILD SWANSAuthor: Jessica Spotswood
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
The summer before Ivy’s senior year is going to be golden; all bonfires, barbeques, and spending time with her best friends. For once, she will just get to be. No summer classes, none of Granddad’s intense expectations to live up to the family name. For generations, the Milbourn women have lead extraordinary lives—and died young and tragically. Granddad calls it a legacy, but Ivy considers it a curse. Why else would her mother have run off and abandoned her as a child?
But when her mother unexpectedly returns home with two young daughters in tow, all of the stories Ivy wove to protect her heart start to unravel. The very people she once trusted now speak in lies. And all of Ivy’s ambition and determination cannot defend her against the secrets of the Milbourn past…
Why I recommend it:This book is amazing from page one. It deals with loss, expectations, and parental pressure - something all teens have to deal with. It has "older" YA vibes but it can help prep anyone for what to expect in the future and how to deal with something you aren't anticipating. Plus the summer vibes are stellar and I loved living in Jessica Spotswood's world for a little while.
WHISPER TO MEAuthor: Nick Lake
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Cassie is writing a letter to the boy whose heart she broke. She’s trying to explain why. Why she pushed him away. Why her father got so angry when he saw them together. Why she disappears some nights. Why she won’t let herself remember what happened that long-ago night on the boardwalk. Why she fell apart so completely.
Desperate for his forgiveness, she’s telling the whole story of the summer she nearly lost herself. She’s hoping he’ll understand as well as she now does how love—love for your family, love for that person who makes your heart beat faster, and love for yourself—can save you after all.