We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a True Story

Sundquist, J. (2014). We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a True Story. NY: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

When author, YouTuber, and Paralympic Skier Josh
Sundquist was in his early 20s he weshouldhangoutsometimerealized he only ever had a girlfriend once, for 23 hours, in grade 8. And now as an adult, he wants to find out why he is still single. So he tracks down all of his almost-girlfriends and asks them to be honest about what went wrong. LOL.

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Orphan Island

Snyder, L. (2017). Orphan Island. MA: Walden Pond Press.

On a special island, only orphaned children live, dropped off one by one, once a year A  green boat arrives on the shores, always through thick mist, and drops off the youngest islander and orphanislandtakes away the oldest. The island itself is a safe paradise where no one ever gets hurt by an animal or anything else. The kids may squabble, but nothing major ever happens.

The eldest of the nine children living there has the responsibility of teaching the newest arrival. Throughout the story, Jinny, the eldest, is guiding little Ess. When it is Jinny’s turn to board the green boat that arrives as sure as the sun rises and sets each year, she has different ideas that day.

Orphan Island is centered around themes of childhood and growing up and includes enough magical realism to keep you thinking about it long after the last page is turned.

Life As We Knew It

Pfeffer, S. (2006). Life As We Knew It. FL: Harcourt.

Told through Miranda’s journal entries, we follow her life as it changes from a regular, suburban experience to a dystopian tale once a meteor collides into the moon, altering lifeasweknewitits course and pushing it closer to earth. Volcanic ash hangs in the air blocking the sun, tsunamis are blanketing the coasts, and families are hoarding supplies. Miranda’s modern blended family is surviving in their sun room, huddled around a heater.

Pfeffer’s storytelling style is emotional. This isn’t an adventure packed ride, but an even more terrifyingly psychological one that touches on the human condition.

”I don’t even know why I’m writing this down, except that I feel fine and maybe tomorrow I’ll be dead. And if that happens, and someone should find my journal, I want them to know what happened.

We are a family. We love each other. We’ve been scared together and brave together. If this is how it ends, so be it.

Only, please, don’t let me be the last one to die.”

An addictive dystopian, post-apocalyptic, survival story, and also a great introduction to young adult fiction.

Words in Deep Blue

Crowley, C. (2017). Words in Deep Blue. NY: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers .

Heartbreaking but beautiful, . Two best friends, Henry and Rachel were inseparable childhood friends. Now as teens, Rachel is in love with Henry even when Henry becomes31952703 obsessed with Amy, the pretty, new girl at their school. Rachel’s life is in an up swirl because her family is moving away, and she decides to confess her love to Henry, so she writes Henry a love letter and leaves it in his favourite book. The letter asks Henry to meet her, only Henry never shows up. Wrecked, Rachel decides to push it all behind her. Three years later, Rachel returns to her home town after her younger brother whom she adored has drowned, only everything feels different. She and Henry haven not spoken in years, but as fate has it, she finds herself and Henry together again and they may be given a second chance of love.

Foolish Hearts

Mills E. (2017). Foolish Hearts. NY: Henry Holt and Co.

During the last party of the summer, Claudia gets caught eavesdropping — purely by mistake — on an extremely private conversation. Once school starts up again in the fall, 33275690she and Iris, one the girls from that painful conversation, are paired up for a school project. Contemptuous, disdainful, and scornful Iris is a handful to try to work with civilly, and even though they want to be as far apart as possible, they both end up trying out for the school play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The many characters are all incredibly real and complex. This is a great book if you happen to love theatre, or gaming, or have ever been in true love with a band, all which are discussed in detail. Gone are the paranormal, outer space and the zombies. This is a real people story. And it’s exceptional.

They Both Die at the End

Silvera A. (2017). They Both Die at the End. NY: HarperTeen.

It’s the near future and in this future, the government knows when everyone dies. At around midnight two teens Rufus and Mateo receive the dreaded phone call from Death-Cast Organization claiming that they are both going to die today. They aren’t told how or theybothdieattheend.jpgexactly when they will die, only that there is no stopping it. Both have decided that they don’t want to spend their last day alone and as fate would have it, they find each other on the Last Friend App. Once total strangers, the two meet up for one last great adventure before they die. They Both Die at the End makes you wonder, what would you do on your last day?

Words on Bathroom Walls

Walton, J. (2017). Words on Bathroom Walls. NY: Random House Books for Young Readers.

Adam has just been diagnosed with schizophrenia, a disorder where he hears and sees people who aren’t there. There is the beautiful Rebecca who understands him, the Mob wordsonbathroomwalls.jpgboss who harasses him, and Jason the polite, naked guy. At the moment, Adam is unable to determine visions from reality, but when he begins an experimental miracle drug, he starts to think that normal is possible. And then he meets the beautiful, perfect Maya, and begins to think that even love is possible. But when his miracle drug stops working, Adam will do whatever it takes to hide his illness from Maya.