When Love Comes to Town, by Tom Lennon:
In a way, When Love Comes to Town is a classic issue novel: Neil's coming out experience is front-and-center. The book chronicles his entry into the gay community within the larger Dublin community, his first relationship, his battle with depression, his slow build towards making some sort of peace between his love for his family and his need to be himself, and ultimately, his journey towards self-acceptance. Although it certainly ticks every imaginable box on the Coming Out In The Early '90s checklist, its strong character development and its emotional honesty—seriously heart-breaking painful honesty—keep it from feeling like an afterschool special or a capital-I Issue novel.
Being Henry David, by Cal Armistead:
To a degree, Being Henry David is one of those frustrating stories in which the protagonist could save himself pages and pages of torment and confusion if he’d just, you know, ask someone for help. But Armistead makes Hank’s reasons for avoiding the authorities emotionally believable and logically plausible, so it’s not really an issue. It is, as evidenced by my one-sitting read, an extremely compelling book, and the Thoreau quotes are woven in quite nicely: I can easily imagine this book inspiring younger readers to go and look him up.
The Look, by Sophia Bennett
Infatuate: A Gilded Wings Novel, Book Two, by Aimee Agresti
Legacy of the Clockwork Key (Secret Order), by Kristin Bailey
Let the Sky Fall, by Shannon Messenger
The Murmurings, by Carly Anne West
The Nightmare Affair, by Mindee Arnett
Permanent Record, by Leslie Stella
Requiem (Delirium), by Lauren Oliver
Rats Saw God, by Rob Thomas (CLEARLY, IT'S TIME FOR A RE-READ)
Bruised, by Sarah Skilton
Earth Girl, by Janet Edwards
Emblaze (Embrace), by Jessica Shirvington
Flowers in the Sky, by Lynn Joseph
Crap Kingdom, by DC Pierson
Orleans, by Sherri L. Smith
Spellcaster, by Claudia Gray
A Touch Menacing, by Leah Clifford
Unremembered, by Jessica Brody
When We Wake, by Karen Healey
When We Wuz Famous, by Greg Takoudes
Revenge of the Girl With the Great Personality, by Elizabeth Eulberg
The Summer Prince, by Alaya Dawn Johnson
There Is No Dog, by Meg Rosoff:
It wasn't just the tone that reminded me of Douglas Adams. It was the warmth—it was how Meg Rosoff was able to poke fun at (and sometimes skewer) humankind (and our mythology), while also conveying a sense of never-ending affection, wonder, and empathy. There's a sense of hope, too, but it's a realist's sort of hope—one that takes the past into account—so while there are brief, perfect moments of beauty, everything is tempered with a cheerful sort of pessimism.
The Springsweet, by Saundra Mitchell:
While I went into this book expecting to enjoy it, I didn’t expect to be swept completely off my feet by the romance. But unexpected romance is all the more satisfying, isn’t it? There are three guys in the picture: a fiddling frontiersman, a dapper dude from Baltimore and Zora’s dead lost love. From the moment Emerson Birch (the frontiersman) appears, Mr. Fancypants never stood a chance—in my eyes, or in Zora’s. It was refreshing to read a romance in which there were multiple parties involved, but that wasn’t a love triangle.
The Night She Disappeared, by April Henry:
The Night She Disappeared is a straightforward—yet still tense—thriller. From chapter to chapter, the perspective shifts between the four main characters—Kayla and Drew, Gabie and John Robertson—as well as some of the minor ones, like the boys who stumbled on the crime scene and one of the divers who searches the Willamette River. The voices and perspectives are all distinctly different, and the short chapters—none more than three or four pages long—are interspersed with transcripts of 911 calls and police interviews, evidence slips, search warrants, and other documents related to the case.
Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin, Book I (His Fair Assassin Trilogy), by Robin LaFevers:
It’s a must-read if: You are a Buffy fan. Especially if you have a soft spot for the episodes in which Our Buff has to fight her way to the prom (or Homecoming) while wearing her pretty, pretty dress. Ismae wears pretty, pretty dresses all day, every day, and she has more weapons hidden on her person—often including, yes, a crossbow, and even poisoned pearls in her hairnet!—than you’d think would be strictly necessary on a battlefield, let alone at a royal court.