November 16, 2017

New Reads for Teens

Jenne in BAPL Youth Services department has some reviews of new YA books for you. Last time she brought you Jenne’s Top Tenne. This time it’s a lean list of four. I tried to get her to change her name to Jour so it could be Jour’s Top Four, but she wasn’t into it? Anyway, check out her thoughts on these new reads for teens, and maybe you’ll find your new fav thanks to Jour.


New Teen Books- October

The Authentics by Abdi Nazemian 

Daria and her friends have always prided themselves on being their most authentic selves. They are confident in who they are. And for Daria, who she is is an Iranian American girl who is proud of her strong heritage. But a school project leads Daria down a path of self-discovery that calls into question everything she has ever known about herself. As she learns the truth about her history, Daria wrestles with her self-identity, her feeling of belonging, and her authenticity.

I really enjoyed this book. It is a powerful and relatable story, and the cast of diverse characters make it a great read, especially for anyone struggling with feelings of not being sure where they belong.

Haunt Me by Liz Kessler

When Erin’s family moves into a new house in a new town, it’s supposed to be a fresh start for Erin after years of anxiety provoking bullying. Her shy nature makes it hard for her to meet friends…until she meets Joe, the ghost of a teenage boy who lives in her bedroom. Erin feels that she has finally found someone who understands her, and as they spend more and more time together, their relationship grows into something more than friendship. But things get complicated when Erin meets a flesh and blood boy in the halls of her school…and he turns out to be Joe’s very much alive older brother, Olly. Erin is torn between her feelings for Joe, who she knows she can never truly be with, and her growing friendship with Olly, who is holding on to a dark secret about his brother’s death.

To be honest, I was not a fan of this one. It’s is a pretty teen angst ridden book, and it’s not for everybody. But if you’re a fan of love triangles or supernatural teens, then Haunt Me provides a slight twist on the ordinary.

Far from the Tree by Robin Benway

Grace has just given up her newborn baby, Peach, for adoption. Though she knows that the family she chose for her is a good one, and that Peach will have a better life because of it, she was not prepared for the grief that she would suffer. Her own heartbreak about Peach leads her to want to know more about her birth mother. And she soon comes to find out that she has two siblings, Maya and Joaquin. As she meets Maya and Joaquin and they explore their newfound relationship, all three of them struggle with difficult life challenges. But they realize that together they are stronger, and that it takes all kinds of family to help them navigate life.

I LOVED this book. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Grace, Maya, and Joaquin are well written and flawed characters who learn to love each other and themselves. At one point I gasped out loud while reading this, which is rare for me. And I also cried. All around, a great read.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Aza Holmes suffers from extreme anxiety. Her spiraling thoughts distract her from life and she finds them impossible to control. She often fears that she is not real, and that the thoughts are all that define her. When the billionaire father of an old friend disappears without a trace, Aza reconnects with Davis, her childhood friend. With his help, and the help of her therapist and her best friend, Aza is able to learn to cope with life a little better, and to help Davis find his father.

This book was great. I am not always a big John Green fan, but Aza’s character captured my attention. Instead of the often angst-ridden characters of young adult literature, Aza suffers from actual anxiety and it messes with her life in a big way. It’s a refreshing change and it is nice for anxiety sufferers, such as myself, to see themselves in a character like her.

Kids & Teens