The Best of 2013 for teens contains an interesting variety of recommendations from librarians all over Monroe County. Enjoy!
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher – Lauren McCormick (Rochester City Schools) – Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and crush – who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry Four – Deena Viviani (Brighton Library) & Claire Talbot (Greece Library) – Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family.
Lord of Opium by Nancy Farmer – Adrienne Furness (Henrietta Library) – As the teenage ruler of his own country, Matt must cope with clones and cartels in this riveting sequel to the modern classic House of the Scorpion, winner of the National Book Award, a Newbery Honor, and a Printz Honor.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – Lauren McCormick (Rochester City Schools) & Matt Krueger (Irondequoit Library) – Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.
Reality Boy by A.S. King – Deena Viviani (Brighton Library) – In this fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, highly acclaimed Printz Honor author A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child “star” struggling to break free of his anger.
The After Girls by Leah Konen – Stephanie Territo (Greece Library) – Ella, Astrid, and Sydney were planning the perfect summer after high school graduation. But when Astrid commits suicide in a lonely cabin, the other girls’ worlds are shattered. How could their best friend have done this–to herself and to them? They knew everything about Astrid. Shouldn’t they have seen this coming? Couldn’t they have saved her?
Every Day by David Levithan – Matt Krueger (Irondequoit Library) – Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler – Stephanie Squicciarini (Fairport Library) – When all signs point to heartbreak, can love still be a rule of the road? A poignant and romantic novel from the author of Bittersweet and Twenty Boy Summer.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – Stephanie Squicciarini (Fairport Library), Claire Talbot (Greece Library), Ashley Armstrong (Lyell Library), Stephanie Territo (Greece Library), and Patricia Uttaro (who was hoping thyis would win the Newbery Award today, but is happy with the selection of Flora & Ulysses) – Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Deena Viviani (Brighton Library) – In Fangirl, quirky introvert, Cath, is safe within the immensely popular Simon Snow (think Harry Potter) fan-fiction blog she writes with her twin sister, but college turns her life upside down, leaving her feeling like an awkward outsider. When she writes, Cath knows exactly what her characters should say to each other, but when it comes to forging real-life friendships, much less a romance, she hasn’t a clue.
Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz – Matt Krueger (Irondequoit Library) & Patricia Uttaro – Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein – Deena Viviani (Brighton Library) – While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbruck, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?
5th Wave by Rick Yancey – Stephanie Territo (Greece Library) – The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.
Poison by Bridget Zinn – Adrienne Furness (Henrietta Library) – Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction-which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend. Disclaimer – all the links go to Amazon, and the annotations have been borrowed from there as well.