This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

This Is What Happy Looks Like

by Jennifer E. Smith

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O’Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie’s Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?

Ratings and Reviews from the Librarians

Bekka rated it ★★★★ and said, “What a cute book! It reminded me a bit of some of Sarah Dessen’s works. These are real kids with some typical problems, and some not-so-typical problems. I loved the romance, and the way it developed. I think the characters were quite well done, and the writing is very enjoyable. This is a great, lighter read for those who enjoy sweet romances with a little fairy tale thrown in.”

Miranda rated it ★★★★ and said, “3.5 stars. Not super original, but a cute story. I will be looking for her other titles. A great read-a-like for Janette Rallison and Lindsey Leavitt.”

Lorna rated it ★★★ and said, “It was an O.K. story for a light summer romance.”

Betsy rated it ★★★★★.

Emma rated it ★★★★.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson


by Laurie Halse Anderson

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

Ratings and Reviews from the Librarians

Lorna rated it ★★★★★.

Betsy rated it ★★★★.

Tilt by Ellen Hopkins

Tilt by Ellen Hopkins


by Ellen Hopkins

Love—good and bad—forces three teens’ worlds to tilt in a riveting novel from New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins.

Three teens, three stories—all interconnected through their parents’ family relationships. As the adults pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the lives of the teens begin to tilt….

Mikayla, almost eighteen, is over-the-top in love with Dylan, who loves her back jealously. But what happens to that love when Mikayla gets pregnant the summer before their senior year—and decides to keep the baby?

Shane turns sixteen that same summer and falls hard in love with his first boyfriend, Alex, who happens to be HIV positive. Shane has lived for four years with his little sister’s impending death. Can he accept Alex’s love, knowing that his life, too, will be shortened?

Harley is fourteen—a good girl searching for new experiences, especially love from an older boy. She never expects to hurdle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be.

Love, in all its forms, has crucial consequences in this standalone novel.

Ratings and Reviews from the Librarians

Miranda rated it ★★★.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Gray

by Ruta Sepetys

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously—and at great risk—documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

Ratings and Reviews from the Librarians

Lorna rated it ★★★★ and said, “I, like many, did not know about the terrible genocide that occurred during the Soviet occupation of the Baltic States. Millions of people from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were deported to Siberia during Stalin’s cleansing of this area. Conditions were horrific. So it’s an important story, not only from the history standpoint, but also in love and hope.”

Bekka rated it ★★★★ and said, “This was a very powerful book. While not my favorite type of reading, the writing and suspense kept me hooked. I had a hard time putting it down. I didn’t find it as personally compelling as The Book Thief. However, it is an important story and one that has been largely overlooked by history.”

Miranda rated it ★★★★.

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Wonder by R. J. Palacio


by R. J. Palacio

You can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

“My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.”

August Pullman wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things. He eats ice cream. He plays on his Xbox. He feels ordinary—inside.

But Auggie is far from ordinary. Ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids don’t get stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, he’s being sent to a real school—and he’s dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted—but can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all?

Narrated by Auggie and the people around him whose lives he touches forever, Wonder is a funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

Ratings and Reviews from the Librarians

Vivian rated it ★★★★ and said, “This is the kind of story you don’t want to put down. It is a page-turner. It hurts. Bad. It informs. It inspires. It’s real.”

Bekka rated it ★★★★ and said, “I put off reading this for quite a while, because I thought it would be too difficult emotionally for me. However, while there are parts that are difficult, the overall story it quite triumphant and uplifting. Auggie is fantastic, and I think this story has some of the best parents I’ve ever read. I also loved the sister, and her all-too-human struggles. I thought all the children were quite well done. The author did a great job at differentiating between the various narratives and voices within the book. I did think things wrapped up a bit too conveniently at the ending, but overall this is an excellent story. This is a great one for middle school kids, to help them with empathy. Its a great one for adults as well! We all need more empathy! I loved the theme of kindness throughout the book. Highly Recommended!”

Lorna rated it ★★★★★ and said, “This debut novel is a ‘wonder’. It’s about much more than friendship and getting through middle school although those are important themes in the book. Very heart-warming and thought provoking. You will cheer for Auggie!”

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

by Morgan Matson

Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it’s Amy’s responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn’t ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip—and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar—especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory—but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall

by Lauren Oliver

With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today’s foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman’s If I Stay, Before I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and how one person’s life can affect so many others.

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

Named to numerous state reading lists, this novel was also recognized as a Best Book of the Year by, Barnes & Noble, The Daily Beast, NPR, and Publishers Weekly. It has been optioned for film by Fox 2000 Pictures.

Ratings and Reviews from the Librarians

Bekka rated it ★★★★ and said, “Excellent book! The characters stay with you a long time after the book is finished.”

Miranda rated it ★★★★★ and said, “Edgy and real. A great book to be on the [Teens’ Top Ten] nominee list.”

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

by Jennifer E. Smith

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Imagine if she hadn’t forgotten the book. Or if there hadn’t been traffic on the expressway. Or if she hadn’t fumbled the coins for the toll. What if she’d run just that little bit faster and caught the flight she was supposed to be on. Would it have been something else – the weather over the Atlantic or a fault with the plane?

Hadley isn’t sure if she believes in destiny or fate but, on what is potentially the worst day of each of their lives, it’s the quirks of timing and chance events that mean Hadley meets Oliver…

Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.

Ratings and Reviews from the Librarians

Betsy rated it ★★★★★.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


by Rainbow Rowell

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Ratings and Reviews from the Librarians

Bekka rated it ★★★★ and said, “I LOVE Rainbow Rowell! She has such a great ability to create realistic, believable characters and situations. This one isn’t quite as dark as Eleanor & Park, but these characters still face some real challenges. I LOVE the character of Cath! What a great person she is! I think Rowell’s portrayal of the mother was spot-on. Cath’s family dynamics were very real, and, in spite of their various challenges, it was obvious this is a family that really cares for each other. Of course, the best part was the romance. Rowell also has a real talent in depicting young men and their cares. What fantastic boyfriends she creates! While not as powerful as Eleanor & Park, this book is every bit as enjoyable. Highly Recommended!”

Lorna rated it ★★★★.

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