Staff Picks by Tag

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Five Feet Apart Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781534437333
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - November 20th, 2018

Two teenagers with cystic fibrosis: they have a long list of DON'Ts but very few DOs. Stella sticks to her schedules and pins hope on a lung transplant. Will is ready to be 18, free of hospitals and his mother's race for a cure. An endearing and honest story of two teenagers learning there's more to living than simply surviving. 


Review by Danielle

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What If It's Us Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062795250
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: HarperTeen - October 9th, 2018

The whole concept of “meant to be” is filled with lots of exhausting caveats. Are the stars aligned? Does everything feel effortless? Does it feel right? But really, fate and coincidence are all just little chances that we either take, or we don’t. At least, that’s what Ben and Arthur believe. When their meet-cute at a post office in New York City doesn't immediately lead into a romantic montage of bliss, they aren’t worried. By both believing that do-overs are an essential part of life and that important relationships don’t always come about effortlessly, Ben and Arthur’s romance is meant to be because they want it to be so. Through all the meet-cutes, witty dialogue, and, of course, the do-overs, this story is one of the sweetest I’ve read about all the awkwardness and wonder of falling in love for the first time. And who knows, it could be just the book you need? Maybe your reading of this review was…meant to be?


Review by Claire

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American Street Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780062473059
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 1st, 2018

Fabiola and her mother are moving to Detroit from Haiti to live with her aunt and cousins. But when her mother is detained without a green card, she must continue the journey alone. She's thrown into the complex challenge of navigating a Detroit high school while wrestling with her own identity as both Haitian and American. Fabiola's voice and her perspective on identity and immigration was moving. Zoboi so generously pours heart into all her characters. I fell in love with Fabiola, her cousins, and the entire community of American Street.


Review by Halley

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Dry Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781481481977
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - September 3rd, 2019

I've come to expect a certain element of speechlessness every time I finish a Shusterman novel. A few audible gasps, some moments of gripping the pages so tightly in effort not to fall over in terror, etc. – the usual. However, I was not prepared for the thriller/urgent call to environmental action that is Dry. It's terrifyingly relevant to consider the ramifications of living in a world that's out of drinkable water. And the father-son Shusterman duo push this near-future dystopian narrative along around multi-dimensional and complex characters to wrestle with the question of how far desperation can take humans away from their humanity. It's been days since I read it, but I'm still haunted by this book.


Review by Claire

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Darius the Great Is Not Okay Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780525552970
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - August 20th, 2019

Wow. This book made me feel so many tender and intense emotions. Darius' journey to Iran to meet his dying grandfather becomes a beautiful exploration of friendship, family, depression, and discovery of one's place in a sea of self-doubt. This book will warm your heart, as well as break it, and you'll be so happy it did. 


Review by Ashley

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A Very Large Expanse of Sea Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062866561
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: HarperCollins - October 16th, 2018

A raw, honest look at what it was like to be a Muslim-American teen in the year after 9/11. But this book is more than t hat. It's a love story that crosses racial lines and exposes the beauty and hardship in that. Plus, there's breakdancing. This book will teach you and also make you cry. Everyone should read it.


Review by Jaimie

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DeadEndia: The Watcher's Test: Book 1 Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781910620472
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Nobrow - August 7th, 2018

Joyful and weird, this graphic novel is a delight. DeadEndia's eclectic and unique characters include a loyal and lovable pug, supportive and idiosyncratic friends, and plenty of mischievous creatures from reimagined angelic and demonic planes. Fans of Steven Universe and general supernatural mayhem will enjoy rooting for Barney, Norma, and Pugsley and yearn for future volumes of this refreshingly forward thinking tome.


Review by Niki

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Fence Vol. 1 Cover Image
By C.S. Pacat, Johanna the Mad (Illustrator), Rebecca Nalty (With)
$9.99
ISBN: 9781684151929
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: BOOM! Box - July 31st, 2018

Take:

  • Cutthroat competion
  • Heartthrob athletes in various states of (un)dress
  • Painfully well-executed cliffhangers
  • Rivalry rife with sexual tension

and you get this cheeky, enthralling, character-driven volume for those who wish the Rocky movies were a little gayer.


Review by Niki

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DeadEndia: The Watcher's Test: Book 1 Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781910620472
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Nobrow - August 7th, 2018

I read Deadendia poolside in 95 degree weather. I couldn't tell you if I even broke a sweat because I was completely swept away from the first panel. Norma, Barney, and dog Pugsley work the haunted house at Dead End theme park. Is the house really haunted? No. It just happens to be a portal to all levels of demon and angel worlds. Deadendia is filled to the brim with loveable and diverse characters, adventure, humor and real heart. I finished it wanting more. The Scooby Doo kid in me will be rereading this one for years to come.


Review by Halley

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Bitterblue Cover Image
By Kristin Cashore, Ian Schoenherr (Illustrator)
$10.99
ISBN: 9780142426012
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Firebird - September 17th, 2013

Imagine a country after the gaslighting tyrant has been removed. Are citizens healed overnight? How does the new head of state work toward building a healthy country? How does a young girl find her balance when her father was the tyrant, and killed her mother. These are the questions Lady Queen Bitterblue must face as the new Queen of Monsea, with help from her extraordinary group of friends. (And here I was thinking I was taking a break from serious content by picking up a young adult novel...) Enjoy!


Review by Dana

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