Teen Librarians’ Top 2018 Picks

The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles) by Amy Spalding

Abby has always been fine with being the background character in her friends’ romantic lives, focusing on her plus sized fashion blog instead. But when she scores an internship at her favorite boutique and finds herself falling for Jordi Perez—her fellow intern and a talented photographer—she decides she’s ready to stop being a background character and come into her own! Couple this with a challenge to find the best burger in all of LA, and you get the perfect summer romance! I mean, who doesn’t want a few more pink haired, lesbian, plus sized fashionistas in their life? –Maisie

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania—derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever. This new America finds itself trying to push back the swell of the living dead while ensuring the safety of the citizens, at least a particular group. And Jane, now 17, trains to become an attendant to the America’s wealthy, she uncovers a sinister plot that finds her far from home and in deeper danger than she could have imagined. For the horror fans out there, this book has genuinely scary moments and the world building is immersive and imaginative. Plus, there is a ton of action. ~ Nic

American Panda by Gloria Chao

A perfect choice for people who loved Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I Loved Before, American Panda is one of the best romances I have ever read. Mel skipped a grade and is now a freshman at MIT, but her parents still want more from her, including becoming a doctor and marrying a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer. Mel reconnects with her brother, who is estranged from the family for falling in love with the wrong person, and starts to realize she will have to learn to live her life for herself.  A New Classic!~Cindy

What if it’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

Did you love Love, Simon? Did More Happy Than Not leave you more happy than not? Then you have to read What If It’s Us! Ben and Arthur meet-cute at the most awkward of moments—when Ben is mailing a box of his ex’s things back to him and Arthur is struggling to adapt to his new life in New York City. After parting ways, the two reconnect through a missed connection page, and they begin to wonder if their meeting was fate. Heartwarming, heartbreaking, and all the things in between, this is the kind of book you’ll want to curl up with and read for hours!—Maisie

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: when her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird. And when she goes to visit her grandparents in Taipei, her journey to further understand her mother and family history begin to mix with the magic that surrounds how her mother turned into a bird, unlocking memories she never knew she would encounter and a family secret how she has viewed her family. A heartbreaking and inspiring work of magical realism, this book will connect with you on every level and discusses important topic such as familial expectations and mental health. ~Nic

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

 This Pride and Prejudice retelling is perfect for Jane Austen fans or people who are just looking for their next great romantic read. Ibi Zoboi truly captures the spirt of Jane Austen while making Pride her own. Zuri takes pride in where she lives and where she is from but she is nervous when rich neighbors move across the street that the neighborhood will change. Darius is very different because he comes from a wealth background and very different tastes.  I highly recommend this book! ~Cindy

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared, leaving Zélie’s family and people without hope. Now, Zélie has a chance to bring magic back—if she can survive that long! This was absolutely the biggest hit of the year and for good reason! It’s like the child of Black Panther and Harry Potter and it’s perfect for fans of magic, for fans of mythology, for fans of superheroes, and honestly? Just for fans of reading! I accidentally stayed up until 2 am finishing it, which sounds like a perfect winter break read to me! –Maisie

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it’s pretty overwhelming–especially when he’s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom’s family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything. With topics like identity and mental health at the forefront, this book covers these serious subjects in a truly humorous and compelling way. I know I could see myself in Darius and I’m sure you would too. ~Nic

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Sadie is the terrifying murder mystery that you did not know you needed! If you love Serial the Podcast or watching Making a Murder this book is for you! Sadie life changed when her little sister Mattie born. Saide decides she is going to take care of her little sister because her mother is unfit. All her life she has been focused on Mattie until Mattie is murdered. Sadie’s Journey is told through a podcast called The Girls and Sadie’s point of view. Missing Girls is available to download on iTunes. This one is a pager turner!~Cindy

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Alice and her mother have been on the run for most of Alice’s life, constantly trying to stay one step ahead of the eerie bad luck that follows her and her mother. But when her grandmother—the author of a cult classic book of super scary fairy tales—dies alone on her estate (the titular Hazel Wood), and Alice’s mother disappears, Alice begins to learn how bad her luck can actually get! This book reads like poetry and has a perfect balance of nail-biting horror and teenage drama. Perfect for Cassandra Claire and Holly Black fans! –Maisie

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