After high school student Ellie goes viral in a mortifying moment, she doesn’t think that she can possibly go back to school.
So she doesn’t!
She accepts an opportunity to attend a semester abroad in England. The other kids on the trip also go to her school, but they’ve never really crossed paths before because they take all honors and AP classes, and Ellie is more of an average student. This disparity makes her feel a bit awkward, but she’s determined to make it work.
But instead of focusing on school, Ellie’s thoughts drift to hot local boy Will, who is spending his gap year taking a break from school. They hit it off, and it seems like Ellie’s dreams are finally coming true, but then of course, she realizes what’s really important.Read more
Darcy has been giving anonymous advice to her fellow private school students for awhile, and it’s a great source of income for her since she’s a scholarship student whose mother works at the school. But when she agrees to help Alexander Brougham, it sets off a series of event that changes everything.
Darcy specializes in relationships, and her advice is actually useful, focusing on setting boundaries and different attachment styles. But she ends up breaking her own rules in several different ways—this affects her relationships with her friends and loved ones, including her best friend Brooke, who Darcy has been pining over for years.Read more
Chloe is a high school senior living in Los Angeles. Her mother starred in two popular television shows as well as Hallmark movies. Her mother also engaged in an elaborate scheme of cheating and bribery in order to help Chloe get into college.
The narrative alternates between Then and Now, exploring the dual perspectives of the events that preceded Chloe’s mother’s arrest as well as what she and her family do after being implicated in the scandal.Read more
Rowan Roth has spent her four years of high school locked in a bitter feud with Neil McNair. They compete over EVERYTHING.
Finally, it’s the last day of senior year, and Rowan is determined to beat McNair at Howl, the city-wide scavenger hunt that takes students all around Seattle. There’s a $5k prize waiting at the end.
There’s also a catch—while everyone is going around collecting clues, they are also playing a game of Assassin: elimination means being out of the game.
When Rowan realizes that some of the students—annoyed by her and McNair’s constant one-upmanship of each other—are planning to collaborate and take the two of them out, she has no choice.
So that’s how she and McNair team up together, going all over the city, and getting to know each other for the first time. Maybe they’ll become friends, or—maybe, just maybe—even more than friends.Read more
Kai Sheridan is a senior at Fairvale Academy. He’s also gay, but he’s not out to anyone.
Bryson Keller is one of the most popular boys at Fairvale. He’s also involved in a bet/dare: he becomes the boyfriend of the first person who asks him out at the beginning of the week. At the end of the week, they break up and the process starts over.
It’s all about the futility of commitment when it comes to high school relationships.
To be clear, the definition of dating is more akin to the “olden days” than contemporary times: dating involves rides to school and carrying books and there’s no physical stuff—not even kissing.
So, as the story begins during a hectic Monday morning, Kai asks Bryson to date him and Bryson becomes the first person Kai comes out to. Bryson is totally cool with the arrangement; he even points out that the dare involves the first “person” to ask him out, not the first “girl”. Bryson is also fine with not telling people that he’s Kai’s boyfriend for the week since Kai isn’t ready to come out to everyone yet. Read more
Just about everything in the world of The Fascinators is the same as our world except for the fact that magic is real, and as one might expect, magic is looked upon with suspicion in Sam’s small town in Georgia. That’s probably why the magic club at Sam’s school only has a couple of kids— James and Delia, his closest friends.
The start of Sam’s senior year brings a number of changes: new members of the magic club, a shift in his friendship with James, and the increasing possibility of trouble bigger than they can imagine. Read more
I have been excited about this book since I first heard about it, so needless to say, I was thrilled to pieces when I finally got my (digital) hands on a copy.
“Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets Clueless in this boy-meets-boy spin on Grease”
Um, yes please!
Ollie had an amazing summer fling with Will, but their relationship came to a natural end because Ollie was supposed to go back home at the end of the summer. But circumstances changed, and his family ends up moving to the area to support his aunt while she battles cancer. Ollie texted Will, of course, but he didn’t text back—no big deal, Ollie has enough to deal with.
But then Ollie *sees* Will at his school, and he realizes that Summer Will is a completely different boy. School Year Will is a jock, a bit of a jerk, and most definitely not out of the closet.
So Ollie is left trying to start over at a brand new school and babysitting his cousins to help his aunt. He doesn’t have time for a boy who says one thing when they’re alone, and acts completely different when they’re in public. Read more
Ben De Backer tells their parents that they are nonbinary, and is promptly kicked out of the house. Ben calls their older sister, who they haven’t spoken to in years, and she says that Ben can stay with her and her husband.
It’s not easy to be the new kid at school, but it’s even tougher when it’s the second semester of senior year. Ben just wants to keep a low profile and finish school. They don’t expect to make any friends, but a boy named Nathan keeps popping up. He’s everywhere; he even lives next door to Ben’s sister! It’s not clear to Ben whether Nathan is just being friendly, or whether there’s something more.
There are so many poignant moments in this book, like Ben’s mixed feelings about being kicked out of their house. From an outside perspective, this seems like such an unforgiveable act, but Ben’s feelings are more complicated. Naturally, they are scared and angry, but after a while, they have a sense of cautious optimism regarding resolution. My heart just ached for the kid because I didn’t want to see them get hurt again.
While the story might begin with a catastrophic rejection, the tone of this book is very positive. Ben is accepted as who they are by their sister and brother-in-law, and they also have the opportunity to start therapy to help process their feelings about everything. What starts out as survival turns into thriving, and they even find a friend in Nathan.
I would absolutely recommend I Wish You All the Best. This is a beautiful book, and I am looking forward to reading more of Deaver’s books in the future.
Jack of Hearts (And Other Parts) is a YA novel by L.C. Rosen. I found this book on the YA new release shelf at my town library. The TLDR version of this review is that I read this book in one day, and I loved it so much that I bought the Kindle edition AND the Audible editions as soon as I finished reading.
Jack is an openly gay high school student in Manhattan, and while he enjoys an active social life, it is not nearly as salacious as the rumors swirling around the NYC private school scene.
But still, because of his perceived expertise, his friend Jenna persuades him to a sex advice column for her blog based on readers’ questions. Jack is reluctant at first, but finds that he enjoys answering questions.
Around the same time, Jack finds a letter from a Secret Admirer in his locker. He doesn’t think much of it, but then he receives a second letter. And then a third. There’s a gradual shift in tone, but it quickly becomes clear that Jack is dealing with a stalker. Read more