All American Boys

by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

This award winning title tackles current hot-button issues of racism and violence in a powerful story told from alternating perspectives. Teenager Rashad Butler is in the wrong place at the wrong time when he is mistakenly accused of an attempt at shoplifting. This particular store has been a target for shoplifters, and the owner has decided to enlist police security. The officer on duty reacts quickly - tackling Rashad to the ground, and, believing that the teen is resisting arrest, punches and injures him so severely that he is landed in the hospital for days.

The town and the students at Rashad’s school are divided by this event. Officer Paul Galuzzo is known as a family man and all around stand up guy by those in the community. One student in particular, Quinn Collins, is especially fond of officer Galuzzo. He’s been a family friend and mentor ro Quinn in the absence of his father. But Quinn is torn. He was a witness to Rashad’s attack, and now must reconcile what he knows of father-figure Paul with the brutal actions he saw on that afternoon. Quinn is faced with the moral dilemma of weighing family loyalty with standing up for what he feels is unjust. All American Boys is a powerful story sure to ignite a dialog concerning recent events.

Every Last Word

by Tamara Ireland Stone

Samantha McAllister is a perfect example of the dangers of judging a book by its cover. Though she is popular, attractive and well-liked, she’s hiding a dark secret. Her life is being consumed by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Her picture-perfect friends would never understand her struggles, so when Sam meets a group of free spirits who frequent a hideaway called “Poet’s Corner,” her life begins to change. She develops a talent for poetry, and even finds the courage to share her writing with the patrons of Poet’s Corner. Best of all is her budding relationship with the mysterious misfit A.J. Sam longs to share the details of her new crush with her old friends, dubbed the “crazy eights,” but fears that he wouldn’t be accepted into their conventional clique. Lest the plot begins to sound like your typical contemporary teen fiction, there is a surprising twist at the end that you likely won’t see coming.

Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls

by Lynn Weingarten

June and Delia were the best of friends who shared everything, until one complicated night when everything changed. As a result of that fateful night, Delia and June drift apart. A year later, June learns that her former friend is dead, and Delia’s death is ruled a suicide. June isn’t buying it. Even through distance and tension, she knows her friend, and things just don’t add up. The novel jumps between June’s point of view and Delia’s, slowly revealing the sordid details of Delia’s downward spiral and the girls’ separation. Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls is a dark and unpredictable thriller featuring deep and complicated characters. This book will stick with you long after the final page has turned and leave you questioning just how well we know those closest to us.