Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
This book really speaks to what's going on in our society today about how men treat woman (and boys treat girls) and what is and isn't acceptable. It's an uplifting read that will have you cheering on the girls of East Rockport High School.
Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer
It's a little gory, but if you can get past the exploding people, this darkly humorous and satirical book will not only make you laugh, but it will also make you think about how our society and media respond to disasters. The main character, Mara, is a snarky and sometimes annoying girl who makes a lot of bad decisions including some inappropriate coping strategies, but she describes the end of the world as she knows it in hilarious detail.
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
This book is a hard and emotional read but well worth it since it shines light on a society that often blames the victim. It also examines how corruption and power in a small town can keep justice from being served. Compared to other excellent books dealing with sexual assault such as Exit, Pursued by a Bear and Speak, All the Rage holds up well and has it's own point of view.
"A lot of stuff that gives my neighborhood a bad name, I don't really mess with. The guns and drugs and all that, not really my thing." Ali's voice is so real that you'll think you're sitting with him and Noodles on the stoop in their Bed Stuy neighborhood as his tale unfolds. A great look into the life of an urban teen on the cusp of manhood as he deals with everything life throws his way.
Another of my top ten favorite books so far this year. In an unflinching and honest book, Hermione shows us the meaning of the word "survivor."
Gabi's story is told through diary entries, and she is such a real, fierce, and deep character who questions her culture's expectations and gender rules and roles for girls. One of my top ten favorite reads of 2016 so far.
The magical realism and the Romeo and Juliet romance are a winning combination. I also enjoyed how the book takes place in an imaginary central valley town but names other nearby real places (hello Hanford!).
A mesmerizing blend of fantasy, magic, and mystery. Each character is so real and unique - I just want to live inside this book.
Book 1 of the Raven Cycle Quartet
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
This is a fun spin on the Cinderella story, and I was rooting for Cinder and riveted by the fast-paced plot.
Book 1 of the Lunar Chronicles