Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Starfish

Kiko Himura is a half-Japanese teen who struggles with social anxiety and living with her narcissistic, racist mother. When she doesn’t get into her dream art school, Prism, she feels like she will be stuck with her mother forever. However, when her childhood best friend, Jamie, comes to town and gives her a new opportunity to explore the California coast, she jumps at the chance to be free from her family, despite her social anxieties and fears that seem to always hold her back. Now that she is free to be her own person away from her mom, she learns shocking truths about her past and present that could change her future. This book is appropriate for teenagers who can handle mature topics such as racism and social anxiety.

-Freya, Teen Reviewer

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Turtles all the Way down

Aza Holmes is a sixteen-year-old girl who has struggled with various anxiety disorders, mainly Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, for her whole life. She often contemplates whether or not she is actually real, which causes most of her “thought spirals”. Then her energetic and fearless best friend, Daisy, suggests pursuing the mystery of a missing billionaire whose son, Davis, Aza actually knew from summer camp. Throughout the book, Aza struggles with her developing feelings for Davis, her friendship with Daisy, and her schoolwork, all while being controlled by the tightening spiral of her thoughts. This novel is appropriate for high school students, as it does touch on some more mature topics, like mental illness. Green illustrates activities that a “normal” teenager would do, but within those normalities, he does not shy away from showing how mental illness really takes over one’s brain.

-Freya (Teen Reviewer)

IVY ABERDEEN’S LETTER TO THE WORLD by Ashley Herring Blake

Ivy Aberdeen

Since the birth of her twin brothers, twelve year-old Ivy feels increasingly invisible and things get only worse after a devastating tornado rips through her town, completely destroying her home. Not only does Ivy try to make sense her living situation, her distant family, and her love life, she desperately needs to find her misplaced journal filled with all of her secret poems and drawings, like the one where she is holding another girls hand. This lyrically told story of first love, community resilience, and finding ones voice is perfect for fans of Erin Entrada Kelly or Jason Reynolds.

-KC

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The lightning thief

Percy Jackson has gotten kicked out of many schools.  All these weird things keep happening to him.  It isn’t his fault.  But then it gets a little overwhelming.  A Minotaur is chasing him!  Eventually, he is guided to a camp called Camp Halfblood where he finds out that his dad is a Greek God.  At this camp, there are other children of Greek Gods. However, things go wrong when the King of the Gods, Zeus, accuses Percy of stealing his weapon. That sends Percy on a quest to find it. Will he come up short or will he be the hero?  Read the Lightning Thief.

-Ben (Teen Reviewer)

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

Hoot

 

Another state another school. Roy Eberhhardt just moved from Montana to Florida. He thinks school will be normal but when looking out the school bus window he notices something strange. A boy running bare foot.  Later he decides to follow that boy. And little did he know he would be in over his head. He finds out the boy wants to vandalize a construction company to save the owls. Can only a couple kids stop a powerful company and save the owls?  Read Hoot by Carl Hiaasen.

-Ben (Teen Reviewer)

Memoirs of An Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend is an amazing book that just makes you think. The premises of this story is that all of your imaginary friends are actually real, but they can only interact with you and other imaginary friends.   However, once you stop believing in your imaginary friend they disappear.  Max is a boy who is around the age of 8. He has an imaginary friend named Budo. When Max gets in trouble Budo must choose between helping Max and possibly disappearing or remaining by letting Max stay in trouble.  This book is amazing.  I would recommend it to anyone who really likes to think about what they read. This book made me smile and cry.  It has action and suspense.  The characters are extremely likeable and you really feel for them.

-Lizzie (Teen Reviewer)