Carry On


Title: Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Summary: Orphan Simon Snow is the chosen one – born into the World of Mages to triumph over the Insidious Humdrum, a dark entity that swallows magic whole, leaving devastation and ruin in its path. The problem is that Simon barely understands his power and has almost no control over it. Entering his final year at Watford School of Magicks, he finds himself the focus of an inevitable battle, tutored by a strict and mysterious headmaster, bolstered by support from his best friend, the supremely talented and brilliant Penelope, confounded by his on-again, off-again girlfriend Agatha and tormented by his roommate and nemesis, Basilton, a rich kid from a legendary magickal family.

This sounds…familiar, right? It is supposed to – the story of Simon Snow was introduced to readers of author Rainbow Rowell’s popular book Fangirl, about a college freshman who is also an internet-famous author of slash fiction. But you don’t have to read Fangirl first to fall in love with Simon Snow. As he makes his way through his final year at Watford, he comes face to face with the true nature of the Humdrum, the true motives of his teacher, the mysterious nature of his origin and his true feelings for Baz. This fast-paced and funny fantasy tale is perfect for readers who grew up with The Boy Who Shall Not Be Named (in this post, at least) who are looking for a book with the same sense of emotion and adventure.


Who will like this book?: This is the ‘Drarry’ book you’ve been waiting for, shippers!Potterheads. Fan Fic (particularly Slash Fic) devotees. Readers who love coming-of-age adventure stories.

If you like this, try this: The book that inspired this story, Fangirl, also by Rainbow Rowell. For a darker take on fandom, try Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky. Another magical quest/school story with a high page count, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. We don’t need to recommend J.K. Rowling’s stuff, right?

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian

Will Grayson, Will Grayson


Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Authors: John Green & David Levithan

Summary: One late night in Chicago, two Will Graysons meet. One is a would-be loner, except for the fact that his best friend is the literally larger-than-life football star (and definition of gay fabulosity) Tiny Cooper. The other is a depressed and dark actual loner in town to meet the one ray of hope in his life: another gay teen he met online. How the paths of these two very different Will Graysons intersect and the way their lives change is the story of this wonderful book by two of todays best YA writers.

Every other chapter tells the story from the point of view of one Will, then the other. Can Will Grayson get out of his own way and connect with Jane, a girl who is almost his ideal match – if she wasn’t just so incredibly perfect for him.  Can Will Grayson find the grace to connect with anyone and maybe even find a sort of redemption along the way? And can the miraculous Tiny Cooper really pull of the greatest, gayest high school musical off all time? This heartwarming book will put a smile on your face, and a show tune in your heart. All right – maybe not…!

Who will like this book?: Mature readers looking for books that are both romantic and hilarious. Anyone looking for a heartfelt coming out story. And nerdfighters, naturally.

If you like this, try this: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan. My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian

Love is the Higher Law


Title: Love is the Higher Law

Author: David Levithan

Summary: In Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, co-author David Levithan created a light-hearted love letter to New York City. In his latest, he tackles the city’s darkest day: September 11, 2001. Three young people each respond to the attacks in different ways: high school junior Claire races to her little brothers side and worries for her mom, her classmate Peter sees the attack first-hand, and college student Jasper sleeps through the whole thing.

As a year goes by, each of the three describe their shifting feelings to the attack as their lives intertwine: Peter and Jasper go on the date they had originally scheduled for that fateful day. Insomniacs Claire and Jasper meet randomly as they both are drawn to Ground Zero. Peter and Claire, formerly just acquaintances, form a deep and lasting friendship. This moving book tells a simple story that neatly evokes the events of 9/11 without ever taking the focus off these three remarkable young people who are just beginning to understand their place in the greater world around them.

Who will like this book?: Mature readers who like nuanced, emotional books. Like all of Levithan’s work, this is a great read for GLBTQ teens.

If you like this, try this: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Levithan and Rachel Cohn. For more on a teen discovering themselves after 9/11, try Shine Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian