spl booklists

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Read and loved The Fault in Our Stars and looking for more funny/sad books about teens facing their own mortality? Here are some of our recent faves:

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick
Jeffrey’s cancer is in remission, but life still feels fragile. The aftereffects of treatment have left him with an inability to be a great student or to walk without limping. His older brother, Steven, lost it and took off to Africa to be in a drumming circle and “find himself.” Jeffrey has a little soul searching to do, too, which begins with his escalating anger at Steven, an old friend who is keeping something secret, and a girl who is way out of his league but who thinks he’s cute.

I’m Not Her by Janet Gurtler
Tess is the exact opposite of her beautiful, athletic sister. And that’s okay. Kristina is the sporty one, Tess is the smart one, and they each have their place. Until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess is the center of the popular crowd, everyone eager for updates. There are senior boys flirting with her. Yet the smiles of her picture-perfect family are cracking and her sister could be dying. Now Tess has to fill a new role: the strong one. Because if she doesn’t hold it together, who will?

Deadline by Chris Crutcher
Ben Wolf had big things planned for his senior year. Now all he has is some very bad news and only one year left to make his mark on the world. Ben makes sure that no one else knows what is going on. Living with a secret isn’t easy, though, and Ben’s resolve begins to crumble … especially when he realizes that he isn’t the only person in town with secrets.

Zac & Mia by A.J. Betts
The last person Zac expects in the room next door is a girl like Mia, angry and feisty with questionable taste in music. In the real world, he wouldn’t–couldn’t–be friends with her. In hospital different rules apply, and what begins as a knock on the wall leads to a note–then a friendship neither of them sees coming. 

Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Tessa has just a few months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles her To Do Before I Die list. In her final weeks, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up.

The F— It List by Julie Halpern
Not only did Alex’s father just die, but her best friend Becca slept with Alex’s boyfriend the night of the funeral. But when Alex finally decides to forgive Becca, she finds out something that will change her world again–Becca has cancer. So what do you do when your best friend has cancer? You take her bucket list and try to fulfill it on her behalf. Because if that’s all you can do to help your ailing friend – you do it.

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
When Zoe and Olivia are cut from the ballet company, their future plan of living in New York as Prima Ballerinas evaporate, and everything seems hopeless. But it gets worse when Olivia gets really, really sick, and Zoe, usually the dark, broody friend has to step up and make everything better. Her only motivation is knowing that Olivia is going to be okay. I mean, she has to be… 

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Seventeen-year-old Greg has managed to become part of every social group at his Pittsburgh high school without having any friends, but his life changes when his mother forces him to befriend Rachel, a girl he once knew in Hebrew school who has leukemia.

Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon
Dying of cancer in a hospice, seventeen-year-old prankster Richard has big plans for his final days.