(If you have the time) you should do a book rec list!!
$Definitely!! I’m just going to include the ones that I’ve read that have resonated with me personally, so please feel free to message me for specific recs (Scifi, romance, wlw, etc) and i’ll look into making a more refined list for you. Reading is truly such a positive outlet, regardless of age, and I really hope there is something on here for everyone to love as much as I did.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
This book is so important. It follows two Mexican-America boys, through the 80s in Texas, and at the very heart of all of it, is a love so pure and intense, it made me genuinely choke up with how intimate it was. (Try not to fall in love with Dante, I dare you, you will fail, just as hard as Ari)
Girl Mans Up by M-E Gerard. All Pen wants is to be the kind of girl she’s always been. So why does everyone have a problem with it? They think the way she looks and acts means she’s trying to be a boy—that she should quit trying to be something she’s not. If she dresses like a girl, and does what her folks want, it will show respect. If she takes orders and does what her friend Colby wants, it will show her loyalty.But respect and loyalty, Pen discovers, are empty words. Old-world parents, disintegrating friendships, and strong feelings for other girls drive Pen to see the truth—that in order to be who she truly wants to be, she’ll have to man up.
Girl Mans Up is such a great book about gender identity for queer girls. Pen is amazing narrator, and having it in the first person perspective is perfect for seeing just how frustrating it is to be a girl that doesn’t fit the gender role she’s expected to. (She also has a girlfriend who she stays with in the entire book and they have a wonderful relationship, no one dies 10/10)
Whatever: or how junior year became totally f$@ked by S.J. Goslee @pantstomatch. Junior year is about to start. Here’s what Mike Tate knows:His friends are awesome and their crappy garage band is a great excuse to drink cheap beer. Rook Wallace is the devil. The Lemonheads rock. And his girlfriend Lisa is the coolest. Then Lisa breaks up with him, which makes Mike only a little sad, because they’ll stay friends and he never knew what to do with her boobs anyway. But when Mike finds out why Lisa dumped him, it blows his mind. And worse―he gets elected to homecoming court.With a standout voice, a hilariously honest view on sex and sexuality, and enough f-bombs to make your mom blush, S.J. Goslee’s debut YA novel Whatever. is a fresh, modern take on the coming-out story.
I’m honestly 100% certain there isn’t a summary that could do Whatever justice. I read this book because another librarian I work with suggested it to me, and I haven’t laughed out loud so much at a book since the Georgia Nicholson Diaries. Mike is a bisexual teen who frequently doesn’t shower and hangs out with the most endearing group of straight boys you could possibly conjure up. This book also has incredibly refreshing male/female friendships and the sweetest sibling relationship between Mike and his eccentric little sister, Rosie.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here–it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.
It’s Harry Potter but funnier and Harry and Draco end up together!! Actually, it’s Simon and Baz, but honestly it’s what all of our thirteen year old selves were starved for, like junkies of fanfiction.net, just looking for a fix. I’m always a little hesitant of YA romance novels with vampires (For good reason, I think we’re all a little jaded still), but Baz is my Favorite Vampire™. He’s funny and sarcastic and moody and just a little bit lonely, the poor thing.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater @maggie-stiefvater. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore
This sort of sounds like a lovey dovey romance novel right? It’s not. There’s magic, and psychics, and dead Welsh Kings (this medieval lit major was shook), and the most fleshed out characters I’ve read in a series in about 8,000 years. I didn’t think I could fall in love with a group of spoiled prep school boys, and neither does the main character Blue, but here she is with her four husbands.
Timekeeper by Tara Sim. In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time–and a destroyed one can stop it completely. It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors. And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve. But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.
I didn’t think steampunk was my thing, but I see maybe I was wrong. Or maybe I just really love this one particular steampunk book. Danny is so full of moxie and sarcasm and nervous sweating and tea it’s easy to see why Colton falls for him. This book also tends to tackle really heavy subjects without you realizing its done just that.