These Staff Picks, primarily targeted at teenagers, offer engaging stories and profound insights that transcend age.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Fantasy, romance and a bit of magic this book is a wonderful way to escape the real world for a bit. Dive into a land where humans and faeries are not supposed to cross paths. Humans are told that the faeries are their enemies and will hurt them if given the chance. 19-year-old Feyre is striving to provide her family with food during the winter when she kills a wolf in the woods. Little does she know her life is about to change. The wolf was a faerie, and in retribution for the wolf's death and terrifying fanged creature come to their cottage and takes her away to the forbidden lands of the faeries. This book may seem like its meant just for YA readers but as you read more of it you can't help but get sucked into this amazing world that has been built by Sarah J. Maas. - Mackenzie.
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy is an inspiring and relatable YA novel that's all about challenging beauty stereotypes. The story revolves around Willowdean, a confident plus-sized teenager who decides to enter a beauty pageant, taking on societal norms and her own self-doubts. Julie Murphy's writing is witty and down-to-earth, making it easy to connect with the characters and their personal journeys. This book beautifully tackles themes of self-acceptance and the power of friendship, making it a must-read for anyone looking for a refreshing dose of body positivity and empowerment in a world that often pushes for conformity. - Ashley.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas by Angie Thomas is an eye-opening novel about Starr Carter, a young Black girl who lives in a predominantly Black neighborhood plagued by violence but goes to a private school where she's one of the few African American students. After witnessing the killing of her childhood friend by a police officer, she struggles to find her voice and speak out. Through Starr's eyes, you will gain an empathetic perspective on the harsh realities faced by Black Americans. -- Elisa.
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Set in a dystopian world, "The Knife of Never Letting Go" follows the journey of Todd Hewitt, a young boy who can hear everyone's thoughts, and his trusty companion Viola. The relentless pace and heart-pounding suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat from the very first page. The deeply emotional exploration of identity and communication in a world filled with secrets and lies will strike a chord with readers of all ages. Written in raw and unfiltered thoughts, Ness is able to add depth and authenticity to his characters, making them come alive on the page. Whether you're a young adult or simply young at heart, this novel is an absolute must-read for anyone seeking an unforgettable literary experience. - Adia.
Sadie by Courtney Summers
“Sadie” by Courtney Summers is an emotional book about teenager Sadie Hunter’s quest to find the man that killed her little sister. The story is told in the alternating perspectives of Sadie and a true crime podcast investigating Sadie’s disappearance. Don’t let the genre label dissuade you, “Sadie” is a stunning book that will stay with you for a long time. If you’re able, I recommend listening to the audiobook for the full experience of this book. - Natashia.