Two gay couples are navigating relationships in Here’s to Us. This romantic comedy is the collaborative effort of Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. Couple number one is Mario Colón and Ben Alejo—two white-passing Puerto Ricans who bond over their work as writers. Ben loves connecting with people over words and aspires to publish his fantasy, The Wicked Wizard War. Mario, who writes television episodes, is blush-worthy beautiful, highly energetic, and affectionate. Whenever this world bores him, Ben escapes into writing where he creates his own reality. Couple number two is Mickey McCowan and Arthur Seuss. Mikey is a beacon of order and symmetry, while ArthurRead More →

Set in Riverton, Washington, Jay’s Gay Agenda by Jason June follows the life of Jay Collier, a young man who feels alone in his difference. A hyper-organized list maker, Jay is a statistics geek, mathematician, and reality tv aficionado who can recite the MTV, VH1, and Bravo show schedules. He is also an award-winning hoedown costumier and a self-proclaimed “inexperienced and getting-desperate gay virgin” (60). Jay’s life grows more complicated when his ride-or-die best friend, Lu Fuhrman, goes into “Heterosexual Hookup Mode.” While Lu experiences various milestones with her boyfriend, Chip, Jay feels abandoned and like he’s living in quarantine. Then, his mom is promotedRead More →

Because of her parents’ arguing at home, racist comments and insensitivity from classmates at school, stress induced anxiety, and the typical horrors of high school, Quinn Jackson keeps a journal filled with lists.  A coping mechanism of sorts, her lists serve to calm her mind, provide a sense of focus, and give her a foundation.  She also lists her goals and dreams, her fears and worries.  Her journal contains her feelings when she doesn’t know how to express them out loud. When her journal turns up missing and she instead has a red-covered spiral that belongs to Carter Bennett, Quinn determines that Carter must haveRead More →

A senior at Grove Hill High School in Michigan, Aubrey Cash aspires to be a veterinarian, but her best friend Reese is cursed with a romantic streak.  As a cheerleader, she is constantly encouraging Aubrey to date. Using her “Disney Princess Face,” she plays matchmaker. But in Aubrey’s scientific mind, “The whole concept of true love is inherently flawed” (45). Basketball star, Webster Casey is new in town after his parents’ recent divorce. Because he lives across the street from Aubrey, the two form a connection until Webster inexplicably fails to take her to the homecoming dance as promised. After getting close to a boyRead More →

Summer at Meadow Wood by Amy Rebecca Tan tells the story of thirteen-year-old senior camper Victoria (Vic) Brown who is not happy with her mother’s decision to ship her off to Meadow Wood, a beautiful lakefront campus in New Hampshire where Vic has spent previous pleasure-filled summers. However, this summer, Vic had plans for sleeping in, binge-watching old television shows, floating on a raft at the pool while checking out the lifeguards, and shining flashlight beams into the night sky as she and Jamie, her bestie in Pennsylvania, whispered their deepest wishes and fears to each other. Instead, she is covered in sweat, fighting aRead More →

In an effort to share with readers the challenges faced by a person who endures the misbehavior of brain chemicals, Bill Konigsberg writes his novel The Bridge in a nonlinear form. Under the influence of his pen, the reader’s brain trips over itself, unclear and unsure of reality. Does Tillie Stanley—a girl with a beautiful, smart, funny, and magnetic personality—jump from the George Washington Bridge to drown in the Hudson River in New York? Does Aaron Boroff—a creative, friendly, musically-inclined seventeen-year-old with a sense of humor commit suicide? Or do both decide to put their broken lives back together? Just when the reader believes he/sheRead More →

Fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han will likely find The Upside of Falling by Alex Light an appealing read.  Set in Georgia and bouncing between the two perspectives of the main characters, this debut novel tells the story of Brett Wells and Becca Hart, while also capturing  a glimpse of high school social dynamics. Brett is the captain of the football team and appears on the surface to have an idyllic life since he has been gifted with talent, good looks, and wealthy parents who love one another.  Despite his “swoon-worthy eyes,” readers will discover that cracks and dents mar his perfect life. Becca,Read More →

With the writing of her debut novel, We Set the Dark on Fire, Tehlor Kay Mejia set out to begin an answer to some questions: What do we lose when we are forced to subjugate our desires for our drive?  How long can we keep ourselves in the cages in which society is so fond of locking us?  As she chips away at the answers, she actually asks more questions, as all good research will do.  The promised second book in the duology will certainly answer and ask more.  This daring and romantic fantasy will likely be appreciated by fans of The Handmaid’s Tale byRead More →

In real life (IRL), Scarlett Epstein attends Melville High; she’s sixteen years old and the product of a home broken by divorce.  To escape the mundane fakery she encounters in school—where everyone’s life seems defined by relationship drama, financial status, and popularity—she writes fan fiction based on the Lycanthrope High series created by John St. Clair and posts it online.  In writing group fashion, her online forum of friends share their alternate plots and embellished characters and give one another feedback.  But when the show is cancelled, Scarlett feels adrift and without a purpose.  Writing makes Scarlett feel like a real person; it allows herRead More →