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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Twelve Days of Christmas: Gift Books: High School

On the sixth day of Christmas...we move on to high school.

These are some of my favorite books of the year! I could gush, and gush, and gush about how much I love all of them, but I will just make a general statement about how much you must read them all! And that at least one of them is PERFECT for any high school reader (or adult who loves to read YA) on your list.

(1) Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. MY FAVORITE BOOK this year to recommend to all my friends/neighbors/high school students that are fans of The Fault in Our Stars (John Green) and desperate for something else to read. I mentioned it here on the blog this summer.

From the publisher:
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you'll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.

(2) Winger by Andrew Smith. LOVE! And here's proof.

From the publisher:
Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids. He's living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he's madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy.

With the help of his sense of humor, rugby buddies, and his penchant for doodling comics, Ryan Dean manages to survive life's complications and even find some happiness along the way. But when the unthinkable happens, he has to figure out how to hold on to what's important, even when it feels like everything has fallen apart.

(3) Reality Boy by A.S. King. Quick, go read everything this author has written. Right now. 

From the publisher:

Gerald Faust started feeling angry even before his mother invited a reality TV crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he's still haunted by his rage-filled youth--which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle--and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school. No one cares that Gerald has tried to learn to control himself; they're all just waiting for him to snap. And he's starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that...until he chooses to create possibilities for himself that he never knew he deserved.

(4)Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. This is the "companion" novel to one of my all-time favorites from last year, Code Name Verity. Are you a fan of historical fiction, survival, adventure, World War II, spies, or all of the above? You will want to read this, and get a copy for any high school/adult reader on your list that is.

From the publisher:

While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women's concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that's in store for her?

(5) Moon and More by Sarah Dessen. I have read and loved everything by Sarah Dessen and her latest was no exception. Another of the books that I was madly in love with this summer. Read here.

From the publisher:
Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?

(6) Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. WOW! I don't even like sci-fi/super hero/super villian epic stories, but I really enjoyed this one!

From the publisher:
Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.

But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. 

Nobody fights the Epics . . . nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience. 

He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

(7) Foul Trouble by John Feinstein. Sportswriter Feinstein is back with another gripping sports story, that is all about basketball...but also SO MUCH MORE. And as we head into basketball season, this one really scores (ha, ha, ha).

From the publisher:

Terrell Jamerson is the #1 high school basketball player in the country. His team is poised to win State, top colleges are lining up to give him scholarships, and everyone says he could play in the NBA tomorrow. But it only takes one false step to lose everything.

Danny Wilcox is Terrell's best friend and teammate, and a top prospect himself, but these days it seems like everyone wants to get close to Terrell: the sneaker guys, the money managers, the college boosters. They show up offering fast cars, hot girls, and cold, hard cash. They say they just want to help, but their kind of help could get Terrell disqualified.

Danny and Terrell better keep their eyes on the ball if they hope to last the season.

(8) Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider. This was also one of my favorite books this year. I think it will take just the right reader to find it (the cover and the publisher promotion of it isn't that strong), but even the amazing John Green himself recommends this one.

From the publisher:
Varsity Tennis captain Ezra Faulkner was supposed to be homecoming king, but that was before—before his girlfriend cheated on him, before a car accident shattered his leg, and before he fell in love with unpredictable new girl Cassidy Thorpe.

(9) This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith. Do you have a reader that's looking for a "nice" story? A little romance, a little mystery, a lot of fun? This is the book for you. I have also been recommending this one WIDELY, as you can probably already tell if you've read this post. 

From the publisher:
When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?

(10) is a Two-For-One, because you really need to get the person both books. Just One Day/Just One Year by Gayle Forman. The woman who brought readers the amazing "If I Stay" and "Where She Went" is back with another "duo" of books guaranteed to please.

From the publisher:

 Just One Day:
Allyson Healey's life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she's not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson's life.

Just One Year:
When he opens his eyes, Willem doesn't know where in the world he is—Prague or Dubrovnik or back in Amsterdam. All he knows is that he is once again alone, and that he needs to find a girl named Lulu. They shared one magical day in Paris, and something about that day—that girl—makes Willem wonder if they aren't fated to be together. He travels all over the world, from Mexico to India, hoping to reconnect with her. But as months go by and Lulu remains elusive, Willem starts to question if the hand of fate is as strong as he'd thought.

And, if you're ever in a pinch and want to pick up a great paperback for a high school reader in your life, anything by Sarah Dessen, John Green, or Chris Crutcher will fit the bill!

And remember, if you want a link to the entire list, see this post.

Happy Reading! And Gifting!

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