Young Adult Novels

The Other Side

The Other Side.jpg

The Other Side is a cute, sweet, perfect summer read for teens. It has an engaging story of the effects of a breakup and of finding new love with the pains and troubles that plague teens who are learning to live life.


Izzy In El Mareo

Izzy in El Mareo

Izzy is a young woman with a lot of growing up to do. She takes a hotel job in Mexico thinking it is the next step for her. But, Izzy is so egocentric that she creates her own problems and that is where she needs to learn to see what she is doing not what others are doing. It is an interesting take on growing up as instead of some guy coming along to save Izzy from herself, she has to be the one to come to some conclusions on her own.

It is a cute book but I found myself tiring of Izzy and of her complaints.

Breaking Out (Rocking Racers)

Breaking Out

Breaking Out is the seventh in the Rocking Racers series. In this fast moving novel, Chris and Nia struggle to break out of the Chris/Nia longstanding bubble and explore the world on their own.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Definitely Maybe in Love

Definitely Maybe in Love

I loved this young adult novel because of all the different twists, turns, assumptions and truths that are written in the relationship between Spring and Henry. All the twists, turns, assumptions and truths that blend or antagonize each other that make Definitely in Love such a captivating and engaging novel.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Only a Breath Apart

Only a Breath Apart

This is an emotional and beautifully crafted story young adult of the ravages of physical abuse of the ones you love and of the salvation of true friendship, of the building of trust and of learning to navigate new territory.

One Week of You

one week of you1

This is acute read that will be enjoyed by teens struggling with all the emotions and problems associated with high school life. Freshman Lizzy Winston sees her ordered life upended when she meets the new boy, Andy. He is a dynamo and very, very cute! When she begins to follow through on the things Andy asks her to do, her week begins to fall apart. She forgets important things that impact her and others. But, it is rather fun for Lizzy to depart from her steady norm and jump into murky waters!
High schoolers with confusing daily lives will certainly love the adventures and trials of Lizzy over the course of one week out of her life.

Risky Play

risky play

Rachel Van Dyken writes such sassy and frisky books that consistently entertain. There is always an element of “What if” present that lays a great foundation for the stories she pens.

Risky Play starts with the meeting of two well known people who are unaware of whom the other is in the real world. Their paths intersect and one glorious night happens. He (Slade Rodriguez) suddenly and without notice leaves her (Mackenzie DuPont) in their hotel room. Both he and she are shaken by the enormity of their encounter. Enter fate, another intersection but with a divergence filled with trouble, struggle and emotion. This makes for another Rachel Van Dyken winner!

Maybe Someday

maybe someday

Maybe Someday is a very moving story that will tug at your heart strings. The dynamic between Ridge, a deaf composer, and Sydney who partners with Ridge to write songs is tense and at the same time, flowing. He is in a long term relationship that Sydney threatens because she intrudes into his heart once only held by Maggie. This intrusion causes Ridge more than just confusion as he has felt his life and love has been set since he was nineteen and fell in love with Maggie. Sydney is torn by her growing love for Ridge and the need to do the right thing and leave it be. This is a great story of passionate characters fighting the limitations that bind.

Cold Day in the Sun

cold day

This is a great teen novel that deals realistically and openly about how tough and tough it is for a girl to play a so-called boy’s only sport.

The character of Holland is strong and well written as a female going up against the odds and criticism for playing on the high school Varsity hockey team. It does not matter that she has skill and prowess on the ice or that she was raised in a hockey playing family with her brothers. When faced with a budding romance with the Varsity captain, Holland is reluctant to pursue it knowing that a relationship could ruin her standing and all of her hard work to deserve to play with the boys.


Violet Ugly

Violet Ugly

Violet Ugly is a very touching and engaging book that deals with young heart ache and mistakes from a perspective of years later. Two broken hearts that never recovered from a break u come face to face again when Merit Young returns to take care of injured Ryan Taylor. Both have shown the lostness of each other in their lives but Merit resolved to never let Ryan back into hers. Fate has entirely different plans-plans that cause re-evaluation and deep reflection for them both.

He Loves You Not

He Loves You Not

What happens when you create the perfect way to make some money to help your family and it practically destroys everything in your life? Disaster, heartache, hurt-you name it. All of these happen for Lacey Winters when her perfect plan goes way out of whack in this imaginative and clever novel.

When Lacey’s brother, Martin, is diagnosed with a curable but costly disease, away goes her last year of college tuition. Listening to her friends talk about wondering if their boyfriends cheat, she and Martin come up with a simple plan to test the guys. But, it all explodes on Lacey when things go terribly wrong. How things resolve is a miracle on their own.


The Truth about Us

the truth about us

The Truth about Us is a true young adult novel with broken hearts, pure but misplaced motives, and direct but denied chemistry. Rowan Hill and Tyler Nusom have too much mutual heartache to rebuild their relationship but there is also too much chemistry to stay apart. Her lies separated them and her attempts to come clean with rebuke are met by Tyler. Nothing, it seems, will correct her errors no matter how she tries.

In Paris with You

In Paris

This is a fabulous book with quirky writing style and times when you will chuckle out loud. It is more than a story about Tatiana and Eugene because the narrator interrupts both the story and the characters at different moments adding so many flavors to the entire story.

Eugene and Tatiana met when she was fifteen and he was seventeen. He was jaded by life and love; she was in a romantic bubble in her life and love was beautiful. He rudely bursts her bubble.

When they meet years later, everything is different as the tables have reversed. Eugene now longs for Tatiana and she for him until something changes her mind about it all-a jaded perspective forms in Tatiana’s mind now. Can his determination change anything or is all lost once again and for good?

Brief Chronicle of Another Stupid Heartbreak

brief chronicle

Lu is a young adult struggling to deliver an article for her online journalist job. Her own break up with Leo has stymied her creative juices and is jeopardizing both her job and the scholarship to NYU that comes with it. Overhearing a break up similar to her own, Lu embarks on journey to capture the story of Cal and Iris, write about it and save her job. However, she finds herself more involved with Cal and Iris and that might just be the end of her work.

This is a cute story that touches on the complex emotions affecting relationships and growing maturity.



806 is like a make believe story and very quirky and refreshingly different. Just that three kids created by a sperm donor know each other is weird enough. Their travels all over together to find their donor father are just crazy and the wild goose chases are a hoot. The whole story is filled with stuff that probably would not really happen but plausible enough that maybe they could. Just expect the unexpected at every turn.

Perfect Harmony

perfect harmony

Perfect Harmony is a perfect to read for young teens and young adults. It is very entertaining and engrossing as Declan and Pippa learn to harmonize on cello and in a relationship. There is a lot of stretching for Pippa’s character as she learns to adapt to challenge and learns to love alongside the challenge.


Dating Down

dating down

A defeated girl meets a defeated boy but together they can change their worlds is how I think of Dating Down. The emotional take downs of both Gary and Tammy are painful and hurtful and describes in a manner that makes you feel the deep cuts to their hearts and psyches. Somehow, when the odds are against them, it all works out but not before a tale of teen drama and misunderstandings play out.

You’d Be Mine

youd be mine

Two teen country singers, both struggling with hard life experiences, join together on a summer tour that impacts both of them. This is an unflinching look at how the bad things that happen can lead down two, separate, distinct paths: one leading to possible destruction and the other to wholeness.

Clay lost his older brother in the war and never allowed himself to grieve. Rather, he used booze to fuel his on and off stage persona. Annie found her country legend parents after their murder/suicide leaving her traumatized at age thirteen. Both have music to drive them until they meet and together they start the hard process of coming to terms with their pasts.

The Last Wish of Sasha Cade

Last wish

This novel is so good! Elijah and Raquel meet at the grave of her best friend, Sasha, both summoned by an email sent out by Sasha, set up before she died for exact dates’ delivery. It is Sasha’s last wish that Elijah, her brother who was not adopted with Sasha, could get to know her through her life experiences with Raquel. Raquel is the guide through surprise adventures but Sasha’s real intent is for Elijah and Raquel to find each other.

Raw Talent

raw talent.jpeg

This is a charming and delightful Young Adult novel about a talented singer teenager bucking her own stage fright and the petty barbs of a jealous classmate in order to perform live for a benefit show. Paisley lucks into private lessons with a famous singer who helps her overcome the odds and face her performance anxiety.

Teens will relate to the catty behavior of Paisley’s nemesis, Cadence, cheer for Paisley’s successes and cringe with her failures.




This is a really cute Young Adult novel! A teenage fiddler fights to pursue her talent against her mother who wants her to study classical violin.

Rose Callaghan wants to follow in her father’s footsteps and study folk music and fiddling in college. When her music group travels to a folk festival, Rose finds music beyond her dreams, disaster and her deep calling to be a fiddler. If only her mother could see it.

Every Little Bad Idea

every little.jpeg

Every Little Bad Idea is written in such a unique way-not in paragraphs but almost poetic lines. It is the story of a girl fighting her matriarchal tradition of getting pregnant in her teens. She falls for the bad boy, thinking he is not so bad after all. Instances prove that wrong but can she or will she be able to avoid her mother’s bad decisions and make her own good ones.

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating


Even If I Fall

Even if I fall

Even If I Fall is a poignant story of two teens each harboring deep emotions stemming from the same incident, needing someone to listen, to hear, and to not judge. Brooke Covington’s brother confessed to killing his best friend. Heath Gaines is the dead man’s brother. Brooke lives under the judgmental scrutiny of their small town, alone and almost friendless, except for Maggie who knows nothing of Brooke’s brother. Heath lives in a family in denial that his brother is gone and only talks of the past and never of the present pain and grief. Together Brooke and Heath begin to heal while continuing to combat the daily struggles of their separate lives.

When We Were Young

When we were young

When We were Young is an excellent and gut smacking novel reaching deeply into teen angst, emotions, insecurities and problems. The two main characters Jack and Livvy both that have their senior year of high school filled with too many complications. For Jack, he has been thrown into a life with a father her never knew after a fight leads to probation and banishment from his home town. He is a seething ball of anger trying to cope as best he can with the limited tools he has. Livvy has absentee parents and a myriad of problems, not surface teenager problems but manipulating boyfriend boxing her in problems. She and Jack for a loose/tight bond threatened by the forces in their lives and constantly pushing and pulling them apart.

The Fragile Ordinary


The Fragile Ordinary is an exceptional young adult novel. The pages artfully and acutely capture the lives of teens in Scotland in current day. Topics of drug use, bereavement, young love, insecurity, and trust fill the pages blending into a touching story about two young teens finding their way with each other and with the world that surrounds them in high school.

Her Hollywood Boyfriend


Her Hollywood Boyfriend is a super cute young adult book that blends paparazzi trouble, a budding romance, sweet revenge and a warm message about being a friend to kids with disabilities or home troubles. The setting is a kid’s camp set up for kids with health or family problems with emphasis on the daily ongoing events with the counselors.

Macey Greere has been publically humiliated and embarrassed by the errant behavior of her boyfriend and long time friend, Cam. Luckily, she is slated to return to work as a counselor at Camp Silver Star and reconnect with her counselor friends. Arriving late because of all the turmoil in her life, she meets Jace Ian Cooper, Hollywood actor. Great. A paparazzi magnet. However, Jace is at camp for his Down’s Syndrome brother and is not a fan of the press either.

Jace, Macey and their counselor mates embark on a summer adventure, loving the kids and having a summer to remember.

From Ten to Eleven

ten to eleven

I completely and totally fell in love with this book because of the refreshing humor and honestly of the main character, Lillian. She is drawn to African American men in small Palmyra, Mississippi and this is the story of one year in her life of painful growth as she finishes high school, enters college and tries to figure out her future. Along the way, she is forced to face difficult situations, heartache, chaos, disillusionment, and pain which all buffet her along her journey to insight about herself and her life.

Nowhere Else but Here


This is a very engaging book about the ups and downs of two teens trying to navigate a new relationship with so much history between them and the resultant trust issues that arise from that past and its secrets. It took me back to those tough, confusing years of insecurity and self-doubt when it came to relationships-the assumptions, rumors, truth, and lies of omission that run rampant in high school.

It is a well written perspective on a relationship that could be, should be and would be if and when disclosure and honestly are allowed to be freed.

Rumor Has It


Barrett  Fox-ex-football player and current bachelor du jour for all the ladies. Catarina Everhart-columnist of  the relationships column for the online Columbus Dispatch. She’s a serious writer and woman. He’s a playboy with a reputation to uphold. They are thrown together by her boss for a series of articles entailing their dating each other. Catarina is not thrilled by the idea at all. Neither is Barrett but for a different reason. Together they set off on an adventure into what becomes love but with pitfalls and confusion along the way which makes this book fun and endearing.

Things I’d Rather Do than Die

things id rather

What a great book that delves into the confusing and assuming world of teens, revealing religious assumptions and prejudices that can taint and tarnish the minds of the impressionable teens until they can figure out what is real and what is presumption. Add to this the undercurrent of false rumors and gossip and you have a great book.

This is not a Love Letter

not a love letter

This is not a Love Letter is written with an interesting take. Rather than a narration of the story, it is written as a letter covering all the details of a search for a missing youth from the perspective of his girlfriend.

Chris, Jessie’s senior in high school boyfriend and a young man with a promising future , mysteriously disappears and Jessie recalls different memories of their relationship and of the events going on regarding the search for him. As the days progress, fears and suspicions built for Jessie and her friend, Josh, as they wait for any news on finding Chris. The search uncovers the nasty underbelly of the small town teens who reside there.

Honestly, this was not a favorite of mine because it just did not strike a chord with me. I pushed through reading it because I had gotten it to review.

Begin Again

Begin Again

There is so much that I loved about this young adult novel: great writing, thoughtful characters, engaging story.
Two twenty somethings are each striving to live their lives the best they can as they divorce themselves from the pasts that continue to temper their futures. Both Allie and Kaden have developed defense mechanisms for protection from others and keep their secrets safe. Neither is prepared for the force of nature they come to represent to each other and cannot fight.

We All Fall Down

we all fall down

In this book, horrible circumstances separate friends and a force to reckon with is drawing them together to resolve a long ago wish with dire consequences.
This book will be appealing to those readers who love eerie and strange happenings, forces that work behind the scenes to create a gripping ending.

All the Wrong Chords

all the wrong chords

This is a book that teens will surely relate to easily. It is an engaging tapestry of a young girl’s summer of discovery and love. The book is well-paced and intense at times as Ms. Deriso weaves the threads of confusion and enlightenment.

The story is told by Scarlet who is spending the summer with her grandfather after the sudden death of her older brother. The intention is for her to keep him company and from driving. Both of them miss her brother deeply.

Scarlet meets Zach through her grandfather’s friend and, fabulously for Scarlet, he is in a local band. She has not touched her guitar since her brother died and she is hesitant to do so because of all the memories attached to playing and singing with him. She does finally pick it up and finds the joy still attached.

In the band is the dreamy player Declan who catches Scarlet’s eye immediately. The confusing relationship with Declan, the friendship with Zach, and the roller-coaster Scarlet is on join together to make a very enjoyable, do not put down story.


Begin Again

Begin Again

There is so much that I loved about this young adult novel: great writing, thoughtful characters, engaging story.

Two twenty somethings are each striving to live their lives the best they can as they divorce themselves from the pasts that continue to temper their futures. Both Allie and Kaden have developed defense mechanisms for protection from others and keep their secrets safe. Neither is prepared for the force of nature they come to represent to each other and cannot fight.


As You Wish

Imagine if at the age of eighteen you have the wish of your lifetime to make. Would you be certainly prepared to wish the right thing for forever? Or, would you wish like a teenager?

The town of Wishing, Texas, keeps to itself and does not ever encourage visitors because the truth of the town would bring gawkers and news hounds. Wishing is a place where every eighteen year old gets a wish on their eighteenth birthday for whatever they choose to get, have, change, or whatever. This year is the year for Eben to make his wish and he wants not to. He has seen the damage the wishes have wrought in the lives of the people of the town and does not want that. Forces are pushing him to decide, to make the “right” choice. He does the best thing he can: investigate the wishes of others, how it truly affected them and whether they would wish it again. When he’s done, he will decide.

This is a really good young adult book that I enjoyed immensely.


Where We Left Off


If you have never read any of Megan Squires Young Adult novels, you have been definitely missing out. Her books are meaty from a young person’s perspective and chock full of things that any teen/young adult/ anyone who once was young can relate to on many levels. Most of her books revolve around romance but romance with so many interesting issues and plots.

In Where We Left Off, Mallory and Heath meet on a freezing night while she is going home from eating in the diner where he works. Both are smitten by each other and decidedly nervous about approaching each other again. Mallory goes by the diner again intending to ask Heath out first. She is a refreshing character who speaks her mind and is always trying to find the best in everything. Unfortunately, Heath doesn’t work that night but he gathers his nerve and goes by her house and she is home. From this starting point in their relationship, things blossom into a young love that is true.

The turning point is when Mallory and her Nana are involved in a hit and run. Heath speeds to the hospital to wait by her bedside. Now the hard part begins because, although his family had recently transferred to Kentucky form California, his father receives a tremendous job offer and the family rushes back to California. Heath tries to contact Mallory in every way he can but she does not respond. This is the end of Part 1 and beginning to Part 2.

I’m not going to talk about Part 2 because there is so much more to even Part 1 than I have written. Part 2 is even better and you will cry and laugh and just love it. You will also be seeking our more of Megan’s books because it is that good.

Some of her other books (that I’ve so enjoyed), are: