Bright Among the Stars by Jiselle Zagada. Buy here.
Life is hard. Sometimes you get hit harder than others. Other times you’re pushed down and tossed in the dirt. But everybody has it hard; life isn’t about flower crowns or sprinkles. It’s not about who has the most things or who doesn’t. Especially when you’re a teenager in high school, still not knowing what you want to do in life and still figuring yourself out. Jessie never really thought about how hard life was treating her; she never really thought about herself. Jessie has a boyfriend, friends, a mom, a sister. Everything was somewhat fine for her, but she never really stopped to think about what she was really missing – an important thing everyone needs in life. So when not only her life but her mentality starts to take a turn, she understands with the help of a friend what she is truly missing. Nobody can give it to her but herself.
Luna by Kayla Hyman. Buy here.
Luna is a depressed teenager whose world appears to be falling apart at the seams. After the death of her brother and the separation of her mother and father, she desperately tries to cling onto any form of happiness and love she can find. When she thinks she can take no more, she meets Ezra, an intelligent, handsome, and charismatic boy who makes her forget all about her problems. Little does she know that he comes with his own world of trouble, and she’s slowly sinking into it. Friends come to her from the right and left, trying to put reason into her, but Luna is naive and won’t let her only ray of sun go – until she sees something that’s too much for her to bear.
Faralyn Grove by Jhanea Wilcher. Buy here.
After the beloved death of his mother, Ehdonis is introduced to a whole new world Faralyn Grove that he didn’t think was possible. Now he finds himself caught in between a battle of the extreme environmentalists and the natives that are fighting for their surviva
Close by Alexandra Hutchins. Buy here.
Madison Claire had everything she wanted in Sioux Falls, South Dakota: a good home, friends, and an amazing school. However, when her father gets a new job offer all the way in North Carolina, Maddie is forced to face a new high school environment, new social pressures, and a completely different culture from the one she had always known. She knew this would be difficult, but she never imagined she would be juggling it all with something even more demanding: uncovering the deep secrets and lies that her family holds close.
Hang in There by Katherine MacDougall. Buy here.
Teenager stories about growing up and surviving high school are never truly heard nowadays. Sure, adults have stories from their glory days and all, but what is it like for the new generation of teenagers trying to survive school and life in general? Katherine MacDougall opens up, telling her full true story about overcoming obstacles thrown her way and gives advice on how others can overcome the same obstacles or avoid them in general. This is in no way a formal book, rather just a highschooler telling her story in her own words, so that can any teenager or adult who decides to read it will be able to relate.
Fixed by Kelsey Counter. Buy here.
In an unknown city after the collapse of modern society, Natalie Griffen is shaken when she finds herself questioning the lifestyle she has always known. In her socially divided city, every citizen is injected with a Transparency serum at birth. This serum causes any character-defining thoughts to permanently be tattooed on the skin. This serum was created to fix human flaws, but in return it limits freedom. When Natalie discovers her government is creating yet another serum to further limit their already restrained freedom, she is faced with the uncertainty of standing against everything she’s ever known for a right she has never had.
The Devil You Know by Alana Alston. Buy here.
New York city is one of the populated places in the world. How does everyone afford to live there? Daisy Hartford and her father Dixon know the answer. Dixon is a wealthy businessman who doesn’t mind taking care of your rent or any sort of expense including past debt, as long as you do a thing or two for him…. his daughter included. Daisy – at least that’s what people call her – is a successful magazine editor who works for her father. She doesn’t mind doing what her father (aka “boss”) asks her to do, no matter how bad it is. She may even enjoy it. Eventually, she meets a potential candidate for a new relationship, not knowing he’s involved in the boss’ business plan.
The Price of Loyalty by Stephany Danquah. Buy here.
Soon to be graduate Christopher Webb Jr, finds himself sitting in a jail cell days after getting accepted into Duke University. Confronted with the choice between his future, or being loyal and keeping his mouth shut, he finds himself changing and caught in the middle of a movement to unite all races in the county jail. Spending time in jail, he becomes aware of things that never mattered to him, and struggles to maintain his innocence. Having to choose between giving up his friend or keeping quiet and doing time causes him to spiral, and lose himself behind bars. Will he save himself before it’s too late, or become another victim of the system?
Spy Raiders by Ryan Harris. Buy here.
Spy Raiders is a book about 3 average high school students who are going to be Spies (aka the Raiders) and take down Boris, an evil Russian Billionaire who is trying to take over the world. The book starts once school is out. Stuart Albright (Creative Writing teacher and also a spy) brings his 3 best students Ryan Harris, Yaqub Sterling, and Bryan Monroe to his high tech training facility in order to become spies, just like Mr. Albright. In the second half of the book, Mr. Albright and the Raiders are attacked by Boris’s Army and thrown in a jail. They eventually escape but the Raiders and Mr. Albright are separated. They eventually find each other when Lance Morgan (a 6 ft US veteran, also known as Jett) reunites them. They all work together to defeat Boris and save the world from his wrath.
The Line Between by Alexis Birl. Buy here.
What does it mean to be black? What does it mean to be a black male? If you ask 18 year old Antwon Shuttlesworth, he’ll probably tell you that being a black male is the epitome of a roller coaster. Growing up in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn, New York, Antwon faces poverty, racial tensions with police, violence, money, drugs and betrayal. Antwon gets involved in these six elements of corruption by hanging with the wrong crowd. With each chapter you’re able to see how friends and family affect Antwon, and how they think about Antwon behind closed doors. Living with just his mother and younger brother since his father was arrested when he was younger, Antwon stays in trouble just to bring in money for his family. In life, everything can be very literal. But in this novel, you’ll have to look at the line between to get the full story.
The New Normal by Marie Cox-McMahon. Buy here.
Annalise Harper’s life was far from perfect, and her world keeps getting flipped upside down. The challenges of high school were no match to everything else she’s been through. In this multi-generational novel, families fight for everything they have. Battles at home and otherwise prove challenging no matter the age, or state of things. All grown up, Annalise navigates the work force as a woman and a mother. But soon, something more difficult than she could ever imagine will occur. The New Normal is a moving novel about family, but it is also a timely critique of our current political climate.
Life Under Construction by Brianna Moore. Buy here.
Life Under Construction is a memoir about a 17 year old girl who has struggled with depression all her life. She has been raised in a broken home, where relationships have been built up, just to be torn apart again. Over the past year she has learned how to cope with the dysfunction in her home environment that made her feel trapped mentally without self-destruction. The book goes into depth about her past, along with the new perspective she has developed about life.
Assault on the Green Butterfly by Michael Dela Cruz. Buy here.
After his friend is murdered by an unknown organization, Victor is determined to track down the killers. A raging anger, an arsenal of weapons and tools at his disposal, along with experience in investigation, Victor is resolved to fight with whoever is behind the murder of his friend. On a mission that starts with vengeance, he will encounter many decisions along the way. However he cannot do it alone; he will require your help to choose the path he must follow, whether it will lead to finding the ones responsible or Victor’s demise. You shall walk the same path that Victor will follow, because his decisions will also be your decision. Will he succeed in discovering who the masterminds are? And will he find out what is the Green Butterfly? Will he be able to catch the killers or be stopped before he finds out? Only you can decide what he will face and the fate of his actions.
New Justice by Ciera Thompson. Buy here.
He’s a man with countless government officials and civilians under his control. He’s a man that can’t be stopped. Kurtis Walker has been at large for five years, and when there are no American citizens who can be trusted, the president must turn to America’s youth for help. A secret agency known as the NWI is created to train young children to be loyal to the idea of killing Kurtis Walker. When their first attempt to kill him fails, the NWI looks to Tessa Wilkens for help. Tessa is suddenly taken from her old life and thrown into the world of secret warfare where she is forced to work with young agents whose personal morals have long been forgotten. Tessa soon begins to wonder if the real evil is Kurtis Walker or the agency made to stop him.
Latchkey Kids by Stella Angrist. Buy here.
Jody, Kels, Matty, CJ. Four children, fourteen summers, one town. Each child must face the troubles that accompany the world they live in, the troubles that plague their minds and households, and attempt to come out unscathed. Set from 1980 to 1993, Latchkey Kids is a coming-of-age story that watches the lives of four children and sees them through the struggles they face.
Stay Strong by Isabel Whitcomb. Buy here.
“I have learned that life does not come with an instruction manual. You are the one in control of your life and what you do with it. You can choose to dwell on the negatives, or you can build a positive out of it. I am determined to be someone in this world, and I am determined to change people’s lives.”
The Mailman by John Vance. Buy here.
A young, socially inept mailman named Marty McFlunderson from Yallassee, Ohio begins to question his purpose in life. After an unforeseen accident leaves him stranded in the Yallassee wilderness, Marty undergoes a transcendentalist enlightenment, sending him on a soul-searching journey of personal discovery. Upon returning to civilization, the local mailman starts a political movement among the nation’s middle class and sets out to change the face of the country while chasing the girl of his dreams. This book is a comedic thriller, packed with action, hilarity, and several important life lessons about discovering one’s true self.
The Art of Becoming a Warrior by Gavin Bell. Buy here.
In an attempt to regain some stability in his life, Matt Locklear decides to leave the bustling city of Charlotte and travel back to the small town of Pembroke, North Carolina, where his family is originally from. Here, he is able to connect with his relatives as well as his Lumbee roots, which dictate much of the lifestyle in the community. Here, he learns lessons on both culture and spirituality, but when the threats of drugs and violence begin to introduce themselves, Matt also begins to learn the lesson of how to become a warrior not only for his people, but also for himself.
The Dim Between by SarahBelle Selig. Buy here.
The Dim Between is the story of two men: Will is a soldier stationed in Palestine in 1937; Levi is a journalist in Leeds, England in 1978. Although they are very different men, their stories intertwine by the end of this ambitious debut novel.
Artenzola by Kia Allen. Buy here.
A dimension where people are born with a magical purpose—where creatures of the good are hidden in the thick evil settling in the dense air, a white haired young boy enters Artenzola with a small girl, as pure as gold, then problems arise.
Lupo by Isaac Nicchitta. Buy here.
At the very front of the men marched a short stout man, wearing a large hat and a uniform decorated with elaborate badges and patches. He was a peculiar looking man. His face looked pressed down forcefully onto his body. His lips were pursed in what seemed to be a permanent frown. He had musty green eyes that expressed to me isolation and solitude, despite the immense welcoming he was receiving. He marched right past where my group and I stood, and I was able to get one up-close look at him. He did not look powerful. He was small and walked without a certain assertion that I was accustomed to seeing in authority figures. But his face, those envious, greedy eyes and intense focus startled me a little.
The Purest Red by Nathan McElveen. Buy here.
In the bustling city of London, Esther attempts to propel herself into a life of luxury, and escape her life of misery in the slums of the city. As she takes life-changing steps deeper into the secrecy of her true identity, many around her attempt to piece together the mystery of her fatal melancholy, in this story of love, disquiet, and death. Esther evokes the desperation of living in poverty with haunting danger, and a surprising sensitivity. This historical novel of mystery, secrecy, and perception mythologizes the hopelessness of a young adult, and her disregard for the law. Attempting to hide her biggest secret, Esther often finds herself torn between the blurred moral division of light and darkness. It isn’t until Esther discovers the true meaning of her life that she is able to take steps towards the repentance of what she has become. In The Purest Red, Esther is forced to learn through personal experiences that even when truth is hidden, monsters often find a way of getting out.
Price by Erin Whelan. Buy here.
Everyone has a price for their body. Whether it’s of monetary value, or mental state of peace. Everyone has a price, and everyone strives for the state of normalcy.
The Summer of Grace by Moriah Thompson. Buy here.
During the last summer of her childhood seventeen year old Grace Page travels to Glenly, North Carolina, the town where her mother grew up and where she hasn’t returned to since Grace’s birth. Through late night parties, summer romance, and uncovering pieces of her mother’s past, Grace becomes who she was always meant to be.
Halcyon by Christian Prosperi. Buy here.
Michael Fremont is a seventeen-year-old boy haunted by the memory of his parents’ divorce. Juniper Dodge is an upbeat local news reporter with a troubling romantic past. Struggling to cope with their repressed anxieties as Halcyon progresses, time and circumstance will force them to confront their traumatic pasts.
As it is in Heaven by Alaina Bainbridge. Buy here.
As it is in Heaven, by Alaina Bainbridge, explores the ways in which people connect throughout time.
The Domino Effect by Lauren Arsena. Buy here.
An amnesiac CIA agent travels to Italy to discover the Mafia member who killed an American ambassador.
A Memoir of Thieves by Mira Nicchitta. Buy here.
A Memoir of Thieves, by Mira Nicchitta, the story of a young orphan’s explorations of London and his interactions with a crew of unusual criminals.
Byronic by Elise Kimple. Buy here.
A look at a young playwright’s exploration into his work and its parallels to his own life: a play about a Byronic-hero bartender’s struggle to transform four wacky theatrical characters, and to find meaning in his existence. “Byronic” is an examination of the nature of reality versus fiction, as well as a view of the effects of abuse and how what we see on the surface is often very different from what lies beneath.
Kings of the Universe by Caleb Gorham. Buy here.
Meet David, Cephas, Katana, Lupe, Stephen, Michael and Philip: seven of the world’s finest soldiers. These seven were called to use their gifts to bring peace and order to the Age of the Apocalypse. Only to figure out that their leader, Sogol, is a big shot demon: the Anti Christ. Once they figure this out David and the team become warriors of The Ancient One and fight to survive an army that consist of more than a billion demons, The Ancients judgments, and possessed humans with super powers. These are The Tribulation Saints. The only question is will they survive?
The Voices of Hope by Angela Beckman. Buy here.
Hope Russo is a seemingly normal teenager, living life along with her slightly out casted twin sister Paola. Until, one night her whole life gets flipped upside down with one trip to the hospital. Hope must resolve a crime to help out her sister and an old family friend Ethan, to save him from the crimes he committed a long time ago. In the end, Hope truly finds her hidden self. She finds it hard to see what reality is and what a hallucination is. How can anybody tell if what we see is just in our head? For Hope, reality is more real than she can ever believe.
A Joyful Relationship by Briana Thompson. Buy here.
Five years have passed since Joy’s home burned down, killing both of her parents. She survived the fire and is forced to live with her aunt and two cousins for the rest of her life in Maryland. In high school, Joy and her older longtime friend, Brit, drop out of school together so that they can continue the path of their friendship. To make sure that Joy’s aunt doesn’t find out about her dropping out, Joy finds a job working for a public library in Maryland. Brit falls in love with a pimp name Gray a year later, causing Brit’s personality and looks to change into those of a teenage slut. As she starts to fall in love with Joy, their friendship will never be the same.
Homegoing by Margaret Mitchell. Buy here.
Moving On by Camille Romac-Gullo. Buy here.
Skies Always Changing by Laura Bratt. Buy here.
The Gingerbread Philosophy by Emily Palmer. Buy here.
Spirit of the Battle by Emily Reep. Buy here.
Soviet Skies by Alex Wilkins. Buy here.
Cloudy Days by Chelsea Swanson. Buy here.
Still Waters by Alan Christopher. Buy here.
Sing Me This Song by Juli Somers. Buy here.
Jagged by Chris Garrett. Buy here.
Glass Motherland by Peter DelGobbo. Buy here.
Pig Feathers by E.W. Gotwals. Buy here.
Barely Accepted by A.J. Manenti. Buy here.
Sketching Shadows by Ben Reed. Buy here.
Beneath the Eyes of God by Jessica Wrenn. Buy here.
Once upon a Time in Your Shoes by Samantha Mandani. Buy here.
How to Commit Social Suicide and Still Survive the Aftermath by Elias Mohr. Buy here.