Perfect for readers with a strong stomach and a love of creepy terror, Wilder Girls by Rory Power has been described as feminist horror. Visualize Lord of the Flies but at a girls’ school with a dystopian vibe. The story is told in alternating points of view, bouncing between two close friends as they deal with the ramifications of ‘The Tox’ and the subsequent quarantine. A group of teenage girls is trapped on an island with no contact with the outside world. Although the girls are suffering varying effects of an outbreak that has devastated their school, strength and loyalty shine through in the characters. Power’s writing is engaging, and as a bonus, the cover is gorgeous.
For a completely different type of read, try Katy Loutzenhiser’s If You’re Out There. Having your best friend move away is challenging enough, but then being completely shut out and ignored is even worse. Zan is heartbroken when Priya moves, and when Priya stops responding to emails, Zan can’t accept it. In fact, the more that she thinks about it, she’s certain something is very wrong. Meeting a new guy, Logan, helps as she starts to open up, and he agrees that Priya’s apparent disappearance might be something more than what it initially appears. If they work together, perhaps they can figure it out. Part mystery, part romance, packed full of teenage angst and challenges, If You’re Out There was an intriguing read that holds the reader’s attention right through to the end.
Every school seems to have a mean girl, and Beaumont Prep is no exception. Meet Cameron Bright, who is, of course, stunningly beautiful, popular, and cruel. Cameron pushes the mean girl act a bit too far one day and unfortunately her secret crush, Andrew, is witness to the event. If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka follows Cameron’s attempts to make amends with anyone she has hurt. In the process, Cameron hopes to prove to Andrew that she is worthy of his affection. How far is she willing to go? What making up for her cruelty means spending time with the geek group? Cameron is a character that the reader will start out detesting, and end up feeling connected to. If I’m Being Honest is a light-hearted, contemporary romance perfect for taking your mind off school or work.
Lauren Oliver’s Broken Things is perhaps my favourite YA novel of the past year. Fans of psychological thrillers will enjoy this novel that twists friendship, obsession, and murder. Brynn, Summer, and Mia are best friends, and their friendship brings secrets, manipulations, and betrayal. Summer is murdered, and Brynn and Mia are blamed. The girls are resigned to spending their lives living under suspicion, even suspecting each other until something brings them back together. Details begin to surface, both about who Summer really was and what she may have been involved in. What originally begins to read like a fantasy novel ends up being a twisted, disturbing mystery. Can the girls find a way to reconnect and work together to determine what happened years ago? Will they be able to figure out who killed Summer? Will they ever have an opportunity to live a normal life? Broken Things is a captivating, sinister page-turner that is impossible to put down. Please note, some subject matter in this novel may be upsetting for sensitive readers.
No matter your favourite genre, TBPL is bound to have something that appeals to you. Check out the YA fiction area and try something new! As an added bonus, teens looking for volunteer hours can earn a half hour of volunteer time for each 300 word review submitted. Share your thoughts, good or bad! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Jana O’Flaherty – http://www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you. Please comment below!