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Why Should Adults Have All the Fun?

Are you a teen that is just not that into YA books? Who says you have to read in the teen section? Luckily, libraries allow you to read whatever you like! Check out some of these "new adult" or NA novels that will appeal to older teens, 20 year olds and just about anyone else who wants something a bit more gritty with a teen narrator. 

Things We Have In Common by Tasha Kavanagh

Fifteen-year-old Yasmin is a major misfit: overweight, depressed, and shunned by her classmates. With her father dead and her mother remarried, Yasmin is uncomfortable in her own skin and feels like a visitor in her own home. One day she happens upon a man creepily watching popular girl Alice, the same classmate whom Yasmin has a crush on. She decides to befriend this stranger in the hopes of keeping him from harming Alice, with Yasmin becoming Alice's hero and friend as a result. But upon her initial meeting with awkward loner Samuel, Yasmin immediately recognizes a kindred spirit. This leads to her pursuing a friendship with him, to the point of forgetting her unspoken role as Alice's protector. Then Alice goes missing. 

A Good Country by Laleh Khadivi

Alireza Courdee, a fourteen-year-old straight-A student and chemistry whiz, takes his first hit of pot. In as long as it takes to inhale and exhale, he is transformed from the high-achieving son of Iranian immigrants into a happy-go-lucky stoner. He loses his virginity, takes up surfing, and sneaks away to all-night raves. For the first time, Reza feels like an American teen. Life is smooth; even lying to his strict parents comes easily.

But then he changes again, falling out with the bad boy surfers and in with a group of kids more awake to the world around them, who share his background, and whose ideas fill him with a very different sense of purpose. Within a year, Reza and his girlfriend are making their way to Syria to be part of a Muslim nation rising from the ashes of the civil war.

The Map That Leads To You by Joseph Monninger

A romantic, vivid novel that takes place in the tender time of a young woman's life: Heather has graduated from college and is traveling around Europe with her two best friends. She's left school responsibility behind and adult responsibility is looming, but this is her one, ONE last summer to be free. Heather doesn't expect to even meet Jack, let alone fall in love with him. Jack is an enigmatic Vermonter a few years older than she is, who is following his grandfather's journal to various cities around Europe. But in the same way that forces are bringing Jack and Heather together, life and duty are pushing them apart. And Jack has a secret that is going to change absolutely everything.

Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett
Also available in: e-book

Twelve-year-old Elvis Babbitt has a head for the facts: she knows science proves yellow is the happiest color, she knows a healthy male giraffe weighs about 3,000 pounds, and she knows that the naked mole rat is the longest living rodent. She knows she should plan to grieve her mother, who has recently drowned while sleepwalking, for exactly eighteen months. But there are things Elvis doesn't yet know?like how to keep her sister Lizzie from poisoning herself while sleep-eating or why her father has started wearing her mother's silk bathrobe around the house. Elvis investigates the strange circumstances of her mother's death and finds comfort, if not answers, in the people (and animals) of Freedom, Alabama. As hilarious a storyteller as she is heartbreakingly honest, Elvis is a truly original voice in this exploration of grief, family, and the endurance of humor after loss.

Girl At War by Sara Nović

Zagreb, 1991. Ana Jurić is a carefree ten-year-old, living with her family in a small apartment in Croatia’s capital. But that year, civil war breaks out across Yugoslavia, splintering Ana’s idyllic childhood. Daily life is altered by food rations and air raid drills, and soccer matches are replaced by sniper fire. Neighbors grow suspicious of one another, and Ana’s sense of safety starts to fray. When the war arrives at her doorstep, Ana must find her way in a dangerous world. Moving back and forth through Ana's childhood and her adult life, Girl at War is an honest, generous, brilliantly written novel that illuminates how history shapes the individual.

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.
 
But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and lush wilds spread across the planet. Darrow and Reds like him are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.
 
Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power.  He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society's ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

Close Enough To Touch by Colleen Oakley

A 28-year-old recluse with a unique allergy to physical contact with other people is forced to reenter the world after her mother's death, finding friendship with a 10-year-old troubled boy and love with his adoptive father.

Also available in: e-book | audiobook

High school senior Hattie Hoffman has spent her whole life playing many parts: the good student, the good daughter, the good citizen. When she's found brutally stabbed to death on the opening night of her high school play, the tragedy rips through the fabric of her small town community. Local sheriff Del Goodman, a family friend of the Hoffmans, vows to find her killer, but trying to solve her murder yields more questions than answers. It seems that Hattie's acting talents ran far beyond the stage.

Also available in: e-book

A reimagining of Jane Eyre as a gutsy, heroic serial killer.

A sensitive orphan, Jane Steele suffers first at the hands of her spiteful aunt and predatory cousin, then at a grim school where she fights for her very life until escaping to London, leaving the corpses of her tormentors behind her. After years of hiding from the law while penning macabre last confessions of the recently hanged, Jane thrills at discovering an advertisement. Her aunt has died and her childhood home has a new master: Mr. Charles Thornfield, who seeks a governess. 
Burning to know whether she is in fact the rightful heir, Jane takes the position incognito, and learns that Highgate House is full of marvelously strange new residents the fascinating but caustic Mr. Thornfield, an army doctor returned from the Sikh Wars, and the gracious Sikh butler Mr. Sardar Singh, whose history with Mr. Thornfield appears far deeper and darker than they pretend. As Jane catches ominous glimpses of the pair s violent history and falls in love with the gruffly tragic Mr. Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him body, soul, and secrets without revealing her own murderous past? 

Dare Me by Megan E. Abbott
Also available in: audiobook | e-audiobook

The high school cheerleading squad has a new coach: Colette French, perfect in every way, a cool and commanding presence who instantly wins the girls' approval and allegiance. The girls find themselves drawn into Coach's life, opening up to her and eagerly vying for her attention. But when a suspicious suicide hits close to home, and the police investigation involves Coach and her squad, the girls are left wondering where their loyalties truly lie-and how far is too far to go for those in power. When it's all over, someone will emerge on top, and the others will have fallen. 

Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capo Crucet

When Lizet - the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the first in her family to graduate from high school-secretly applies and is accepted to an ultra-elite college, her parents are furious at her decision to leave Miami. Just weeks before she's set to start school, her parents divorce and her father sells her childhood home, leaving Lizet, her mother, and Leidy-Lizet's older sister, a brand-new single mom-without a steady income and scrambling for a place to live.

Amidst this turmoil, Lizet begins her first semester at Rawlings College, distracted by both the exciting and difficult moments of freshman year. But the privileged world of the campus feels utterly foreign, as does her new awareness of herself as a minority. Struggling both socially and academically, she returns to Miami for a surprise Thanksgiving visit, only to be overshadowed by the arrival of Ariel Hernandez, a young boy whose mother died fleeing with him from Cuba on a raft. The ensuing immigration battle puts Miami in a glaring spotlight, captivating the nation and entangling Lizet's entire family.

Also available in: audiobook

Princess Kelsea sets out on a perilous journey back to her castle home to take her rightful throne. Though she is young, Kelsea is not defenseless: around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power, and with her is the Queen's Guard. Kelsea will need them all to survive the enemies who want to keep her from wearing the crown. Kelsea's quest to save her kingdom has only just begun; a journey of self-discovery and trial by fire will make her a legend. If she survives.

Ana of California by Andi Teran
Also available in: e-audiobook

A modern take on the classic coming-of-age novel, inspired by Anne of Green Gables, Andi Teran's captivating debut novel offers a contemporary twist on a beloved classic. Fifteen-year-old orphan Ana Cortez has just blown her last chance with a foster family. It's a group home next-unless she agrees to leave East Los Angeles for a farm trainee program in Northern California. When she first arrives, Ana can't tell a tomato plant from a blackberry bush, and Emmett Garber is skeptical that this slight city girl can be any help on his farm. His sister Abbie, however, thinks Ana might be just what they need. Ana comes to love Garber Farm, and even Emmett has to admit that her hard work is an asset. But when she inadvertently stirs up trouble in town, Ana is afraid she might have ruined her last chance at finding a place to belong.

Girl Underwater by Claire Kells

Avery Delacorte, a sophomore on her university's nationally ranked team, struggles under the weight of new expectations but life is otherwise pretty good. That all changes when Avery's red-eye home for Thanksgiving makes a ditch landing in a mountain lake in the Colorado Rockies. She is one of only five survivors, which includes three little boys and her teammate, Colin Shea. Faced with sub-zero temperatures, minimal supplies, and the dangers of a forbidding nowhere, Avery and Colin must rely on each other in ways they never could have imagined.

Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell
Also available in: e-book

When precocious Lois and pretty Carly May were twelve years old, they were kidnapped, driven across the country, and held in an Adirondack hunting lodge for two months. Maggie Mitchell's spellbinding debut Pretty Is is about the repercussions of that formative summer, when two girls who previously did not know each other shared an experience that would shape all their days to come. 

The Royal We by Heather Cocks

Inspired by today's most talked-about royal couple: Will and Kate. American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy-tales. Her twin sister Lacey was always the romantic, the one who daydreamed of being a princess. But it's adventure-seeking Bex who goes to Oxford and meets dreamy Nick across the hall - and thus Bex who accidentally finds herself in love with the eventual heir to the British throne. Nick is everything she could have imagined, but Prince Nicholas has unimaginable baggage: grasping friends, a thorny family, hysterical tabloids tracking his every move, and a public that expected its future king to marry a native. On the eve of the most talked-about wedding of the century, Bex reflects on what she's sacrificed for love -- and exactly whose heart she may yet have to break.

If you enjoyed these recommendations, visit the Alex Awards booklist on YALSA. The Alex Awards are announced every January and are awarded to ten adult books that have appeal to teens.

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