I am a huge fan of classics. I didn't realized this until I started high school; it turned out a lot of those Required Reading books that most of my classmates complained about, I actually loved. Needless to say, it was hard to narrow down my list of favorites, but I did--including some more modern reads. So without further ado, here they are:

KIT: I don’t know why I decide not to sit with Annie and Violet at lunch. It feels like no one here gets what I’m going through. How could they? I don’t even understand.

DAVID: In the 622 days I’ve attended Mapleview High, Kit Lowell is the first person to sit at my lunch table. I mean, I’ve never once sat with someone until now. “So your dad is dead,” I say to Kit, because this is a fact I’ve recently learned about her.

When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David. Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find. Can their friendship survive the truth?

I reeeaaaalllllly enjoyed this book. I liked Tell Me Three Things. I really did. But What to Say Next blows it out of the water. It's more complex and multi-faceted and diverse and dynamic than Tell Me Three Things--which, really, is just a contemporary romance when you boil it down. But not this book.

There is a romance, which was very cute, but it's so much more. Particularly, because of David. I haven't read an incredibly honest and unique character like David in a long time. His POV made the book. Kit was interesting, but I was always eager to get back to David. He was the star. YA, and every genre in the world, needs as much diversity as it can get, and David's narration is a fantastic addition.

I can't think of anything that I didn't like about the book. Sometimes it leaned too heavily on high school tropes and stereotypes, but that is a small issue that doesn't compare to the greatness of the whole. And the writing was simple, yet elegant, and never felt clunky or clich├ęd.

All I can say, is that I'm officially a fan of Julie Buxbaum. And I can't wait to see what she writes next.

When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn't sure if she'll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.

But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new...the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel's disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself--or worse.

I think books like this one prove that the YA genre is intricate and relevant and great for both teens and adults.

Little & Lion was jam-packed with social issues; it dealt with sexuality, race, mental illness, non-traditional families, religion, etc. Sometimes, I felt like it was too much, but most of the time, each issue was handled accurately, delicately, and honestly.

I loved the Suzette (Little) and Lionel (Lion) and their relationship. The flashbacks showed you how they used to be, how they became siblings and best friends, and how Lion's bipolar diagnosis affected their bond. The romantic relationships they each had made me want to keep reading, but sometimes, again, it was too much. I wish there was a little less focus on that and more focus on their sibling relationship. But overall, the novel balanced all the relationships and the social issues pretty well.

I definitely plan on reading more by Brandy Colbert, and I hope everyone picks up this book!

Seventeen-year-old Vivian Apple never believed in the evangelical Church of America, unlike her recently devout parents. But when Vivian returns home the night after the supposed "Rapture," all that’s left of her parents are two holes in the roof.

Suddenly, she doesn't know who or what to believe. With her best friend Harp and a mysterious ally, Peter, Vivian embarks on a desperate cross-country roadtrip through a paranoid and panic-stricken America to find answers. Because at the end of the world, Vivan Apple isn't looking for a savior. She's looking for the truth.

The book was a pleasant surprise! I had zero expectations going in, and I was wonderfully amazed by the heartfelt, complex story and the often hilarious, honest characters.

Vivian was by far my favorite character; she felt so concrete and dynamic. She was dealing with a lot of grief, as well as fighting alongside her friends against the oncoming apocalypse, and she handled them both in a very realistic way. I thought that Harp and Peter were great side characters as well; Peter the shy love interest and Harp the loud, confident best friend.

This book did feel very long, even though it's barely over 250 pages. It dragged a bit. Also, and this is small, I have a problem with books where the main characters have unrealistic, over-the-top names (Fantasy and Sci-Fi excluded), so "Vivian Apple" was a little annoying to read whenever it popped up.

Overall, I really enjoyed this. But I'm not sure if I feel the need to read the sequel.

Eighteen-year-old Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of Monstrous Sea, a wildly popular webcomic, but when a new boy at school tempts her to live a life offline, everything she’s worked for begins to crumble.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, smart, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of a popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea. With millions of followers and fans throughout the world, Eliza’s persona is popular. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community. Then Wallace Warland transfers to her school, and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart. With pages from Eliza’s webcomic, as well as screenshots from Eliza’s online forums, this uniquely formatted book will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson’s
Nimona and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.

I am a person with zero artistic talent, so I love reading about artistic characters. This book obviously had that, but it had so much more. It had passionate and relatable characters, and smart and honest writing. Both Wallace and Eliza were beautifully crafted. And I felt like drowning in Francesca Zappia's words so many times. She made me feel so much, and me made me feel like I was part of the story.

The second half wasn't as solid as the first half, and I found myself "powering through" some scenes that were boring me, but I still really loved the novel as a whole and all that transpired. I highly recommend it.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to police, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

I...sad. I think this book had SO MUCH potential. Then that last 25% just threw it in the garbage.

The first 75% was not perfect by any means; all the POVs sounded the same and there was a lot of worthless character drama. But I still really enjoyed it and was really excited to see who was lying. But [SPOILERS BELOW]:

NOPE. Instead, none of them did it and it was suicide. Are you kidding?!? I wanted a psychological thriller where one of them turned out to be an unreliable narrator. But I got insensitive cop out. Also, there was stupid relationship drama between Nate and Brownwyn for no reason! Because they got back together(ish) literally 15 pages later.

I was not a happy camper, to say the least. This book was becoming a four star read, and then it took a nosedive.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is.

Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss & she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

I was excited to read this. I really was. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was an adorable novel and one of my favorite reads of last year. If you haven't read that yet, I highly recommend it.

But oh my god. OH. MY. GOD. I liked this even more. Sooooooo much more.

I honestly don't know if I've ever related to a character as much as I relate to Molly. She was high school me. Seriously. But the secondary characters, the romance, the writing, the comedy, the romance, the diverse cast, the sister relationship, and oh, THE ROMANCE, are impeccable.

The book feels effortlessly told. It's relatable to everyone, because there is a character for everyone. I think it's the perfect representation of the average teenager, one who doesn't have a tragic history, but who is living day-to-day and experiences the struggles of just being alive.

I can't get over how much I loved this. I'm DYYYYYINNNNNGGGGGG.

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