These are the YA books that will give you a new perspective on the world. Read more on Riffle
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can't walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.
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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
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Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
Elsewhere is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different. Here Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. And now that she’s dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn’t want with a grandmother she has only just met.
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Burned by Ellen Hopkins
In this riveting and masterful novel told in verse, Ellen Hopkins takes readers on an emotional roller-coaster ride. From the highs of true love to the lows of abuse, Pattyn's story will have readers engrossed until the very last word.
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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.
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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head.
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Monster by Walter Dean Myers
This New York Times bestselling novel and National Book Award nominee from acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers tells the story of Steve Harmon, a teenage boy in juvenile detention and on trial. Presented as a screenplay of Steve's own imagination, and peppered with journal entries, the book shows how one single decision can change our whole lives.
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It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
A humorous account of a New York City teenager's battle with depression and his time spent in a psychiatric hospital... The book was inspired by Vizzini's own brief hospitalization for depression in November 2004.
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Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastian’s, a boys' school that's pretends it's coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an impossibly dorky accordion player. The boys are no better, from Thomas, who specializes in musical burping, to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can't seem to stop thinking about.
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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
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Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.
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Falling into Place by Amy Zhang
One cold fall day, high school junior Liz Emerson steers her car into a tree. This haunting and heartbreaking story is told by a surprising and unexpected narrator and unfolds in nonlinear flashbacks even as Liz's friends, foes, and family gather at the hospital and Liz clings to life.
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Split by Swati Avasthi
Sixteen-Year-Old Jace Witherspoon arrives at the doorstep of his estranged brother Christian with a re-landscaped face (courtesy of his father’s fist), $3.84, and a secret. He tries to move on, going for new friends, a new school, and a new job, but all his changes can’t make him forget what he left behind—his mother, who is still trapped with his dad, and his ex-girlfriend, who is keeping his secret.
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Tease by Amanda Maciel
From debut author Amanda Maciel comes a provocative and unforgettable novel, inspired by real-life incidents, about a teenage girl who faces criminal charges for bullying after a classmate commits suicide.
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Never Fall Down: A Novel by Patricia McCormick
This National Book Award nominee from two-time finalist Patricia McCormick is the unforgettable story of Arn Chorn-Pond, who defied the odds to survive the Cambodian genocide of 1975-1979 and the labor camps of the Khmer Rouge.
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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation.
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THE SILENCED by James DeVita
In a world filled with sanctions and restrictions, Marena struggles to remember the past: a time before the Zero Tolerance Party murdered her mother and put her father under house arrest. A time before they installed listening devices in every home and forbade citizens to read or write. A time when she was free. In the spirit of her revolutionary mother, Marena forms her own resistance group—the White Rose.
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Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
A group of misfits brought together by T. J. Jones (the J is redundant) to find their places in a school that has no place for them, the Cutter All Night Mermen struggle to carve out their own turf. T. J. is convinced that a varsity letter jacket--unattainable for most, exclusive, revered, the symbol (as far as T. J. is concerned) of all that is screwed up at Cutter High--will be an effective carving tool.
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Winger by Andrew Smith
Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids. He’s living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he’s madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy.
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North of Beautiful (A Justina Chen Novel) by Justina Chen
Written in lively, artful prose, award-winning author Justina Chen Headley has woven together a powerful novel about a fractured family, falling in love, travel, and the meaning of true beauty.
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Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
or popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—"Cupid Day"—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night. However, she still wakes up the next morning.
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Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
In Wild Awake, Hilary T. Smith’s exhilarating and heart-wrenching YA debut novel, seventeen-year-old Kiri Byrd has big plans for her summer without parents. She intends to devote herself to her music and win the Battle of the Bands with her bandmate and best friend, Lukas. Perhaps then, in the excitement of victory, he will finally realize she’s the girl of his dreams.
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Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
Struggling to understand the reasons behind her successful photographer father's suicide, Eddie Reeves purses a dangerous relationship with one of her father's former students, who seems to know more about Eddie's father than she does.
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Unwind (Unwind Dystology Book 1) by Neal Shusterman
The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end.
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These Gentle Wounds by Helene Dunbar
Five years after an unspeakable tragedy that changed him forever, Gordie Allen has made a new home with his half-brother Kevin. Their arrangement works since Kevin is the only person who can protect Gordie at school and keep him focused on getting his life back on track. But just when it seems like things are becoming normal, Gordie’s biological father comes back into the picture, demanding a place in his life.
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Reality Boy by A.S. King
In this fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, highly acclaimed Printz Honor author A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child “star” who finally breaks free of his anger by creating possibilities he never knew he deserved.
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Every Day by David Levithan
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply.
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The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth
Orphaned, Cameron comes to live with her old-fashioned grandmother and ultraconservative aunt Ruth. There she falls in love with her best friend, a beautiful cowgirl. When she’s eventually outed, her aunt sends her to God’s Promise, a religious conversion camp that is supposed to “cure” her homosexuality. At the camp, Cameron comes face to face with the cost of denying her true identity.
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Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
How would you spend your birthday if you knew it would be your last? Eighteen-year-old Leonard Peacock knows exactly what he'll do. He'll say goodbye. Not to his mum. Nor to his former best friend, whose torments have driven him to consider committing the unthinkable. But to his four friends: a Humphrey-Bogart-obsessed neighbour, a teenage violin virtuoso, a pastor's daughter and a teacher.
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The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
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