Teen Thursday: Favorite Teen Books of 2019!

Holiday shopping, anyone? Here are some of our booksellers’ favorite teen books of the year! Find more in our Holiday Catalog, which we distribute in-store.

Are You Listening? by Tillie Walden

Lilli’s pick featured in our 2019 Holiday Catalog – illus. by Willow H.

“From the Austin author of the graphic novels On a Sunbeam and Spinning, comes an all-new tale to wrap yourself in. Are You Listening? leads you on a journey alongside the unlikely pair Bea and Lou as they navigate the strange roads of an alternate Texas. As the roads trip stretches on, they begin to connect with one another and unravel the complicated pasts that they packed with them. I picked up this graphic novel and did not let go of it until I had turned the last page. Filled to the brim with cat rescues, narrow escapes, magical encounters, and riddled with self-discovery– how could I have set it aside?! The stories of these girls and the remarkable friendship that flowers between the two left me absolutely breathless and has been with me since.” – Lilli

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

9780525645580“What pulled me into this book was the boarding school setting—I’m a sucker for that—then, the relationships between the girls (as this horrifying phenomenon is happening to them all) are engrossing and heartbreaking. It’s tragically beautiful because they’re not alone—they have each other—but the level of horror that runs through this book is just devastating. As I read I just wanted so badly for the girls to be okay.” – Jessica L.

Lifestyles of Gods & Monsters by Emily Roberson

9780374310622“Imagine, if you will, a hunky Theseus on a certain family’s reality show. Throw in Ariadne and the minotaur, and you get an unintentionally hilarious and surprisingly thought-provoking myth meets reality TV mashup for the ages.” – Merrilee


Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika & Maritza Moulite

9781335777096_9ad25“Sent to stay with family in Haiti after a school presentation gone wrong, Alaine Beauparlant digs deep into her family’s past in this exuberant epistolary novel filled with secrets and curses and loads of personality. Dear readers, I love Alaine!” – Meghan



Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

9780525647072_21695“This book is SO GOOD. Profound and insightful, PET naturally brings to life a diverse world that has moved itself past the era of “monsters”. The monsters are gone, and the systems that enabled them have been dismantled. So when a frightening creature springs to life from a painting and claims that one has escaped justice, no one but Jam believes. Using fantastic devices in a familiar world, Akwaeke Emezi explores the fear, denial, and action involved in exposing abuse. I love the world Emezi built–a utopic what-if setting that holds so much hope (and warning)–and I LOVE their protagonist Jam, a trans girl who prefers to speak in Sign, who finds a way to power past the fear and see the unseen.” – Tomoko

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

9781432869335_207f4“Frank Li is dealing with some pretty typical high school stuff while also contending with his cultural identity as a Korean American teen. This deeply personal story is emotional, funny, and smart. Sure to spur discussion and thought.” – Ellen

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki & Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

9781626722590_e33fb“Freddy is head over heels for Laura Dean, her effortlessly cool sorta-girlfriend who keeps blowing her off, taking advantage of Freddy’s loyalty. I feel like at some point or another, we’ve all had a Laura Dean, where we become so obsessed with this person, this IDEA of a person, that we forget about everything else that matters: our family, our friends, our OWN goals and dreams, and… basic human decency. This all happens to Freddy, and through Mariko Tamaki’s storytelling and Valero-O’Connell’s mesmerizing artwork, we get to take this journey with her as she meets new people, revisits old friends, and finds her own self worth outside of her relationship with Laura Dean. The characters are beautiful and flawed, and there are spreads in this book that are going to haunt my dreams forever– in a good way. Valero-O’Connell is an incredible talent! LAURA DEAN KEEPS BREAKING UP WITH ME is a moving, masterful portrayal of heartbreak, friendship, and self-discovery. I am in love with this book and I really hope teens respond to it the same way.” – Eugenia

Angel Mage by Garth Nix

9780062683229_579b4“Garth Nix never fails to impress every time I read something new of his. I was a huge Dumas, especially the Musketeers, fan as a kid and this adaptation of their story was a wild ride from start to finish that I had an absolute blast with. I’ll also admit that I’m completely obsessed with Catholic history and mythology so this book combined two of my favorite things so there’s no way I wasn’t going to love it. Action, adventure, politics, love…Nix hit’s every high of romantic adventure fiction in Angel Mage, and hit’s them so well that I more of it right now. Though that’s a feeling I’m used to with Nix, I can never wait for the next one!” – Thomas


Find more of our favorite books of 2019 in our Holiday Catalog!

Come by and pick one up in store to inspire you in the busy shopping season!

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