1.) WINGER by Andrew Smith
Holy moly this book is awesome. Rugby, comic book drawings, hilarious characters, and a surprisingly emotional turn. I couldn’t stop reading it. In fact, I may go start it back up right now. It’s THAT good.
2.) DR. BIRD’S ADVICE FOR SAD POETS by Evan Roskos
A funny, smart book about a kid with a lot of problems–namely an anxiety disorder. He talks to an imaginary pigeon, who serves as his therapist. I mean, come on. It’s gold.
3.) THE AGE OF MIRACLES by Karen Thompson Walker
This quiet, apocalyptic coming-of-age novel still haunts me months and months after reading it. A beautiful, lyrical story.
4.) ASK THE PASSENGERS by A.S. KING
A beautiful, funny, and intensely moving look at teenage love and sexuality and, well, how ridiculous words like “sexuality” are anyway. The magical realism in this one will give you goosebumps.
5.) RAPTURE PRACTICE by Aaron Hartzler
This is a young adult memoir about the author’s experience growing up in conservative Christian household in Kansas City. It’s funny, smart, and heartwarming. The best part is that that Hartzler never treats his subjects–his own family-with anything but respect and curiosity.