Going Bovine, by Libba Bray: Cameron is dying. He's also the only one who can save the world as we know it from complete and total annihilation. Armed with only vague clues from a punk-rock angel (who may or may not be real), Cameron teams up with a paranoid dwarf and an enchanted yard gnome. Together, they set off on a cross-country quest to find the Mysterious Dr. X and stop the Forces of Darkness & Chaos that have been set in motion. But an army of vigilante snowglobe sellers hot on their trail, ready to stop Cameron and Co. at all costs. Get ready for a thrill ride of epic porportions that incliudes Happiness Cults, Vanilla Smoothies, Schrodinger's Cat, Viking Gods, the Ultimate Spring Break Party, and a surprise reunion of the World's Greatest Band. This modern-day parody(ish) of Don Quixote is not to be missed.
Keeper, by Kathi Appelt: Keeper, 10, has had the worst day ever. Somehow she's managed to anger her guardian and both her neighbors over the course of one single morning. She figures the only way to make it better is to track down her mother and ask for advice. Problem is, Keeper's mother, who is a mermaid, swam away several years earlier and has not been seen or heard from since. But that doesn't stop Keeper from sneaking out, borrowing the boat, and rowing out to the Sandbar, the last place she saw her mother. This is the story of what happens over the course of a single day and night along the stretch of a quiet costal town. Multiple viewpoints give the reader a 360 degree of what's really happening.
We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart: Two summers ago, Cady woke up on the beach, half-dressed and injured, and without any memory of what brought her to this point. No one is talking to her about it. Even her closest friends, The Liars, remain stubbornly tight-lipped. This is the story of Cady's return to the scene of what happened. As she slowly and painfully pieces things together and fills in the holes in her memory, something shocking and terrible is uncovered. Something so unthinkable, Cady unconsciously blocked it out. But once she remembers, she can't go back.
September Girls, by Bennett Madison: Sam, 17, doesn't expect a summer at the beach with his loser older brother and depressed father to be anythihg special. But there's something strange about this beach: It's populated with impossibly (and creepily) beautiful girls. Girls with strange accents, odd names, and alien eyes. Girls who all seem to want something from Sam. Soon Sam befriends DeeDee, one of the girls, and learns the terrible truth of who the girls really are, why they're all at that beach, and what happens to them in the end unless... This is The Little Mermaid meets Stepford Wives shot through with a dose of feminism. It's about finding your voice and becoming who you're meant to be, sometimes in surprising and unexpected ways. It's a book you won't forget.
Hyperbole and a Half, by Allie Brosh: Do you ever read one of those books that makes you laugh out loud shamelessly? Laugh so hard you end up with tears running down your cheeks? Laugh so hard you have to excuse yourself so you don't cause a further scene (but, as you walk away, you continue to snicker to yourself about what you found funny)? This is that book. Based on the popular blog of the same title, this is the author's humorous take on everything from childhood memories to depression. CAN depression be funny? In the hands of Brosh, you bet.
Alissa J. Bach, Teen Librarian