Guy in RealLife by Steve Brezenoff is the story of two wonderfully weird teenagers who (literally) crash into each other's lives. Lana is a quiet, creative Dungeon Master who's entire social calendar revolves around the high school Gaming Club and Lesh is a sullen, metalhead who's recent grounding has led to a newfound love of MMORPG. They probably shouldn't be friends, they definitely shouldn't be together, but they just can't stay apart.
This book was a refreshing YA romance. The characters are real and interesting. Both Lesh and Lana were very sympathetic and I was rooting for both of them throughout the whole book. I definitely want to hang out with Lana and embroider some cool stuff on skirts or tote bags. I don't know if I'd want to hang out with Lesh IRL, but I'd probably go on a quest with him. He is a pretty decent healer.
If you enjoy realistic fiction, romance, gaming, snark, embroidery, D&D, or heavy metal, you should check out Guy in Real Life.
I Was Here is the newest book from Gayle Forman, the author of If I Stay. This story follows Cody, a recent high school graduate who is stuck in her small town, cleaning houses, and attending community college. Her life has always revolved around her best friend, Meg. Meg, who's family is Cody's family. Meg, who has moved far away for school. Meg, who has just committed suicide.
I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan is the story of Sam and Emily. Sam and his younger brother, Riddle, have been raised on the run by their paranoid father and have never had much of a connection to the world. Sam has never felt close to anyone, other than his brother, and has no friends at all - until he meets Emily.
Emily is a normal teenage girl from a nice, normal family. In fact, her life is so normal that it might drive her crazy! She could spend time with her best friend and the boy she wants to set Emily up with. The perfect boy; popular, cute, and, of course, best friends with Emily's bestie's boyfriend. Instead, Emily finds herself drawn to the mysterious, devestatingly handsome Sam, with whom she has an instant connection.
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith is the weirdest book I've ever read, and that's awesome. It's the story of Austin Szerba - a teenage boy trapped in the smallest, most boring town in Iowa. He's struggling with his identity and how he fits into the world, while also being trapped between his feelings for his girlfriend, Shannon, and his best friend, Robby.
The Amish are most often thought of in regards to their strict religion, quality workmanship, and their horse and buggy culture. One aspect of their culture and beliefs that has not been well known until recently is the practice of “rumspringa” [running around]. This is a rite of passage given to Amish teens in which they are allowed to experience the ways of the world, or as the title of the documentary suggests “The Devil’s Playground,” for a period of one year. These young adults are allowed to experience the enticements of living in a technological word but they are often also exposed for the first time to the world of drugs, alcohol, sexual pleasure and crime. At the end of the year they choose whether to return to the Amish culture and its lifestyle or to remain in the outside world and its ways. Read more about Devil's Playground
It’s the collective sigh huffed by every adult generation in history: our youth have no respect, no direction, no values. Fortunately examples like Only the Young (Oscilloscope Laboratories), the debut feature-length documentary from Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims, remind us that today’s teenagers are more than pop-cultured iPhone zombies—that perhaps they’re even human, and not so hopeless, considering the world they’re growing up in.
Only the Young follows skateboarders Garrison and Kevin as they navigate their high school years in a small town outside of Los Angeles. Thanks to the rapport the filmmakers earn with the boys, we’re able to roll right along with them—to an abandoned house, to the skatepark, and into their homes and their social circle. We meet Skye, who as the boys’ cohort, confidante, and sometimes-girlfriend becomes an integral character in the film herself. Read more about Only the Young