Book picks similar to
Summerspell by Jean Thesman


young-adult
realistic-fiction
death
high-school

Louder Than Words


Iris St. Clair - 2014
    Lesson learned; trust is for suckers and actions speak louder than words.New plan. Keep up my grades, earn a scholarship, tuck into as tight a ball as possible and roll on out of this town and this life. But this boy, this Casanova transplant with a funny accent, who’s way too charming to be healthy for a girl... Why won’t he let me be?I wish I hadn’t let him in on my secrets...well, most of them.I wish I hadn’t grown to look forward to our daily walks to work.But mostly, I wish I hadn’t freaked out when he tried to steal a kiss.Maybe I wouldn’t be parked in the friend zone. Maybe he wouldn’t be dating a girl I loathe. Maybe I wouldn’t be in this hell of wanting what I can’t have but having what I thought I wanted—to be left alone.

Seeds of Hate


Melissa Perea - 2013
    They said we would make forever friends.They said we would have the time of our lives.They lied.

Fragments


Jeffry W. Johnston - 2007
    He can't remember that night, and everyone's treating him like a broken freak. He just wants things to go back to normal. So when he starts getting flashes of memory, he's relieved. He's sure once he remembers everything, he can put the crash behind him and start over. But when the flashes reveal another memory, Chase starts to panic. He's desperate to leave his ugly past behind. But if he wants to put the pieces together once and for all, he must face the truth about who he is . . . and what he has done.

In Your Arms


Becky Andrews - 2013
    Unfortunately, he also happens to be going out with Tracy, the girl every guy wants to be with. Pretty, popular, and bitchy, she is everything Samantha is not.When the two spend an hour together in detention, Phillip strikes up a conversation with Samantha. They were friends once before, many years ago, before Phillip got popular and ditched her. Why is he suddenly talking to her again now, after so many years?As her relationship with Phillip starts to take an exciting new turn, she witnesses a school shooting and her life is threatened. Can she trust Phillip enough to tell him the truth before she becomes the next target?

Saying it Out Loud


Joan Abelove - 2001
    Then her mother is diagnosed with a brain tumor. After her surgery, she is no longer a laughing, lively presence. She has lost the power of speech, and her memory-and Mindy has lost her mother forever. Based upon Joan Abelove's own life, here is the wrenching story of a girl losing her mother early, a girl with a father who will not acknowledge what is going on-a girl who could have been you, or someone you know.

Death Benefits


Sarah N. Harvey - 2010
    Not only has his mother dragged him across the country in order to be close to her aged father Arthur, a celebrated cellist, but he's also recovering from mono. When he convinces his mother to let him finish the school year by correspondence, he's left feeling isolated and lonely, and spends his time watching TV and plotting ways to get back to his friends in Nova Scotia. But before his plans can be implemented, his grandfather has a small stroke. Suddenly Arthur needs more care than Royce's mother can provide and, after a couple of hired care aides quit, Royce is pressed into service.Looking after a ninety-five-year-old--especially one as cantankerous, crafty and stubborn as Arthur--is a challenge. But as Royce gets to know the eccentric old man--who loves the Pussycat Dolls, hates Anderson Cooper and never listens to the kind of music that made him famous--he gradually comes to appreciate that his grandfather's life still has meaning. Even if Arthur himself seems to want it to end.

Maybe I Will


Laurie Gray - 2013
    It's about the drinking and stealing and lying and wondering who you can trust. It's about parents and teachers, police officers and counselors--all the people who are supposed to help you, but who may not even believe you.It's about how suddenly all of your hopes and dreams can vanish, and you can find yourself all alone, with nothing and no one. Your only choice is to end it all or to start over... and all you can think is Maybe I Will.Author Laurie Gray presents a compelling picture of the realities of sexual assault in Maybe I Will, drawing on her years of experience as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, dealing with crimes against children. The twist in the story is that we never know for sure if the victim is a boy or a girl, and we realize that it doesn't matter, because it's not about sex.

The Secret to Letting Go


Katherine Fleet - 2016
    At the end of the summer, he’ll be leaving Florida for a new start in college. If only he could avoid the mysterious new girl in town, who seems every bit as naive and eccentric as she looks. Trouble is, she’s hard to ignore, with her beautiful piercing eyes, pitiful-looking dog, and unsettling tendency of finding trouble. Clover Scott lived her whole life off the grid and arrives on the Gulf coast in search of her grandparents. She never expected to nearly drown, or get caught in a hurricane, or fall in love with the boy who rescues her. Now, she has a chance to rewrite her life’s story, to finally fit in somewhere, but Daniel wants answers about her past. When the police start asking questions about the disappearance of her parents, she must make a choice: go to jail or confess her secrets—even if they might destroy her chance at a happily-ever-after.

Brianna on the Brink


Nicole McInnes - 2013
    She didn't wear the right clothes or come from the right family. In fact, she didn't come from any family at all, unless you counted Jolene, who just wasn't that much into being a mom. So when Brianna joins the cheerleading squad, she finds herself suddenly popular. But then a one-night stand has life altering consequences, and Brianna must accept help from the one person closest to her mistake.No longer in control, Brianna must reevaluate all that she thought was important and learn the true meaning of family.

Liars and Losers Like Us


Ami Allen-Vath - 2016
    Then she’s asked to be on Prom Court because Maisey Morgan, the school outcast nominated as a joke, declined. She apologizes to Maisey, but it’s too late. After years of torment and an ugly secret shared with their class’s cruel Pageant Queen, Maisey commits suicide. Bree is left with a lot of regret…and a revealing letter with a final request.With Sean by her side, Bree navigates through her guilt, her parents’ divorce, and all the Prom Court drama. But when a cheating-love-triangle secret hits the fan after a night of sex, drinks, and video games, she’s left with new information about Sean and the class Pageant Queen. Bree must now speak up or stay silent. If she lets fear be her guide, she’ll lose her first love, and head to prom to avenge the death of the school outcast—as a party of one.

Lucky Girl


Amanda Maciel - 2017
    Namely, she’s determined to be better to her best friend, Maddie, who’s just back from a summer program abroad having totally blossomed into her own looks. Rosie isn’t thrilled when Maddie connects with a football player who Rosie was hooking up with—but if it makes her friend happy, she’s prepared to move on. Plus someone even more interesting has moved to town: Alex, who recently garnered public attention after he stopped a classmate from carrying out a shooting rampage at his old high school. Rosie is drawn to Alex in a way she’s never really experienced for a boy before—and she is surprised to discover that, unlike every other guy, he seems to see more to her than her beauty.Then one night, in the midst of a devastating storm, Rosie suffers an assault that tears apart her life and friendship with Maddie. Forced to face uncomfortable truths about beauty, reputation, and what it really means to be a friend, Rosie realizes that change doesn’t always happen the way you want it to—every disaster has consequences. But with a lot of help and the right people around you, there might also be a way forward.

When She Hollers


Cynthia Voigt - 1996
    She will no longer be abused. She will no longer be passive. So she takes a knife with her wherever she goes. Today is not going to be like any other day. Today is going to be different.

Northern Exposures


Eric Walters - 2001
    Walters' latest thrilling adventure is packed with fascinating encounters with bears and thrilling rides in the gargantuan all-terrain buggies used to spot Arctic wildlife--and it introduces the issue of environmental commercialization to its young audience with subtlety.

The Absolute Value of -1


Steve Brezenoff - 2010
    Readers will identify with Lily, Noah, and Simon as they try to reconcile their longing for connection with their need to break free.”—Sara Zarr, National Book Award Nominee and author of Once Was Lost.The absolute value of any number, positive or negative, is its distance from zero: |-1| = 1Noah, Lily, and Simon have been a trio forever. But as they enter high school, their relationships shift and their world starts to fall apart. Privately, each is dealing with a family crisis—divorce, abuse, and a parent's illness. Yet as they try to escape the pain and reach out for the connections they once counted on, they slip—like soap in a shower. Noah’s got it bad for Lily, but he knows too well Lily sees only Simon. Simon is indifferent, suddenly inscrutable to his friends. All stand alone in their heartache and grief.In his luminous YA novel, Steve Brezenoff explores the changing value of relationships as the characters realize that the distances between them are far greater than they knew.

Vigilante


Kady Cross - 2017
    It's senior year, and Hadley and her best friend, Magda, should be starting the year together. Instead, Magda is dead and Hadley is alone. Raped at a party the year before and humiliated, Magda was driven to take her own life and Hadley is forced to see her friend's attackers in the classroom every day. Devastated, enraged and needing an outlet for her grief, Hadley decides to get a little justice of her own. Donning a pink ski mask and fueled by anger, Hadley goes after each of the guys one by one, planning to strip them of their dignity and social status the way they did to Magda. As the legend of the pink-masked Vigilante begins to take on a life of its own, Hadley's revenge takes a turn for the dangerous. Could her need for vengeance lead her down a path she can't turn back from?