The Inside of Out, by Jenn Marie Thorne
Thorne smartly examines the possibility of vocal solidarity tipping over into self-aggrandizement through the story of high school junior Daisy, determined to be the most supportive ally ever after best friend Hannah comes out. First on her agenda: overturning her school’s prohibition of same-sex couples at dances. But when her identification gets mistaken for identity, and her cause goes national following an interview with an extremely cute (male) college journalist, she finds both her best-laid plans and her friendship with publicity-shy Hannah are at threat.
Meet Me Here, by Bryan Bliss
On graduation night, Thomas is at a crossroads, about to make a decision that will alienate him from him family and from the future he always imagined for himself. Fearing ending up like his shattered vet brother, Thomas is rebelling against the expectation that he follow his—and their father’s—example, enlisting in the army. When he reconnects with an estranged childhood friend at a party, it kicks off a night of rediscovering each other and reexamining their priorities and paths, against the evocative backdrop of small-town America.
Every Exquisite Thing, by Matthew Quick
High school junior Nanette is introduced to the joys of nonconformity by way of The Bubblegum Reaper, a cult novel passed on by a teacher that kind of blows her mind. Countless rereads later, Nanette is questioning everything: who she is, why she does what she does, what others expect of her. She befriends both the book’s elderly author and Alex, a fellow Reaper fan, but soon discovers Alex might have more troubles than she’s prepared to handle—and that her experiments with rebellion don’t come for free.
Beware that Girl, by Teresa Toten
Kate O’Brian, on the run from a violent past, has learned she has to lie to survive. She lies her way all the way into New York City’s elite Waverly School, where she uses every dime she makes at her grungy job in Chinatown fighting to fit in, while making top grades on scholarship. But to really secure her place, Kate needs Olivia Sumner, a vulnerable rich girl she’s determined to make her best friend. Then the dangerously alluring Mark Redkin joins Waverly staff, and Kate recognizes in him a kindred spirit, full of the kind of darkness she fears she shares. And when he starts to get far too close, she has to decide how much of a threat he really is, and how much of herself she can risk revealing to Olivia. Get ready for a seriously creepy ending that will get under your skin.
Frannie and Tru, by Karen Hattrup
Fifteen-year-old Frannie has always looked up to her older cousin Tru, who has a charisma and a cool she longs for. But when Tru comes to live with her family during the loneliest summer of her life, Frannie is swept up into his heady world of friends and music—until the cracks start to show, both in Tru’s demeanor and in the story of what sent him to live with Frannie, forcing her to acknowledge the truth behind his facade.
Without Annette, by Jane B. Mason
Josie can’t wait to head to Brookwood Academy with her girlfriend, but Annette’s desire to find a place among the boarding school’s social elite starts to threaten their bond as soon as they hit campus. With Annette falling under peer pressure’s sway, Josie feels left behind—especially when Annette insists they keep their relationship a secret. Josie’s own new friendships carry her even further away from the girl she loves, until an emergency forces their relationship into the light.
The Art of Being Normal, by Lisa Williamson
Only David’s best friends know the truth: though biologically male, David is a girl, dealing with the psychological pain of both bullying and undergoing puberty in the wrong body. When new kid Leo arrives at David’s school and punches one of the bullies, a tentative bond is forged. Soon the two friends realize how much they have in common: Leo used to be Megan, and when word gets out, he, too, becomes a target. The two set out on a road trip, giving David a chance to live for a few days as her true self, Kate, in a complicated, sometimes painful book that alternates between Leo and Kate’s voices.