New Realistic Fiction

Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana Davis

I've got seven days to come clean to my new dad. Seven days to tell the truth... For sixteen-year-old Tiffany Sly, life hasn't been safe or normal for a while. Losing her mom to cancer has her a little bit traumatized and now she has to leave her hometown of Chicago to live with the biological dad she's never known. Anthony Stone is a rich man with four other daughters--and rules for every second of the day. Tiffany tries to make the best of things, but she doesn't fit into her new luxurious, but super-strict, home--or get along with her standoffish sister London. The only thing that makes her new life even remotely bearable is the strange boy across the street. Marcus McKinney has had his own experiences with death, and the unexpected friendship that blossoms between them is the only thing that makes her feel grounded. But Tiffany has a secret. Another man claims he's Tiffany's real dad--and she has only seven days before he shows up to demand a paternity test and the truth comes out. With her life about to fall apart all over again, Tiffany finds herself discovering unexpected truths about her father, her mother and herself, and realizing that maybe family is in the bonds you make--and that life means sometimes taking risks.

We'll Fly Away by Bryan Bliss

Toby and Luke are best friends, bound by a goal of leaving their hometown for Luke's wrestling scholarship, but a series of events during their senior year will test their resolve.

Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

Six years ago, Moss Jefferies' father was murdered by an Oakland police officer. Along with losing a parent, the media' s vilification of his father and lack of accountability has left Moss with near crippling panic attacks. Now, in his sophomore year of high school, Moss and his fellow classmates find themselves increasingly treated like criminals at their own school. New rules. Random locker searches. Constant intimidation and Oakland Police Department stationed in their halls. Despite their youth, the students decide to organize and push back against the administration. When tensions hit afever pitch and tragedy strikes, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate, or realize that anger can actually be a gift.

Driving By Starlight by Anat Deracine

In this debut YA friendship story set in Saudi Arabia, two girls navigate typical teen issues--crushes, college, family expectations, future hopes, and dreams. Sixteen-year-olds Leena and Mishie are best friends. They delight in small rebellions against the Saudi cultural police--secret Western clothing, forbidden music, flirtations. But Leena wants college, independence--she wants a different life. Though her story is specific to her world (a world where it's illegal for women to drive, where a ten-year-old boy is the natural choice as guardian of a fatherless woman), ultimately it's a story about friendship, family, and freedom that transcends cultural differences.

Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

With little money or support, Joe Moon, seventeen, travels to Texas to help the older brother he barely knows through his last few weeks before being executed for murder.

Love & Other Carnivorous Plants by Florence Gonsalves

Nineteen-year-old Danny returns home after a disastrous first semester of college as a pre-med student and struggles with first love, grief, identity, and self-destructive behavior.

Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

Addie hopes that the road trip of a lifetime through the rolling hills of Ireland will not only bring the romance and adventure she so desperately seeks but also help fix the shattered relationship she has with her brother after secrets come to the surface.

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn't so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad's business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?

All of This is True by Lygia Day Penaflor

When Long Island teens Miri, Soleil, Penny, and Jonah befriend a bestselling YA novelist, they find their deepest, darkest secrets in the pages of her next novel, with devastating consequences. Told from different perspectives as interviews, journal entries, and book excerpts.

The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard

Alice is fifteen, with hair as red as fire and skin as pale as bone. Something inside Alice is broken: she remembers words but struggles to speak them. Still, Alice knows words are for sharing, so she pins them to posters in tucked-away places: railway waiting rooms, fish-and-chip shops, quiet corners. Manny is sixteen, with a scar from shoulder to elbow. Something inside Manny is broken: he was once a child soldier, forced to do terrible, violent things. But in a new land with new people who will care for him, he spends time exploring on foot. And in his pocket, he carries a poem he scooped up. And he knows the words by heart. When Manny and Alice meet, their relationship brings the beginning of love and healing.

Puddin' by Julie Murphy (Companion to Dumplin')

When circumstances put Millie Michalchuk and Callie Reyes together over the course of a semester, the girls realize they have more in common than they ever imagined.

Ship It by Britta Lundin

Told from two viewpoints, Forest, a television actor who needs more fans, and Claire, a teen fan fiction blogger, are teamed to raise his profile despite their disagreement over whether his character is gay.

Tradition by Brendan Kiely

At Fullbrook Academy, where tradition reigns supreme, James Baxter and Jules Devereux take on privilege, sexism, and the importance of consent.

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

When Mara's twin brother Owen is accused of rape by her friend Hannah, Mara is forced to confront her feelings about her family, her sense of right and wrong, a trauma from her past, and the future with her girlfriend, Charlie.

We Are All That's Left by Carrie Arcos

Told in two voices, Nadja grows up in war-torn Bosnia in the 1990s and, in the present, refuses to discuss her youth with her daughter, Zara, until both are traumatized by a terrorist attack in Rhode Island.

Lies You Never Told Me by Jennifer Donaldson

Told in alternating voices, two teenagers, one in Austin, Texas, and the other in Portland, Oregon, enter dangerous romantic relationships.

All That I Can Fix by Crystal Chan

In Makersville, Indiana, people know all about fifteen-year-old Ronney--he's from that mixed-race family with the dad who tried to kill himself, the pill-popping mom, and the genius kid sister. Can Ronney figure out a way to hold it together as all his worlds fall apart?

Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone

Told from two viewpoints, neighbors and former best friends Hannah and Emory, seventeen, must face what caused their rift after Hannah saves the life of Emory's boyfriend, Luke.

History of Jane Doe by Michael Belanger

After his girlfriend commits suicide, a teenage history buff looks back at their relationship and tries to understand what lead to the tragedy.

Final Draft by Riley Redgate

Eighteen-year-old Laila Piedra is a biracial aspiring author whose creative writing teacher always told her she has a special talent, so when he suddenly dies and is replaced by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist who is sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman's approval and is led to believe she must choose between perfection and sanity, but rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.

Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton

Nearly a year after his brother's suicide, sixteen-year-old Cliff "Neanderthal" Hubbard gets recruited to make life better at Happy Valley High by the school's quarterback, who claims he had a vision from God.

How We Roll by Natasha Friend

After developing alopecia Quinn lost her friends along with her hair, and former football player Jake lost his legs and confidence after an accident, but the two help each other believe in themselves and the possibility of love.

Dear Rachel Maddow by Adrienne Kisner

Brynn Haper's life has one steadying force--Rachel Maddow. She watches her daily, and after writing to Rachel for a school project--and actually getting a response--Brynn starts drafting e-mails to Rachel but never sending them. Brynn tells Rachel about breaking up with her first serious girlfriend, about her brother Nick's death, about her passive mother and even worse stepfather, about how she's stuck in remedial courses at school and is considering dropping out. Then Brynn is confronted with a moral dilemma. One student representative will be allowed to have a voice among the administration in the selection of a new school superintendent. Brynn's archnemesis, Adam, and ex-girlfriend, Sarah, believe only Honors students are worthy of the selection committee seat. Brynn feels all students deserve a voice. When she runs for the position, the knives are out. So she begins to ask herself: What Would Rachel Maddow Do?

Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany Jackson

When her friend Monday Charles goes missing and Monday's mother refuses to give her a straight answer, Claudia digs into her disappearance.

The Fall of Innocence by Jenny Torres Sanchez

Sixteen-year-old Emilia DeJesus struggles to overcome the aftermath of assault when new information about what happened to her eight years before awakens her memories.

The Gatekeepers by Jen Lancaster

Anyone passing through North Shore, Illinois, would think it was the most picture-perfect place ever, with all the lakefront mansions and manicured hedges and iron gates. No one talks about the fact that the brilliant, talented kids in town have a terrible history of throwing themselves in front of commuter trains.

The Good Times Are Killing Me by Lynda Barry

Young Edna Arkins lives in a neighborhood that is rapidly changing, thanks to white flight from urban Seattle in the late 1960s. As the world changes around her, Edna is exposed to the callous racism of adults; sometimes subtle and other times blatant, but always stinging. At the heart of The Good Times Are Killing Me is the forbidden friendship between Edna who is white and Bonna Willis who is black, and how the world around them forces them to challenge their loyalties to each other. As Barry does in her comics, she perfectly captures the awkward and earnest adolescent voice as Edna moves from childhood to middle school. Originally published in 1988, TheGood Times Are Killing Me is as relevant now as it ever was. Its influence cannot be overstated as it was adapted into an off-Broadway play and won the Washington State Governor's Award. D+Q will be publishing the novella in hardcover with a new cover and the color illustrations from the first edition.

Losers Bracket by Chris Crutcher

When it comes to family, Annie is in the losers bracket. While her foster parents are great (mostly), her birth family would not have been her first pick. And no matter how many times Annie tries to write them out of her life, she always gets sucked back into their drama. Love is like that. But when a family argument breaks out at Annie's swim meet and her nephew goes missing, Annie might be the only one who can get him back. With help from her friends, her foster brother, and her social service worker, Annie puts the pieces of the puzzle together, determined to find her nephew and finally get him into a safe home.

Layover by Amy Andelson & Emily Meyer

During a layover at LAX, fifteen-year-old Flynn Barlow, her older stepbrother Amos Abernathy, and their nine-year-old half-sister Poppy decide to ditch their family Christmas vacation in Bora Bora, where their parents plan to announce their divorce, and the three siblings instead spend three days in Los Angeles, hooking up with Flynn's summer camp crush, visiting Disneyland, reuniting with Amos's father, and confronting the simmering romance between Flynn and Amos.

Troublemakers by Catherine Barter

When east London is targeted by a bomber, fifteen-year-old Alena, raised by her half-brother and his boyfriend, becomes increasingly rebellious and insistent on learning about her long-dead activist mother.

A Lite Too Bright by Samuel Miller

After losing his college scholarship, Arthur discovers a journal written by his deceased grandfather and decides to follow the train route to the destination mentioned in the last sentence of the journal.

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Kiko Himura yearns to escape the toxic relationship with her mother by getting into her dream art school, but when things do not work out as she hoped Kiko jumps at the opportunity to tour art schools with her childhood friend, learning life-changing truths about herself and her past along the way.

Goodnight, Boy by Nikki Sheehan

Wake up. Wake up, Boy. I'm bored. Time passes slowly in here, just you and me. It must be lunchtime. He will let us out soon." A tale of two very different worlds, both shattered by the loss of loved ones. Tragic, comic and full of hope, thanks to a dog called Boy. The kennel has been JC's home ever since JC's new foster father locked them inside. As the hours and days pass, JC tells Boy about how he came to his country: his family, the orphanage and the Haitian earthquake that swept everything away. How, after, his foster mother Melanie brought a new light into his life and brought him to her home country. He started to feel normal again. Until JC did something bad, so bad that he and Boy were banished to the kennel. Now their foster father is getting sicker, Melody still isn't home, and JC and Boy realize that they have to try to escape.

What I Leave Behind by Alison McGhee

Since his father's suicide, Will, sixteen, has mainly walked, worked at Dollar Only, and tried to replicate his father's cornbread recipe, but the rape of his childhood friend shakes things up.

The Dead Enders by Erin Saldin

Ana, Davis, Erik, and Georgie, bound together by tragedy, want nothing more than to escape the small tourist town of Gold Fork, but an arsonist and the return of long-lost family members force them to confront the past.

I Felt a Funeral in My Brain by Will Walton

For most of his young life Avery has dealt with his alcoholic mother with the help of his grandfather Pal--he immerses himself in poetry and popular music, and now that high school is over for the summer, he makes out with his best friend Luca (who understands about alcoholic mothers), but the death of his grandfather creates a hole in his life that he can not seem to crawl out of.

Four-Letter Word by Christa Desir

Sixteen-year-old Chloe's isolation is relieved when she is drawn into a high-stakes game with potentially dire consequences by a new student, also called Chloe.
Eight friends. One game. A dozen regrets. And a night that will ruin them all.... Chloe Sanders is tired of watching her best friend Eve turn away from her for the more interesting and popular Holly Reed, and tired of living with her grandparents while her parents volunteer overseas. She's crushing on a Mateo, being ignored by Eve and Holly, and wishing the cornfields of Iowa weren't so incredibly lonely. Then Chloe Donnelly transfers to their school, and introduces a girls vs. guys challenge that only has one rule: obtain information by any means necessary. When the game turns nasty, how much will the truth cost them?

The Museum of Us by Tara Wilson Redd

Sixteen-year-old Sadie is lucky to survive an accident, but it changes her world forever when it reveals her secret life and the mysterious, thrilling boy at the center of it.

Lovely, Dark, and Deep by Justina Chen

Teenager Viola Li and her sister Roz are selling bean buns at a science fiction gathering in Seattle when she suddenly collapses--she wakes up in the hospital to find that somehow she has developed an extreme case of photosensitivity (so bad that even ordinary lights can cause blisters), and somehow, in her senior year of high school, she has to craft a new life that will still include journalism school, activism, and the new guy who caught her as she fell.

Zen and Gone by Emily France

Because their mother is usually high, Essa, seventeen, must be responsible for her sister, nine-year-old Puck, but when Puck disappears during a hike outside of Boulder, Essa must rely on her newfound spiritual strength and boyfriend Oliver.

I Am Still Alive by Kate Marshall

Jess hadn't seen her survivalist, off-the-grid dad in over a decade. But she was still healing from the car crash that killed her mother when she had to move to his cabin in the remote Canadian wilderness. Just as Jess was beginning to get to know him, a secret from his past paid them a visit, leaving her father dead and Jess stranded. With only her father's dog for company, Jess must forage and hunt for food, build shelter, and keep herself warm. Some days it feels like the wild is out to destroy her, but she's stronger than she ever imagined. Jess will survive. She has to. She knows who killed her father. And she wants revenge.

Letting Go of Gravity by Meg Leder

Parker struggles to reconnect with her twin brother, Charlie, who's recovering from cancer, and to deal with her anxiety about her own future.

Notes from My Captivity by Kathy Parks

Adrienne Cahill cares about three things: getting into a great college; becoming a revered journalist like her idol, Sydney Declay; and making her late father proud of her. So when Adrienne is offered the chance to write an article that will get her into her dream school and debunk her foolish stepfather's belief that a legendary family of hermits is living in the Siberian wilderness, there's no question that she's going to fly across the world. But the Russian terrain is even less forgiving than Adrienne. And when disaster strikes, none of their extensive preparations seem to matter. Now Adrienne's being held captive by the family she was convinced didn't exist, and her best hope for escape is to act like she cares about them, even if it means wooing the youngest son.

Screenshot by Donna Cooner

Sixteen-year-old Skye Matthews is always careful with her social media accounts, but when her friend Asha posts an embarrassing video of Skye at a sleepover her perfect reputation and her dream of a summer internship with the Colorado senator is endangered--someone took a screenshot before the video was deleted and is threatening to share the photo online, unless Skye does whatever they ask.

Fresh Ink: An Anthology by Lamar Giles

An anthology featuring award-winning diverse authors about diverse characters. Short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play explore such topics as gentrification, acceptance, untimely death, coming out, and poverty, and range in genre from contemporary realistic fiction to adventure and romance.

My Life Uploaded by Rae Earl

My Life Uploaded by Rae Earl

Fresh, funny, and utterly irresistible, this young adult novel from Rae Earl explores the ups and downs of life online.

Hello! Millie Porter here. I’m posting this from a garden shed, because three so-called adults are in the house arguing over whether you can train penguins. You see, I moved in with my dad, granddad, and aunty to escape my mum’s neat freak boyfriend. (He follows me around with a vacuum cleaner, like that’s a normal thing to do. It’s not.)

The point is, this reality thing is HARD, so my BFF Lauren and I are taking it online to tell you how to handle it. We are going to make a difference with this vlog. That is, if I can just get Dave the cat’s tail OUT OF MY FACE.

Yes, we know it’s usually only übergeeks like Bradley Sanderson who do vlogs. Yes, we know that Instagram queen Erin Breeler will not like it ONE TINY BIT. But Lauren says she’ll be too obsessed with the hot new boy at school to notice us.

You get to see me juggling real life, online life, and a cat intent on my destruction as it happens―IRL.

This is my life. Uploaded.

The Good Times Are Killing Me by Lynda Barry

The Good Times Are Killing Me by Lynda Barry

Young Edna Arkins lives in a neighborhood that is rapidly changing, thanks to white flight from urban Seattle in the late 1960s. As the world changes around her, Edna is exposed to the callous racism of adults; sometimes subtle and other times blatant, but always stinging. At the heart of The Good Times Are Killing Me is the forbidden friendship between Edna who is white and Bonna Willis who is black, and how the world around them forces them to challenge their loyalties to each other. As Barry does in her comics, she perfectly captures the awkward and earnest adolescent voice as Edna moves from childhood to middle school. Originally published in 1988, The Good Times Are Killing Me is as relevant now as it ever was. Its influence cannot be overstated as it was adapted into an off-Broadway play and won the Washington State Governor’s Award. D+Q will be publishing the novella in hardcover with a new cover and the color illustrations from the first edition.