Old Favorite: Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Okay, for this week’s “Old Favorite” I’m cheating.  Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys isn’t really that old (2005) but…it’s so perfect for this week that I couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather write about.  And it definitely is a favorite.  So…Here we go.  Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys, by Kate Brian.

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Megan Meades Guide to the McGowan BoysMegan Meade is happy at Fort Hood.  Her parents have finally stopped their lifetime of traveling from army base to army base and settled down for good.  Megan has spent three consecutive years at Fort Hood, a record in her wandering life.  She’s making good grades, she’s on the state championship soccer team, she has her learner’s permit, she has a best friend named Tracey and she’s finally worked up the courage to talk to Ben, the guy she’d love to date, right before the start of her junior year.  She’s *happy*!

And then her parents sit her down and announce that her Dad has earned another transfer. To South Korea. For two  whole years.

Megan, for the first time in her life, puts her foot down.  She refuses to go. She even has a bit of a temper tantrum, something that she’s never done before.  Her parents offer a compromise; she can to go Boston and stay with her father’s med school roommate, John McGowan, and his family.  Megan still will be changing schools and locations, but she’ll still able to join a championship soccer team, and she can live in one place for the two years and finish high school in the U.S.

The drawback?  John McGowan has sons.  Lots of sons. And Megan doesn’t exactly have the best memories from their previous meetings. When they were kids, the boys were one unidentifiable group, who had sticky faces and missing teeth. They lassoed her to a tree, hung her upside down, had worms in their pockets and pulled her hair.  Megan at sixteen is barely able to talk to boys, but now she’s supposed to live with seven of them?  Still, soccer. And living stateside. And high school!

When she meets them again, Megan finds that the McGowan boys have grown up a lot since she last saw them. They’re…gorgeous.  There’s Evan, who once blew snot bubbles at her and hit her over the head with a wiffle bat but who now looks like an Olympic god.  There’s Finn, who’s in her class, also a Greek god, and an artist.  There’s Sean, the mysterious brooder who works on bikes and is in a band.  Doug, who looks like the second coming of Eminem. Miller, the sports fan. And Ian and Caleb, the two youngest, the only ones who won’t be in the high school with Megan and the older brothers. The seem to be a little more like the boys she remembers, but they’re still cute.  Maybe it won’t be that bad?

But real life drops Megan right in the middle of boy chaos, and she finds that the McGowans haven’t grown up enough.  Megan’s first morning with includes dropping her bathroom supplies in front of the older boys and getting teased,  finding all her t-shirts defaced with anatomical drawings and having her bra stolen by the younger boys.  Megan revises her opinion; the McGowans are monsters!

Megan’s e-mails to her friend Tracey start to include observations on the McGowans.  It’s the only way to keep her sanity!

When Megan starts the school year, she does find out that there are advantages and disadvantages to having seven ready-made brothers. From soccer to assignments to parties and friends, the McGowans are everywhere she turns, in the house and outside of it. Only Megan discovers that she really doesn’t want to think of them as brothers, because any way you look at it, those McGowan boys are hot.  So she makes her observations to Tracy and learns everything there is to know about boys.  Or so she thinks…

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Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys is funny and touching, and exasperating and full of truths.  It’s a great read about boys and girls and the differences between them, about brothers and about what makes a good boy friend.  Or maybe, a good boyfriend.  Also soccer and girl friends and sisters and friendship.  (And if you’re a girl who doesn’t  have brothers, this is a “must-read”.)

Kate Brian is the author of the Private series and the Privilege series.  She’s written several other books that are popular, among them Sweet 16, The V Club, and Lucky T.  Her newest book, Shadowlands, about two sisters who have to go into the Witness Protection program, just came out in January.  Kate Brian is a pseudonym, and under her real name, Kieran Scott has written several other titles, including the I Was a Non-Blonde Cheerleader trilogy and She’s So Dead to Us series.

There’s not much history to Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys, since it’s not even ten years old.  There’s only one cover, even!  When we did our most popular teen checkouts for the past ten years, it came out in the top 75, right before A Wrinkle in Time.  That may be because our staff recommends it frequently, but it might also be because most of the teens who read it recommend it to friends. It’s has huge word-of-mouth popularity.

There is some frank (and funny) discussion between Megan and Tracey about the motivations behind boys’ behavior.  There’s also several scenes on the consequences of “hooking up” at a high school party, and a bit of drinking, but nothing graphic.  Still, for those reasons, this is probably more appropriate for upper middle school and high school readers.

So if we’re snowed in again this winter, or if you want a fun Valentine’s Day read, grab Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys. See if you like it as much as we all do.



Teens: If You Liked The Hunger Games

Feed by M. T. Anderson

In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble.

Ender’s Game series by Orson Scott Card

Book 1 is Ender’s Game.  A veteran of years of simulated war games, Ender believes he is engaged in one more computer war game when in truth he is commanding the last fleet of Earth against an alien race seeking the complete destruction of Earth.

Graceling series by Kristin Cashore

Book 1 is Graceling.  In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.

Selection by Kiera Cass

America Singer is chosen to compete in the Selection–a contest to see which girl can win the heart of Illea’s prince–but all she really wants is a chance for a future with her secret love, Aspen, who is a caste below her.

Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

Book 1 is City of BonesSuddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizzare world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.

Matched series by Allyson Condie

Book 1 is Matched.  All her life, Cassia has never had a choice. The Society dictates everything: when and how to play, where to work, where to live, what to eat and wear, when to die, and most importantly to Cassia as she turns 17, whom to marry. When she is Matched with her best friend Xander, things couldn’t be more perfect. But why did her neighbor Ky’s face show up on her match disk as well?

After the First Death by Robert Cormier

Events of the hijacking of a bus of children by terrorists seeking the return of their homeland are described from the perspectives of a hostage, a terrorist, an Army general involved in the rescue operation, and his son, chosen as the go-between.

Maze Runner series by James Dashner

Book 1 is The Maze Runner.  Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

After being interrogated for days by the Department of Homeland Security in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco, California, seventeen-year-old Marcus, released into what is now a police state, decides to use his expertise in computer hacking to set things right.

Incarceron series by Catherine Fisher

Book 1 is Incarceron.  To free herself from an upcoming arranged marriage, Claudia, the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, a futuristic prison with a mind of its own, decides to help a young prisoner escape.

Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia

Book 1 is Beautiful Creatures.  In a small South Carolina town, where it seems little has changed since the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Ethan is powerfully drawn to Lena, a new classmate with whom he shares a psychic connection and whose family hides a dark secret that may be revealed on her sixteenth birthday.

Eon series  by Allison Goodman

Book 1 is Eon.  Sixteen-year-old Eon hopes to become an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune and learn to be its main interpreter, but to do so will require much, including keeping secret that she is a girl.

Gone series by Michael Grant

Book 1 is Gone.  In a small town on the coast of California, everyone over the age of fourteen suddenly disappears, setting up a battle between the remaining town residents and the students from a local private school, as well as those who have “The Power” and are able to perform supernatural feats and those who do not.

Among the Hidden series by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Book 1 is Among the Hidden.   In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family’s farm, until another “third” convinces him that the government is wrong.

The Enemy series by Charlie Higson

Book 1 is The Enemy.  After a disease turns everyone over sixteen into brainless, decomposing, flesh-eating creatures, a group of teenagers leave their shelter and set out of a harrowing journey across London to the safe haven of Buckingham Palace.

Brave New World by Alexander Huxley

The astonishing novel Brave New World, originally published in 1932, presents Aldous Huxley’s vision of the future-of a world utterly transformed. Through the most efficient scientific and psychological engineering, people are genetically designed to be passive and therefore consistently useful to the ruling class. This powerful work of speculative fiction sheds a blazing critical light on the present and is considered to be Huxley’s most enduring masterpiece. Following Brave New World is the nonfiction work Brave New World Revisited, first published in 1958. It is a fascinating work in which Huxley uses his tremendous knowledge of human relations to compare the modern-day world with the prophetic fantasy envisioned in Brave New World, including threats to humanity, such as overpopulation, propaganda, and chemical persuasion.

Homelanders series by Andrew Klavan

Book 1 is The Last Thing I Remember.  High school student Charlie West awakens bloody and bruised in a concrete bunker, only to discover that he has lost a year of his life and remembers nothing about escaping from prison after being convicted of murdering his former best friend, or why he is being pursued by both the law and a group of terrorists trying to bring down the government of the United States.

Epic series by Conor Kostick

Book 1 is Epic.  On New Earth, a world based on a video role-playing game, fourteen-year-old Erik pursuades his friends to aid him in some unusual gambits in order to save Erik’s father from exile and safeguard the futures of each of their families.

The Lorien Legacy series by Pittacus Lore

Book 1 is I Am Number Four.  On New Earth, a world based on a video role-playing game, fourteen-year-old Erik pursuades his friends to aid him in some unusual gambits in order to save Erik’s father from exile and safeguard the futures of each of their families.

The Giver series by Lois Lowry

Book 1 is The Giver.  Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

Ostracized or incarcerated her whole life, seventeen-year-old Juliette is freed on the condition that she use her horrific abilities in support of The Reestablishment, a postapocalyptic dictatorship, but Adam, the only person ever to show her affection, offers hope of a better future.

Legend series by Marie Lu

Book 1 is Legend.  June and Day make their way to Las Vegas where they join the rebel Patriot group and become involved in an assassination plot against the Elector in hopes of saving the Republic.

Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr

Book 1 is Wicked Lovely.  Seventeen-year-old Aislinn, who has the rare ability to see faeries, is drawn against her will into a centuries-old battle between the Summer King and Winter Queen, and the survival of her life, her love, and summer all hang in the balance.

Wake series by Lisa McMann

Book 1 is Wake.  Ever since she was eight years old, high school student Janie Hannagan has been uncontrollably drawn into other people’s dreams, but it is not until she befriends an elderly nursing home patient and becomes involved with an enigmatic fellow-student that she discovers her true power.

Acceleration by Graham McNamee

Stuck working in the Lost and Found of the Toronto Transit Authority for the summer, seventeen-year-old Duncan finds the diary of a serial killer and sets out to stop him.

Cinder by Melissa Meyer

As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story.

Host by Stephenie Meyer

The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed. But Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn’t expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind. Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves–Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body’s desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she’s never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness

Book 1 is The Knife of Never Letting Go.  Pursued by power-hungry Prentiss and mad minister Aaron, young Todd and Viola set out across New World searching for answers about his colony’s true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing hopeful settlers from Old World.

Birthmarked series by Caragh O’Brien

Book 1 is Birthmarked.  In a future world baked dry by the sun and divided into those who live inside the wall and those who live outside it, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone is forced into a difficult choice when her parents are arrested and taken into the city.

1984 by George Orwell

While the totalitarianism that provoked George Orwell into writing ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ seems to be passing into oblivion, his harrowing, cautionary tale of a man trapped in a political nightmare has had the opposite fate, and its relevance and power to disturb our complacency seem to grow decade by decade.

Maximum Ride series by James Patterson

Book 1 is The Angel ExperimentAfter the mutant Erasers abduct the youngest member of their group, the “bird kids,” who are the result of genetic experimentation, take off in pursuit and find themselves struggling to understand their own origins and purpose.

Life as We Knew It
series by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family’s struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.

Delirium series by Lauren Oliver

Book 1 is Delirium.  Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.

Across the Universe series by Beth Revis

Book 1 is Across the Universe.  Teenaged Amy, a cryogenically frozen passenger on the spaceship Godspeed, wakes up to discover that someone may have tried to murder her.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan

Book 1 is The Lightning ThiefTwelve-year-old Percy Jackson learns he is a demigod, the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea.  His mother sends him to a summer camp for demigods where he and his new friends set out on a quest to prevent a war between the gods.

Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi

Book 1 is Under the Never SkyAria and Perry, two teens from radically different societies–one highly advanced, the other primitive–hate being dependent on one another until they overcome their prejudices and fall in love, knowing they can’t stay together.

Divergent series by Veronica Roth

Book 1 is Divergent.  In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomoly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth series by Carrie Ryan

Book 1 is The Forest of Hands and Teeth.  Through twists and turns of fate, orphaned Mary seeks knowledge of life, love, and especially what lies beyond her walled village and the surrounding forest, where dwell the unconsecrated, aggressive flesh-eating people who were once dead.

Unwind series by Neal Shusterman

In a future world where those between the ages of thirteen and eighteen can have their lives “unwound” and their body parts harvested for use by others, three teens go to extreme lengths to uphold their beliefs–and, perhaps, save their own lives.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Nineteen-year-old returning champion Sean Kendrick competes against Puck Connolly, the first girl ever to ride in the annual Scorpio Races, both trying to keep hold of their dangerous water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.

Raven Boys series by Maggie Stiefvater

Book 1 is The Raven BoysThough she is from a family of clairvoyants, Blue Sargent’s only gift seems to be that she makes other people’s talents stronger, and when she meets Gansey, one of the Raven Boys from the expensive Aglionby Academy, she discovers that he has talents of his own–and that together their talents are a dangerous mix.

Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld

Book 1 is The UgliesJust before their sixteenth birthdays, when they will be transformed into beauties whose only job is to have a great time, Tally’s best friend runs away and Tally must find her and turn her in, or never become pretty at all.

Paranormalcy series by Kristen White

Book 1 is ParanormalcyWhen a dark prophecy begins to come true, sixteen-year-old Evie of the International Paranormal Containment Agency must not only try to stop it, she must also uncover its connection to herself and the alluring shapeshifter, Lend.

Old Favorite: The Silver Kiss

Raise your hand if you’re planning on seeing the last part of the Twilight saga this month.    Hmm…quite a few hands out there!

Although Stephanie Meyer’s vampires might be the most popular crowd of undead out there, they are not the first blood-suckers to grace the world of YA books.  Vampire legends go back hundreds of years; and although Dracula was arguably the most famous literary vampire, there were other books that came before his 1897 debut.

Twilight is just the latest in a line of vampire books that goes back over a hundred years.  Some current favorites came before Edward was even a sparkle in Meyer’s eyes.  Books like L.J. Smith’s Vampire Diaries, Ellen Schreiber’s Vampire Kisses, Darren Shan’s Cirque du Freak, several books by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, and one of my old favorites: The Silver Kiss, by Annette Curtis Klause.

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Zoe’s life has been nothing but chaos for over a year.  When she gets home from school, her house is empty, and she just knows that her mother is in the hospital again.  When the phone rings, she’s afraid it might be her father, calling to tell her that it’s too late.  But instead, it’s her best friend Lorraine.  Calling to tell her that her father has gotten a new job and that the family is moving across the country.

Lorraine has always been Zoe’s refuge…the person who will talk to her and help her get through dealing with her mother’s health issues.  What is she going to do without her?  Zoe tries to talk to her father, but he’s too preoccupied.  Zoe’s mother would understand…but if Zoe’s mother was there, she wouldn’t need Lorraine.

Simon is beautiful.  Silver hair, pale skin and dark eyes.  And an unfortunate appetite for blood.  Rat’s blood, mostly.  It’s how he gets by.  Animal blood only lasts so long though, and he’s due for a bigger kill to survive.  So he waits, and watches.

Zoe and Simon meet by accident in a park near the hospital.  As they come together more frequently and talk, they realize that the thing they have in common is the pain and loneliness of death.  Their lives (so to speak) become more wrapped up in each other.

As Zoe’s mother takes a turn for the worse, bad news seems to haunt their town. A serial killer seems to be on the loose, and there have been several suspicious deaths.  Zoe wonders when she sees Simon with blood on his hands.  As Simon’s deadly mission becomes clear to Zoe, her mother starts losing her battle.  Zoe turns to Simon for support, and he tells her the truth about himself…and a secret that could change her life.  And her mother.

Will Simon be able to help her?  Or will Zoe help him?  As a deadly enemy stealthily approaches, Simon and Zoe will have to learn how to trust and accept each other.

* * *

The Silver Kiss was written in 1990, well before Bella and Edward appeared in libraries and bookstores.  Their relationship is based on a mutual need and fear.  The Silver Kiss blends horror, suspense and romantic longing. Although Zoe and Simon are attracted to each other, their worlds are very, very different.  They each have something to offer the other, but if they act on their instincts, it would change them forever.

When the book came out, it was one of the first vampire novels written expressly for teens.  It was praised as a “darkly seductive thriller with heart and a message”.   Annette Curtis Klause’s writing was praised as fluid and graceful, and was called “a well-drawn, powerful and seductive novel.”  Unlike the vampire novels of this millenium, The Silver Kiss is short; only 198 pages.  It’s a wonderful read, and the final image will stay with the reader for a very long time.

The paperback version of The Silver Kiss that was released in 2009 includes two additional short stories–one about Simon during The Summer of Love, the second about Zoe, a year after the novel, dealing with A Christmas Cat.  Both short stories expand on what makes Simon and Zoe tick, and what draws them to each other.

The Silver Kiss is in our Young Adult section, and is appropriate for middle and high school students.  It is short, but there’s a lot packed into the story!  If you’re looking for a vampire book with heart, or if you’ve read all the Twilight books are are looking for something that will stay with you, try The Silver Kiss.  You’ll be glad you did.


Teens: If You Like Twilight

and want more PARANORMAL ROMANCE, check out these titles…

Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver, Linger, Forever)

As Grace hides the vast depth of her love for Sam from her parents and Sam struggles to release his werewolf past and claim a human future, a new wolf named Cole wins Isabel’s heart but his own past threatens to destroy the whole pack.

Immortals by Alyson Noel (Evermore, Blue Moon, Shadowland, Dark Flame, Night Star, Everlasting)

Since the car accident that claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras and hear people’s thoughts, and she goes out of her way to hide from other people until she meets Damen, another psychic teenager who is hiding even more mysteries.

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush, Crescendo)

High school sophomore Nora has always been very cautious in her relationships, but when Patch, who has a dark side she can sense, enrolls at her school, she is mysteriously and strongly drawn to him, despite warnings from her best friend, the school counselor, and her own instincts.

Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos)

In a small South Carolina town, where it seems little has changed since the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Ethan is powerfully drawn to Lena, a new classmate with whom he shares a psychic connection and whose family hides a dark secret that may be revealed on her sixteenth birthday.

Wings Series by Aprilynee Pike (Wings, Spells, Illusions)

When a plant blooms out of fifteen-year-old Laurel’s back, it leads her to discover the fact that she is a faerie and that she has a crucial role to play in keeping the world safe from the encroaching enemy trolls.

Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa (Iron King, Iron Daughter, Iron Queen)

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny–one she could never have imagined…. Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home. When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything  she’s known is about to change. But she could never have guessed the truth– that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face… and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Angel Burn by Lee Weatherly

In a world where angels are fierce stalkers whose irresistible force allows them to feed off humans and drain them of their vitality, a ruthless teenaged assassin of angels falls in love with a half-angel half-human girl, with devastating consequences.

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Sixteen-year-old Clara Gardner’s purpose as an angel-blood begins to manifest itself, forcing her family to pull up stakes and move to Jackson, Wyoming, where she learns that danger and heartbreak come with her powers.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, Last Sacrifice)

Two years after a horrible incident made them run away, vampire princess Lissa and her guardian-in-training Rose are found and returned to St. Vladimir’s Academy, where one focuses on mastering magic, the other on physical training, while both try to avoid the perils of gossip, cliques, gruesome pranks, and sinister plots.

 Need series by Carrie Jones (Need, Captivate, Entice)

Depressed after the death of her stepfather, high school junior Zara goes to live with her grandmother in a small Maine town, where new friends tell Zara the strange man she keeps seeing may be a pixie king, and that only “were” creatures can stop him from taking souls.

Tantalize series by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Tantalize, Eternal, Blessed)

When multiple murders in Austin, Texas, threaten the grand re-opening of her family’s vampire-themed restaurant, seventeen-year-old, orphaned Quincie worries that her best friend-turned-love interest, Keiren, a werewolf-in-training, may be the prime suspect.

 Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine (Glass Houses, Dead Girls’ Dance, The Midnight Alley, Feast of Fools, Lord of Misrule, Carpe Corpus, Fade Out, Kiss of Death, Ghost Town)

College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation, where the popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks in the school’s social scene: somewhere less than zero.  When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don’t show many signs of life. But they’ll have Claire’s back when the town’s deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood.

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, Fragile Eternity, Radiant Shadows, Darkest Mercy)

Seventeen-year-old Aislinn, who has the rare ability to see faeries, is drawn against her will into a centuries-old battle between the Summer King and Winter Queen, and the survival of her life, her love, and summer all hang in the balance.

 Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels)

Suddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizzare world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.

Darkness Rising series by Jennifer Armstrong (The Gathering, The Calling)

Sixteen-year-old Maya suspects there may be a relationship between her paw-print birthmark, her connection with wild animals, and strange events occurring in her tiny Vancouver Island community, where a medical research facility harbors big secrets.

Strange Angel series by Lil St. Crow (Strange Angels, Betrayals, Jealousy, Defiance,  Reckoning)

Sixteen-year-old Dru’s psychic abilities helped her father battle zombies and other creatures of the “Real World,” but now she must rely on herself, a “werwulf”-bitten friend, and a half-human vampire hunter to learn who murdered her parents, and why.

 Fallen series by Lauren Kate (Fallen, Torment, Passion)

Suspected in the death of her boyfriend, seventeen-year-old Luce is sent to a Savannah, Georgia, reform school where she meets two intriguing boys and learns the truth about the strange shadows that have always haunted her.

Evernight series by Claudia Gray (Evernight, Stargazer, Hourglass, Afterlife)

Sixteen-year-old Bianca, a new girl at the sinister Evernight boarding school, finds herself drawn to another outsider, Jared, but dark forces threaten to tear them apart and destroy Bianca’s entire world.

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

When three angels are sent from heaven to protect the town of Venus Cove against the gathering forces of darkness, their mission is threatened as the youngest angel, Bethany, enrolls in high school and falls in love with another student.

Touch series by Laurie Stolarz (Deadly Little Secret, Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Game)

When someone starts stalking high school junior Camelia, everyone at school assumes  that it is Ben, who is new at school and rumored to have killed his previous girlfriend, but Camelia is nevertheless inexplicably drawn to him.

Kissed by an Angel by Elizabeth Chandler

When her boyfriend, Tristan, died, Ivy thought she’d lost everything, even her faith in angels. But now she’s discovered that he’s her guardian angel–his presence so strong that she can feel the touch of his hand, the beat of his heart. Ivy needs Tristan now more than ever because he knows she’s in terrible danger. Only Ivy’s guardian angel can save her, now that his killer is after her. But if Tristan rescues Ivy, his mission on earth will be finished, and he must leave her behind forever. Will saving Ivy mean losing her just when he’s finally reached her again?

Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber (Vampire Kisses, Kissing Coffins, Vampireville, Dance with a Vampire, Coffin Club, The Royal Blood, Love Bites, Cryptic Cravings)

Sixteen-year-old Raven, an outcast who always wears black and hopes to become a vampire some day, falls in love with the mysterious new boy in town, eager to find out if he can make her dreams come true.

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Seventeen-year-old Emerson uses her power to manipulate time to help Michael, a consultant hired by her brother, to prevent a murder that happened six months ago while simultaneously navigating their undeniable attraction to one another.



Teens: Romance and Love Stories

If I Stay by Gayle Forman: Sequel is Where She Went.

While in a coma following an automobile accident that killed her parents and younger brother, seventeen-year-old Mia, a gifted cellist, weighs whether to live with her grief or join her family in death.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

High school student Nick O’Leary, member of a rock band, meets college-bound Norah Silverberg and asks her to be his girlfriend for five minutes in order to avoid his ex-sweetheart.

Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty: Book 1 is Sloppy Firsts

When her best friend, Hope Weaver, moves away from Pineville, New Jersey, hyperobservant sixteen-year-old Jessica Darling is devastated. How is she supposed to deal with the boy- and shopping-crazy girls at school, her dad*s obsession with her track meets, her mother salivating over big sister Bethany*s lavish wedding, and her nonexistent love life?

Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan

Fifteen-year-old Blake has a girlfriend and a friend who*s a girl. One of them loves him; the other one needs him.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han: Sequels include It’s Not Summer Without You and We’ll Always Have Summer

Belly spends the summer she turns sixteen at the beach just like every other summer of her life, but this time things are very different.

What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones

Sophie describes her relationships with a series of boys as she searches for Mr. Right.

Luxe series by Anna Godbersen: Book 1 is The Luxe, followed by Rumors, Envy, Splendor

In Manhattan in 1899, five teens of different social classes lead dangerously scandalous lives, despite the strict rules of society and the best-laid plans of parents and others.

Honey Baby Sweetheart by Deb Caletti: and many other love stories by Deb Caletti

In the summer of her junior year, sixteen-year-old Ruby McQueen and her mother, both nursing broken hearts, set out on a journey to reunite an elderly woman with her long-lost love and in the process learn many things about “the real ties that bind” people to one another.

Something Like Fate by Susan Colasanti: and many other love stories by Susan Colasanti

Lani and Jason, who is her best friend’s boyfriend, fall in love, causing Lani tremendous anguish and guilt.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen: and many love stories by Sarah Dessen

The summer following her father’s death, Macy plans to work at the library and wait for her brainy boyfriend to return from camp, but instead she goes to work at a catering business where she makes new friends and finally faces her grief.

All American Girl by Meg Cabot

A sophomore girl stops a presidential assassination attempt, is appointed Teen Ambassador to the United Nations, and catches the eye of the very cute First Son.

How to Build a House by Dana Reinhardt

Seventeen-year-old Harper Evans hopes to escape the effects of her father’s divorce on her family and friendships by volunteering her summer to build a house in a small Tennessee town devastated by a tornado.

Scrambled Eggs at Midnight by Brad Barkley & Heather Hepler

Calliope and Eliot, two fifteen-year-olds in Asheville, North Carolina, begin to acknowledge some unpleasant truths about their parents and form their own ideas about love.

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

Terra, a sensitive, artistic high school senior born with a facial port-wine stain, struggles with issues of inner and outer beauty with the help of her Goth classmate Jacob.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares

Four best girlfriends spend the biggest summer of their lives enchanted by a magical pair of pants.

Big Crunch by Pete Hautman

June is starting at her sixth school in four years when she meets Wes, who has just broken up with a girlfriend, and although they do not share an instant or intense connection, attraction turns to love and they wonder where it will lead.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

When Anna’s romance-novelist father sends her to an elite American boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school, she reluctantly goes, and meets an amazing boy who becomes her best friend, in spite of the fact that they both want something more.

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

Presents the humorous journal of a year in the life of a fourteen-year-old British girl who tries to reduce the size of her nose, stop her mad cat from terrorizing the neighborhood animals, and win the love of handsome hunk Robbie.

Breathing by Cheryl Renee Herbsman

With a new boyfriend, asthma attacks that come when least expected, and a pesky younger brother, fifteen-year-old Savannah’s summer vacation takes many unexpected twists and turns.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

After the death of her father, Amy, a high school student, and Roger, a college freshman, set out on a carefully planned road trip from California to Connecticut, but wind up taking many detours, forcing Amy to face her worst fears and come to terms with her grief and guilt.

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Fifteen-year-old Scarlett Marvin is stuck in New York City for the summer working at her quirky family’s historic hotel, but her out-of-work actor brother’s attractive new friend and a seasonal guest who offers her an intriguing and challenging writing project improve her outlook.

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

When seventeen-year-old Ginny receives a packet of mysterious envelopes from her favorite aunt, she leaves New Jersey to criss-cross Europe on a sort of scavenger hunt that transforms her life.

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn

Told in the alternating voices of Dash and Lily, two sixteen-year-olds carry on a wintry scavenger hunt at Christmas-time in New York, neither knowing quite what–or who–they will find.

The Reluctant Heiress by Eva Ibbotson

In 1920s Austria, no one in the Viennese opera company knows that their wardrobe mistress Tessa is really a princess. But when the dashing self-made millionaire Guy Farne arrives at the opera, Tessa realizes that there may be more to life–and love–than just music

20 Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

While on vacation in California, sixteen-year-old best friends Anna and Frankie conspire to find a boy for Anna’s first kiss, but Anna harbors a painful secret that threatens their lighthearted plan and their friendship.

Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian

While her military parents are stationed in South Korea, high school junior Megan learns a great deal about boys and herself when she moves to Massachusetts to live with family friends who have seven sons.

What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones

Sophie describes her relationships with a series of boys as she searches for Mr. Right.

Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

After losing her soul mate, Cameron, when they were nine, Jennifer, now seventeen, transformed herself from the unpopular fat girl into the beautiful and popular Jenna, but Cameron’s unexpected return dredges up memories that cause both social and emotional turmoil.

Peaches series by Jodi Lynn Anderson: Book One is Peaches

Three teenaged girls from very different backgrounds, thrown together to pick peaches in a Georgia orchard, spend a summer in pursuit of the right boy, the truest of friends, and the perfect peach.

Romance Classics

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Mr. Darcy sets all fair maidens’ hearts aflutter, except for that of Elizabeth Bennett

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Orphaned as a baby, she struggles through her nearly loveless childhood and becomes governess at Thornfield Hall and eventually falls in love with her wealthy employer, Edward Rochester.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

From the moment of his adoption by the Earnshaws, the foundling boy Heathcliff devotes himself to their young daughter Catherine. Growing up together, the two share a love that blossoms into romance, until Catherine’s hurtful betrayal.

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

A monumental classic considered by many to be not only the greatest love story ever written, but also the greatest Civil War saga.

Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.

Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene

When German prisoners of war are brought to her Arkansas town during World War II, twelve-year-old Patty, a Jewish girl, befriends one of them and must deal with the consequences of that friendship.

The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery

At twenty-nine Valancy had never been in love, and it seemed romance had passed her by. She lives with her overbearing mother and meddlesome aunt until one day a letter arrived from Dr. Trent * and Valancy decided to throw caution to the winds. Soon she discovered a surprising new world, full of love and adventures far beyond her most secret dreams.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet are in love– but their families are bitter enemies. Set in medieval Verona, a place of sword fights, secrets and magic potions, their tragic love story plays out to a desperate end

Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly

Seventeen-year-old Angie finds herself in love for the first time the summer after high school graduation.

And Both Were Young by Madeleine L’Engle

Philippa is miserable at an all girls’ boarding school in Switzerland until she forms a supportive friendship with the mysterious Paul.

Camillla by Madeleine L’Engle

Fifteen-year-old Camilla gains new maturity through her relationship with her best friend’s brother and the growing realization that her parents are fallible individuals.