Edit: I cut the list down. I'm really sorry for the long list before! =)
Bridgers, S.E. (1996). All we know of heaven. Wilmington, NC: Banks Channel Books. Bethany and Joel were teenage sweethearts whose marriage continued the nightmare of their childhoods. Bethany had lived with her aunt and uncle since her mother's premature death, her alcoholic father being an unfit parent. Though the extended family offered Bethany love, she never felt it. Joel's violent temperament had cursed him from early childhood, perpetually distancing him from family and community…Initially, their marriage gives each a sense of belonging so desperately craved. This happiness is quickly smothered; even the birth of their daughter brings anguish. Joel's discontentment leads to violence. Despite this continual thread of misery, Bethany hopes for better days…Karen Simonetti, Booklist, 1996.
Carroll, J. (1963). The Basketball Diaries. New York: Penguin Books.
Today Jim Carroll is a renowned poet and rock performer. But in the mid-1960’, during his coming-of-age from twelve to fifteen, he was a rebellious teenager making a place and a name for himself on the unforgiving streets of New York City. During these years, he chronicled his experiences, and the result is a diary of unparalleled candor that conveys his alternately hilarious and terrifying teenage existence. Here is Carroll prowling New York City—playing basketball, hustling, stealing, getting high, getting hooked, and searching for something pure.
Gibbons, K. (1990). Ellen Foster. New York: Vintage Book “When I was little, I would think of ways to kill my daddy. I would figure out this or that way and run it down through my head until it got easy.” So begins the tale of Ellen Foster, the brave and engaging heroine, who searches for a pace to belong after being placed in the foster home care system.
Hanauer, C. (1996). My sister’s bones: A novel. New York: Delacorte. At sixteen, Billie Weinstein has plenty of problems: she's the only Jewish girl living in the all-Italian neighborhood of West Berry, New Jersey; she's trying hard to please her know-it-all father, while at the same time trying to understand her too-accommodating mother; and on top of everything else, her older sister Cassie goes off to college, leaving Billie to fend for herself…As Cassie starts to look dangerously thin, Billie is the only one who realizes something is drastically wrong with her sister and this knowledge, which her parents refuse to share, drives Billie to make choices that will change forever the way she looks at the world…[this novel discusses the] pain, joy, and pressures of moving toward adulthood.
Martinez, V. (1996). Parrot in the oven: Mi vida. New York: Harper Trophy. “Dad believed people were like money. You could be a thousand dollar person or a hundred dollar person—even a ten-, five-, or one-dollar person. Below that, everybody was just nickels and dimes. To my dad, we were just pennies.” Manny Hernandez wants to be more than just a penny. He wants to be a vato firme, the kind of guy people respect. But that’s not easy when your father is abusive, your brother can’t hold a job, and your mother scrubs the house as if she can wash her problems away. In Manny’s neighborhood, the way to get respect is to be in a gang. But Manny’s not sure that joining a gang is the solution. Because, after all, it’s his life—and he wants to be the one to decide what happens to it.
Voigt, C. (1994). When she hollers. New York: Scholastic. In an intense, powerful novel, Voigt explores what happens when a teenage victim of sexual abuse decides to be a victim no longer. Tish, abused by her stepfather since she was a small child, takes responsibility for her own survival…Not an easy book to read, but it may give some readers hope and may help others to understand why a victim of abuse might turn to violence. 1995 The Horn Book, Inc.
West, M.L. (1994). She flew the coop. New York: HarperCollins.
The crazy events that mark the spring of 1952 in the not-so-sleepy small town of Limoges, Mississippi, are relayed by a series of eight narrators, including young and old, black and white. When 16-year-old Olive Nepper discovers she's pregnant by the local Baptist minister, she drinks a bottle of orange Nehi laced with rose poison. Her desperate act touches off a chain reaction, and as she lies in a coma in the hospital, it seems as if the whole town becomes unhinged…offers a gripping narrative and lays open the joy and the despair at the core of life in a small town or, for that matter, anywhere at all.
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez It's a long way from Santo Domingo to the Bronx, but if anyone can go the distance, it's the Garcia girls. Four lively Latinas plunged from a pampered life of privilege on an island compound into the big-city chaos of NYC, they rebel against Mami and Papi's old-world discipline and embrace all that America has to offer.
Extras. Scott Westerfeld. A few years after Tally Youngblood brought down her highly ordered society of Uglies, Pretties, and Specials, popularity reigns supreme. Everyone is doing all they can to get the most buzz. In the midst of the chaos, Aya Fuse is ok with being unknown. But then she meets a secretive clique, and she wants to show the world how cool they are, but doing so would put her in the spotlight – a dangerous place she might not be ready for. Simon Pulse.
The Luxe. Anna Godberson. Four teenage girls weave a web of catty gossip, lies, backstabbing and secrets in late nineteenth-century Manhattan. This tangled web includes not one but two sets of star-crossed lovers; an upstairs/downstairs romance; a scheming social climber; a bitter servant girl; and oodles of money, all set in a Edith Wharton via Hollywood vision of Old New York. HarperCollins.
Saving Zoë. Alyson Noël. Echo feels pressured to match up to her sister, Zoë, especially after her sister’s brutal murder. Her parents are staggered, as is Echo, but life continues to move on. Her freshman year at high school starts embarrassingly and things look grim until Zoë’s former boyfriend shows up with Zoë’s diary. Turns out that Zoë had gone places and done things that Echo was not aware of. As Echo explores Zoë’s life through her diary, she begins to reexamine her own.
Tamar. Mal Peet. If your name was on a box given to you after your secretive grandfather’s death, would you open it immediately? Or would you be afraid of what it might hold? Tamar waits a bit to open her box, then is plunged into her grandfather’s world of resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Holland during WWII. She and her cousin must delve deeply into the clues left by her grandfather to find the truth of what happened years ago. Love, passion, mystery, and tragedy all play out masterfully against the backdrop of WWII.
Twisted. Laurie Halse Anderson. Tyler Miller is invisible in his high school career until a rebellious grafitti prank lands him in a summer of hard labor. Now he has muscles, and he’s looking good to the ladies, including Bethany Milbury, sister of his main tormentor and daughter of his father’s boss. Life seems to be taking a nice turn for Tyler until he is charged for a crime he didn’t commit. The reader follows Tyler as he tries to turn his twisted life into one of which he can be proud. Viking Juvenile.
Vampire Academy. Richelle Mead. Two best friends, one a pure vampire and one a half-blood vampire, are captured and returned to the private school they escaped from two years ago. But things have changed since they left and there is now danger to add to the drama that resides in the halls of St. Vladimir’s Academy.