Teen Book Lists: Dysfunctional Families

[Printable book list]

Sarah Crossan / YP FIC CROSSAN
Apple and Rain: a Story to Fix a Broken Heart
When Apple's mother returns after eleven years of absence, Apple feels almost whole again. In order to heal completely, her mother will have to answer one burning question: Why did she abandon her? But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother's homecoming is bittersweet. It's only when Apple meets her younger sister, Rain-someone more lost than she is- that she begins to see things for how they really are, allowing Apple to discover something that might help her to feel truly whole again.

Sarah Crossan / YP FIC CROSSAN
One
     Tippi and Grace. Grace and Tippi. For them, it's normal to step into the same skirt. To hook their arms around each other for balance. To fall asleep listening to the other breathing. To share. And to keep some things private. Each of the sixteen-year-old girls has her own head, heart, and two arms, but at the belly, they join. And they are happy, never wanting to risk the dangerous separation surgery.
     But the girls' body is beginning to fight against them. And Grace doesn't want to admit it. Not even to Tippi. How long can they hide from the truth—how long before they must face the most impossible choice of their lives?

Cecelia Galante / YP FIC GALANTE
Be Not Afraid
     Marin spends a lot of time avoiding things. She avoids thinking about her mother's suicide and what she could have done to prevent it. She avoids looking at people directly--because she can see their pain as bright, colorful shapes. And she avoids Cassie Jackson, who used her in a sinister ritual months ago, although Marin's not exactly sure why.
     When Cassie stands up at school, screaming, raking her nails down her cheeks, and pointing a finger at Marin, whispering "YOU," Marin's days of avoidance come to an abrupt end. Cassie's older brother believes that Marin holds the secret to Cassie's illness. So they team up to solve the mystery of what Cassie has unleashed. But as they look deeper into the darkness, can Marin trust what she sees?

Kristin Halbrook / YP FIC HALBROOK
Nobody But Us
     Will - Maybe I'm too late. Maybe Zoe's dad stole all her fifteen years and taught her to be scared. I'll undo it. Help her learn to be strong again, and brave. Not that I'm any kind of example, but we can learn together. When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can't run fast enough.
     Zoe - Maybe it'll take Will years to come to terms with being abandoned. Maybe it'll take forever. I'll stay with him no matter how long it takes to prove that people don't always leave, don't always give up on you.

Cynthia Hand / YP FIC HAND
The Last Time We Say Goodbye
Since her brother, Tyler, committed suicide, Lex has been trying to keep her grief locked away, and to forget about what happened that night. But as she starts putting her life, her family, and her friendships back together, Lex is haunted by a secret she hasn't told anyone—a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Todd Hasak-Lowy / YP FIC HASAKLOW
Me Being Me is Exactly as Insane as You Being You
     Darren hasn’t had an easy year. There was his parents’ divorce, which just so happened to come at the same time his older brother Nate left for college and his longtime best friend moved away. And of course there’s the whole not having a girlfriend thing.
     Then one Thursday morning Darren’s dad shows up at his house at 6 a.m. with a glazed chocolate doughnut and a revelation that turns Darren’s world inside out. In full freakout mode, Darren, in a totally un-Darren move, ditches school to go visit Nate. Barely twenty-four hours at Nate’s school makes everything much better or much worse—Darren has no idea. It might somehow be both. All he knows for sure is that in addition to trying to figure out why none of his family members are who they used to be, he’s now obsessed with a strangely amazing girl who showed up out of nowhere but then totally disappeared.
     A heartfelt, humorous story of a teen boy’s impulsive road trip after the shock of his lifetime—told entirely in lists!

Susan Juby / YP FIC JUBY
The Truth Commission
This was going to be the year Normandy Pale came into her own. The year she emerged from her older sister's shadow--and Kiera, who became a best-selling graphic novelist before she even graduated from high school, casts a long one. But it hasn't worked out that way, not quite. So Normandy turns to her art and writing, and the "truth commission" she and her friends have started to find out the secrets at their school. It's a great idea, as far as it goes--until it leads straight back to Kiera, who has been hiding some pretty serious truths of her own.

E. Lockhart / YP FIC LOCKHART
We Were Liars
A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth.
(Also available in audiobook and ebook)

Emery Lord / YP FIC LORD
When We Collided
     Seventeen year-old Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California, his whole life, and only one thing has ever changed: his father used to be alive, and now he is not. With a mother lost in a deep bout of depression, Jonah and his five siblings struggle to keep up their home and the restaurant their dad left behind. But at the start of summer, a second change rolls in: Vivi Alexander, the new girl in town.
     Vivi is in love with life. Charming and unfiltered, she refuses to be held down by the medicine she's told should make her feel better. After meeting Jonah, she slides into the Daniels' household seamlessly, winning over each sibling with her imagination and gameness. But it's not long before Vivi's zest for life begins to falter. Soon her adventurousness becomes all-out danger-seeking.

Robin Palmer / YP FIC PALMER
The Corner of Bitter and Sweet
     Signs that you'll never be bored- You have a single mom who is a famous actress (or was, until she quit her hit TV show) … with a drinking problem. (You sometimes have to hold a mirror to her mouth to see if she's passed out or dead.) One of your family pictures is the two of you walking out of jail together after she's arrested for drunk driving that winds up all over the gossip blogs.
     What do you do when after years of parenting your mom, she finally decides to be the parent? When, after years of wanting regular life, you finally get one and have no idea what to do with it? Sixteen-year-old Annabelle Jackson is about to find out.

Annabel Pitcher / YP FIC PITCHER
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece
To ten-year-old Jamie, his family has fallen apart because of the loss of someone he barely remembers: his sister Rose, who died five years ago in a terrorist bombing. To his father, life is impossible to make sense of when he lives in a world that could so cruelly take away a ten-year-old girl. To Rose's surviving fifteen year old twin, Jas, everyday she lives in Rose's ever present shadow, forever feeling the loss like a limb, but unable to be seen for herself alone.

Karyus Quinn / YP FIC QUINN
Down with the Shine
When Lennie brings a few jars of her uncles’ moonshine to Michaela Gordon’s house party, she has everyone who drinks it make a wish. It’s tradition. So is the toast her uncles taught her: “May all your wishes come true, or at least just this one.” The thing is, those words aren’t just a tradition. The next morning, every wish—no matter how crazy—comes true. And most of them turn out bad. But once granted, a wish can’t be unmade…

Isabel Quintero / YP FIC QUINTERO
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces
Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: college applications, Cindy's pregnancy, Sebastian's coming out, the cute boys, her father's meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity.
(Also available in ebook)

Rainbow Rowell / YP FIC ROWELL
Eleanor & Park
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits-smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you'll remember your own first love-and just how hard it pulled you under.
(Also available in audiobook)