It’s September, the month of romance. Alright— maybe not. But it is back-to-school month where everything seems fresh and new, and if there wasn’t a pandemic, I’d totally recommend kissing whomever your heart desires.
Since maybe this September isn’t the right time to spark a new romance (stupid COVID-19), now is a great opportunity to live vicariously through some fictional high school relationships. These six books, all written by phenomenal Black authors, are guaranteed to make you gasp, cry, laugh, and cheer from beginning to end.
A stunning novel on love, identity, loss, and redemption.
When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she's isn't sure if she'll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (as well as her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.
But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new...the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel's disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself--or worse.
"Little and Lion is beautifully insightful, honest, and compassionate. Brandy's ability to find larger meaning in small moments is nothing short of dazzling." -- Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything
A Bank Street Best Book of 2021
The Handmaid's Tale meets Wilder Girls in this genre-defying novel about a girl who escapes a terrifying cult only to discover that the world Outside has succumbed to a viral apocalypse.
Agnes loves her home of Red Creek—its quiet, sunny mornings, its dusty roads, and its God. There, she cares tirelessly for her younger siblings and follows the town's strict laws. What she doesn't know is that Red Creek is a cult, controlled by a madman who calls himself a prophet.
Then Agnes meets Danny, an Outsider boy, and begins to question what is and isn't a sin. Her younger brother, Ezekiel, will die without the insulin she barters for once a month, even though medicine is considered outlawed. Is she a sinner for saving him? Is her sister, Beth, a sinner for dreaming of the world beyond Red Creek?
As the Prophet grows more dangerous, Agnes realizes she must escape with Ezekiel and leave everyone else, including Beth, behind. But it isn't safe Outside, either: A viral pandemic is burning through the population at a terrifying rate. As Agnes ventures forth, a mysterious connection grows between her and the Virus. But in a world where faith, miracles, and cruelty have long been indistinguishable, will Agnes be able to choose between saving her family and saving the world?
Nicola Yoon meets Jenny Han in a heated first-love romance about two teens who are torn apart one summer by prejudice and mental illness, and find each other once again.
Eighteen-year-old Devon longs for two things: The stars, and the boy she fell in love with last summer.
When Ashton breaks Devon's heart at the end of the most romantic summer ever, she thinks her heart will never heal again. But over the course of the following year, Devon finds herself slowly putting the broken pieces back together.
Now it's senior year and she's determined to enjoy every moment of it, as she prepares for a future studying galaxies. That is, until Ashton shows up on the first day of school.
Can she forgive and open her heart to him again? Or are they doomed to repeat history?
From debut author, Ronni Davis, comes a stunning novel about passion, loss, and the power of first love.
From Stonewall Award winner Brandy Colbert comes a novel about first love, family, and hidden secrets that will stay with you long after turning the last page.
Dove "Birdie" Randolph works hard to be the perfect daughter and follow the path her parents have laid out for her: She quit playing her beloved soccer, she keeps her nose buried in textbooks, and she's on track to finish high school at the top of her class. But then Birdie falls hard for Booker, a sweet boy with a troubled past... whom she knows her parents will never approve of.
When her estranged aunt Carlene returns to Chicago and moves into the family's apartment above their hair salon, Birdie notices the tension building at home. Carlene is sweet, friendly, and open-minded -- she's also spent decades in and out of treatment facilities for addiction. As Birdie becomes closer to both Booker and Carlene, she yearns to spread her wings. But when long-buried secrets rise to the surface, everything she's known to be true is turned upside down.
"One of the best love stories I've ever read." --Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give
"Read this one, reread it, and then hug it to your chest." --Becky Albertalli, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Debut author Justin A. Reynolds delivers a hilarious and heartfelt novel about the choices we make, the people we choose, and the moments that make a life worth reliving. Perfect for fans of Nicola Yoon and John Green.
When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he's falling--hard. Soon she's meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack.
But then Kate dies. And their story should end there.
Yet Kate's death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate's there again. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn't sure if he's losing his mind.
Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate's death, he'll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he's willing to do to save the people he loves.