Below is a list of some of the books that I have recently read:
Matched by Ally Condie: Loved it. Anxiously awaiting the sequel due out this fall. Yes, I know it is another dystopian futuristic novel, but the characters are wonderful. I heard an interview that Condie did, and she explained that she put a little bit of her husband in the two male characters. She also made sure that both of them were worthy of Cassie. The idea being that Cassie might want to be matched with either one.
I also read Shine by Lauren Myracle. I am sounding like a recording; I loved that one, too. It tells the story of a girl who decides to play detective when her old friend is beaten in what looks like a hate crime. It takes place in a poverty stricken mountain area of North Carolina. Many of the characters have drug and abuse issues, but Cat is very sympathetic and so is Patrick who is in a coma in the hospital.
I am in the middle of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I did not know much about it when I started. I thought it was going to be another mindless piece of chick lit where the teenagers are into consumerism and partying and hooking up. After the first 40 pages, I realized that it was a Groundhog's Day type of story where the main character gets 7 chances to live over her mistakes for one day. I got sucked in, and I am enjoying it. This one will be easy to sell to my students.