ARC Reviews, Tear Jerkers, YA Fiction

Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer

Grades 9 – 12

Call It What You Want

Rob and Meagan both have secrets. Rob’s dad is caught money laundering and decides that suicide is the answer. He tries, and fails, to  kill himself, leaving Rob and his mother to care for him for the rest of his life. Meagan’s sister Samantha comes home from her freshman year at college pregnant. Not only that, but Sam begs Meagan to keep the pregnancy a secret from their parents. When Rob and Meagan are paired together for a project, they become close, but they feel that their secrets are too much for their new friendship to handle. Kemmerer fans will love this heartfelt novel.

Thanks to for a review copy of this book.

Adult Fiction, Tear Jerkers

The Secret Language of Sisters by Luanne Rice

Ages 18+

secret language of sisters

Roo’s life is changed forever when she responds to a text while driving. She is in a bad car accident and ends up paralyzed in the hospital. To her family, she seems like she’s in a coma, but she has locked-in syndrome, which means that she can see, hear, and understand everything around her, but no one knows it. Roo’s sister Tilly is the one who sent that fateful text, and she now must deal with the guilt and consequences of her actions.

LGBTQ+, Romance, Tear Jerkers, YA Fiction

Scars by Cheryl Rainfield

Grades 9-12

Fifteen-year-old Kendra has been seeing a therapist since the ugly memories of being raped at the age of two began to resurface. Try as she may, though, she is unable to remember the most important detail of the abuse: her rapist’s identity. She has the utmost trust in her therapist, but she can’t shake the feeling that someone is following her. To ease her fears, she cuts, but not one person in her life knows about it; not her therapist, her art teacher, or her friend Meghan who she hopes will soon turn into something more. Will Kendra heal before it’s too late?

Award/Honor Books, LGBTQ+, Tear Jerkers, YA Fiction

Love Is the Higher Law by David Levithan

Grades 9-12david

Chances are, if you were born in 1994 or later, you remember the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. I know I do. I was 12 years old and in 7th grade- ugh, middle school. Possibly the worst time in my life. I mean, how many people have fond memories of middle school? Even so, I won’t ever forget that day. There was a message on the loudspeaker for teachers to check their emails. Then the entire 7th grade was ushered into the cafeteria and they explained to us what had happened. It was a blur after that. No one I knew worked in the city, but my classmates had parents and relatives that worked there.

David Levithan’s book, which was published in 2009, follows three teens, Claire, Jasper and Peter, as they experience the same thing I did back in 2001 on the nation’s second day of infamy. Claire and Peter are classmates; both high school juniors. Jasper is a college sophomore. Yet each teen is drawn to the other as a result of the catastrophic event. They become good friends as they lean on each other and try to wrap their heads around what happened on that fateful day.

Tear Jerkers, YA Fiction

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

Grades 9-12

This has become one of my favorite books! Jam, Griffin, Marc, Casey and Sierra are five friends who meet in a boarding school called the Wooden Barn for “emotionally fragile, highly intelligent teenagers.” They each have a story to tell, and they express themselves in journals given to them by their Special Topics in English teacher known as Mrs. Q. The friends in this tight knit group lean on each other to come to terms with and learn to let go of their pasts.

Middle Grade Fiction, Tear Jerkers

The Last Best Days of Summer by Valerie Hobbs

Grades 4-6

last best days

Twelve-year-old Lucy loves spending the end of every summer with her grandma, who she affectionately calls Grams.  Lucy goes canoeing. She and Grams bake together and glaze pots in the potting shed. This summer, however, Lucy can tell something is off with Grams. There are a lot of surprises for Lucy as her summer comes to an end. She can’t help but wonder if things will ever be the same again.