Undead Girl Gang
When Mila Flores’s best friend Riley dies under mysterious circumstances, along with two of her school’s resident mean girls, nobody takes Mila seriously when she thinks there was foul play involved. She takes matters into her own hands in this charming novel that was pitched as Veronica Mars meets The Craft. Unfortunately for Mila, necromancy is hard, and when she tries to raise Riley from the dead, she accidentally reanimates all three girls. Mayhem (and hilarity) ensue as Mila and her newly formed girl gang attempt to avenge their own deaths.
The Sun Is Also a Star Movie Tie-in Edition
Two teens—Natasha, whose family is facing deportation to Jamaica, and Daniel, who is struggling to fit into the life his Korean parents have laid out for him—meet one fateful and eventful day in NYC. Natasha is meeting with an immigration lawyer and Daniel is on his way to his Yale interview when they cross paths and their love story begins.
10 Things I Can See From Here
Maeve is a girl who constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. So, when Maeve is sent to live with her dad for six months, her relocation to Vancouver brings a slew of new worries. After meeting Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything, Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) while navigating her family’s troubles and the beginnings of first love.
This Book Is Not Yet Rated
Ethan Ashby’s singular passion is movies; he’s the manager at Green Street Cinema, and movies are how he makes sense of the world. When he finds out his beloved theatre is set to be turned into soulless luxury condos, Ethan knows he has to rally against the developers with his motley crew of cinema employees to save the place they love.
Rachel Rivkin and Fiona Larkin are reunited at Camp Marigold as counselors after their first year of college, after years of bonding as campers. Rachel, a street-smart city kid raised by a single mother, has been losing patience with her best friend’s insecurities; Fiona, the middle child of a not-so-perfect suburban family, envies Rachel’s popularity with their campers and fellow counselors. For the first time, the two friends start keeping secrets from each other. This turbulent summer builds to a tragic event, which forces Rachel and Fiona to confront their respective and shared pasts as their friendship grows complicated and they leave girlhood behind.
See No Color
Does she really fit in with her family? What would it be like to go to a black hairdresser? Should she contact her birth father, despite the fact that it might devastate her parents? These are some of the many complicated questions Alex, a 16-year-old trans-racial adoptee starts asking herself when she finds a hidden stack of letters from her birth father. Add in two siblings with big personalities, the way Alex’s changing body affects her star status on her baseball team, and her intriguing teammate Reggie, and Alex has more on her plate than she thinks she can handle in this honest and unsentimental #ownvoices debut.
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
Erika L. Sánchez
Julia’s sister Olga was her parents’ perfect daughter, but when a tragic accident kills Olga unexpectedly and Julia is left behind to pick up the pieces, she finds her parents’ expectations for what a daughter should be transferred to her—and she’s not sure she can bear the weight. Heartbreaking and hilarious in turn, this coming-of-age novel explores the human complexities underneath “perfection” with poignancy and grace.
Kristy, Mary-Anne, Claudia, Stacey, Dawn…the familiar gang is all here in Netflix’s fun and cotton candy sweet adaptation of Ann M. Martin’s The Babysitter’s Club series. Updated with just enough edge for modern teens, the show has enough wholesome optimism for tweens and plenty of millennial-appropriate nostalgia for its—ahem—more mature viewers.
In the new series, the girls traverse the sometimes-rocky path of middle school while exploring their friendships, deepening their relationships with their parents and siblings, learning to stand up for what they believe in, and of course, having fun. Although the original books and the series both skew more middle grade, for this list, we skewed a little older, toward YA that resonates with those of us who, though young-at-heart, perhaps are old enough to have fallen in love with the original BSC in its prime.
Looking for books like The Babysitter’s Club? These novels all feature strong-willed heroines (and a hero or two) who are on journeys of friendship and self-discovery that would do even the exacting Kristy Thomas proud.
Featured Image: Jesse Austin – © Netflix