A collection of DPL staff book recommendations and favorites from 2022
The Making of Her – Bernadette Jiwa
An unforgettable debut novel about family secrets, falling apart, and coming together. Dublin 1996. Joan Egan lives an enviable life. She and her husband, Martin, and daughter, Carmel, are thriving in Dublin at the dawn of an economic boom. But everything changes when Joan receives a letter from Emma, the daughter who she and Martin gave up for adoption thirty years before, asking for a life-or-death favor. While Joan grapples with the guilt over giving up her baby long ago, she must confront her present as the cracks in her marriage become impossible to ignore and simmering tension with Carmel boils over. Meanwhile, Carmel and Emma must come to terms with the perceived sins of their mother, to imagine a future for their family before it is too late. Spanning the nineties and the sixties, with Dublin as its backdrop, The Making of Her is the tender and page-turning story of marriage, motherhood, a culture that would not allow a woman to find true happiness–and her journey to finally claim it.
Marrying the Ketchups – Jennifer Close
An irresistible comedy of manners about three generations of a Chicago restaurant family and the deep-fried, beer-battered, cream cheese-frosted love that feeds them all–from the best-selling author of Girls in White Dresses
Our Little World – Karen Winn
July, 1985. It’s a normal, sweltering New Jersey summer for soon-to-be seventh grader Bee Kocsis. Her thoughts center only on sunny days spent at Deer Chase Lake, evenings chasing fireflies around her cul-de-sac with the neighborhood kids. But when Max’s little sister Sally goes missing at the lake, Bee’s long held illusion of stability is shattered in an instant. The story of an idyllic childhood ruptured by secrets, the way that split-second decisions can have reverberating impacts, and the damaging impact of rivalry between siblings, which is only matched by the enduring love.
The Book Woman’s Daughter – Kim Michele Richardson
In the ruggedness of the beautiful Kentucky mountains, Honey Lovett has always known that the old ways can make a hard life harder. As the daughter of the famed blue-skinned, Troublesome Creek packhorse librarian, Honey and her family have been hiding from the law all her life. But when her mother and father are imprisoned, Honey realizes she must fight to stay free, or risk being sent away for good. Picking up her mother’s old packhorse library route, Honey begins to deliver books to the remote hollers of Appalachia. Honey is looking to prove that she doesn’t need anyone telling her how to survive. But the route can be treacherous, and some folks aren’t as keen to let a woman pave her own way. If Honey wants to bring the freedom books provide to the families who need it most, she’s going to have to fight for her place, and along the way, learn that the extraordinary women who run the hills and hollers can make all the difference in the world.
ROMANCEBook Lovers – Emily Henry
A by-the-book literary agent must decide if happily ever after is worth changing her whole life for in this insightful, delightful new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation. Nora Stephens’ life is books–she’s read them all–and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laid-back dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby. Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away–with visions of a small town transformation for Nora who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute. If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again–in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow–what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.
One Italian Summer – Rebecca Serle
When Katy’s mother dies, she is left reeling. Carol wasn’t just Katy’s mom, but her best friend and first phone call. She had all the answers and now, when Katy needs her the most, she is gone. To make matters worse, their planned mother-daughter trip of a lifetime looms: two weeks in Positano, the magical town Carol spent the summer right before she met Katy’s father. Katy has been waiting years for Carol to take her, and now she is faced with embarking on the adventure alone. But as soon as she steps foot on the Amalfi Coast, Katy begins to feel her mother’s spirit. Buoyed by the stunning waters, beautiful cliffsides, delightful residents, and, of course, delectable food, Katy feels herself coming back to life. And then Carol appears–in the flesh, healthy, sun-tanned, and thirty years old. Katy doesn’t understand what is happening, or how all she can focus on is that she has somehow, impossibly, gotten her mother back. Over the course of one Italian summer, Katy gets to know Carol, not as her mother, but as the young woman before her. She is not exactly who Katy imagined she might be, however, and soon Katy must reconcile the mother who knew everything with the young woman who does not yet have a clue. Rebecca Serle’s next great love story is here, and this time it’s between a mother and a daughter. With her signature “heartbreaking, redemptive, and authentic” (Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author) prose, Serle has crafted a transcendent novel about how we move on after loss, and how the people we love never truly leave us.
The Hotel Nantucket – Elin Hilderbrand
Fresh off a bad breakup with a longtime boyfriend, Nantucket sweetheart Lizbet Keaton is desperately seeking a second act. When she’s named the new general manager of the Hotel Nantucket, a once Gilded Age gem turned abandoned eyesore, she hopes that her local expertise and charismatic staff can win the favor of their new London billionaire owner, Xavier Darling, as well as that of Shelly Carpenter, the wildly popular Instagram tastemaker who can help put them back on the map. And while the Hotel Nantucket appears to be a blissful paradise, complete with a celebrity chef-run restaurant and an idyllic wellness center, there’s a lot of drama behind closed doors. The staff (and guests) have complicated pasts, and the hotel can’t seem to overcome the bad reputation it earned in 1922 when a tragic fire killed nineteen-year-old chambermaid Grace Hadley. With Grace gleefully haunting the halls, a staff harboring all kinds of secrets, and Lizbet’s own romantic uncertainty, is the Hotel Nantucket destined for success or doom?
The Summer Place – Jennifer Weiner
When her twenty-two-year-old stepdaughter announces her engagement to her pandemic boyfriend, Sarah Danhauser is shocked. But the wheels are in motion. Headstrong Ruby has already set a date (just three months away!) and spoken to her beloved safta, Sarah’s mother Veronica, about having the wedding at the family’s beach house in Cape Cod. Sarah might be worried, but Veronica is thrilled to be bringing the family together one last time before putting the big house on the market. But the road to a wedding day usually comes with a few bumps. Ruby has always known exactly what she wants, but as the wedding date approaches, she finds herself grappling with the wounds left by the mother who walked out when she was a baby. Veronica ends up facing unexpected news, thanks to her meddling sister, and must revisit the choices she made long ago, when she was a bestselling novelist with a different life. Sarah’s twin brother, Sam, is recovering from a terrible loss, and confronting big questions about who he is–questions he hopes to resolve during his stay on the Cape. Sarah’s husband, Eli, who’s been inexplicably distant during the pandemic, confronts the consequences of a long ago lapse from his typical good-guy behavior. And Sarah, frustrated by her husband, concerned about her stepdaughter, and worn out by challenges of life during quarantine, faces the alluring reappearance of someone from her past and a life that could have been. When the wedding day arrives, lovers are revealed as their true selves, misunderstandings take on a life of their own, and secrets come to light. There are confrontations and revelations that will touch each member of the extended family, ensuring that nothing will ever be the same.
Adult Assembly Required – Abbi Waxman
When Laura Costello moves to Los Angeles, trying to escape an overprotective family and the haunting memories of a terrible accident, she doesn’t expect to be homeless after a week. (She’s pretty sure she didn’t start that fire — right?) She also doesn’t expect to find herself adopted by a rogue bookseller, installed in a lovely but completely illegal boardinghouse, or challenged to save a losing trivia team from ignominy…but that’s what happens. Add a regretful landlady, a gorgeous housemate and an ex-boyfriend determined to put himself back in the running and you’ll see why Laura isn’t really sure she’s cut out for this adulting thing. Luckily for her, her new friends Nina, Polly and Impossibly Handsome Bob aren’t sure either, but maybe if they put their heads (and hearts) together they’ll be able to make it work.
MYSTERYThe Lies I Tell – Julie Clark
Meg Williams. Maggie Littleton. Melody Wilde. Different names for the same person, depending on the town, depending on the job. She’s a con artist who erases herself to become whoever you need her to be. A college student. A life coach. A real estate agent. But nothing about her is real. She slides alongside you and tells you exactly what you want to hear, and by the time she’s done, you’ve likely lost everything. Kat Roberts has been waiting ten years for the woman who upended her life to return. And now that she has, Kat is determined to be the one to expose her. But as the two women grow closer, Kat’s long-held assumptions begin to crumble, leaving Kat to wonder who Meg’s true target is. The Lies I Tell is a twisted domestic thriller that dives deep into the psyches and motivations of two women and their unwavering quest to seek justice for the past and rewrite the future.
The Violin Conspiracy – Brendan Slocumb
Growing up Black in rural North Carolina, Ray McMillian’s life is already mapped out. But Ray has a gift and a dream–he’s determined to become a world-class professional violinist, and nothing will stand in his way. Not his mother, who wants him to stop making such a racket; not the fact that he can’t afford a violin suitable to his talents; not even the racism inherent in the world of classical music. When he discovers that his beat-up, family fiddle is actually a priceless Stradivarius, all his dreams suddenly seem within reach, and together, Ray and his violin take the world by storm. But on the eve of the renowned and cutthroat Tchaikovsky Competition–the Olympics of classical music–the violin is stolen, a ransom note for five million dollars left in its place. Without it, Ray feels like he’s lost a piece of himself. As the competition approaches, Ray must not only reclaim his precious violin, but prove to himself–and the world–that no matter the outcome, there has always been a truly great musician within him.
The Maid – Nita Prose
A charmingly eccentric hotel maid discovers a guest murdered in his bed, turning her once orderly world upside down–and inspiring a motley crew of unexpected allies to band together to solve the mystery–in this utterly original debut. Molly Dunn is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and interprets people literally. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by. Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has had to navigate life’s complexities all by herself. No matter–she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection. But Molly’s orderly life is turned on its head the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself very dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s odd demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect and she finds herself in a web of subtext and nuance she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, a medley of friends she didn’t realize she had refuses to let her be charged with murder–but will they be able to discover the real killer before it’s too late? A Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different–and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart.
The Paris Apartment – Lucy Foley Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there. The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question. The socialite – The nice guy – The alcoholic – The girl on the verge – The concierge Everyone’s a neighbor. Everyone’s a suspect. And everyone knows something they’re not telling.
A Flicker in the Dark – Stacy Willingham
When Chloe Davis was twelve, six teenage girls went missing in her small Louisiana town. By the end of the summer, her own father had confessed to the crimes and was put away for life, leaving Chloe and the rest of her family to grapple with the truth and try to move forward while dealing with the aftermath. Now twenty years later, Chloe is a psychologist in Baton Rouge and getting ready for her wedding. While she finally has a fragile grasp on the happiness she’s worked so hard to achieve, she sometimes feels as out of control of her own life as the troubled teens who are her patients. So when a local teenage girl goes missing, and then another, that terrifying summer comes crashing back. Is she paranoid, seeing parallels from her past that aren’t actually there, or for the second time in her life, is Chloe about to unmask a killer?
NONFICTION/BIOGRAPHIESWe’re Going to Need More Wine – Gabrielle Union
Union launched her career with roles in iconic ’90s movies. When she revealed her own trauma as a victim of sexual assault, she urged compassion for victims of sexual violence. In this moving collection of essays, Union tells astonishingly personal and true stories about power, color, gender, feminism, and fame. She discusses her experiences with bullying, beauty standards, and competition between women in Hollywood; growing up in white California suburbia, and coping with the divorce of her parents. Throughout, she reminds us of the importance of confidence, self-awareness, and the power of sharing truth, laughter, and support.
Godzilla – Graham Skipper
Godzilla: the ultimate illustrated guide unites fascinating information and stunning imagery from more than 60 years of movie mayhem to show off the Earth’s most enduring monster as never before. This book is the ultimate illustrated reference work to all things Godzilla, from the early days in black and white in Japan to the biggest blockbusters of the 21st century. Never before has a work united the full gamut of Godzilla incarnations. Facts and figures, actors and locations, co-starring monsters and plenty of superb illustrated material add up to make this a rampaging beast of a book!
Hello, Molly! – Molly Shannon
A candid, hilarious, and heartbreaking memoir of resilience and redemption by comedic genius Molly Shannon. At age four, Molly Shannon’s world was shattered when she lost her mother, baby sister, and cousin in a car accident with her father at the wheel. Held together by her tender and complicated relationship with her grieving father, Molly was raised in a permissive household where her gift for improvising and role-playing blossomed alongside the fearlessness that would lead her to become a celebrated actress. From there, Molly ventured into the wider world of New York and Los Angeles show business, where she created her own opportunities and developed her daring and empathetic comedy. Filled with behind-the-scenes stories involving everyone from Whitney Houston to Adam Sandler to Monica Lewinsky, many told for the first time here, Hello, Molly! spans Molly’s time on Saturday Night Live – where she starred alongside Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, Cheri Oteri, Tracy Morgan, and Jimmy Fallon, among many others. At the same time, it explores with humor and candor her struggle to come to terms with the legacy of her father, a man who both fostered her gifts and drive and was left with the impossible task of raising his kids alone after the loss of her mother. Witty, winning, and told with tremendous energy and heart, Hello, Molly!, written with Sean Wilsey, sheds new and revelatory light on the life and work of one of our most talented and free-spirited performers.
How To Be Perfect – Michael Schur
From the creator of The Good Place and the co-creator of Parks and Recreation, a hilarious, thought-provoking guide to living an ethical life, drawing on 2,500 years of deep thinking from around the world”– Provided by publisher. It’s not always easy to determine what’s “good” or “bad”– especially in a world filled with complicated choices and bad advice. Schur starts off with easy ethical questions and works his way up to the most complex moral issues we all face– and does it with wit and deep insight, so that we can sound cool at parties and become better people.
COOKBOOKSSmitten Kitchen Keepers – Deb Perelman
The long-awaited new book from the best-selling and beloved author of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook–a collection of essential recipes for meals you’ll want to prepare again and again. Deb Perelman is the author of two best-selling cookbooks, the OG of the culinary blogosphere, the homegrown brand with more than a million Instagram followers, the self-taught cook who obsessively tests her recipes until they’re perfect. Here, in her third book, Perelman presents 100 new recipes (plus a few old favorites from her site) that aim to make shopping easier, preparation more practical and enjoyable, and food more reliably delicious for the home cook. What’s a keeper? It’s a brilliantly fuss-free lemon poppy seed cake. It’s Perelman’s favorite roasted winter squash. It’s an epic quiche. It’s a slow-roasted chicken on a bed of unapologetically schmaltzy croutons. It’s the only apple crisp she will personally ever make. It’s perfect spaghetti and meatballs. These are the fail-safe, satisfying recipes you’ll rely on for years to come–from Perelman’s forever files, to yours.
First Generation – Frankie Gaw
In this stunning exploration of identity through food, the blogger behind Little Fat Boy presents 80 recipes that are rooted in his childhood as a first-generation Taiwanese American growing up in the Midwest.
Savory Baking – Erin Jeanne McDowell
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Book on Pie and The Fearless Baker, a savory baking book for delicious baked goods at any time of day. Savory Baking is the next best thing to a private baking and pastry class from star food stylist and baking expert Erin Jeanne McDowell, given in her signature fun and reassuring style. Not only are each of her recipes intensely crave-able, they also offer inventive inspirations and variations for endless, out-of-the-box customizations and more flexibility. Take her Buttermilk Biscuits, for instance, which comes together in a single bowl. You can cut them in different shapes–Erin prefers squares so there’s no scrap dough left. And she suggests adding cheese (or fresh herbs or bacon) for bolder flavor. Or substituting the buttermilk with sour cream or creme fraiche for a je ne sais quoi tang. Or adding her green chile gravy when serving. Or make a monkey bread made of biscuit dough! And for those who can’t shake the sugar, there are “sweet tooth breaks” throughout. With Erin’s can-do encouragement, expert tips, and “Prep School” features to get you equipped with basic techniques throughout, this sweeping and beautifully photographed guide to savory baking will exponentially expand your savory baking repertoire with a ton of delicious fun.
As Cooked on TikTok – Emily Stephenson
The first cookbook from the world’s favorite video social media platform, TikTok, featuring both popular and brand new recipes from FoodTok’s most popular creators! For the 29.1 million users who posted cloud bread recipes and the 23 million who participated in the ‘whipped coffee challenge’ here is the cookbook that offers an in-hand version of the hottest, highest trending, and most viral food posts on the platform. Published in partnership with TikTok, a curated list of 45 TikTok Creators (based on highest trending food content and largest platforms) contributed recipes and food hacks to this unique cookbook as well as ‘remember that?!?’ food-adjacent content. The 60 recipes are divided into chapters such as Lowkey Dinners (Ramen Carbonara from @cookingwithlynja), Eat Your Veggies (Grilled Jalapeño Corn Off the Cob from @cookingwithshreen), and Sweet Treats (Cloud Bread from @myhealthydish) all paired with a QR code that, when scanned, leads readers directly to that creator’s platform or to the cookbook-exclusive platform being built by TikTok. Plus, expect TikTok celebs like Ming Tsai (650k) and The Pasta Queen (1.8M) to make guest-star appearances!
Dinner in One – Melissa Clark
Melissa Clark brings her home cook’s expertise and no-fuss approach to the world of one-pot/pan cooking. With nearly all of the recipes being made in under one hour, the streamlined steps ensure you are in and out of the kitchen without dirtying a multitude of pans or spending more time than you need to on dinner. Expect to find a bevy of sheet-pan suppers (Miso-Glazed Salmon with Roasted Sugar Snap Peas), skillet dinners (Cheesy Meatball Parm with Spinach), Instant Pot® pinch hitters (Cheaters Chicken and Dumplings), comforting casseroles (Herby Artichoke and Gruyere Bread Pudding) that you can assemble right in the baking dish, crowd-pleasing one-pot pasta meals (Gingery Coconut Noodles with Shrimp and Greens), vegetable-forward mains, and dozens of tips for turning a vegetarian or meat-based recipe vegan. And since no dinner is complete without dessert, you’ll find a chapter of one-bowl cakes, too–from an Easy Chocolate Fudge Torte to a Ricotta-Olive Oil Pound Cake. These are simple, delicious recipes for weekdays, busy evenings, and any time you need to get a delicious, inspiring meal on the table quickly–with as little clean-up as possible.
KIDS PICTUREThe Little Book of Joy – The Dalai Lama
In their only collaboration for children, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu use their childhood stories to show young people how to find joy even in hard times and why sharing joy with others makes it grow. The two spiritual masters tell a simple story, vibrantly brought to life by bestselling illustrator Rafael López, of how every child has joy inside them, even when it sometimes hides, and how we can find it, keep it close, and grow it by sharing it with the world. Sprung from the friendship, humor, and deep affection between these holy men, the book is a perfectly timed and important gift from two revered spiritual leaders to children. It is a reminder that joy is abundant–no matter what challenges we face–and has the power to transform the world around us even in the darkest of times.
Busy Betty – Reese Witherspoon
From Academy Award-winning actress, founder, and bestselling author, Reese Witherspoon, comes Busy Betty, a story about a creative, curious, and exuberant young girl who has big plans and an even bigger heart. Busy Betty has always been busy . . . even when she was just a baby! When Betty gives Frank a big hug, she realizes he needs a bath, PRONTO! Her best friend, Mae, is coming over, and Betty can’t have the smelliest dog in the whole world! But giving Frank a bath is harder than she thought and just when everything seems impossible, with Mae’s help, Betty learns she can accomplish anything with perseverance, teamwork, and one great idea. From Reese Witherspoon comes a smart and larger-than-life character who encourages young readers to celebrate what makes them unique and realize that anything is possible!
Blood- Not Just a Vampire Drink – Stacy McAnulty
This funny and fact-filled picture book is all about blood: where it’s found, what it does, how it travels, and why vampires shouldn’t drink it. From the four chambers of the heart to the platelets that clot your blood when you scrape your knee, everything you want to know about the cardiovascular system is right inside these pages. Just watch out for thirsty vampires
Anzu: The Great Kaiju – Benson Shum
An adorable picture book about a tiny monster with a big heart trying to follow in his family’s footsteps. All great Kaiju are born with a super power to strike fear in the heart of the city. But Anzu is different. Instead of mayhem, he likes May flowers. Instead of striking fear, he prefers to be sincere. Can Anzu find a way to make his family proud and stay true to his kind self? From Disney animator and illustrator Bensom Shum comes an adorable and heartwarming picture book about making your own way and the unexpected power of gentleness–perfect for fans of Ferdinand the Bull.
MIDDLE GRADEThe Swallowtail Legacy – Michael D. Beil
A vibrant contemporary mystery with a classic feel about grappling with grief, righting past wrongs, redefining family, and finding yourself. Twelve-year-old Lark Heron-Finch is steeling herself to spend the summer on Swallowtail Island off the shores of Lake Erie. It’s the first time she and her sister will have seen the old house since their mom passed away. The island’s always been full of happy memories–and with a step father and his boys and no mom, now everything is different. When Nadine, a close family friend, tells Lark about a tragic boat accident that happened off the coast many years before, Lark’s enthralled with the story. Nadine’s working on a book about Dinah Purdy, Swallowtail’s oldest resident who had a connection to the crash, and she’s sure that the accident was not as it appeared. Impressed by Lark’s keen eye, she hires her as her research assistant for the summer. And then Lark discovers something amazing. Something that could change Dinah’s life. Something linked to the crash and to her own family’s history with Swallowtail. But there are others on the island who would do anything to keep the truth buried in the watery depths of the past. A compelling and complex mystery with a classic feel, Wreck at Ada’s Reef is a perfect coming-of-age middle grade novel for fans of The Parker Inheritance, Holes, The Westing Game, and anyone looking for a satisfying puzzle that stretches across decades.
The Aquanaut – Dan Santat
Ever since her father was lost at sea, Sophia has been moping around Aqualand, a marine theme park. But Sophia’s world is turned upside-down when an “aquanaut” breaks into the park’s research lab. To her amazement, Sophia discovers that the aquanaut is not what it seems: inside lives a band of goofy sea creatures! And when they all realize that Aqualand is more sinister than advertised, Sophia is determined to help the aquanaut crew free the park’s captive marine life before it’s too late.
Odder – Katherine Applegate
Odder spends her days off the coast of central California, practicing her underwater acrobatics and spinning the quirky stories for which she’s known. She’s a fearless daredevil, curious to a fault. But when Odder comes face-to-face with a hungry great white shark, her life takes a dramatic turn, one that will challenge everything she believes about herself–and about the humans who hope to save her.
TEENNo Filter and Other Lies – Crystal Maldonado
This insightful, provocative novel–hilarious and raw by turns–is the second book from Crystal Maldonado, author of smash-hit New England Book Award Winner Fat Chance, Charlie Vega. Brilliantly plotted, deeply sensitive, and rich in voice, No Filter and Other Lies deftly addresses FOMO, first love, one-sided love, frayed family ties, raced exclusion on social media, queer awakenings, and learning to live with–and love–yourself. Because the most powerful lies are the lies we tell ourselves.
The Lesbianas Guide to Catholic School – Sonora Reyes
A sharply funny and moving debut novel about a queer Mexican American girl navigating Catholic school, while falling in love and learning to celebrate her true self. Perfect for fans of Erika L. Sánchez, Leah Johnson, and Gabby Rivera.
Sixteen-year-old Yamilet Flores prefers to be known for her killer eyeliner, not for being one of the only Mexican kids at her new, mostly white, very rich Catholic school. But at least here no one knows she’s gay, and Yami intends to keep it that way. After being outed by her crush and ex-best friend before transferring to Slayton Catholic, Yami has new priorities: keep her brother out of trouble, make her mom proud, and, most importantly, don’t fall in love. Granted, she’s never been great at any of those things, but that’s a problem for Future Yami. The thing is, it’s hard to fake being straight when Bo, the only openly queer girl at school, is so annoyingly perfect. And smart. And talented. And cute. So cute. Either way, Yami isn’t going to make the same mistake again. If word got back to her mom, she could face a lot worse than rejection. So she’ll have to start asking, WWSGD: What would a straight girl do? Told in a captivating voice that is by turns hilarious, vulnerable, and searingly honest, The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School explores the joys and heartaches of living your full truth out loud.
I Kissed Shara Wheeler – Casey McQuiston
After seventeen-year-olds Chole and Shara, Chole’s rival for valedictorian, kiss, Shara vanishes leaving Chole and two boys, who are also enamored with Shara, to follow the trail of clues she left behind, but during the search, Chloe starts to suspect there might be more to Shara and her small Alabama town than she thought.