Kind of Sort of Fine is written from two perspectives, that of — overachiever-who-just-had-a-nervous-breakdown — Hayley Mills and Lewis Holbrook. Lewis is a fat teen who has decided that this will be his year. He will take charge of his life and perhaps even lose weight and ask the girl he likes to go out on a date with him. Hayley’s parents and guidance counselor insist that she let go of tasking electives and switch to something more fun, and less emotionally draining, like TV Production! Hayley is less than thrilled to be hanging with the less ambitious crew, but when she and Lewis start making mini-documentaries about their classmates, Hayley starts to question the path she originally planned for herself. And maybe Lewis will finally get out of his own way?
Don’t Hate the Player opens with two kids: Emilia and Jack meeting at a game arcade while attending another kid’s birthday party. Jack is entranced by Emilia’s gaming ability, and the two become fast friends meeting up every year at that same kid’s birthday until Jack moves and they’re separated. Emilia is now an overachieving teen, on the hockey team, running for class VP and with a cute guy vying to be her boyfriend. But she’s also secretly a gamer by night, as part of a team of online gamers. Her real life and online world come close to meshing when she gets the chance to play in a gaming competition. She also realizes soon that Jack is on one of the opposing teams.
10 Truths and a Dare is the companion to the cute 10 Blind Dates which I read and liked a couple of years ago. In this book, Sophie’s cousin Olivia is set to graduate in a week (after all the pre-graduation parties, of course) — as class salutatorian no less. That is until she discovers that flaking on her off-campus P.E (golf) means she doesn’t have enough credits to graduate. Desperate to fix things without letting her entire large close-knit family know, Olivia comes up with a plan to redo the class. But she has a few problems.
Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry is Joya Goffney’s debut YA novel. It follows list-making high-schooler Quinn whose journal full of *very* private lists and confession is stolen. The thief then blackmails her into completing the items on one of her lists, one of which is telling her parents that she did not actually get into Columbia, the university she already told them she was accepted into. Quinn is convinced that her blackmailer is Carter Bennett, the last person to have had her journal. But when a page of her journal is posted on Instagram, Quinn is desperate enough to join forces with Carter to find the blackmailer.
Henri “Halti” Haltiwanger’s mom says he’s “charming as a verb” — and she’s right! Henri’s parents are Haitian immigrants. While his dad is their building’s Super, his mom is studying to become a firefighter. He’s popular at his high school and runs a successful dog walking business. The thing is: he tells customers that there’s an entire network of dogwalkers, of which he’s just one. When his neighbor and fellow high schooler Corrine’s mother hires him to walk their dog, Corrine quickly uncovers his sham of a company.