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We Need Diverse Books – Hispanic/Latinx Characters

38367087 - mexican sombrero and maracas with traditional serape blanket laid on an old blue painted pine wood floor. space for copy.

Looking for some books with Hispanic/Latinx characters?
Look no further as we’ve helped find some interesting picks for you!

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The Poet X – Elizabeth Acevedo

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers – especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, whom her family can never know about.

With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

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With The Fire On High – Elizabeth Acevedo

Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness.

Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.

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Border Town: Crossing The Line – Malin Alegria

In Dos Rios, Texas, life is all about borders — and what happens when you cross the line.

Nothing is simple in a border town like Dos Rios, in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Even for high school students Fabiola Garza and her younger sister Alexis, whose parents run a local Tex-Mex restaurant, Dos Rios is full of borders — where you should go, who your friends should be, which boy you should date.

Dos Rios is also full of opportunities, but it’s a town divided, between the haves and the have-nots, the Whites and the Mexicans-Americans, the Texans and the Mexicans, the legal and illegal. But through it all, the Garza sisters have each other. Water can be crossed, but blood is the ultimate borderline — no matter what.

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The Tequila Worm – Viola Canales

Sofia comes from a family of storytellers. Here are her tales of growing up in the barrio, full of the magic and mystery of family traditions: making Easter cascarones, celebrating el Dia de los Muertos, preparing for quincea–era, rejoicing in the Christmas nacimiento, and curing homesickness by eating the tequila worm. When Sofia is singled out to receive a scholarship to an elite boarding school, she longs to explore life beyond the barrio, even though it means leaving her family to navigate a strange world of rich, privileged kids. It’s a different mundo, but one where Sofia’s traditions take on new meaning and illuminate her path.

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The House On Mango Street – Sandra Cisneros

Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous–it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become.









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Labyrinth Lost – Zoraida Cordova

The only way to get her family back is to travel to a land in between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic.

At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she’s not sure she can trust, but who may be Alex’s only chance at saving her family.

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Mexican WhiteBoy – Matt de la Pena

Danny is tall and skinny. Even though he’s not built, his arms are long enough to give his pitch a power so fierce any college scout would sign him on the spot. Ninety-five mile an hour fastball, but the boy’s not even on a team. Every time he gets up on the mound, he loses it.

But at his private school, they don’t expect much else from him. Danny is brown. Half-Mexican brown. And growing up in San Diego that close to the border means everyone else knows exactly who he is before he even opens his mouth. Before they find out he can’t speak Spanish, and before they realize his mom has blond hair and blue eyes, they’ve got him pegged. But it works the other way too. And Danny’s convinced it’s his whiteness that sent his father back to Mexico.

That’s why he’s spending the summer with his dad’s family. But to find himself, he may just have to face the demons he refuses to see–the demons that are right in front of his face. And open up to a friendship he never saw coming.

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Romiette And Julio – Sharon Draper

Do you feel the soul of another calling to
you? Do you know in your heart that your
destiny and his wore meant to merge In
the cosmos? We can help you find him.


When Romiette Cappelle and her best friend, Destiny, decide to order The Scientific Soul Mate System from the back of Heavy Hunks magazine, they’re not sure what they’re getting into. But Destiny, a self-proclaimed psychic, assures Romi that for $44.99 plus shipping and handling, it’s the only way they’re ever going to find out who their soul mates really are. If nothing else, maybe Romi will get some insight into that recurring dream she’s been having about fire and water.

But they never expect that the scented candle and tube of dream ointment will live up to their promises and merge Romiette’s destiny with that of Julio Montague, a boy she’s just met in the “cosmos” of an Internet chat room. It turns out they go to the same high school, not to mention having almost the same names as Shakespeare’s famous lovers! Sweet-scented dreams of Julio have almost overtaken Romi’s nightmares…

…when suddenly they return, but this time in real life. It seems the Devildogs, a local gang, violently oppose the relationship of Romiette and Julio. Soon they find themselves haunted by the purple-clad shadows of the gang, and the fire and water of Romiette’s dream merge in ways more terrifying — and ultimately more affirming — than even Destiny could have foreseen.

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Perfect Chemistry – Simone Elkeles

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she’s worked so hard for-her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect.

Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.

Neither Brittany nor Alex is prepared for the most surprising chemical reaction of all–love.

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American Road Trip – Patrick Flores-Scott

A heartwrenching YA coming of age story about three siblings on a roadtrip in search of healing.

With a strong family, the best friend a guy could ask for, and a budding romance with the girl of his dreams, life shows promise for Teodoro “T” Avila. But he takes some hard hits the summer before senior year when his nearly perfect brother, Manny, returns from a tour in Iraq with a devastating case of PTSD. In a desperate effort to save Manny from himself and pull their family back together, T’s fiery sister, Xochitl, hoodwinks her brothers into a cathartic road trip.

Told through T’s honest voice, this is a candid exploration of mental illness, socioeconomic pressures, and the many inescapable highs and lows that come with growing up—including falling in love.

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Dreaming In Cuban – Cristina Garcia

Cristina García’s acclaimed book is the haunting, bittersweet story of a family experiencing a country’s revolution and the revelations that follow. The lives of Celia del Pino and her husband, daughters, and grandchildren mirror the magical realism of Cuba itself, a landscape of beauty and poverty, idealism and corruption. Dreaming in Cuban is “a work that possesses both the intimacy of a Chekov story and the hallucinatory magic of a novel by Gabriel García Márquez” (The New York Times).


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Suckerpunch – David Hernandez

It’s the summer before senior year, and Marcus should be hanging out, filling his sketchbook, maybe asking a girl out for once. So why is he in a car with his brother, his brother’s girl, and the pistol, headed straight toward his dad?








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The Revolution Of Evelyn Serrano – Sonia Manzano

There are two secrets Evelyn Serrano is keeping from her Mami and Papi, her true feelings about growing up in her Spanish Harlem neighborhood, and her attitude about Abuela, her sassy grandmother who’s come from Puerto Rico to live with them. Then, like an urgent ticking clock, events erupt that change everything. The Young Lords, a Puerto Rican activist group, dump garbage in the street and set it on fire, igniting a powerful protest. When Abuela steps in to take charge, Evelyn is thrust into the action. Tempers flare, loyalties are tested. Through it all, Evelyn learns important truths about her Latino heritage and the history makers who shaped a nation.

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Under The Mesquite – Guadalupe McCall

When Lupita discovers Mami has been diagnosed with cancer, she is terrified by the possibility of losing her mother, the anchor of their close-knit Mexican American family.

In the midst of juggling high school classes, finding her voice as an actress, and dealing with friends who don’t always understand, Lupita desperately wants to support her mother by doing anything she can to help. While Papi is preoccupied with caring for Mami, Lupita takes charge of her seven younger siblings. Struggling in her new roles and overwhelmed by change, Lupita escapes the chaos of home by writing in the shade of a mesquite tree, seeking refuge in the healing power of words.

Told in evocative free verse, Lupita’s journey is both heart-wrenching and hopeful. Under the Mesquite is an empowering story about the testing of family bonds, the strength of a teenage girl navigating pain and hardship, and the kind of love that cannot be uprooted.

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Blanca And Roja – Anna-Marie McLemore

The biggest lie of all is the story you think you already know.

The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.

But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them. Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts.

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When The Moon Was Ours – Anna-Marie McLemore

To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town.

But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

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Yaqui Delgado Wants To Kick Your Ass – Meg Medina

One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she’s done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn’t Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn’t kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she’s never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy’s life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away?

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We Set The Dark On Fire – Tehlor Mejia

At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children. Both paths promise a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class.

Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her pedigree is a lie. She must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society.

And school couldn’t prepare her for the difficult choices she must make after graduation, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio.

Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or will she give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love?

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The Book Of Broken Hearts – Sarah Ockler

When all signs point to heartbreak, can love still be a rule of the road?

Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notorious heartbreakers. She’s seen the tears and disasters that dating a Vargas boy can cause, and she swore an oath – with candles and a contract and everything – to never have anything to do with one. Now Jude is the only sister still living at home, and she’s spending the summer helping her ailing father restore his vintage motorcycle – which means hiring a mechanic to help out. Is it Jude’s fault he happens to be cute? And surprisingly sweet? And a Vargas?

Jude tells herself it’s strictly bike business with Emilio. Her sisters will never find out, and Jude can spot those flirty little Vargas tricks a mile away – no way would she fall for them. But Jude’s defenses are crumbling, and if history is destined to repeat itself, she’s speeding toward some serious heartbreak… unless her sisters were wrong? Jude may have taken an oath, but she’s beginning to think that when it comes to love, some promises might be worth breaking.

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Shadowshaper – Daniel Older

Paint a mural. Start a battle. Change the world.

Sierra Santiago planned an easy summer of  making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears… Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.

With the help of a fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one — and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family’s past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for generations to come.

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Out Of Darkness – Ashley Perez

This is East Texas, and there’s lines. Lines you cross, lines you don’t cross. That clear?” New London, TX. 1937. Naomi Vargas is Mexican American. Wash Fuller is Black. These teens know the town’s divisive racism better than anyone. But sometimes the attraction between two people is so powerful it breaks through even the most entrenched color lines. And the consequences can be explosive.

Naomi and Wash dare to defy the rules, and the New London school explosion serves as a ticking time bomb in the background. Can their love survive both prejudice and tragedy?

Race, romance, and family converge in this riveting novel that transplants Romeo and Juliet to a bitterly segregated Texas town.

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The Dead And The Gone – Susan Pfeffer
(Book 2 of series)

Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life as We Knew It enthralled and devastated readers with its brutal but hopeful look at an apocalyptic event—an asteroid hitting the moon, setting off a tailspin of horrific climate changes. Now this harrowing companion novel examines the same events as they unfold in New York City, revealed through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Puerto Rican Alex Morales. When Alex’s parents disappear in the aftermath of tidal waves, he must care for his two younger sisters, even as Manhattan becomes a deadly wasteland, and food and aid dwindle.

With haunting themes of family, faith, personal change, and courage, this powerful novel explores how a young man takes on unimaginable responsibilities.

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Gabi, A Girl In Pieces – Isabel Quintero

Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: college applications, Cindy’s pregnancy, Sebastian’s coming out, the cute boys, her father’s meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity.

July 24

My mother named me Gabriella, after my grandmother who, coincidentally, didn’t want to meet me when I was born because my mother was unmarried, and therefore living in sin. My mom has told me the story many, many, MANY, times of how, when she confessed to my grandmother that she was pregnant with me, her mother beat her. BEAT HER! She was twenty-five. That story is the basis of my sexual education and has reiterated why it’s important to wait until you’re married to give it up. So now, every time I go out with a guy, my mom says, “Ojos abiertos, piernas cerradas.” Eyes open, legs closed. That’s as far as the birds and the bees talk has gone. And I don’t mind it. I don’t necessarily agree with that whole wait until you’re married crap, though. I mean, this is America and the 21st century; not Mexico one hundred years ago. But, of course, I can’t tell my mom that because she will think I’m bad. Or worse: trying to be White.

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The Nowhere Girls – Amy Reed

Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school, transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.

Who are the Nowhere Girls?
They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town whose family was run out of their former community after her Southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.

Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.

Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.

When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.

Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.

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Red Glass – Laura Resau

One night Sophie and her parents are called to a hospital where Pedro, a six-year-old Mexican boy, is recovering from dehydration. Crossing the border into Arizona with a group of Mexicans and a coyote, or guide, Pedro and his parents faced such harsh conditions that the boy is the only survivor. Pedro comes to live with Sophie, her parents, and Sophie’s Aunt Dika, a refugee of the war in Bosnia.

Sophie loves Pedro—her Principito, or Little Prince. But after a year, Pedro’s surviving family in Mexico makes contact, and Sophie, Dika, Dika’s new boyfriend, and his son must travel with Pedro to his hometown so that he can make a heartwrenching decision.

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Goal!: The Dream Begins – Robert Rigby

While growing up on the tough streets of Los Angeles, Santiago’s greatest joy is playing soccer. So it is a dream come true when a British scout sees him playing in the park and offers him a trial with one of England’s top Premiership clubs. Determined to succeed, Santiago leaves behind his struggling family and his modest home, and flies halfway around the world to give it his best shot.

But it’s not smooth sailing when Santiago arrives in northern England. Team practices are intense, and in this place where people live and breathe the sport, many seem eager to find fault with the new Latino player from L.A. The pressure even spurs Santiago to keep a secret that could sabotage his performance. There is no doubt that Santiago has skill, flair, and dedication. But does he have the stamina he will need for the English game?

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Dealing In Dreams – Lilliam Rivera

The Outsiders meets Mad Max: Fury Road in this fast-paced dystopian novel about sisterhood and the cruel choices people are forced to make in order to survive. 

At night, Las Mal Criadas own these streets. Sixteen-year-old Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City. That role brings with it violent throwdowns and access to the hottest “boydega” clubs, but Nala quickly grows weary of her questionable lifestyle. Her dream is to get off the streets and make a home in the exclusive Mega Towers, in which only a chosen few get to live. 

To make it to the Mega Towers, Nalah must prove her loyalty to the city’s benevolent founder and cross the border in a search of the mysterious gang the Ashe Riders. Led by a reluctant guide, Nalah battles crews and her own doubts, but the closer she gets to her goal, the more she loses sight of everything – and everyone – she cares about. 

Nalah must choose whether or not she’s willing to do the unspeakable to get what she wants. Can she discover home is not where you live but whom you chose to protect before she loses the family she’s created for good?

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When Reason Breaks – Cindy Rodriguez

A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth Davis must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. Emily Delgado appears to be a smart, sweet girl with a normal life, but as depression clutches at her, she struggles to feel normal. Both girls are in Ms. Diaz’s English class, where they connect to the words of Emily Dickinson. Both are hovering on the edge of an emotional precipice. One of them will attempt suicide. And with Dickinson’s poetry as their guide, both girls must conquer their personal demons to ever be happy.


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Esperanza Rising – Pam Ryan

Esperanza thought she’d always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico–she’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances–Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it.

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Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe – Benjamin Saenz

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

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Bait – Alex Sanchez

After Diego lands himself on probation for fighting, he doesn’t trust his probation officer, Mr. Vidas. But as he begins to open up, Diego realizes that he needs Mr. Vidas’s help to get his anger under control. To do that, Diego will need to face the nightmares from his past head-on and confront the memories he’s been avoiding. Will anyone even believe him if he tells the truth about his stepfather?




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I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter – Erika Sanchez

Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.

But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.

Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.

But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?

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More Happy Than Not – Adam Silvera

In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for sixteen-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again—but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely. 

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is. 

Why does happiness have to be so hard?

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Accidental Love – Gary Soto

It all starts when Marisa picks up the wrong cell phone. When she goes to return it, she feels something she’s never felt before, something a bit like . . . love.

But Marisa and Rene aren’t exactly a match made in heaven. For one thing, Marisa is a chola, and she isn’t petite; she’s a lot of girl, and she’s not ashamed of it. Skinny Rene, however, gangles like a sackful of elbows and wears a calculator on his belt. In other words, he’s a geek. So why can’t Marisa stay away from him?


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The Memory Of Light – Francisco Stork

When Vicky Cruz wakes up in the Lakeview Hospital Mental Disorders ward, she knows one thing: After her suicide attempt, she shouldn’t be alive. But then she meets Mona, the live wire; Gabriel, the saint; E.M., always angry; and Dr. Desai, a quiet force. With stories and honesty, kindness and hard work, they push her to reconsider her life before Lakeview, and offer her an acceptance she’s never had.

But Vicky’s newfound peace is as fragile as the roses that grow around the hospital. And when a crisis forces the group to split up, sending Vicky back to the life that drove her to suicide, she must try to find her own courage and strength. She may not have them. She doesn’t know.

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