This year's Stuff for the Teen Age 2010 List featured many books about teenagers in real-life situations like How to Say Goodbye in Robot and The Monster Variations. Sometimes these stories are serious and sometimes they are just plain funny, but many of the titles usually fall somewhere inbetween. The following books were some of my personal favorite realistic teen titles published during 2009.
Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald
A cute story about two girls with essentially the same problem; they don’t really like their life, so they run away to start a new one. Emily is a reserved and organized Oxford student who has just been dumped by her boyfriend. She runs away not just to avoid her broken heart, but also to defy her father’s insane expectations.
Tasha is a California party girl who, after an indiscretion with a reality TV star in a hot tub, is branded a “slut” by everyone in her life. With her mother not even speaking to her and a blurred out picture of her in every tabloid, Tasha runs away where no one knows her. Due to the fact that the girls enter a semester abroad program at the last minute, they directly switch with each other. When their old problems arise in their new lives, they reach out to each for support; and make a great new friend in the process.
Out of the Blue by S.L. Rottman
Stuart’s mom just got promoted; she’s the commander of a North Dakota army base. Stuart is no stranger to living on a base; he’s been living on them his whole life. This is the first time, however, that he and his mom are on their own. His brother just went off to college and his dad went to go take care of their grandmother. Well, his parents are really splitting up because all they do is fight all the time. Stuart knows his dad just had to get away from his mom.
With nothing to do on the new base, Stuart befriends his younger neighbor. He starts noticing that there’s something a little off about his new friend… and his constant injuries lead him to suspect that somebody might be hurting the kid. When his mother gets deployed overseas and leaves him alone, Stuart realizes he should tell someone what’s going on… but will he be too late?
Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani
Viola isn’t happy. She’s pissed, point of fact. Her parents have up and left her. They have gone off to Iraq to make a documentary. It’s what they do. So, do they let her stay by herself in their awesome Brooklyn home? No, they don’t. Does she get to stay with the world's coolest grandmother who used to be a Broadway star? No, she doesn't. Instead, her parents ship her off to a boarding school in Indiana.
It's the same boarding school her mother attended when she was her age. Viola hates it before she even starts. Then… a funny thing happens. She meets her roommates. She gets put in charge of an important scholastic film project. She meets a cute boy from a neighboring school. All that, and she keeps seeing a mysterious woman in red. Maybe boarding school isn’t so bad after all.
Swim the Fly by Don Calame
Every year, swimmer Matt and his two best friends in the world Sean and Coop set a new goal for the summer. This year? They’ve upped the stakes: They decide to see a real, live girl naked. Matt also has to contend with his feelings for a pretty new girl on the swim team.
The boys' pact leads to some pretty embarrassing situations for them as they try to achieve the goal. From dressing up as girls to sneaking into a ladies locker room, to trying to sneak a peak at girls trying on bathing suits, to finally a desperate attempt to get a glimpse at the nearest nude beach… will the boys ultimately succeed?