2019 Booklist Editor’s Choice
A Best YA of 2019 Pick from the Chicago Public Libraries
Aphra Brown is bold and outgoing. Her best friend, Bethany, is achingly beautiful. Individually, they could both do a little better in the self-esteem department, but together? Together, they have what it takes to win over Greg D’Agostino, a proverbial “ten,” who happens to be fluent in six languages–seven if you count the language of smoldering gazes . . .
What begins as an honest mistake turns into an elaborate deception, wherein Bethany goes on dates with Greg while Aphra coaches her on what to say, and texts him in the guise of Bethany, trying and failing, all the while, to tamp down her own hopeless crush. It’s only a matter of time before things come crashing down. The question is: What will happen when Greg finds out? And can Aphra and Bethany’s friendship survive the fallout?
From the author of We Regret to Inform You comes a witty, warm-hearted exploration of love in all its forms, and a cris-de-coeur for self-acceptance when the pressure to be perfect is overwhelming.
★ “A smart and honest look at female beauty, with plenty of panache to boot.” —Kirkus, starred review
★ “There is much to appreciate about this book: its cleverness, its humor, that it embraces and normalizes therapy, that it places familial love and friendship on a level with romantic love. But, perhaps best of all, it offers teens, especially those struggling to accept and love themselves, a picture of a girl who makes mistakes and fights to begin again.” —Booklist, starred review
★ “The story progresses rapidly and instantly hooks readers while holding interest from beginning to end, and the novel hits on relevant themes including self-esteem, body image, and leaving your comfort zone.” —School Library Journal, starred review
A 2018 Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
A YALSA Best YA of 2018 Nominee
Mischa Abramavicius is a walking, talking, top-scoring, perfectly well-rounded college application in human form. So when she’s rejected not only by the Ivies, but her loathsome safety school, she is shocked and devastated. All the sacrifices her mother made to send her to prep school, the late nights cramming for tests, the blatantly résumé-padding extracurriculars (read: Students for Sober Driving) … all that for nothing.
As Mischa grapples with the prospect of an increasingly uncertain future, she questions how this could have happened in the first place. Is it possible that her transcript was hacked? With the help of her best friend and sometimes crush, Nate, and a group of eccentric techies known as “The Ophelia Syndicate,” Mischa launches an investigation that will shake the quiet community of Blanchard Prep to its stately brick foundations.
In her sophomore novel, Ariel Kaplan cranks the humor to full blast, and takes a serious look at the extreme pressure of college admissions.
★”A well-written, intricately plotted, and sympathetic portrayal of the pressures that some elite college-bound kids experience during senior year. “—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★”Any high-achieving teen will see themselves reflected in Mischa.”—VOYA, starred review
“This story of self-discovery is full of humor and heart, and will immediately transport you back to senior year.” —Hello Giggles
“Ariel Kaplan’s We Regret to Inform You is a knowing, enjoyable tale of a teenager who learns first-hand that college admissions isn’t always as fair or merit-based as universities would have us believe—and that a painful, unwarranted rejection can become a gateway to adulthood and self-discovery.” —Daniel Golden, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Price of Admission
A Spring 2017 Indies Next Pick
A VOYA Magazine Perfect 10
A Best YA of 2017 Pick from the Chicago Public Libraries
A Best YA of 2017 Pick from Kirkus Reviews
Pick for Best Jewish Children’s Books of 2017 from Tablet Magazine
Bank Street Best YA of 2017
Tom Grendel lives a quiet life—writing in his notebooks, mowing lawns for his elderly neighbors, and pining for Willow, a girl next door who rejects the “manic-pixie-dream” label. But when Willow’s brother, Rex (the bro-iest bro ever to don a jockstrap), starts throwing wild parties, the idyllic senior citizens’ community where they live is transformed into a war zone. Tom is rightfully pissed—his dad is an Iraq vet, and the noise from the parties triggers his PTSD—so he comes up with a plan to end the parties for good. But of course, it’s not that simple.
One retaliation leads to another, and things quickly escalate out of control, driving Tom and Willow apart, even as the parties continue unabated. Add to that an angsty existential crisis born of selectively reading his sister’s Philosophy 101 coursework, a botched break-in at an artisanal pig farm, and ten years of unresolved baggage stemming from his mother’s death…and the question isn’t so much whether Tom Grendel will win the day and get the girl, but whether he’ll survive intact.
★”Deep and uproarious all at once . . . A clever spin on a weighty classic.” —Kirkus, starred review
★”An outstanding YA novel balancing comedy with substantial themes of love, death, and healing.” —SLJ, starred review
★”…emotional depth; some profound explorations of death and love; and increasingly bizarre and inventive battles… Kaplan’s “tale of rivalry, romance, and existential angst” succeeds brilliantly.” —VOYA, starred review
“Hilarious, menschy, and surprisingly deep.”—Tablet Magazine