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Staff Favorites of 2017: Teen Books

What was the County of Los Angeles Public Library staff reading in 2017? Here are some selections from our staff of the best books we read this year.

See our Staff Favorites of 2017: Adults and Children list too. Find even more reading suggestions at Books & Media.

 Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers book jacket

Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman

Vincent Van Gogh is one of the world’s best-known artist. What most people don’t know is that without Theo, Vincent’s younger brother, the world would not know Vincent. Covering Vincent's childhood through the untimely death of both brothers only six months apart, this book is a must read for anyone who loves art or just loves a great story!

Genre: Biography, 2017

Recommended by: Victoria of Castaic Library

 Always and Forever, Lara Jean book jacket

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

In this final book to Lara Jean's story, readers are finally able to see what the fate of Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky is. It is both poignant and satisfying. Lara Jean is tender and delicate while continuing to take more action and be more assertive with herself, lending to a dynamic, real, and relatable leading lady.

Genre: Realistic Fiction, 2017

Recommended by: Irene of Lynwood Library

 The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue book jacket

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee

This exciting and hilarious historical coming-of-age story has it all: court intrigue, seduction, European vacations, pirates, alchemy, and a sweet boy/boy romance. Add to that an endearingly self-absorbed protagonist (think Cher in Clueless) and you've got a unique book you won't be able to put down!

Genre: Historical Fiction, 2017

Recommended by: Katharine of North Regional Office

 The Hate U Give book jacket

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

When Starr is the only witness to the police killing her best friend, she must make tough decisions about how to handle the situation. Great #ownvoices novel about a timely subject.

Genre: Realistic Fiction, 2017

Recommended by: Sarah of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library

 La Belle Sauvage book jacket

La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

This follow-up prequel to The Golden Compass is worth every second of the seventeen year wait for a new book in this series. Eleven-year-old Malcolm lives and works with his parents at an inn near Oxford. When he learns the nuns across the river are taking care of a baby, he gets swept into an adventure full of danger, excitement, and wonder.

Genre: Fantasy, 2017

Recommended by: Josh of Library Headquarters

 Noteworthy book jacket

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

This is a funny, provocative novel about Jordan, a girl who infiltrates a boy a cappella group at her elite boarding school. Being a boy for practice is liberating and she becomes close to her fellow singers. But will her facade be discovered? Will she still have friends when it is? I award this book with "best ending ever."

Genre: Realistic Fiction, 2017

Recommended by: Fiona of San Gabriel Library

 Genuine Fraud book jacket

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Part mystery, part thriller, part lifestyles of the rich and famous, this story of a smart, diabolical heiress on the run (maybe?) is told in reverse, from the end of the story to the beginning. My brain got a kick out of rearranging all the pieces and crafting a different version of the story as each chapter revealed new information and surprises.

Genre: Suspense, 2017

Recommended by: Kristi of Library Headquarters

 A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares book jacket

A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

In his youth, Esther's grandfather met Death, and now the members of her family suffer from a fear that eventually kills them. To escape the curse, Esther makes a list of potential phobias and avoids them all. Then she meets Jonah, who challenges her to face each fear, one by one. Funny and moving, this is the best teen novel I read this year.

Genre: Fiction, 2017

Recommended by: Karen of Florence Library

 Rebel of the Sands book jacket

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

In a world combining magic and mythology, where the Wild West meets Arabian Nights, a gifted teenage gunslinger discovers she's part of something bigger than herself and has powers she never imagined. With a tough and determined main character and a narrative that hits the ground running from the very first page, this book and its sequel were my favorite books of the year.

Genre: Fantasy, 2016

Recommended by: Biz of Library Headquarters

 Something In Between book jacket

Something In Between by Melissa de la Cruz

"Something In Between" is a timely YA book. De la Cruz is able to successfully tell an entertaining & page-turning coming-of-age story with a nice splash of romance, while not distracting from the seriousness of the greater issues of immigration, residency, and citizenship. It is both fun and relevant. Based on the author's life, it is very hopeful.

Genre: Realistic Fiction, 2016

Recommended by: Irene of Lynwood Library