Showing 1–50 of 89 books

  • Genre: Realistic Fiction
  • List: Rainbow Book List - Young Adult Fiction
  • Afterworlds

    With a contract in hand for her YA novel, eighteen-year-old Darcy Patel arrives in New York City. Over the course of a year, Darcy finishes her book, faces critique, and falls in love in love with the enigmatic Imogene. Woven into Darcy's personal story is her novel, Afterworlds, a suspenseful thriller about a teen who slips into the “Afterworld” to survive a terrorist attack.
  • Alex As Well

    Fourteen years old and intersex, Alex was raised by her parents as a boy, but she knows she is a girl. Taking her identity into her own hands, she stops her testosterone pills and starts over at a new school. This presents a whole new set of challenges, from facing down disapproving parents to navigating her legal rights.
  • All We Can Do Is Wait

    In the hours after a bridge collapse rocks their city, a group of Boston teenagers meet in the waiting room of Massachusetts General Hospital: Siblings Jason and Alexa have already experienced enough grief for a lifetime, so in this moment of confusion and despair, Alexa hopes that she can look to her brother for support. But a secret Jason has been keeping from his sister threatens to tear the siblings apart…right when they need each other most. Scott is waiting to hear about his girlfriend, Aimee, who was on a bus with her theater group when the bridge went down. Their relationship has been rocky, but Scott knows that if he can just see Aimee one more time, if she can just make it through this ordeal and he can tell her he loves her, everything will be all right. And then there's Skyler, whose sister Kate—the sister who is more like a mother, the sister who is basically Skyler's everything—was crossing the bridge when it collapsed. As the minutes tick by without a word from the hospital staff, Skyler is left to wonder how she can possibly move through life without the one person who makes her feel strong when she's at her weakest.
  • Anger is a Gift

    Six years ago, Moss Jefferies' father was murdered by an Oakland police officer. Along with losing a parent, the media's vilification of his father and lack of accountability has left Moss with near crippling panic attacks. Now, in his sophomore year of high school, Moss and his fellow classmates find themselves increasingly treated like criminals by their own school. New rules. Random locker searches. Constant intimidation and Oakland Police Department stationed in their halls. Despite their youth, the students decide to organize and push back against the administration. When tensions hit a fever pitch and tragedy strikes, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate or realize that anger can actually be a gift.
  • Anything Could Happen

    Having a secret crush can be hard. For Tretch, a closeted teen who is in love with his straight best friend, it verges on torture. Whether he reveals his true feelings or continues to avoid them, the only certain thing is that anything could happen.
  • Beast

    Insecure about his unusually large and hairy appearance, 15-year-old Dylan feels like a freak until he meets brave and beautiful Jamie, who accepts and loves him as he is. But when he realizes she is transgender, can he return the favor?
  • The Beauty That Remains

    Autumn always knew exactly who she was—a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan always turned to writing love songs when his love life was a little less than perfect. But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan can't stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger struggling to keep it together. And Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered. Despite the odds, one band's music will reunite them and prove that after grief, beauty thrives in the people left behind.
  • Before I Let Go

    Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey moves away, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return. Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated―and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town's lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she's a stranger. Corey knows something is wrong. With every hour, her suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets―chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter...
  • The Book of David

    Through journal entries, a small-town high school quarterback recounts his experiences of falling for the new kid and the fear of being outed by his best friend.
  • The Brightsiders

    As a rock star drummer in the hit band The Brightsiders, Emmy King's life should be perfect. But there's nothing the paparazzi love more than watching a celebrity crash and burn. When a night of partying lands Emmy in hospital and her girlfriend in jail, she's branded the latest tabloid train wreck. Luckily, Emmy has her friends and bandmates, including the super-swoonworthy Alfie, to help her pick up the pieces of her life. She knows hooking up with a band member is exactly the kind of trouble she should be avoiding, and yet Emmy and Alfie Just. Keep. Kissing. Will the inevitable fallout turn her into a clickbait scandal (again)? Or will she find the strength to stand on her own?
  • Burro Hills

    In a town like Burro Hills, you either figure out who you are or die trying. Seventeen-year-old Jack has lived in the troubled California town his entire life. He hides the truth about his sexuality from everyone, including his best friend Jess and his childhood rival and drug dealing partner, Toby. Keeping your head down, Jack knows, is the best way to survive. But when Connor, a fearless new arrival, enrolls at school, he sees right through Jack's façade. Jack finds himself falling for Connor, and the feeling is mutual―but their relationship will set into a motion a series of events with lasting consequences. After a falling out with Jess, Jack is worried to see her growing close to the manipulative Toby. To make matters worse, Jack is becoming increasingly paranoid that Toby will expose his relationship with Connor. As tensions rise and more secrets come to a head, Jack cuts off ties with Toby. Hungry for revenge, Toby comes after Jack, jeopardizing his budding romance with Connor and the life he's tried so hard to salvage in Burro Hills.
  • Caterpillars Can't Swim

    Ryan finds his freedom in the water, where he is not bound by gravity and his wheelchair. When he rescues his schoolmate, Jack, from the water their lives become connected, whether they like it or not. Ryan keeps Jack's secret about that day in the water, but he knows that Jack needs help. The school is full of rumors about Jack's sexuality, and he has few friends. Almost against his better judgement, Ryan decides to invite Jack on a trip to Comic Con he's planned with his best friend Cody, the captain of the school's swim team. The three boys make an unlikely combination, but they will each have the chance to show whether they are brave enough to go against the stereotypes the world wants to define them by.
  • Chaotic Good

    Cameron's cosplay--dressing like a fictional character--is finally starting to earn her attention--attention she hopes to use to get into the CalTech costume department for college. But when she wins a major competition, she inadvertently sets off a firestorm of angry comments from male fans. When Cameron's family moves the summer before her senior year, she hopes to complete her costume portfolio in peace and quiet away from the abuse. Unfortunately, the only comic shop in town--her main destination for character reference--is staffed by a dudebro owner who challenges every woman who comes into the shop. At her twin brother's suggestion, Cameron borrows a set of his clothes and uses her costuming expertise to waltz into the shop as Boy Cameron, where she's shocked at how easily she's accepted into the nerd inner sanctum. Soon, Cameron finds herself drafted into a D&D campaign alongside the jerky shop-owner Brody, friendly (almost flirtatiously so) clerk Wyatt, handsome Lincoln, and her bro Cooper, dragged along for good measure. But as her "secret identity" gets more and more entrenched, Cameron's portfolio falls by the wayside--and her feelings for Lincoln threaten to make a complicated situation even more precarious.
  • Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World

    Stephen Shulevitz has three months to go before his high school graduation, when he's faced with the end of the world–realizing he's in love with very straight and very homophobic best friend. With only a few months left to go in his small town, Stephen tries to figure out who he is and who he wants to be.
  • Cut Both Ways

    Seventeen-year-old Will believes he is adept at straddling two worlds. He lives with his affluent mother in the suburbs where he makes out with his gay best friend; he lives with his struggling father in the city where he hooks up with a girl from school. When his worlds collide, he is cut both ways.
  • The Dangerous Art of Blending In

    Seventeen-year-old Evan Panos doesn't know where he fits in. His strict Greek mother refuses to see him as anything but a disappointment. His quiet, workaholic father is a staunch believer in avoiding any kind of conflict. And his best friend Henry has somehow become distractingly attractive over the summer. Tired, isolated, scared—Evan's only escape is drawing in an abandoned church that feels as lonely as he is. And, yes, he kissed one guy over the summer. But it's his best friend Henry who's now proving to be irresistible. It's Henry who suddenly seems interested in being more than friends. And it's Henry who makes him believe that he's more than his mother's harsh words and terrifying abuse. But as things with Henry heat up, and his mother's abuse escalates, Evan has to decide how to find his voice in a world where he has survived so long by avoiding attention at all costs.
  • Darius the Great is Not Okay

    Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He's about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it's pretty overwhelming--especially when he's also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom's family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything. Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what's going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understands that sometimes, best friends don't have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he's spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline. Sohrab calls him Darioush--the original Persian version of his name--and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he's Darioush to Sohrab. When it's time to go home to America, he'll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own.
  • Dear Rachel Maddow

    Brynn Haper's life has one steadying force--Rachel Maddow. She watches her daily, and after writing to Rachel for a school project--and actually getting a response--Brynn starts drafting e-mails to Rachel but never sending them. Brynn tells Rachel about breaking up with her first serious girlfriend, about her brother Nick's death, about her passive mother and even worse stepfather, about how she's stuck in remedial courses at school and is considering dropping out. Then Brynn is confronted with a moral dilemma. One student representative will be allowed to have a voice among the administration in the selection of a new school superintendent. Brynn's archnemesis, Adam, and ex-girlfriend, Sarah, believe only Honors students are worthy of the selection committee seat. Brynn feels all students deserve a voice. When she runs for the position, the knives are out. So she begins to ask herself: What Would Rachel Maddow Do?
  • Drag Teen

    A drag competition offers JT the opportunity to break out of his small-town Florida life and live his dream onstage in wig, heels, and false eyelashes.
  • Echo After Echo

    Debuting on the New York stage, Zara is unprepared—for Eli, the girl who makes the world glow; for Leopold, the director who wants perfection; and for death in the theater. Zara Evans has come to the Aurelia Theater, home to the visionary director Leopold Henneman, to play her dream role in Echo and Ariston, the Greek tragedy that taught her everything she knows about love. When the director asks Zara to promise that she will have no outside commitments, no distractions, it's easy to say yes. But it's hard not to be distracted when there's a death at the theater—and then another—especially when Zara doesn't know if they're accidents, or murder, or a curse that always comes in threes. It's hard not to be distracted when assistant lighting director Eli Vasquez, a girl made of tattoos and abrupt laughs and every form of light, looks at Zara. It's hard not to fall in love. In heart-achingly beautiful prose, Amy Rose Capetta has spun a mystery and a love story into an impossible, inevitable whole—and cast lantern light on two girls, finding each other on a stage set for tragedy.
  • Everything Leads To You

    Emi and her best friend Charlotte are invited to stay at Emi's brother's apartment in LA for the summer after graduation, with one condition: they must do something “epic” while he's gone. When they discover a cryptic letter from a world-famous celebrity, Emi thinks that this mystery might be what they're looking for.
  • Fans of the Impossible Life

    Jeremy, Mira and Sebby first bond while gathering signatures on a petition to establish an after-school Art Club. All three of them struggle with physical and emotional traumas, but together they hope to bring some light into their lives. The use of a different voice for each character's portion of the narrative (first, second and third person) adds haunting perspective to their powerful stories.
  • Far from You

    Sophie lives with chronic pain from a car accident that also left her hooked on Oxy. Sophie is clean now—but she's reeling from the loss of her love Mina, who died in a mysterious shooting that the police think was a botched drug deal. Will Sophie be able to solve the murder, or will she be the next victim?
  • Final Draft

    The only sort of risk 18-year-old Laila Piedra enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before her graduation, he's suddenly replaced—by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist who is sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed. At first, Nazarenko's eccentric assignments seem absurd. But before long, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman's approval. Soon Laila is pushing herself far from her comfort zone, discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, temporary flings, and instability. Dr. Nazarenko has led Laila to believe that she must choose between perfection and sanity—but rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.
  • Fire Song

    Shane is still reeling from the suicide of his kid sister, Destiny. How could he have missed the fact that she was so sad? He tries to share his grief with his girlfriend, Tara, but she's too concerned with her own needs to offer him much comfort. What he really wants is to be able to turn to the one person on the rez whom he loves—his friend, David. Things go from bad to worse as Shane's dream of going to university is shattered and his grieving mother withdraws from the world. Worst of all, he and David have to hide their relationship from everyone. Shane feels that his only chance of a better life is moving to Toronto, but David refuses to join him. When yet another tragedy strikes, the two boys have to make difficult choices about their future together. With deep insight into the life of Indigenous people on the reserve, this book masterfully portrays how a community looks to the past for guidance and comfort while fearing a future of poverty and shame. Shane's rocky road to finding himself takes many twists and turns, but ultimately ends with him on a path that doesn't always offer easy answers, but one that leaves the reader optimistic about his fate.
  • The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley

    Andrew Brawley should have died in the car accident that killed his parents and sister; he did not. Instead, he skulks around in the hospital where they died, working on his graphic novel and avoiding the ever-vigilant eyes of Death. When Rusty, a boy set on fire for being gay, arrives in the ER, Andrew falls in love and begins to imagine life outside the hospital walls.
  • Forgive Me If I've Told You This Before

    Triinu Hoffman realizes she is definitely gay, a problem in the middle of a statewide campaign against equal rights for homosexuals in 1992 Oregon. Through lyrical language, this novel depicts a true test for Triinu of who she is and who she wants to become.
  • The Gallery of Unfinished Girls

    A beautiful and evocative look at identity and creativity, The Gallery of Unfinished Girls is a stunning debut in magical realism. Perfect for fans of The Walls Around Us and Bone Gap. Mercedes Moreno is an artist. At least, she thinks she could be, even though she hasn't been able to paint anything worthwhile in the past year. Her lack of inspiration might be because her abuela is in a coma. Or the fact that Mercedes is in love with her best friend, Victoria, but is too afraid to admit her true feelings. Despite Mercedes's creative block, art starts to show up in unexpected ways. A piano appears on her front lawn one morning, and a mysterious new neighbor invites Mercedes to paint with her at the Red Mangrove Estate. At the Estate, Mercedes can create in ways she hasn't ever before. But Mercedes can't take anything out of the Estate, including her new-found clarity. Mercedes can't live both lives forever, and ultimately she must choose between this perfect world of art and truth and a much messier reality.
  • Gena/Finn

    Gena and Finn find each other online through tv fandom. As their friendship develops, neither one expects the disaster that waits around the corner.
  • Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit

    When out and proud Jo is forced to move to small-town Georgia, she grants her father's request to protect his ministry and new marriage by returning to the closet. But who will she meet in the closet?
  • Girl Made of Stars

    "I need Owen to explain this. Because yes, I do know that Owen would never do that, but I also know Hannah would never lie about something like that." Mara and Owen are about as close as twins can get. So when Mara's friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn't know what to think. Can the brother she loves really be guilty of such a violent crime? Torn between the family she loves and her own sense of right and wrong, Mara is feeling lost, and it doesn't help that things have been strained with her ex-girlfriend and best friend since childhood, Charlie. As Mara, Hannah, and Charlie navigate this new terrain, Mara must face a trauma from her own past and decide where Charlie fits in her future. With sensitivity and openness, this timely novel confronts the difficult questions surrounding consent, victim blaming, and sexual assault.
  • Girl Mans Up

    All Pen wants is to be the kind of girl she's always been. So why does everyone have a problem with it? They think the way she looks and acts means she's trying to be a boy—that she should quit trying to be something she's not. If she dresses like a girl, and does what her folks want, it will show respect. If she takes orders and does what her friend Colby wants, it will show her loyalty. But respect and loyalty, Pen discovers, are empty words. Old-world parents, disintegrating friendships, and strong feelings for other girls drive Pen to see the truth--that in order to be who she truly wants to be, she'll have to man up.
  • The Great American Whatever

    After spending 6 months alone grieving over the loss of his sister, Quinn's best friend forces him out to a party where he meets and falls for the older and more experienced Amir.
  • Here to Stay

    For most of high school, Bijan Majidi has flown under the radar. He gets good grades, reads comics, hangs out with his best friend, Sean, and secretly crushes on Elle, one of the most popular girls in his school. When he's called off the basketball team's varsity bench and makes the winning basket in a playoff game, everything changes in an instant. But not everyone is happy that Bijan is the man of the hour: an anonymous cyberbully sends the entire school a picture of Bijan photoshopped to look like a terrorist. His mother is horrified, and the school administration is outraged. They promise to find and punish the culprit. All Bijan wants is to pretend it never happened and move on, but the incident isn't so easily erased. Though many of his classmates rally behind Bijan, some don't want him or his type to be a part of their school. And Bijan's finding out it's not always easy to tell your enemies from your friends . . .
  • Highly Illogical Behavior

    Solomon Reed hasn't stepped out of his house in three years; Lisa Praytor wants nothing more than to leave their town. Solomon may be her ticket out.
  • The History of Us

    Basketball player Bradley Collins is out to his friends but doesn't see his sexuality as central to his identity. TJ is openly gay and about to embark on a road trip to document LGBTQ people and their experiences. Bradley joins him on a road trip full of beautiful stories and emotional growth.
  • Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story

    Tiny Cooper—”the world's largest person who is also really, really gay” of Will Grayson, Will Grayson fame—shares his life story in this libretto of a musical.
  • How Many Letters are in Goodbye?

    Rhea lost her mother 14 years ago, but is still saying goodbye with letters describing her struggles coming to terms with her sexuality, gaining and losing love, and experiencing homelessness in NYC.
  • I Have Lost My Way

    A powerful display of empathy and friendship from the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of If I Stay. Around the time that Freya loses her voice while recording her debut album, Harun is making plans to run away from home to find the boy that he loves, and Nathaniel is arriving in New York City after a family tragedy leaves him isolated on the outskirts of Washington state. After the three of them collide in Central Park, they slowly reveal the parts of their past that they haven't been able to confront, and together, they find their way back to who they're supposed to be. Told over the course of a single day from three different perspectives, Gayle Forman's newest novel about the power of friendship and being true to who you are is filled with the elegant prose that her fans have come to know and love.
  • I'll Give You the Sun

    Artistic twins Jude and Noah each have only half the story of why they broke apart. Their art becomes a force of its own as they negotiate love, loss, lies and the possibility of reuniting their lives.
  • The Inside of Out

    Daisy thinks being an ally to her best friend is going to be easy. As she leads the fight to allow same-sex dates at Homecoming, Daisy discovers that standing with her friend is different from standing in for her friend.
  • Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts)

    Meet Jack Rothman. He's seventeen and loves partying, makeup and boys - sometimes all at the same time. His sex life makes him the hot topic for the high school gossip machine. But who cares? Like Jack always says, 'it could be worse'. He doesn't actually expect that to come true. But after Jack starts writing an online sex advice column, the mysterious love letters he's been getting take a turn for the creepy. Jack's secret admirer knows everything: where he's hanging out, who he's sleeping with, who his mum is dating. They claim they love Jack, but not his unashamedly queer lifestyle. They need him to curb his sexuality, or they'll force him. As the pressure mounts, Jack must unmask his stalker before their obsession becomes genuinely dangerous...
  • Jess, Chunk, and the Road Trip to Infinity

    After starting her transition, Jess takes her best friend Chuck across the country to come out to her dad, but spends the trip learning what it means to be a good friend.
  • Juliet Takes a Breath

    Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn't sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that's going to help her figure out this whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing. She's interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women's bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff. Will Juliet be able to figure out her life over the course of one magical summer? Is that even possible? Or is she running away from all the problems that seem too big to handle? With more questions than answers, Juliet takes on Portland, Harlowe, and most importantly, herself.
  • Just Kill Me

    Megan has been surrounded by death her whole life, given her family has owned a funeral home for generations. So guiding ghost tours seems natural…until it appears someone might want her to be the next ghost on their tour.
  • The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls

    One summer will challenge everything the Garrett sisters thought they knew about themselves—and each other. Kat lands the lead in the community theater's summer play, but the drama spills offstage when her ex and his new girlfriend are cast too. Can she get revenge by staging a new romance of her own? Bea and her boyfriend are heading off to college together in the fall, just like they planned when they started dating. But Bea isn't sure she wants the same things as when she was thirteen… Vi has a crush on the girl next door. It makes her happy and nervous, but Cece has a boyfriend…so it's not like her feelings could ever be reciprocated, right? As the oldest, Des shoulders a lot of responsibility for her family and their independent bookstore. Except it's hard to dream big when she's so busy taking care of everyone else.
  • Leah on the Offbeat

    Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier's best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst. When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn't always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she's the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she's bisexual, she hasn't mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon. So Leah really doesn't know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It's hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.
  • Let's Talk About Love

    Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting--working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she's asexual). Alice is done with dating--no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done. But then Alice meets Takumi and she can't stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!). When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she's willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.
  • Look Both Ways

    Brooklyn finds herself falling into a romance with her roommate Zoe at acting camp, and she questions her identity and what she really wants.
  • Love and Other Carnivorous Plants

    Freshman year at Harvard was the most anticlimactic year of Danny's life. She's failing pre-med and drifting apart from her best friend. One by one, Danny is losing all the underpinnings of her identity. When she finds herself attracted to an older, edgy girl who she met in rehab for an eating disorder, she finally feels like she might be finding a new sense of self. But when tragedy strikes, her self-destructive tendencies come back to haunt her as she struggles to discover who that self really is.