The top books chosen by Canadian library staff

April 2020 Adult List

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  1. The Subtweet
    by Vivek Shraya 'Canada'
    ECW Press
    Apr 07, 2020
    FICTION / Literary
    Paperback

    Description

    “Biting and beautiful.” — Jonny Sun, author of everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too

    Everyone talks about falling in love, but falling in friendship can be just as captivating. When Neela Devaki’s song is covered by internet-famous artist Rukmini, the two musicians meet and a transformative friendship begins.

    But as Rukmini’s star rises and Neela’s stagnates, jealousy and self-doubt creep in. With a single tweet, their friendship implodes, one career is destroyed, and the two women find themselves at the center of an internet firestorm.

    Celebrated multidisciplinary artist Vivek Shraya’s second novel is a stirring examination of making art in the modern era, a love letter to brown women, an authentic glimpse into the music industry, and a nuanced exploration of the promise and peril of being seen.

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  2. Redhead by the Side of the Road
    by Anne Tyler
    Bond Street Books
    Apr 07, 2020
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover

    Description

    From the beloved and bestselling Anne Tyler, a sparkling new novel about misperception, second chances and the sometimes elusive power of human connection.

    Micah Mortimer is a creature of habit. A self-employed tech expert, superintendent of his Baltimore apartment building, cautious to a fault behind the steering wheel, he seems content leading a steady, circumscribed life. But one day his routines are blown apart when his woman friend (he refuses to call anyone in her late thirties a "girlfriend") tells him she's facing eviction, and a teenager shows up at Micah's door claiming to be his son. These surprises, and the ways they throw Micah's meticulously organized life off-kilter, risk changing him forever. An intimate look into the heart and mind of a man who finds those around him just out of reach, and a funny, joyful, deeply compassionate story about seeing the world through new eyes, Redhead by the Side of the Road is a triumph, filled with Anne Tyler's signature wit and gimlet-eyed observation.
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  3. Little Secrets
    by Jennifer Hillier 'Canada'
    Minotaur Books
    Apr 21, 2020
    FICTION / Thrillers / Crime
    Hardcover

    Description

    "Unflinching and unforgettable.Little Secrets has everything you want in a thriller" —Riley Sager,New York Times bestselling author ofLock Every Door

    Overwhelmed by tragedy, a woman desperately tries to save her marriage in award-winning author Jennifer Hillier'sLittle Secrets, a riveting novel of psychological suspense.

    All it takes to unravel a life is one little secret...

    Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They're admired in their community and are a loving family—until their world falls apart the day their son Sebastian is taken.

    A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding Sebastian, she learns that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman. This discovery sparks Marin back to life. She's lost her son; she's not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with aface, which means this is a problem Marin canfix.

    Permanently.

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  4. The Book of Longings
    by Sue Monk Kidd
    Viking
    Apr 21, 2020
    FICTION / Women
    Hardcover

    Description

    Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2020 by O, the Oprah Magazine, Good Morning America/ABC-TV, Good Housekeeping, and Marie Claire

    An extraordinary story set in the first century about a woman who finds her voice and her destiny, from the celebrated number one New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings


    In her mesmerizing fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd takes an audacious approach to history and brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit. She engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes narratives about neglected and silenced women. Ana is expected to marry an older widower, a prospect that horrifies her. An encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything.

    Their marriage evolves with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, and their mother, Mary. Ana's pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to Rome's occupation of Israel, partially led by her brother, Judas. She is sustained by her fearless aunt Yaltha, who harbors a compelling secret. When Ana commits a brazen act that puts her in peril, she flees to Alexandria, where startling revelations and greater dangers unfold, and she finds refuge in unexpected surroundings. Ana determines her fate during a stunning convergence of events considered among the most impactful in human history.

    Grounded in meticulous research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus's life that focuses on his humanity, The Book of Longings is an inspiring, unforgettable account of one woman's bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her, while living in a time, place and culture devised to silence her. It is a triumph of storytelling both timely and timeless, from a masterful writer at the height of her powers.
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  5. Forest Green
    by Kate Pullinger 'Canada'
    Doubleday Canada
    Sep 14, 2020
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover

    Description

    For readers of Elizabeth Strout and Anne Tyler, a powerful, heartrending novel about a man on the run from himself, by Governor General's Award-winning author Kate Pullinger.

    On a rain-soaked Vancouver sidewalk in 1995, a homeless man fights for breath. Forest Green is the story of how he ended up there.

    Arthur Lunn is a golden boy who spends long summer days roaming the hills and swimming in the lakes of the Okanagan Valley. But the Great Depression is destroying lives, even in Art's remote and bucolic hometown. Soon, Art finds himself caught up in a battle between the town and the vagrants flowing through it, and before long the tension reaches a boiling point.

    A catastrophe follows--and changes everything. The trauma from this event shapes and haunts Art's life moving forward, from his experiences as a soldier in World War II to his reckless, nomadic working days in logging camps across British Columbia to his turbulent relationship with his one great love--a woman he cannot believe he deserves.

    Painful, poignant, yet full of hope, Forest Green explores how trauma can warp our lives while love can help us to mend.
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  6. Chosen Ones
    by Veronica Roth
    John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    Apr 07, 2020
    FICTION / Fantasy / Contemporary
    Hardcover

    Description

    A Most Anticipated Book by Cosmopolitan * Entertainment Weekly * Marie Claire * The Week * Buzzfeed * Lithub * Alma

    The masterful first novel for adults from the mega-selling author of theDivergent franchise.

    "A stunning thriller/fantasy/sci-fi chimera like nothing I've read before." --Blake Crouch

    "A hugely imagined, twisty, turning tale that leads through the labyrinths of magic and war to the center of the heart." --Diana Gabaldon


    Fifteen years ago, five ordinary teenagers were singled out by a prophecy to take down an impossibly powerful entity wreaking havoc across North America. He was known as the Dark One, and his weapon of choice—catastrophic events known as Drains—leveled cities and claimed thousands of lives. Chosen Ones, as the teens were known, gave everything they had to defeat him.

    After the Dark One fell, the world went back to normal . . . for everyone but them. After all, what do you do when you’re the most famous people on Earth, your only education was in magical destruction, and your purpose in life is now fulfilled?

    Of the five, Sloane has had the hardest time adjusting. Everyone else blames the PTSD—and her huge attitude problem—but really, she’s hiding secrets from them . . . secrets that keep her tied to the past and alienate her from the only four people in the world who understand her.

    On the tenth anniversary of the Dark One’s defeat, something unthinkable happens: one of the Chosen Ones dies. When the others gather for the funeral, they discover the Dark One’s ultimate goal was much bigger than they, the government, or even prophecy could have foretold—bigger than the world itself.

    And this time, fighting back might take more than Sloane has to give.
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  7. How to Pronounce Knife
    by Souvankham Thammavongsa 'Canada'
    McClelland & Stewart
    Apr 07, 2020
    FICTION / Short Stories
    Paperback

    Description

    Named one of The New York Times' "7 New Books to Watch Out for in April," and featuring stories that have appeared in Harper's, Granta, The Atlantic, and The Paris Review, this revelatory book of fiction from O. Henry Award winner Souvankham Thammavongsa establishes her as an essential new voice in Canadian and world literature. Told with compassion and wry humour, these stories honour characters struggling to find their bearings far from home, even as they do the necessary "grunt work of the world."

    A young man painting nails at the local salon. A woman plucking feathers at a chicken processing plant. A father who packs furniture to move into homes he'll never afford. A housewife learning English from daytime soap operas. In her stunning debut book of fiction, O. Henry Award winner Souvankham Thammavongsa focuses on characters struggling to make a living, illuminating their hopes, disappointments, love affairs, acts of defiance, and above all their pursuit of a place to belong. In spare, intimate prose charged with emotional power and a sly wit, she paints an indelible portrait of watchful children, wounded men, and restless women caught between cultures, languages, and values. As one of Thammavongsa's characters says, "All we wanted was to live." And in these stories, they do--brightly, ferociously, unforgettably.

    A daughter becomes an unwilling accomplice in her mother's growing infatuation with country singer Randy Travis. A boxer finds an unexpected chance at redemption while working at his sister's nail salon. An older woman finds her assumptions about the limits of love unravelling when she begins a relationship with her much younger neighbour. A school bus driver must grapple with how much he's willing to give up in order to belong. And in the Commonwealth Short Story Prize-shortlisted title story, a young girl's unconditional love for her father transcends language.

    Unsentimental yet tender, and fiercely alive, How to Pronounce Knife announces Souvankham Thammavongsa as one of the most striking voices of her generation.
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  8. A Bad Day for Sunshine
    by Darynda Jones
    St. Martin's Press
    Apr 07, 2020
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
    Hardcover

    Description

    New York Timesbestselling author Darynda Jones is back with the first novel in the brand-new snarky, sassy, wickedly fun Sunshine Vicram seriesA Bad Day for Sunshine!

    "Laugh-out-loud funny, intensely suspenseful, page-turning fun." - New York Times Bestselling author Allison Brennan

    "A Bad Day For Sunshine is a great day for the rest of us." - Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author

    Sheriff Sunshine Vicram finds her cup o’ joe more than half full when the small village of Del Sol, New Mexico, becomes the center of national attention for a kidnapper on the loose.

    Del Sol, New Mexico is known for three things: its fry-an-egg-on-the-cement summers, strong cups of coffee—and, now, a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff—thanks to her adorably meddlesome parents who nominated her—and she expects her biggest crime wave to involve an elderly flasher named Doug. But a teenage girl is missing, a kidnapper is on the loose, and all of this is reminding Sunshine why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that the trouble at her daughter’s new school, plus and a kidnapped prized rooster named Puff Daddy, and, well, the forecast looks anything but sunny.

    But even clouds have their silver linings. This one's got Levi, Sunshine's sexy, almost-old-flame, and a fiery-hot US Marshal. With temperatures rising everywhere she turns, Del Sol's normally cool-minded sheriff is finding herself knee-deep in drama and danger. Can Sunshine face the call of duty—and find the kidnapper who's terrorizing her beloved hometown—without falling head over high heels in love...or worse?

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  9. A Match Made for Murder
    by Iona Whishaw
    Touchwood Editions
    Apr 28, 2020
    FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Historical
    Paperback

    Description

    “An intriguing mix of character, plot, time, and place. Highly recommended.” —Ian Hamilton, author of the bestselling Ava Lee novels

    Lane and Darling's Arizona honeymoon is interrupted by gunshots in the newest instalment in a series Kirkus Reviews calls "relentlessly exciting."

    It’s November, and Lane and Darling have escaped the chilly autumn in the Kootenays for a honeymoon at the posh and romantic Santa Cruz Inn in sunny Tucson, Arizona. But despite her very best intentions to relax, soon after their arrival Lane’s plans to spend the holiday poolside with a good mystery are interrupted by gunfire. One of the hotel’s wealthy guests has been shot point blank and Lane is second on the scene.

    Though Lane and Darling attempt to distance themselves from the investigation, the longer they stay at the Santa Cruz Inn, the deeper they are drawn into a web of suspects and bystanders, and a collection of seemingly perfect marriages fraught with jealousy and violence. The situation threatens first their honeymoon and then their lives when Lane puts herself directly in the sights of local criminals who will stop at nothing to get what they want.

    Back in Nelson, Sergeant Ames has been left in charge of the department during Darling’s absence. As he investigates a case of vandalism at the Van Eyck garage, it seems to lead directly to the death of the suspected vandal himself. Working with Constable Terrell, the new recruit, to piece together what happened in this strange and unsettling murder, Ames finds his romantic interest in mechanic Tina Van Eyck creates complications that are more than awkward; they could be deadly.

    Fans of Maisie Dobbs and the Kopp sisters will delight in the latest Lane Winslow, a study of matrimony and mirage in the American Southwest.

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  10. A Thousand Moons
    by Sebastian Barry
    Viking
    Apr 21, 2020
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover

    Description

    From the two-time Booker Prize finalist author, a dazzling new novel about memory and identity, set in Tennessee in the aftermath of the Civil War

    Winona Cole, an orphaned child of the Lakota Indians, finds herself growing up in an unconventional household on a farm in west Tennessee. Raised by her adoptive parents John Cole and Thomas McNulty, whose story Barry told in his acclaimed previous novel Days Without End, she forges a life for herself beyond the violence and dispossession of her past.

    Tennessee is a state still riven by the bitter legacy of the Civil War, and the fragile harmony of her family is soon threatened by a further traumatic event, one which Winona struggles to confront, let alone understand. Exquisitely written, A Thousand Moons is a stirring, poignant story of love and redemption, of one woman's journey and her determination to write her own future.
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March & April 2020 Juvenile and Young Adult List

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  1. Canadian Women Now and Then
    by Elizabeth MacLeod 'Canada'
    Kids Can Press
    Apr 07, 2020
    JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Women
    Hardcover

    Description

    This timely and relevant collection of fascinating stories about groundbreaking Canadian women, present and past, offers an inspiring, one-of-a-kind look at Canadian history. Canadian women have long been trailblazers, creating art, making discoveries and setting records --- and often battling incredible odds and discrimination in the process. Here, award-winning children's writer Elizabeth MacLeod presents biographies of more than one hundred of these remarkable women, from the famous, such as Margaret Atwood, to the lesser known, such as multi-award-winning mathematician Karen Yeats. There are stories of activists and architects, engineers and explorers, poets and politicians and so many more. Each category pairs a historical groundbreaker with a present-day woman making her mark in that same field. Included are stories of Indigenous women, immigrants, women with disabilities and women from the LGBTQ+ community. Together, they tell the story of Canada. And together they offer a vision of what's possible, to inspire all children to blaze trails of their own. This unique look at Canadian history is engagingly written with a storyteller's touch, making this a book that will be read for both research and pleasure. Organized by profession, it includes women in science, the arts, sports, politics, activism, law, business and more. The clean, modern design, along with the color portraits of each woman by Maia Faddoul, make the pages accessible and inviting. This excellent resource for social studies lessons also contains a time line of significant dates in Canadian women's history, a list of author's sources, further resources and an index.
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  2. A Book for Escargot
    by Dashka Slater
    Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
    Apr 07, 2020
    JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Insects, Spiders, etc.
    Hardcover

    Description

    InA Book for Escargot, the standalone sequel toEscargot--written by award-winning andNew York Times-bestselling author Dashka Slater and illustrated by Sydney Hanson--we follow a funny and charming French snail through a library to find the book of his dreams.

    Bonjour!
    It is moi, Escargot, your favorite French snail.
    Today I am going on a trip to the library, where there are so many stories to choose from!
    Stories about dog superheroes…
    guinea pig detectives....
    and flamingo astronauts.

    But sadly, none of these books is about a daring snail hero who saves the day. What is that you say? Perhapsthisis the book about the snail hero? Ooh-la-la!

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  3. The Silence of Bones
    by June Hur 'Canada'
    Feiwel & Friends
    Apr 21, 2020
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Mysteries & Detective Stories
    Hardcover

    Description

    June Hur's elegant and haunting debutThe Silence of Bonesis a bloody YA historical mystery tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Renée Ahdieh.

    I have a mouth, but I mustn't speak;
    Ears, but I mustn't hear;
    Eyes, but I mustn't see.

    1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.

    As they delve deeper into the dead woman's secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.

    But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.

    Praise forThe Silence of Bones:

    ABA Indies Introduce Selection

    "At oncehaunting and evocative, June Hur'sThe Silence of Bones is a gorgeous, tightly-woven debut. Prepare to delve deep into the lush and dangerous world of Korea in the 1800's fora page-turner you won't soon forget." —Hafsah Faizal,New York Times-bestselling author ofWe Hunt the Flame

    "This gripping drama is definitely one you're not going to want to miss." —Buzzfeed

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  4. Check, Please! Book 2: Sticks & Scones
    by Ngozi Ukazu
    First Second
    Apr 07, 2020
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / Coming of Age
    Paperback

    Description

    A collection of the second half of the mega-popular webcomic series of the same name,Check, Please!: Sticks and Scones is the last in Ngozi Ukazu's hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life.

    Eric Bittle is heading into his junior year at Samwell University, and not only does he have new teammates—he has a brand new boyfriend! Bitty and Jack must navigate their new, secret, long-distance relationship, and decide how to reveal their relationship to friends and teammates. And ontopof that, Bitty's time at Samwell is quickly coming to an end...It's two full hockey seasons packed with big wins and high stakes!

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  5. Dewdrop
    by Katie O'Neill
    Oni Press
    May 26, 2020
    JUVENILE FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / Animals
    Hardcover

    Description

    "The axolotl-cheerleader picture book you didn't know you were waiting for." - Kirkus

    From the author of The Tea Dragon Society comes Dewdrop, the delightful children's tale of an adorable axolotl who cheers on his underwater friends as they each bring their talents to the pond's sports fair!

    Dewdrop is an easygoing, gentle axolotl who enjoys naps, worm pie, and cheerleading. When the yearly sports fair nears, he and his friends—Mia the weightlifting turtle, Newman the musical newt, and three minnows who love to cook—get ready to showcase their skills to the whole pond! However, as the day of the fair gets closer, Dewdrop's friends can't help putting pressure on themselves to be the best. It's up to Dewdrop to remind them how to be mindful, go at their own pace, and find joy in their own achievements.
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  6. Dragonslayer (Wings of Fire: Legends)
    by Tui T. Sutherland
    Scholastic Press
    Mar 03, 2020
    JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Dragons, Unicorns & Mythical
    Hardcover

    Description

    This special edition of the #1 New York Times bestselling Wings of Fire series soars back in time to give readers a glimpse of Pyrrhia through new eyes.

    In the shadow of wings . . . humans fight for survival. Ivy doesn't trust the Dragonslayer. He may be her father and the beloved ruler of Valor, but she knows he's hiding more than the treasure from the sand dragon he killed two decades ago. Leaf doesn't trust dragons. They're the reason his favorite sister, Wren, is dead, and now he'll do whatever it takes to slay even one. Wren doesn't trust anyone. She swore off humans after her village tried to sacrifice her to the dragons. She only has one friend, a small, wonderful mountain dragon named Sky, and they don't need anyone else. In a world of dragons, the humans who scramble around underfoot are easy to overlook. But Ivy, Leaf, and Wren will each cross paths with dragons in ways that could shape the destiny of both species. Is a new future possible for all of them . . . one in which humans can look to the skies with hope instead of fear?
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  7. Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence
    by Karla Valenti
    Sourcebooks Explore
    Apr 07, 2020
    JUVENILE FICTION / Science & Nature / General
    Hardcover

    Description

    What if superheroes didn't have supernatural powers but instead were humans with amazing brain power?

    This first book in the My Super Science Heroes series is about Marie Curie and her power of persistence. Using a fictionalized storytelling approach, readers will learn about Marie Curie's achievements and feel empowered to become superheroes themselves.

    This new series is scientifically vetted and promoted by the Marie Curie Alumni Association, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting research and curiosity and to enhancing research and professional collaboration.
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  8. Powwow
    by Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane 'Canada'
    Orca Book Publishers
    Apr 21, 2020
    JUVENILE NONFICTION / People & Places / Canada / Native Canadian
    Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient X, Lexile measure 1170L
    Hardcover

    Description

    ? “Clearly organized and educational—an incredibly useful tool for both school and public libraries.” —School Library Journal, starred review

    Powwow is a celebration of Indigenous song and dance. Journey through the history of powwow culture in North America, from its origins to the thriving powwow culture of today. As a lifelong competitive powwow dancer, Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane is a guide to the protocols, regalia, songs, dances and even food you can find at powwows from coast to coast, as well as the important role they play in Indigenous culture and reconciliation.
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  9. The Stone of Sorrow
    by Brooke Carter 'Canada'
    Orca Book Publishers
    Apr 07, 2020
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Fantasy / Epic
    Lexile measure HL730L
    Paperback

    Description

    In a land of myth and ice, seventeen-year-old Runa Unnursdóttir is not the runecaster her clan has been hoping for. She spends her days daydreaming of sailing away and exploring the world instead of studying the runes and learning her spells. The villagers consider her odd, in looks and in manner. She’s nothing like her talented sister, Sýr, keeper of the sacred moonstone that ensures the village’s continued survival. But when a rival clan led by an evil witch raids the village and kidnaps her sister, Runa is forced to act. With a fallen Valkyrie by her side, and the help of a gorgeous half-elf Runa is not quite sure she can trust, the apprentice must travel to the site of an ancient runecasting competition to try to win back the magical gem. But the journey will not be easy; the three unlikely companions encounter malevolent and supernatural creatures at every turn. Somehow, Runa must summon the courage and strength to face her destiny, a destiny she never wanted. Or die trying.
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  10. Girl Crushed
    by Katie Heaney
    Knopf Books for Young Readers
    Apr 07, 2020
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Romance / LGBT
    Lexile measure 830L
    Hardcover

    Description

    Leah on the Offbeat meets We Are Okay in this pitch-perfect queer romance about falling in love and never quite falling out of it--heartbreak, unexpected new crushes, and all.

    Before Quinn Ryan was in love with Jamie Rudawski, she loved Jamie Rudawski, who was her best friend. But when Jamie dumps Quinn a month before their senior year, Quinn is suddenly girlfriend-less and best friend-less.

    Enter a new crush: Ruby Ocampo, the gorgeous and rich lead singer of the popular band Sweets, who's just broken up with her on-again, off-again boyfriend. Quinn's always only wanted to be with Jamie, but if Jamie no longer wants to be with her, why can't Quinn go all in on Ruby? But the closer Quinn grows to Ruby, the more she misses Jamie, and the more (she thinks) Jamie misses her. Who says your first love can't be your second love, too?

    Katie Heaney is a full-time senior writer for the Cut, a former editor at BuzzFeed, and the author of the memoirs Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date and Would You Rather? Girl Crushed is her YA debut.
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