The Duke of Bannerman Prep – Katie A. Nelson

Gatsby? What Gatsby?! Listen, I LOVE The Great Gatsby. And I was hugely involved with high school debate. So put the two together, and I should love everything about this book.

Synopsis

Words are weapons. Facts can be manipulated. And nothing is absolute—especially right and wrong.

Tanner McKay is at Bannerman Prep for only one reason: the elite school recruited him after he brought his public school’s debate team to victory last year. Bannerman wants a championship win. Debate is Tanner’s life—his ticket out of his poor-as-dirt life and family drama, straight to a scholarship to Stanford and the start of a new, better future.

But when he’s paired with the Duke, his plans for an easy ride seem as if they’ve hit the rails. The Duke is the quintessential playboy, beloved by everyone for his laissez-faire attitude, crazy parties, and seemingly effortless favors.

And a total no-show when it comes to putting in the work to win.

But as Tanner gets sucked into the Duke’s flashy world, the thrill of the high life and the adrenaline of existing on the edge becomes addictive. A small favor here and there seems like nothing in exchange for getting everything he ever dreamed of.

But the Duke’s castle is built on shady, shaky secrets, and the walls are about to topple down.

A contemporary retelling of The Great Gatsby, Katie Nelson’s taut debut is perfect for fans of John Green’s Looking for Alaska, Kate Brian’s Private series, and anyone who’s encountered the cut-throat world of competitive high school.

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I Hate Everyone But You – Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin

This book is the adorable story of Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin. Oh, wait a sec — “Gen” and “Ava.” I see you, ladies. I know what you’re up to. And I back every second of it!

Synopsis

Now a New York Times Bestseller!

Dear Best Friend,
I can already tell that I will hate everyone but you.
Sincerely,
Ava Helmer
(that brunette who won’t leave you alone)

We’re still in the same room, you weirdo.
Stop crying.
G

So begins a series of texts and emails sent between two best friends, Ava and Gen, as they head off to their first semesters of college on opposite sides of the country. From first loves to weird roommates, heartbreak, self-discovery, coming out and mental health, the two best friends will document every moment to each other. But as each changes and grows into her new life, will their friendship be able to survive the distance?

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Top Ten – Katie Cotugno

Katie Cotugno does it again! Well, kind of. I adored the concept. I liked both of our protagonists. And I liked the way things played out, for the most part. But I read another review here before reading that kind of… tainted to experience for me. It pointed out that we mostly got to see the bad parts of this friendship, and that did get to be a little tiring at times. Scratch that, it was EXHAUSTING.

Synopsis

Ryan McCullough and Gabby Hart are the unlikeliest of friends. Introverted, anxious Gabby would rather do literally anything than go to a party. Ryan is a star hockey player who can get any girl he wants—and does, frequently. But against all odds, they became not only friends, but each other’s favorite person. Now, as they face high school graduation, they can’t help but take a moment to reminisce and, in their signature tradition, make a top ten list—counting down the top ten moments of their friendship:

10. Where to begin? Maybe the night we met.
9. Then there was our awkward phase.
8. When you were in love with me but never told me…
7. Those five months we stopped talking were the hardest of my life.
6. Through terrible fights…
5. And emotional makeups.
4. You were there for me when I got my heart broken.
3. …but at times, you were also the one breaking it.
2. Above all, you helped me make sense of the world.
1. Now, as we head off to college—how am I possibly going to live without you?

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Freshers – Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison

Hold the phone, I actually — surprisingly! — loved this book!!??! It’s SO British, and so fun. Of course I would have loved a certain pairing to end up together, but this is definitely realistic. I can live with this ending.

Synopsis

Another laugh-out-loud dual narrative, Freshers is a YA novel following two protagonists through that tumultuous first year of university. Starring new characters – but featuring some familiar faces from Lobsters – Freshers is a contemporary, authentic story packed full of love, sex and friendship.Read More »

Changes in Latitudes – Jen Malone

Oh boy. What a roller coaster.

Synopsis

All Cassie wants is to get some solid ground under her feet following the shock of her parents’ divorce. So when she learns of her mom’s plans to take Cassie and her brother, Drew, on a four-month sailing trip from Oregon to Mexico, she’s stunned. There is absolutely nothing solid about the Pacific Ocean.

Cassie is furious. And nervous. It’s been hard enough keeping Drew sheltered from what Cassie knows about her mother’s role in breaking their family apart, but living in such close quarters threatens to push her anger past its tipping point.

Enter Jonah, a whip-smart deckhand who’s as gorgeous as he is flirtatious. Cassie tries to keep him at a distance, but the more time they spend together—wandering San Francisco, riding beachside roller coasters, and exploring the California coastline—the harder it is to fight the attraction.

Cassie wants to let herself go, but her parents’ split has left her feeling adrift in a sea of questions she can’t even begin to answer. Can she forgive her mom? Will home ever feel the same? Should she take a chance on Jonah? With life’s unpredictable tides working against her, Cassie must decide whether to swim against them…or dive right in.

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