It’s been some time since Vincent has had a good day. Sitting on the bus, he still doesn’t know that his life is about to change. Forever. At that moment, outside the bus, Lady lets a little smile escape when recalling an anecdote about tomatoes. Vincent sees the smile and his world turns upside down. Now, armed with his nerdy RPG friends(not counting Bu, who is like a sister to Vincent and full of solid wisdom), an impressive magic act, and a insatiable love of roast beef sandwiches (no pickles, Vincent hates pickles), he must learn how to navigate his first non-platonic love and what may happen if things don’t go as planned.
Rosa Santos, a Cuban American, works to save her Florida town, seeks admittance to study abroad in her homeland, and wonders if love can break her family’s curse.
Three strangers meet in the forest and decide to hike to the top of a volcano together. Along the way, they help each other confront their fears and insecurities.
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, Xiomara Batista has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. She pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers–especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. Mami is determined to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, and Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. When she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.
In 1970 Vancouver, thirteen-year-old Charlotte and her best friend, Dawn, are keen to avoid the pitfalls of adolescence. Couldn’t they just skip teenhood altogether, along with its annoying behaviors – showing off just because you have a boyfriend, obsessing about marriage and a ring and matching dining-room furniture? Couldn’t one just learn about life from Jane Austen and spend the days eating breakfast at noon, watching “People in Conflict,” and thrift-store shopping for cool castoffs to tie-dye for the upcoming outdoor hippie music festival? But life becomes more complicated when the girls meet a Texan draft dodger who comes to live with Charlotte’s Quaker family. Tom Ed expands Charlotte’s horizons as they discuss everything from war to civil disobedience to women’s liberation. Grappling with exhilarating and disturbing new ideas, faced with a censorship challenge to her beloved English teacher and trying to decode the charismatic draft dodger himself, Charlotte finds it harder and harder to stick to her unteen philosophy, and to see eye to eye with Dawn.
Leira is about to start her initiation as a priestess when her world is turned upside down. A violent earthquake leaves her home – and her family – in pieces. And the earth goddess hasn’t finished with the island yet. With her family, Leira flees across the sea to Crete, expecting sanctuary. But a volcanic eruption throws the entire world into darkness. After the resulting tsunami, society descends into chaos; the status and privilege of being noble-born are reduced to nothing. With her injured mother and elderly nurse, Leira must find the strength and resourcefulness within herself to find safety.
Forced to leave her mother, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s, in a nursing home in England and move to Australia to live with the father she has never met, seventeen-year-old Hazel Clarke struggles to build a new life for herself until she is befriended by Red and his quiet, grieving twin brother Luca, who help her learn to love her new home and realize the importance of honesty and family.
In 1980 life is hard on the Tuscarora Reservation in upstate New York, and some of the teenagers feel they have fewer options than they’d like: Carson Mastick dreams of forming a rock band, and Maggi Bokoni longs to create her own conceptual artwork instead of the traditional beadwork that her family sells to tourists–but tensions are rising between the reservation and the surrounding communities, and somehow in the confusion of politics and growing up Carson and Maggi have to make a place for themselves.
Best mates Karl and Abu are both 17 and live near King’s Cross. It’s 2011 and racial tensions are set to explode across London. Abu is infatuated with gorgeous classmate Nalini but dares not speak to her. Meanwhile, Karl is the target of the local “wannabe” thugs just for being different. When Karl finds out his father lives in Nigeria, he decides that Port Harcourt is the best place to escape the sound and fury of London, and connect with a Dad he’s never known. Rejected on arrival, Karl befriends Nakale, an activist who wants to expose the ecocide in the Niger Delta to the world, and falls headlong for his feisty cousin Janoma. Meanwhile, the murder of Mark Duggan triggers a full-scale riot in London. Abu finds himself in its midst, leading to a near-tragedy that forces Karl to race back home. The narratorial spirit of this multi-layered novel is Esu, the Yoruba trickster figure, who haunts the crossroads of communication and misunderstanding. When We Speak of Nothing launches a powerful new voice onto the literary stage. The fluid prose, peppered with contemporary slang, captures what it means to be young, black and queer in London. If grime music were a novel, it would be this.
Sixteen-year-olds Leena and Mishie are best friends. They delight in small rebellions against the Saudi cultural police―secret Western clothing, forbidden music, flirtations. But Leena wants college, independence―she wants a different life. Though her story is specific to her world (a world where it’s illegal for women to drive, where a ten-year-old boy is the natural choice as guardian of a fatherless woman), ultimately it’s a story about friendship, family, and freedom that transcends cultural differences.