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PG 15: Books for Older Teens

Scenario: Frustrated teen reader searching the kids section for something, anything they haven't read yet. Read it, loved it. Read it, hated it. Too young. Too babyish. Whatever. And most of the stuff in the adult section looks like a boring assignment for English class.

Cut to: Pleased teen reader browsing the shelves of our PG15 section for the edgier stories with serious, life-changing issues and repercussions. Sweet. Not all the books in PG15 have happy endings. Even the fairy tales finish with a twist. Language may be coarser, sexual content may be more than hinted at, violence may be planned or random. All, however, offer insight into the lives of teens who are faced with new and often overwhelming situations. Characters learn from their experiences, and their hope for a better day is a strong theme. PG15 changes frequently, and all the books are chosen by McNally Robinson Bookseller Joan.

This is a selection of our current PG 15: Books for Older Teens titles. To find other titles or authors, or just to browse, please use the search box.

Bull

- Young adult hardcover

by David Elliott - $24.99 - Add to Cart

SEE THE STORY OF THESEUS AND THE MINOTAUR IN A WHOLE NEW LIGHT Minos thought he could Pull a fast one On me, Poseidon! God of the Sea! But I'm the last one On whom you Should try such a thing. The nerve of that guy. The balls. The audacity. I AM THE OCEAN! I got capacity! Depths! Darkness! Delphic power! So his sweet little plan Went big-time sour And his wife had a son Born with horns and a muzzle Who ended up In an underground puzzle. What is it with you mortals? You just can't seem to learn: If you play with fire, babies, You're gonna get burned. Much like Lin-Manuel Miranda did in Hamilton, the New York Times best-selling author David Elliott turns a classic on its head in form and approach, updating the timeless story of Theseus and the Minotaur for a new generation. A rough, rowdy, and darkly comedic young adult retelling in verse, Bull will have readers reevaluating one of mythology's most infamous monsters.

Drawn Away

- Young adult hardcover

by Holly Bennett - $19.95 - Add to Cart

One minute Jack's in math class. The next, he's on a dark, cobblestoned, empty street. Empty, that is, except for a skinny girl wrapped in a threadbare shawl. "Matches, mister?" she asks, and just like that, Jack's life collides with one of Hans Christian Andersen's grimmest tales. And just when he has almost convinced himself it was just a weird dream, it happens again. Suddenly, Jack's ideas about what is "real" or "possible" no longer apply. While he and his new girlfriend, Lucy, struggle to understand who or what the Match Girl is, they come to realize they must also find a way to keep Jack away from her. The Match Girl is not just a sad, lonely soul; she's dangerous. And each time Jack is drawn into her gray, solitary world, she becomes stronger, more alive...and more attached to Jack. She wants to keep Jack for her very own, even if that means he will die.

The Free

- Young adult hardcover

by Lauren Mclaughlin - $21.99 - Add to Cart

In the beginning, Isaac West stole to give his younger sister, Janelle, little things: a new sweater, a scarf, just things that made her look less like a charity case whose mother spent money on booze and more like the prep school girls he’s seen on the way to school. But when his biggest job to date, a carjacking, goes wrong, Isaac chooses to take the full rap himself, and he’s cut off from helping Janelle. He steels himself for 30 days at Haverland Juvenile Detention Facility. Friendless in a dangerous world of gangs and violent offenders, he must watch his every step. Isaac’s sentence includes group therapy, where he and fellow inmates reenact their crimes, attempting to understand what happened from the perspective of their victims. The sessions are intense. And as Isaac pieces together the truth about the circumstances that shaped his life—the circumstances that landed him in juvie in the first place—he must face who he was, who he is . . . and who he wants to be.

Goodbye Days

- Young adult hardcover

by Jeff Zentner - $21.99 - Add to Cart

What would you say if you could spend one last day with someone you lost? One day Carver Briggs had it all--three best friends, a supportive family and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts. The next day it all crashed and burned, literally, after he wrote them out of existence with an inane text sent to his friend Mars--the last words his friends ever see. Carver can't stop blaming himself for the fatal crash and he's not the only one. Eli's twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. Even worse, Mars's father, a powerful judge, pressures the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver's actions. But Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli's girlfriend, who is the only person to stand by him at school, and Blake's grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a Goodbye Day with her--having him stand in as Blake for one last day doing all their favorite things so they can share memories and say a proper goodbye. Soon Eli and Mars's families are asking for a Goodbye Day with Carver--but he's unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these Goodbye Days bring Carver one step closer to prison or a complete breakdown?

History Is All You Left Me

- Young adult hardcover

by Adam Silvera - $21.99 - Add to Cart

From the New York Times bestselling author of More Happy Than Not comes an explosive examination of grief, mental illness, and the devastating consequences of refusing to let go of the past. When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course. To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart. If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

Overdrive

- Young adult hardcover

by Dawn ius - $23.99 - Add to Cart

Jules Parish has screwed up. After three years of boosting cars, she got caught. She’s too good to get caught, but she let her (ex)-boyfriend talk her into a questionable job. And now she and her little sister, Emma, will be kicked out of their foster home, left to survive on the unforgiving streets of Las Vegas alone. Unless. Eccentric, wealthy Roger Montgomery wants to open up his mansion to Jules and Emma. The only catch? Jules must steal seven of the rarest, most valuable muscle cars in the world…in seven weeks. Even worse, she’s forced to put her trust in three complete strangers to help her do it. First there’s Chelsea, the gorgeous redhead with a sharp tongue and love for picking locks. Then there’s Mat, who hasn’t met a system he couldn’t hack. And finally there’s the impossibly sexy car thief Nick, whose bad attitude and mysterious past drive Jules crazy. With nothing in common and everything to lose, can Jules and her amateur crew pull off what could be the biggest car heist in history? Or will things spin out of control faster than a Nevada dust devil?

Piper Perish

- Young adult hardcover

by Kayla Cagan - $24.99 - Add to Cart

Warhol-obsessed Piper will have readers asking big questions along with her. What is love? What is friendship? What is family? What should I wear? Piper Perish inhales air and exhales art. The sooner she and her best friends can get out of Houston and get to New York City, the better. Art school has been Piper's dream forever, and now that senior year is halfway over, she's never felt more ready. But in the final months before graduation, things are weird with her friends and stressful with three different guys, and Piper's sister's tyranny thwarts every attempt at happiness for the Perish family. Piper's art just might be enough to get her out. But is she brave enough to seize that power when it means giving up so much?"

Silver Stars

- Young adult hardcover

by Michael Grant - $23.99 - Add to Cart

The summer of 1943, World War II. With heavy memories of combat, Frangie, Rainy, Rio and the rest of the American army are moving on to their next target: the Italian island of Sicily. The women won’t conquer Italy alone. They are not heroes for fighting alongside their brothers—they are soldiers. But Frangie, Rainy, Rio, and the millions of brave females fighting for their country have become a symbol in the fight for equality. They will brave terrible conditions in an endless siege; they will fight to find themselves on the front lines of WWII; and they will come face-to-face with the brutality of war until they win or die.

The Sky between You and Me

- Young adult hardcover

by Catherine Alene - $24.99 - Add to Cart

Lighter. Leaner. Faster. Raesha will to do whatever it takes to win Nationals. For her, competing isn't just about the speed of her horse or the thrill of the win. It's about honouring her mother's memory and holding onto a dream they once shared. Lighter. Leaner. Faster. For an athlete, every second counts. Raesha knows minus five on the scale will let her sit deeper in her saddle, make her horse lighter on his feet. And lighter, leaner, faster gives her the edge she needs over the new girl on the team, a girl who keeps flirting with Raesha's boyfriend and making plans with her best friend. So she focuses on minus five. But if she isn't careful, she's going to lose more than just the people she loves, she's going to lose herself to lighter, leaner, faster...

Strange the Dreamer

- Young adult hardcover

by Laini Taylor - $24.99 - Add to Cart

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around--and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever. What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving? The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries--including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo's dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? and if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real? In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage. Welcome to Weep.

Stranger Than Fanfiction

- Young adult hardcover

by Chris Colfer - $24.99 - Add to Cart

Cash Carter is the young, world famous lead actor of the hit television show Wiz Kids. When four fans jokingly invite him on a cross-country road trip, they are shocked that he actually takes them up on it. Chased by paparazzi and hounded by reporters, this unlikely crew takes off on a journey of a lifetime--but along the way they discover that the star they love has deep secrets he's been keeping. What they come to learn about the life of the mysterious person they thought they knew will teach them about the power of empathy and the unbreakable bond of true friendship.