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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.

Definitions of Indefinable Things

- Young adult hardcover

by Whitney Taylor - $24.99 - Add to Cart

Reggie isn't really a romantic: she's been hurt too often, and doesn't let people in as a rule. Plus, when you're dealing with the Three Stages of Depression, it's hard to feel warm and fuzzy. When Reggie meets Snake, though, he doesn't give her much of a choice. Snake has a neck tattoo, a Twizzler habit, and a fair share of arrogance, but he's funny, charming, and interested in Reggie. Snake also has an ex-girlfriend who's seven months pregnant. Good thing Reggie isn't a romantic. Definitions of Indefinable Things follows three teens as they struggle to comprehend love, friendship, and depression-and realize one definition doesn't always cover it.

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?

Grace and the Fever

- Young adult hardcover

by Zan Romanoff - $23.99 - Add to Cart

In middle school, everyone was a Fever Dream fan. Now, a few weeks after her high school graduation, Grace Thomas sometimes feels like the only one who never moved on. She can’t imagine what she’d do without the community of online fans that share her obsession. Or what her IRL friends would say if they ever found out about it. Then, one summer night, the unthinkable happens: Grace meets her idol, Jes. What starts out as an elusive glimpse of Fever Dream’s world turns into an unlikely romance, and leads her to confront dark, complex truths about herself and the realities of stardom.

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.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

- Young adult hardcover

by Benjamin Alire Saenz - $24.99 - Add to Cart

Is it really better to have loved and lost? Louna's summer job is to help brides plan their perfect day, even though she stopped believing in happily-ever-after when her first love ended tragically. But charming girl-magnet Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged now that he's met the one he really wants. Maybe Louna's second chance is standing right in front of her.

Looking for Group

- Young adult hardcover

by Rory Harrison - $21.99 - Add to Cart

Dylan doesn’t have a lot of experience with comfort. His room in the falling-down Village Estates can generously be categorized as squalid, and he sure isn’t getting any love from his mother, who seemed to—no, definitely did—enjoy the perks that went along with being the parent of a “cancer kid.” His only escape has been in the form of his favorite video game—World of Warcraft—and the one true friend who makes him feel understood, even if it is just online: Arden. And now that Dylan is suddenly in remission, he wants to take Arden on a real mission, one he never thought he’d live to set out on: a journey to a mysterious ship in the middle of the Salton Sea. But Arden is fighting her own battles, ones that Dylan can’t always help her win. As they navigate their way west, they grapple with Arden's father (who refuses to recognize his daughter’s true gender), Dylan’s addiction, and the messy, complicated romance fighting so hard to blossom through the cracks of their battle-hardened hearts.

Once and for All

- Young adult hardcover

by Sarah Dessen - $24.99 - Add to Cart

Is it really better to have loved and lost? Louna's summer job is to help brides plan their perfect day, even though she stopped believing in happily-ever-after when her first love ended tragically. But charming girl-magnet Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged now that he's met the one he really wants. Maybe Louna's second chance is standing right in front of her.

Something in Between

- Young adult hardcover

by Melissa De La Cruz - $20.99 - Add to Cart

Dad opens the envelope slowly. Mom leans over his shoulder. They are completely silent as they read the letter. I expected my father to jump up from the table and hug me, and my mother to scream and start calling all my aunties to brag about me. But neither of them say anything. In fact, they look like they just received the worst kind of news instead of the best news ever. What's going on?

This Raging Light

- Young adult softcover

by Estelle Laure - $13.99 - Add to Cart

Lucille Bennett is pushed into adulthood after her mom decides to take a break"… from parenting, from responsibility, from Lucille and her little sister, Wren. Left to cover for her absentee parents, Lucille thinks, "Wren and Lucille. Lucille and Wren. I will do whatever I have to. No one will pull us apart." Now is not the time for level-headed Lucille to fall in love. But love-messy, inconvenient love-is what she's about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend's brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure's soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.

Windfall

- Young adult hardcover

by Jennifer E. Smith - $24.99 - Add to Cart

Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes. At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall. As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined . . . and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.

Words in Deep Blue

- Young adult hardcover

by Cath Crowley - $23.99 - Add to Cart

Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favourite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came. Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore. As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.