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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's Joan and Solana.

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.

When Dimple Met Rishi

- by Sandhya Menon

Young adult softcover $17.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $16.19

The inspiration for the Netflix original series Mismatched!
A New York Times bestseller

An NPR Best Book of 2017
A BuzzFeed Best YA Book of 2017
A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2017
A School Library Journal Best Young Adult Book of 2017
A Bustle Best YA Novel of 2017
A PopSugar Best Young Adult Novel of 2017
A Book Riot Best Book of 2017
A Paste Magazine Best Young Adult Novel of 2017

"Utterly charming." --Mindy Kaling
"Effervescent." --Chicago Tribune
"Full of warm characters and sweet romance." --Entertainment Weekly
"Get ready to fall in love with Dimple Shah and Rishi Patel." --HelloGiggles

The rom-com everyone's talking about! Eleanor & Park meets Bollywood in this hilarious and heartfelt novel about two Indian-American teens whose parents conspire to arrange their marriage.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she's more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma's inexplicable obsession with her finding the "Ideal Indian Husband." Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn't have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers...right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him--wherein he'll have to woo her--he's totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn't mean to start turning the wheels on this "suggested arrangement" so early in their children's lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

My Name Is Venus Black

- by Heather Lloyd

Hardcover $36.00 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $32.40

In this riveting, heartfelt debut, a young woman assumes a new name to escape her dark past and find the redemption she desperately seeks.

"It's impossible not to root for this strong, willful girl as she finds her place in the world and for her brother as he tries to make sense of it."--Kirkus Reviews


"Charming, touching, and a host of other adjectives not often associated with a murderous thirteen-year-old."--Booklist

Venus Black is a straitlaced A student fascinated by the study of astronomy--until the night she commits a shocking crime that tears her family apart and ignites a media firestorm. Venus refuses to talk about what happened or why, except to blame her mother. Adding to the mystery, Venus's developmentally challenged younger brother, Leo, goes missing.
 
More than five years later, Venus is released from prison with a suitcase of used clothes, a fake identity, and a determination to escape her painful past. Estranged from her mother, and with her beloved brother still missing, she sets out to make a fresh start in Seattle, skittish and alone. But as new people enter her orbit--including a romantic interest and a young girl who seems like a mirror image of her former lost self--old wounds resurface, and Venus realizes that she can't find a future while she's running from her past.
 
In this gripping story, debut novelist Heather Lloyd brilliantly captures ordinary lives thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Told through a constellation of captivating voices, My Name Is Venus Black explores the fluidity of right and wrong, the pain of betrayal, and the meaning of love and family.

Praise for My Name Is Venus Black
 
"Fans of realistic coming-of-age fiction will enjoy Lloyd's fast-paced first novel for the freshly drawn original characters, compelling story line, and beautiful tribute to the healing power of love. It's bound to have crossover appeal to older YA readers."--Library Journal
 
"A dark but ultimately uplifting story about family, love, and forgiveness, and how to find your place in the world, My Name Is Venus Black is a powerful debut novel from a fresh voice in fiction."--New York Times bestselling author Sarah Jio

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

- by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Young adult softcover $19.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $17.99

This Printz Honor Book is a "tender, honest exploration of identity" (Publishers Weekly) that distills lyrical truths about family and friendship.

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship--the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

A Court of Thorns and Roses

- by Sarah J. Maas

Young adult hardcover $25.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $23.39


From New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas comes a thrilling and seductive new series that blends Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin —one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
Perfect for fans of Kristen Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

The Way You Make Me Feel

- by Maurene Goo

Young adult hardcover $23.50 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $21.15

An NPR Best Book of 2018
A Boston Globe Best Children's Book of 2018
A We Need Diverse Books 2018 Must-Read
A TAYSHAS 2019 Reading List Book
A California Book Award Finalist

From the author of I Believe in a Thing Called Love, a laugh-out-loud story of love, new friendships, and one unique food truck.

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn't so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad's business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind? With Maurene Goo's signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you'd never thought to look.

Love & Gelato

- by Jenna Evans Welch

Young adult softcover $14.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $13.49

A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping New York Times bestseller filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn't in the mood for Italy's famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She's only there because it was her mother's dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn't around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina's uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother's footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It's a secret that will change everything Lina knew about her mother, her father--and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

Kirkus Reviews called Love & Gelato "a sure bet for fans of romance fiction," while VOYA said readers "will find it difficult to put this book down." Readers are about to discover a new place, a new romance, and a new talent.

Tess of the Road

- by Rachel Hartman

Young adult hardcover $22.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $20.69

Meet Tess, a brave new heroine from beloved epic fantasy author Rachel Hartman.

In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can't make a scene at your sister's wedding and break a relative's nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy. Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it's a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl--a subspecies of dragon--who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she's tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than one.

Ready Player One

- by Ernest Cline

Mass market paperback $12.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $11.69

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Now a major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg.

"Enchanting . . . Willy Wonka meets The Matrix."--USA Today o "As one adventure leads expertly to the next, time simply evaporates."--Entertainment Weekly

A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready?

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the OASIS, a vast virtual world where most of humanity spends their days.

When the eccentric creator of the OASIS dies, he leaves behind a series of fiendish puzzles, based on his obsession with the pop culture of decades past. Whoever is first to solve them will inherit his vast fortune--and control of the OASIS itself. 

Then Wade cracks the first clue. Suddenly he's beset by rivals who'll kill to take this prize. The race is on--and the only way to survive is to win.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Entertainment Weekly San Francisco Chronicle Village Voice Chicago Sun-Times iO9 The AV Club

"Delightful . . . the grown-up's Harry Potter."--HuffPost

"An addictive read . . . part intergalactic scavenger hunt, part romance, and all heart."--CNN

"A most excellent ride . . . Cline stuffs his novel with a cornucopia of pop culture, as if to wink to the reader."--Boston Globe

"Ridiculously fun and large-hearted . . . Cline is that rare writer who can translate his own dorky enthusiasms into prose that's both hilarious and compassionate."--NPR

"[A] fantastic page-turner . . . starts out like a simple bit of fun and winds up feeling like a rich and plausible picture of future friendships in a world not too distant from our own."--iO9

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Reissue with bonus short story)

- by Patrick Ness

Young adult softcover $16.00 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $14.40

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him -- something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

Furyborn

- by Claire Legrand

Young adult softcover $16.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $15.29

The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world... or doom it. When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed... unless the trials kill her first. One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable-until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire's heart is more terrible than she ever imagined. As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world-and of each other.