The library, the indie bookstore, Barnes & Noble--wherever you get your reading material, try these in January: Ten Things I Hate About Me by Randa Abdel-Fattah ($17, Scholastic). Jamie has a double life. At school, she’s a bleached-blond Aussie; at home she’s Jamilah, a Muslim girl from a traditional family with an ultra-strict dad. The quest to find your true self is a common theme in Young Adult books, but Abdel-Fattah’s swift, smart and hilarious writing makes Jamie’s a standout journey.
But we're not done! Two more titles to pick up are...
Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers ($10, St. Martin’s). Parker Fadley had it all--the right grades, the perfect friends, the dream boyfriend--until events at one party spun majorly out of control. When the book begins, Parker is self-sabotaging to the brink of no return. This debut novel has a narrator who’ll tick you off and break your heart, then win you over with her raw vulnerability. (Plus it’s a paperback that’s under $10--bonus--and you can watch a trailer for the book here.)
Forever Princess by Meg Cabot ($17, HarperTeen). Does it seem like there’s a Princess Diaries book every year? There is! But this is the tenth and last one, and that means I am nostalgic for a series I haven’t yet read! I did, however, read Forever Princess, and I loved seeing reluctant Princess Mia learning to use her influence to help others while ironing out the many wrinkles in her own complicated love life. So now I have to go backwards. I also like that Princess Mia recently “wrote” a romance novel called Ransom My Heart, on sale this month. And all author proceeds for that one go to Greenpeace, which is royally generous of the fair Princess (and Cabot).