Sometimes when I read a book that gets me inside a guy's head, I feel like I know more about the world. Here are three recent reads in which the male narrators made me angry, happy, tearful, giddy, sympathetic, grossed out and confused. You know, just like real guys do. 1. We Were Here by Matt de la Peña ($18, Delacorte). When Miguel is sentenced to spend a year in a group home, he's angry, guarded and alone. Despite his surliness, you will love him instantly. He meets two unlikely friends -- Mong and Rondell -- who are both also trying to overcome intense personal tragedies. You'll love them too. The voice is sharp, and the plot is riveting and full of unexpected turns that feel honest. Bravo!
2. Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher ($18, Delacorte). After a painful breakup, Logan has trouble trusting his old friends and finds himself opening up to a new student, Sage. She's been homeschooled for years and her parents won't let her date, but when Logan kisses her, she confesses her secret: She's actually a guy. That's not a spoiler because this book is about what happens after the kiss, as Logan gets to know Sage, a transgender teenager, for who she really is.
3. Metamorphosis: Junior Year by Betsy Franco, with drawings by Tom Franco ($17, Candlewick). Ovid fills the pages of his notebook with his classmates' dramas, interpreted through modern-day Roman mythology. Betsy Franco's young artist is compelling as he navigates his broken family and a dark secret. The drawings by her son Tom (done while he was in high school -- cool) add a visual layer to Ovid's psyche.
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