Escapist, Engaging and Immersive Teen Fiction

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As we have reached the shortest day of the year, I think it is a perfect time to put together a list of recent teen fiction that provides a mental escape. These books are either funny, immersive, quirky, feel-good or a mix of all four. Books that may be called “a romp” or a “page-turner.”

Because life isn’t always made of rainbows, these books still may contain situations that their characters have to overcome or work through. But the tone of these books is upbeat overall, centering bonds of friendship and the support and hope that brings.

Here you will find a good number of protagonists with a sardonic view of the world and an appealing sense of dry humor. At many points, these books are heartwarming, with plot-centered stories, vivid characterization and an engrossing pace.

The Babysitters Coven

Esme Pearl thinks of babysitting mainly as the best option for pocket money as a teenager. She’s good at it, and she’s good at managing a roster of other teens as a sort of babysitter’s club. She’s also going to find out that babysitting is a magical heritage in her family, and may be a higher calling. You can also check out this title as an eBook on Overdrive/Libby and in eAudio on Overdrive/Libby. 

Camp

Camp Outland, a summer camp for queer teens, is home to Randy Kapplehoff, a place where he can be fully himself. But his all-consuming crush on Hudson Aaronson-Lim drives him to try to fit the profile of Hudson’s “type” – buff, masculine, and not at all what Randy is usually like. Is love worth it? You can also check out this title as an eBook on Overdrive/Libby.  

The Inheritance Games

Billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and gives his fortune to Avery Grambs, a high school girl who is unrelated to him and has no idea why she is the beneficiary of his will. She moves into Hawthorne House and discovers a world full of deception, puzzles, riddles, secret passageways and scheming grandsons. You can also check out this title as an eBook on Overdrive/Libby and in eAudio on Overdrive/Libby. 

My Calamity Jane 

Hunting and killing the werewolves – aka garous — of the Old West is Calamity Jane’s job. When she gets a bite from one of them, she has to chase down rumors of a garou cure instead, taking her to Deadwood and more danger. You can also check out this title as an eBook on Overdrive/Libby and in eAudio on Overdrive/Libby

 

The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried

Dino and July used to be friends, until they weren’t. Then July unexpectedly dies and ends up in Dino’s family’s funeral home – and comes back to life. Now the ex-best-friends have to work together to solve the crisis of the undead afflicting their world. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything

Sia’s mom was deported – or disappeared, really – three years ago, and Sia can’t get over it. Her prayers are answered in the form of a spaceship that crash lands near her car, containing her mother, and a new interstellar adventure begins. You can also check out this title as an eBook on Overdrive/Libby. 

Super Fake Love Song 

When the coolest girl Sunny Dae knows mistakes his older brother’s room for his, Sunny goes with it and inhabits a new rock musician persona in hopes of becoming friends – or more – with Cirrus Soh. The only problem is proving his credentials by forming a band and performing. You can also check out this title as an eBook on Overdrive/Libby and in eAudio on Overdrive/Libby