After 15-year-old Julie Beaufort-Stuart returns to her family estate in Scotland for a final summer before it’s sold, she’s struck unconscious by a blow to the head. Upon regaining consciousness in the hospital, she learns that her grandfather’s river pearls have been stolen and the scholar who’s been cataloging the estate’s antiques is missing. A mystery drives The Pearl Thief (Hyperion, $18.99) forward, but within its twists and turns author Elizabeth Wein develops a complex picture of life around the Scottish hamlet of Strathfearn. Fans of Code Name Verity will savor this prequel, while newcomers to Wein’s novels will enjoy the novel as a stand-alone tale. Ages 14-17.
When Marnie Wells begins telling fortunes using her grandmother’s old book about reading tea leaves, she discovers that her interpretations are eerily prescient. It all seems harmless enough—until her classmate Matt Cotrell seeks answers from her regarding the disappearance of his best friend Andrea. As Marnie becomes more deeply involved in unraveling the mystery, an increasingly threatening series of clues makes it hard to know whom to trust. The perfect mix of supernatural intrigue, romantic tension, and suspense, Emily Arsenault’s The Leaf Reader (Soho Teen, $18.99) will have readers turning pages until the surprising conclusion. Ages 14-17.
When Jess and her fellow truant friends get caught shoplifting, all of the blame somehow falls on Jess’s shoulders. In order to avoid jail time, she finds herself forced to join a program for juvenile delinquents. She’s miserable until she bonds with Nicu, a Romanian immigrant who, like Jess, has suffered from domestic abuse and severe bullying. Thanks to their shared pain, they begin to stand up for each other and truly discover themselves along the way. When things take a turn for the worse, however, Jess and Nicu have to decide if it’s time for them to stand alone. Told in striking verse in alternating voices by authors Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan, We Come Apart (Bloomsbury, $17.99) offers a unique view into the very raw, very real experiences plaguing teens today. Ages 14-18