Fiction by Author: A-G

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Bechard, Margaret If It Doesn't Kill You

In middle school, everybody makes a big deal about going to high school.  Like it’s going to be this really scary place.  Well, I’ve only been here for a couple of months, but so far I like high school.  Lots of people know who I am, because I’m sort of good at playing football.  I guess I’m pretty much a jock.  And at this school, being a jock is way better than being a preppy or a nerd or a stoner.

So school is probably about as good as it gets.  Home’s not so great.  I mean, it was great until my dad moved out of the house and moved in with a guy named Keith.  Believe me, this is not something you just kind of mention in the cafeteria with the bean burritos.  Especially when my dad was the star quarterback at this very school.

So that’s the story.  It’s really just me.  Ben Gearhart.  Trying to figure stuff out.  Like girls.  And the guys on the team.

And Dad.


Benduhn, Tea Gravel Queen
I look behind me as we walk toward the parking lot, gravel crunching and spraying beneath our feet.

"Whatcha' lookin' at, Aurin? I thought you weren't interested in those guys," Kenney says.

"I'm not," I say.

There is a carefully constructed balance between Aurin and her friends Kenney and Fred. Kenney is usually the one who comes up with things to do -- her flair for the dramatic can make even boring old Greensboro seem interesting. And if she is a little controlling, Aurin and Fred just look the other way.

Aurin has no intention of throwing off their established equilibrium. But when Neila joins their circle, Aurin realizes that she and Neila are becoming more than friends. Aurin and Neila are happy in their developing relationship, but Kenney feels left out. Can Aurin manage to mend things with an increasingly possessive Kenney, without letting her control this aspect of her life? 


Block, Francesca Lia Baby Be-bop
Everyone has a story to tell ...

Dirk McDonald's life was almost perfect. He lived with this grandmother, Fifi, in a beautiful gingerbread cottage in Hollywood. He had the beach, and his surfboard, and Fifi's red-and-white 1955 Pontiac convertible.

But Dirk wasn't happy. Inside, he was harboring a deep, dark secret. And he was afraid that if he admitted it to anyone - even Fifi - he would never be accepted again.

Then one night, Dirk's magic lamp came to life. Suddenly, all the stories from Dirk's past came flowing out of it. On that night, his life changed forever. At last, Dirk learned who he really was, and that any love that is love is right. 


Block, Francesca Lia Girl Goddess #9
Meet Tweetie Sweet Pea and Peachy Pie, Jacaranda and Rave and Desiree...

Meet Lady Ivory and Alabaster Dutchess, who interview their favorite rock star, Nick Agate, only to discover the magic and power in themselves. Meet Tuck Budd, who is happy living in Manhattan with her two moms, Izzy and Anastasia, until she begins to wonder who her father is. Meet La, who faces the loss of her mother with an imaginary androgynous blue friend who lives in her closet. Zingingly bright and dreamily dark, full of wonder and gritty reality, these stories by acclaimed author Francesca Lia Block show the reader that in every girl there truly is a goddess.

The cutting-edge author of Weetzie Bat once again breaks new ground with Girl Goddess #9, nine stories about girl goddesses of every age and shape and color and size, wearing combat boots and spiky hair or dressed all in white.One girl has two moms, another has no mother at all but a strange blue skinned creature that lives in her closet. One is a rock star groupie, another loves dancing and reading poetry and having picnics in the backyard when the moon is full. These are stories about girls discovering that the world is not a simple place and that there is more than one way to live'all in Ms. Block's rich, lyrical language that fans have come to adore and that Sassy magazine called ‘a dream.'


Block, Francesca Lia Weetzie Bat

Once upon a time in a land called Shangri-L.A., a bleach-blonde punk pixie named Weetzie Bat lived a life of surf and slam.  But Shangri-L.A. can be Hell-A., too, and Weetzie wanted something celestial and sparkling to keep her safe.

So she made three wishes and learned that love is the most beautiful and dangerous angel of all.


Boock, Paula Dare Truth or Promise

When Louie and Willa first meet, they don’t know that their lives will soon be changed forever.  Self-assured Louie is gearing up for another successful year in high school, starring in a production of Twelfth Night and running the Comedy Club.  Kicked out of her last school and still stinging from a past relationship, Willa just wants to get through her last year at school quietly so she can graduate and become a chef.  More than anything, she wants to be left alone.

Then, unexpectedly, each girl learns that plans mean nothing when it comes to love.  Louie discovers that everything she is sure of—acceptance, faith and identity—aren’t what they seem.  And Willa finds herself suddenly willing to take another chance.


Bradley, Marion Zimmer The Catch Trap

Mario Santelli, a member of the famous flying Santelli family, is a great trapeze artist.  Tommy Zane is his protégé.

As naturally and gracefully as they soar through the air, the two flyers find themselves falling in love.  Mario and Tommy share sweet stolen moments of passion, but the real intensity of their relationship comes from their total devotion to one another and to their art.

As public figures in a conservative era, they cannot reveal their love.  But they will never renounce it.


Brown, Rita Mae Rubyfruit Jungle
Born a bastard, Molly Bolt is adopted by a dirt-poor Southern couple who want something better for their daughter.  Molly plays doctor with the boys, beats up Leroy the tub and loses her virginity to her girlfriend in sixth grade.  AS she grows to realize she’s different, Molly decides not to apologize for that.  In no time she mesmerizes the head of cheerleader of Ft. Lauderdale High and captivates a gorgeous bourbon-guzzling heiress.  But the world is not tolerant.  Booted out of college for moral turpitude, and unrepentant, penniless Molly takes New York by storm, sending not a few female hearts aflutter with her startling beauty, crackling with and fierce determination to become the greatest filmmaker that ever lived.


Brown, Todd D. Entries from a Hot Pink Notebook
Ben Smith is suffering through that dark night of the adolescent soul known as freshman year of high school.  And he's doing it in Tranten Township, i.e., wrong-side-of-the-tracks America.  Now his handsome history teacher/track coach has ignited in Ben his first full-blown case of the puppy love that dare not speak its name.  Thanks, God.  Thanks very much.

If Ben can survive breaking the heart of the girl who loves him...losing his own heart to the charismatic classmate who's introducing Ben to the joys of rebellion and true love...seeing his mother shovel french fries for Ronald McDonald to keep the family's heads above poverty's brackish waters...and pretty much everything about his father...if he can fly in the face of the tantalizing, terrifying world that's knock-knock-knocking on his closet door...well, who the hell knows?

Part love story, part life lesson--starring a sometimes clever, often confused, but ultimately irresistible character in the wry--Todd D. Brown's debut novel is deftly funny and sweetly, achingly real.  Through the delightful window of Ben's intimacies and observations, we remember what it was to be fourteen, freaked out by life, and never more eager to see what would happen next.


Brownrigg, Sylvia Pages for You
In a steam-filled diner in a college town, Flannery Jansen catches sight of something more beautiful than she’s ever seen: a graduate student, reading.  The seventeen-year-old is shocked by her own desire to follow this beauty wherever it will take her.  As luck would have it, Flannery finds herself enrolled in a class with the remote, brilliant older woman: she is intimidated at first, but gradually becomes Anne Arden’s student outside of class as well.  Whatever the subject—Baudelaire, lipstick colors, or how to travel with a lover—Flannery proves an eager pupil, until one day she learns more about Anne than she ever wanted to know.


Bunn, Scott Just Hold On
Card catalog description
Tormented by their troubled relationships with each of their fathers, Stephen and Charlotte find emotional solace in their growing love for each other.


Carson, Michael Brothers in Arms
From Publishers Weekly
Fat and unhappy, besotted with guilt and furtive sexual longings, Michael Benson is growing up in a working-class neighborhood in a city on the northwestern coast of
England in the early '60s. A 14-year-old compulsive bedwetter, Benson makes up for a dreary existence with a rich fantasy life: melodramatic and uplifting images culled from the histories of the Catholic martyrs share quarters in his overheated psyche with decidedly impious homoerotic imaginings. In flight from his burgeoning homosexual yearnings, Benson rushes headlong into the Catholic faith, leaving his local school to begin his novitiate at St. Finbar's Seminary. St. Finbar's, with its fire-and-brimstone dogma and homosexual intrigues, proves disastrous for Benson, and he is sent home, where he will learn to accept his homosexuality and reject an uncomfortable faith.


Cart, Michael My Father's Scar

Eighteen-year-old Andy Logan has finally made it to his first year of college, but not without some struggle.  As he tries to settle in this new environment, he cannot help but recall the events and experiences that have led him there.

It is in these recollections that we meet a vast array of people—those who had either helped Andy along the way or had threatened his hope to escape.  These are the stories of his great-uncle, the one person who seemed to understand him; his father, whose domineering presence and unwavering anger were the rules, not the exceptions; and Evan, an older boy who became his first true love.


Chambers, Aiden Dance on my Grave
During the summer of the compulsive attraction between Hal Robinson and Barry Gorman, Hal's curiosity with death leads the boys to enter a pact. Whoever dies first, the other must dance on his grave.


Chbosky, Stephen The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Standing on the fringes of life...

offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.


Childress, Alice Those Other People
From Publishers Weekly
Rather than begin college, Jonathan, 17, becomes a high school computer instructor, hoping to avoid facing his homosexuality or thinking about his problems. But he is resented by teacher Rex Hardy, who disrupts Jonathan's classes, as does Spencer, a poisonous youth who hates the school's new (and only) black students, Tyrone and Susan Tate. Then Hardy assaults Theodora, Tyrone's computer-lab partner. Theo is determined to press charges for attempted rape with Jonathan and Tyrone as her only witnesses, and Susan in possession of crucial evidence. Jonathan is caught up in a maelstrom of malicious gossip, threatening phone calls and pressure from the school board, but at last must act for himself.


Crutcher, Chris Ironman

Bo Brewster has been at war with his father as long as he can remember.  After angry outbursts at his football coach and English teacher that cost him his spot on the football team and move him dangerously close to expulsion from school, Bo gets sent to Mr. Nak’s before-school Anger Management group (rumored to the populated with future serial killers and freeway snipers).

There he meets a herd-edged pack of survivors whose own defenses are rigged as high as high as his.  And there he meets and falls in love with Shelly, a future American Gladiator whose passion for physical challenge more than matches his own.


Donovan, John I'll Get There; It Better Be Worth the Trip

From A Reader Review

This book is great for early adolescents who find that they feel "too close" to their best friend and question their feelings. The book portrays a boy growing up with an alcoholic mother and absent father in New York and his struggle after kissing his best friend.


Ferris, Jean Eight Seconds
Each ride on the bucking bill is a lesson in pain.  Each landing on the packed dirt is a jarring reminder of reality.  Rodeo camp is a tough way to spend a summer, but John is having the time of his life.  No clingy girlfriends, no nagging mom, no annoying sisters.  Just him and the guys and the biggest bulls he’s ever seen.  All he has to do is stay on a bull for eight seconds.  It may feel like an eternity to his aching body, but for once John feels in control of his own fate.  Then he learns his new rodeo buddy Kit is gay.  Shaken by the news, he tries to deal with the other guys’ reactions and his own self-doubts.  Suddenly, riding a bull seems easy…


Ford, Michael Thomas Last Summer
From Publishers Weekly
After a string of humorous essay collections, Ford (The Little Book of Neuroses) expands his repertoire with this brimful first novel about life, love and self-discovery over the course of a steamy
Provincetown summer. Among the bevy of characters Ford introduces is Josh Felling, who flees to a friend's guesthouse to mull over his boyfriend's recent infidelity, though a day later he's already lusting over Reilly Brennan, the soon-to-be-married guesthouse repairman who might not be so straight after all. Midwestern runaway teen Toby Evans arrives soon after, and meets sweet local transgender performer Emmeline, who takes him in; next comes influential Hollywood producer Reid Truman and his boyfriend, hot closeted actor Ty Rusk. A quick weekend away turns into an indefinite stay for Josh, who has decided to write a novel and agrees to donate sperm so that Jackie, a local lesbian restaurant owner, can bear a child. Complicating matters for the Hollywood duo is Devin, an opportunistic local girl who insinuates herself into their lives by agreeing to pose as Ty's New York "love interest," but has big plans to expose their relationship to the tabloids instead


Fox, John The Boys on the Rock
Written with uncanny precision and wild humor, this is the story of Billy Connors, high school student in the Bronx, member of the swim team, and all-around regular guy, who in his sixteenth year has to face the fact that he's a little different from everyone else, a little "weird."

Though he's sort of going steady with a girl and popular at school, he's always worried that the secret fantasies he has about men would set him apart and make him "different" if anyone knew about them. How Billy faces up to himself-and his friends-as he discovers the complexities of life, the exuberance of sex, and what it means to be an adult in our imperfect world, makes for a touching, wise, and very moving novel.


Fox, Paula The Eagle Kite
Liam has known the truth for three years--since the morning he broke the eagle kite and smashed it into the sand.  The kite was a present from his father, and it would never fly....That morning he'd seen Daddy on the beach at Springton.

Someone was with him.

The memory lay curled in Liam's mind, barely stirring for months at a time.  He'd never told anybody.  In one sense, he'd never told himself.

Now his mother tells him that Daddy is sick--from a blood transfusion.  Maybe she believes it, but Liam doesn't.

"We all die," his father says to him.  "I'll die sooner."

"Sooner," Liam echoes.

Philip Cormac has AIDS.  And only he and Mrs. Mottley, the woman who looks in on him at the cabin in Springton to which he's retreated, will say the word.  

One Thanksgiving Liam is seized with a desire to be with his father.  Unsure why he's come, he finds in Philip's face--so like an eagle's now in its gauntness--and in his rusty voice and in his very life, the long-burried answer.


Futcher, Jane Crush
It wasn’t easy fitting in at an exclusive girls’ school like Huntington Hill.  But in her senior year, Jinx finally felt as though she belonged.  Lexie—beautiful, popular Lexie—wanted her for a friend.  Jinx knew she had a serious crush on Lexie and knew she had to do something to make it go away.  But Lexie, who always got her way, had other plans.


Gantos, Jack Desire Lines
From Kirkus Reviews
This bitter, open-ended tale [is about] a
Florida teenager who "outs" a lesbian couple, then watches as one kills the other before turning the gun on herself. A long-abandoned, overgrown golf course is Walker's refuge, a private place where he spends every free moment: There, he liberates animals from the school's lab and watches classmates Karen and Jennifer—in his words—"screwing around." None of his business, he figures—until a teenage preacher appears outside school grounds to start a gay witch-hunt, and expertly enlists Walker as his informant. The preacher's relentless innuendo, blared through a bullhorn, puts Walker into a panic about his own reputation; he takes up with three punks-in-training, and blurts out Karen and Jennifer's secret to them. Soon everyone knows, and a few days later, the tragedy plays out.


Garden, Nancy Annie on my mind
Liza never knew that falling in love could be so wonderful . . . and so confusing.

"'Liza,' Mom said, looking into my eyes, 'I want you to tell me the truth, not because I want to pry, but because I have to know. This could get very unpleasant . . . Now--have you and Annie--done any more than the usual experimenting . . . '

'No, Mom,' I said, trying to look back at her calmly. I'm not proud of it, I make no excuses--I lied to her."


Garden, Nancy Good Moon Rising
Just back from a rewarding experience at summer stock, Jan, who has always garnered the lead parts in school plays, is in for a surprise.  A new student, Kerry, wins the part Jan wants in this semester's production of The Crucible, and Jan's name is at the very bottom of the cast list.  Her role: Stage Manager and Assistant Director.

Jan has to admit that Kerry is especially right for the part.  And as they work closely together in strengthening Kerry's theatrical technique, they find that their feelings for each other are evolving beyond friendship.  Kerry and Jan's fellow cast members begin to wonder about their friendship, and one actor in particular is determined to expose them.  Eventually Jan and Kerry must face a decision, one that could change their lives forever.

A love story, a portrait of aspiring young actors, and a powerful reminder of cruelty met through intolerance, Good Moon Rising is Nancy Garden at her finest.


Garden, Nancy Holly's Secret
Dear Diary,

...Until today I was Holly Lawrence-Jones. But starting tomorrow I'm going to be Yvette Lawrence-Jones. My family doesn't know that yet, but I'll tell them tomorrow, and that's the name I'll tell the people at school, too. Yvette's going to be sophisticated and grownup-feminine enough to have white ruffled curtains, and maybe even a boyfriend. She's also going to have a NORMAL family. Kids are not going to make jokes about her and say mean things, because there won't be any reason for them to do that...

The reason for "The Plan," as Holly refers to the creation of her new self, is primarily to hide from the schoolmates in her new hometown the fact that she has two mothers who are gay. But trying to hide something so big proves to be a daunting task. Nancy Garden has written a novel infused with humor, but one that also tackles prejudice and reinforces an old saw: Honesty is the best policy.


Garden, Nancy Lark in the Morning
Seventeen-year-old Gillian Harrison is looking forward to a summer in Rhode Island.  However, her family's vacation house has been broken into, and food and bedding are missing.  So is Gillian's diary, in which, last summer, she confided that she had fallen in love with her best friend, Suzanne.  And although Gillian now knows that Suzanne shares her feelings, she is upset that a stranger might have read her most private thoughts.

Then Gillian stumbles across the thieves and they are not at all what she expected.  Lark and Jackie, sister and brother, are young runaways camping out in an abandoned hut, stealing food to survive, and terrified of being sent back to their abusive parents.  Rather than tell her family or Suzanne, Gillian decides to respect the children's fear and help them on her own.  But when the police seem close to discovering Lark and Jackie, Gillian wonders if she has taken on too much--especially since Lark once attempted suicide.


Garden, Nancy The Year They Burned the Books

High school senior Jamie Crawford wants to run the Wilson High Telegraph with all the integrity and honest of any big time editor.  But it’s the paper’s editorial page that comes under fire when Jamie writes and opinion in support of the new health ed curriculum, which includes making condoms available to high school students.  Most of her fellow news staff are in agreement with her views, but her close friend Nomi, who is the art editor, opposes them.  St the same time, a new and outspoken school board member, Lisa Buel, is campaigning to rewrite the new curriculum, stressing sexual abstinence and deleting references to homosexuality and condom use; she also favors removing books she considers objectionable from the town’s public and school libraries.

While Jamie and her newspaper staff find themselves in the very heart of the controversy, things grow even more complicated: Jamie’s in the process f coming to terms with being gay, and her best friend, spots editor Terry Gage, who is also gat, has fallen in love with a boy whose parents are unaccepting of homosexuality.  As Jamie’s and Terry’s sexual orientation becomes more obvious to the other students, the paper they work so hard on faces ever more serious attacks and, along with the health ed curriculum, the threat of termination.


Green, Bette The Drowning of Stephan Jones
Hate. It's the farthest feeling from sixteen-year-old Carla Wayland's mind. She can't believe people would persecute others just because they are different. But she isn't about to worry about the injustice surrounding her because she's in love with handsome and popular Andy Harris. Although raised to act on her ethical beliefs, Carla finds that her enchantment with Andy makes her a silent partner in his hate campaign and harassment of gay couple Stephan Jones and Frank Montgomery. At first Carla manages to overlook and explain away Andy's atrocious behavior toward the men. But Stephan drowns as a direct result of what Andy and his friends do, and Carla can no longer deny the truth. Carla must decide before the trial which side she's on and what she stands for. Will justice prevail?


Guy, Rosa Ruby
Ruby Cathy -- Eighteen and desperately lonely, she has adjusted from a life in the sun and blue seas of the West Indies to the mean, crowded streets of Harlem. Her mother is dead, and her father is obsessed with the American passion to succeed. Ruby makes the painful transition from girl to woman when she meets the beautiful and bitter Daphne.

Daphne Duprey -- She prides herself on always being "cool, calm, collected, poised, sophisticated, cultured, and refined." Ruby is drawn to this girl,who, in Ruby's eyes, is everything she is not. They fill the aching emptiness in each other, love each other, despite the shared knowledge that their happines will end as abruptly as it began.


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