High school junior Simon is clever, observant, hilarious, and falling in love with an equally charming and grammatically astute classmate he’s never met face-to-face, only corresponded with via email. Neither guy is out, although they’re working up to it. But Simon’s being blackmailed by another classmate who’s gotten a screenshot of the e-flirtations, threatening to out Simon (and his mystery man) before either teen is ready. In addition to painting a detail-rich and pitch-perfect portrait of high school life in all its awkward, thrilling, and entertaining glory, debut author Albertalli raises issues of race and class along with facets of the GLBT teen experience, including coming out and ally-ship, without ever bogging down the story or veering into afterschool special territory. Fourteen and Up. Sylvie Shaffer
When Greg’s mother insists he provide support to fellow teen Rachel, who is dying of cancer, he can no longer maintain his desired low profile at school. He recruits his best friend Earl to help with Rachel; hilarity and awkwardness ensue.