Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2024) Feature Review: Seven Percent of Ro Devereux by Ellen O’Clover

  • Seven Percent of Ro Devereux
  • By Ellen O’Clover  
  • Publisher: Harper Collins
  • Imprint: Harper Teen
  • Release date: January 17, 2023 
  • ISBN: 9780063255036\

Ro creates an app based on the popular game of MASH (Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House) for her senior project. She works with her neighbor, a retired behavorial scientist, to make sure the app works – and it works well. It can predict someone’s future with 93% accuracy. Ro is shocked when she is paired with Miller, her childhood best friend, as her soulmate. They had a falling out years ago. Ro is determined to have her app make it big and Miller reluctantly agrees to play along and pretend to be in love so that they can prove that the app works and get backing from the tech greats. 

This is a fresh spin on the classic “used to be friends, now a love interest” plot. The slow-burn romance between Ro and Miller keeps the reader guessing if they will end up together. The characters are well developed and easy to relate to. Each character had quirks and interests that leave the reader wanting to learn more about them. 

Other authors who write with a similar tone include Jennifer E. Smith, Emma Lord, and Jenny Han.

-Katie Guzan

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: May 14, 2023

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2024) Featured Review: Breakup From Hell Ann Dávila Cardinal

  • Breakup From Hell
  • by Ann Dávila Cardinal
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Release date: January 3, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780063045309

In Stowe, Vermont Mica spends her time hanging out with friends, reading horror books, and attending church. Until Sam shows up. Devilishly handsome and totally interested in Mica, she can’t seem to put him out of her mind or explain her superhuman physical abilities that manifest just as he appears in town. But soon after meeting Sam and his sister, Mica starts having end of world visions and she’s sure there is a connection. Together with her friends, they set out to uncover Sam’s hellish secrets and learn more about their own genetic destiny only to find themselves in the middle of a battle between the forces of good and evil.

This novel blends fantasy with supernatural horror, romance, and humor. Each of Mica’s three friends are unique and entertaining. The romance between Rage and Mica is sweet and the perfect antidote to her rushed relationship with Sam. The Satanic bits are just gruesome enough to keep readers on their toes as the book progresses at whiplash speed between buddy story, family drama, and the apocalypse.

Teens who enjoy the TV show Lucifer and dark humor will appreciate this book. Expect this to be popular with fans of My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix, Swallow by Samantha Schill.

Cathy DeCampli

February 28, 2023

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2024) Featured Review: Scattered Showers by Rainbow Rowell

  • Scattered Showers
  • By Rainbow Rowell
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group
  • Imprint: Wednesday Books
  • Release Date: November 8, 2022
  • ISBN: 9781250855411

This novel consists of nine standalone short stories that get to the crux of what makes romance “romantic”: it is the careful details each partner puts into one another. While entering a romantic encounter is daunting, Rowell provides hope for the weary. A dual narration audiobook adds to the coziness of the stories.

This title is a good candidate for QPRR because there is a story for every reader’s interests: a New Year’s Eve “meet cute”; the sacredness of a midnight premiere; the distinct kindness of creating a playlist for someone else; the longing when a stranger you only know from routine suddenly disappears. The nine romance stories are fairy tales, fantasy adjacent, contemporary realism, queer, and nerdy. Some of the stories even return readers to old friends from Rowell’s Fangirl, Carry On, and Attachments. Additionally, the large font may be good for readers with visual disorders.

The teen reader who would most appreciate this title is someone who feels overwhelmed by an entire book. The short stories are unrelated, so a reader could read one, read some, or read them all.  For readers who may have also enjoyed Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick (2014); Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (2011); Again, Again by E Lockhart (2020).

– Emma K. McNamara

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: November 29, 2023
Release Date: November 8, 2022

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers (#QP2024) Featured Review: 99 Boyfriends of Micah Summers by Adam Sass

  • 99 Boyfriends of Micah Summers
  • by Adam Sass
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Imprint: Viking Books for Young Readers
  • Release Date: September 20, 2022
  • ISBN: 9780593464786

Micah Summers wants a boyfriend, but approaching a boy makes him extremely anxious. Instead, he draws potential boyfriends in fantastical settings and anonymously shares them on his Insta-loves Instagram account. He’s drawn 99 boys and is looking for Boy 100, whom he hopes will be the one. Micah thinks his dream has come true when he has a chance encounter with a cute boy aboard the L train.

Told in first-person, this meet-cute LGTBQIA+ rom com is is filled with fairytale romance. The dialogue is well-written, showcasing humor and angst in equal measure. The black and white illustrations add to the cute romance quotient. This Cinderella story definitely will have fans.

Teens who enjoy romance, social media, and art will most appreciate this book. Those who enjoyed the Heartstopper series will also enjoy this title. Fans of Phil Stamper, Becky Albertalli, and Casey McQuiston will love this book.

-Lorrie Roussin

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: September 13, 2022
Release Date: November 8, 2022

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2024) Whiteout by Clayton, Jackson, Stone, Thomas, Woodfolk, and Yoon

  • Whiteout
  • by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Nicola Yoon
  • Publisher: Harper Collins
  • Imprint: Quill Tree Books
  • Release Date: November 8, 2022
  • ISBN: 9780063088146

Stevie has until midnight to win her girlfriend back, yet a freak Atlanta snowstorm has put many roadblocks in her path. She enlists her group of friends who eagerly agree to help. What ensues is nine teenagers’ intertwined stories of love, familial obligations, loyalty, and life- and identity questions as they rush against the clock and the weather in the hopes of creating a happy ending.

Whiteout is good for the QPRR list because of its form. Readers can choose just one of the stories and still feel satisfied, a few, or the entire manuscript to see how all of the stories and characters fit together. The language is accessible, with fast-pacing, and characters who seem realistic- as in, I thought one of the characters was super annoying; I did not feel as though the characters were written so plainly as to be liked by all readers.

While this book is a romance, readers who prefer mysteries and adventure tales would like Whiteout, too, as they must wait until the end to see if one of the characters makes her midnight deadline and how the snow affects a city that rarely sees such an event. For similar titles readers should also checkout Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton et al (2021); 37 Things I Love (in No Particular Order) by Kekla Magoon (2012); I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman (2018).

 -Emma K. McNamara

Other Nominated Titles

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2024) Featured Review: Five Survive by Holly Jackson

  • Five Survive
  • by Holly Jackson
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press
  • Release Date: November 29, 2022
  • ISBN: 9780593374160

Red is on a spring break trip with five of her friends, driving an RV to their from Philadelphia to the Gulf Shore. But then the RV breaks down in the middle of nowhere. They have no cell phone service, four busted tires, plenty of beer, but not a lot of food and it’s getting dark. Then, just as they think things couldn’t get worse, someone starts shooting at the RV, trapping the six teens inside. As the scary, terrible night unravels, secrets about each of the six teens will be revealed, and they’ll each be forced to make terrible choices in order to survive because it’s unclear whether the real monster is outside the RV or inside it.

Twists don’t even begin to describe the back and forth, constant plot bombs that happen in this story. Be prepared to think you know what’s going on, only to have the rug pulled out from under you every few pages. Each revelation in the plot pulls the reader in and encourages them to keep going until the final scene. The narration is first person and easy to follow, the characters are relatable and tinges of humor often break the tension.

Fans of Holly Jackson’s other mystery series books will love this new standalone. Readers looking for a twisty mystery with an unreliable narrator would also like The Cousins by Karen McManus and The Counselors by Jessica Goodman. For more survival, trapped in a vehicle suspense, try Girl Overboard by Sandra Block.

-Rachel Adams, Teen Services Librarian, King County Library System

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: September 20, 2022

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2024) Featured Review: The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen

  • The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
  • by Issac Blum
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Imprint: Philomel Books
  • Release Date: September 13, 2022
  • ISBN: 9780593525821

Hoodie moves to a small Philly suburb with his family and members of their Orthodox Jewish community. It’s culture shock for the residents and for Hoodie, who has never had close contact with non-Jewish people. With the mayor leading the charge against her newest neighbors, Hoodie befriends her daughter, Anna-Marie, much to the horror of his family and community. As they try to maintain their rocky friendship, the tension in town boils over leading to horrifying outcomes.

Hoodie’s amusing inner and outer dialogue bring levity and laughs to a serious story. The ripped from the headlines events are understandable to readers and perfectly portray how situations can quickly become volatile in the age of social media. Hoodie and Anna-Marie are polar opposites yet they both struggle with the confines placed on them by their parents and seek to find a balance that works for them.

Hand this to readers interested in issues-oriented stories and fans of In the Neighborhood of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton and Color Me In by Natasha Diaz

-Cathy DeCampli

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: November 8, 2022

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.