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5 Issues-Driven YA Books You Must-Read This Winter

One of the best parts about reading is the ability that books have to put you into an entirely new and unfamiliar situation. These 5 issues-driven YA reads will flawlessly transport you into someone else's shoes, opening your eyes to realities that you never even knew existed.

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Sad Perfect by Stephanie Elliot

Many people might just assume sixteen-year-old Pea has a very selective appetite, but it’s much deeper than that. Her eating disorder - Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder - is slowly consuming her, causing anxiety and depression. When she meets Ben and falls in love, it becomes increasingly difficult for her to suppress her disorder. With the help of her loved ones, Pea must discover her inner strength in order to overcome the monster within her. Elliot’s exceptionally honest narrative sheds light on a lesser-known eating disorder that everyone needs to know about.

The You I've Never Known by Ellen Hopkins

The only memories Ariel can recall are of her and her dad. Her mom vanished when she was just an infant. After moving from place to place, she is now seventeen and just wants somewhere to call home. Maya is a teen running from her abusive mother straight into the arms of an older man. To further complicate matters, she now has a baby on the way. The lives of these two teens collide when Ariel’s mother randomly shows up claiming her father actually kidnapped her fourteen years ago. This accusation sends her life into a whirlwind as she tries to discover the truth about her past. This compelling story follows Ariel and Maya as they embark on journeys to find themselves.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Starr Carter's life is changed forever the day one of her childhood best friends, Khalil, is killed at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. The death makes national headlines, and only Starr can answer the question everyone wants to know: What really happened on that fateful night? Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, The Hate U Give is a necessary and thought-provoking YA read.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

The day Marin left the California coast was the day she decided to never look back. Months later she is attending college in New York but still dwells on the dark memories that haunt her. But as winter break arrives, Marin’s best friend Mable comes to visit her in the dorms, forcing Marin to confront everything she’s tried to forget.

Wait For Me by Caroline Leech

In the year 1945, Lorna Anderson lives a simple life on her father’s farm in Scotland where she dreams of a victory in the war. When Paul Vogel, a German prisoner of war, becomes her family's new farmhand, Lorna is disgusted at the thought of having to work with the enemy. But the more time the two spend together, the more Lorna begins to realize how wrong her initial impression was. Lorna is faced with an internal war between her heart and her mind as she is forced to choose between loving the enemy or losing her family.

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