Book picks similar to
Inside My Head by Jim Carrington


young-adult
realistic-fiction
action
contemporary

A Heart Divided


Cherie Bennett - 2004
    Redford lives up to Kate’s low expectations. The Confederate battle flag waves proudly in the sky, the local diner serves grits and sweet tea, and country music rules the airwaves. Then she meets Jackson Redford III, scion of the town and embodiment of everything Dixie. And dang if brilliant, gorgeous Jack doesn’t make Kate decide that maybe her new hometown isn’t so bad after all. But a petition to replace the school’s Confederate flag symbol is stirring up trouble. Kate dives right in, not afraid to attack what she sees as offensive. Getting involved means making enemies, though, and soon, Kate and Jack—and their families—find themselves pitted against each other in a bitter controversy: not just about the flag, but about what it means to be an American.From the Hardcover edition.

Doormat


Kelly McWilliams - 2004
    Melissa wants to be a model—she’s beautiful, popular, and talented. There’s just one small problem—Melissa thinks she’s pregnant, and she wants Jaime’s help. But there’s not much Jaime can do. Melissa refuses to tell her parents; Jaime refuses to be the same old reliable doormat. She’s got a lead in the school play and a new friendship with Zach. Jaime is changing, too. And she’s sick of being stepped on!Fifteen-year-old Kelly McWilliams’s debut novel is an inspiring story about friendship, choices, and learning how to shine.From the Hardcover edition.

Blue Moon


Julia Green - 2003
    When she discovers that she's pregnant she doesn't know where to turn - her elder sisters have left home, her mum left when Mia was six, her boyfriend, Will, is too scared to be anyhelp and her dad tries to push her into an abortion. Backed into a corner, she runs away and joins two women on a canal boat. Nobody can find her now but she discovers that the women have their own tragic stories. A fire on the boat makes her realise that she must take responsibility for the baby and herself and that home is the most likely place to get help. Her mother re-enters her life and Will's mother involves herself. Mia learns about love and realises how much her father has done for her.

Zipped


Laura McNeal - 2003
    But before he can get to the bottom of it, Mick is confronted by a series of strange robberies and a close friend with a dark secret of her own. As he seeks out answers, Mick realizes that all of his problems are zipped up together—and he may have to go to drastic lengths to untangle them. “The McNeals spin a wonderfully rich story.”—Kirkus Reviews “A well-honed novel. . . . Readers will be sucked in.”—Publishers WeeklyFrom the Hardcover edition.

Players


Joyce Sweeney - 2000
    Philip's varsity basketball -- a team that's poised to make all-city. There is only one slot to fill on the roster, and the team chooses hot-shot transfer student Noah Travers for its second string. But Noah's ambitions are bigger -- he wants, and expects, to play starting center.When starting-center Luke mysteriously faints before a game, and Theo suddenly quits the team, everyone suspects Noah is at the root of the trouble -- everyone except Corey. Corey can't believe anyone would be malicious enough to drug one player and force another off the team.But as each player is sabotaged and the trust among the teammates disintegrates, Corey can no longer ignore the obvious. The all-city championship is too important, and he must find out the truth before he becomes the next target.

Behind the Eyes


Francisco X. Stork - 2006
    His peaceful obscurity is shattered when his impulsive brother challenges the leader of a gang called the Discipulos. Suddenly Hector is drawn into their world of violence and hopelessness. When a marker is placed on his life, Hector tries to escape by going away to a school for students with troubled pasts. But it isn t easy to function when he s paralyzed by the fear that they ll find him, even there. Ultimately, by confronting external threats and the internal pain of his memories and mistakes, Hector begins to understand what manhood really means.Author Biography: Francisco X. Stork is also the author of The Way of the Jaguar, a prize recipient in the 1999 Chicano/Latino Literary Contest. He lives in Massachusetts.

Drama Geek


S.M. Dritschilo - 2013
    Katie O'Connell does--a Wish List actually. Because she longs to be someone new, the kind of girl you take notice of and remember. Someone who isn't just a part of the background. Unfortunately, Katie has no idea how to make that happen, but her outspoken best friend does: a Junior Year Wish List of goals, starting with earning a role in the senior play, and bookish Katie reluctantly agrees. Now she has barely ten months to meet all five goals that will transform her from a bookworm to a butterfly. Wish List in hand, Katie draws her motley crew of dramatic friends closer for support to launch her Junior Year with a fresh (somewhat anxious) attitude. Until the boy who was her first childhood friend, the boy who disappeared right before her tenth birthday, shows up on the first day of school pulling her quiet life into an emotional tailspin. His reappearance will start Katie's junior year with more questions than answers. Why did he leave? Where has he been all this time? Can friendships last after a seven-year break? Is achieving her Wish List possible now? Most importantly, will he be the one to make Wish Number Five a reality?Author's NoteFeminism is about equality and the freedom of choice. The choice to: wear makeup or not, to wear loose fitting clothes or tight fitting clothes or not give a damn about my clothes at all, to like boys or girls or both or neither. It’s about women having choices based on equality of the sexes. There’s no wrong way or right way to be a woman. Just like men, women can care about their appearance or not care, women can be thin or curvy, short or tall, women can be smart or ignorant, women have the freedom to be whatever type of human they want to be at every stage of their life.High school is the next step in a teenager’s life that allows them the time to explore those choices in greater detail just like college, or trade school, or their first paying job, or their fifth, or their 20th will. High school students are dealing with real life adult issues but with little autonomy—stress of home life, relationships, figuring out who we are, what we want to do, who we want to be, how we’ll change, how we deal with change, our sexual identity. High school is all about self-discovery, and, unfortunately, having to do it all weighed down by society’s pre-conceived notions and subjective judgments about our choices and the tiny cramped boxes they think we belong in.If you think it will make you happy, try being a drama geek, try being a cheerleader, student government, a mathlete, an athlete, a bookworm, a scientist, a journalist, a singer, a dancer, an artist, or an observer of life. Dress up, dress down, dress comfy…just be safe and be happy.Please, please, please don’t let anyone tell you who or what you should be, or how you should act, but also please listen to advice from others that's given respectfully with the hope that your path will be a little less bumpy than theirs was. Be and do what makes you happy, dip your toes into the waters of our beautiful diverse world, or cannonball in and explore every nook and cranny you want to until you find the perfect fit, and don’t be afraid if you outgrow what fits and want to try something new. That’s the beauty of life, we don’t have to be stagnant. We have the freedom to change.Katie wanted to explore and try something new, be someone different for a while to see how it fit, but she never lost her true self, she was-and always will be-a book-loving artist devoted to her family and friends.

Rebound


Bob Krech - 2006
    Prejudice can be defined in many ways as Ray finds out when he crosses the line as a white Polish-American boy who wants to play on his high school's black basketball team.

Life as a Poser


Beth Killian - 2006
    A sky's-the-limit credit card. A chance at becoming a Hollywood It Girl. What else could Eva possibly want? Caught in the middle of senior year's juiciest scandal, Eva Cordes graduates early and moves to L.A. to live with her aunt -- the top talent agent for teens -- who plans to make her a star. Eva has another reason for heading to Hollywood: it's time for her to get to know her mother -- a once-famous model who left Eva to be raised by her grandparents. But when she gets stuck rooming with a bunch of outrageous teen starlets, and her mom doesn't want to admit she even has a daughter, Eva's life is one big tabloid story after another. Smoking-hot Hollywood insider Danny wants to be her leading man, but he's officially off-limits. With all these complications, how can Eva ever make it down the red carpet without falling flat on her face?

Girls in Pants/Forever in Blue


Ann Brashares - 2008
    

Painting the Black


Carl Deuker - 1997
    Your eyes are wide open, and the adrenaline is pumping. It's not a feeling you want to give up, any more than you want to get off a roller coaster.In his senior year of high school, late-bloomer Ryan Ward has just begun to feel the magic of baseball: the magic of catching a wicked slider, of throwing a runner out, of training hard and pushing limits. But when one of his teammates clearly pushes the limits too far, Ryan is face with a heartbreaking dilemma: he must choose between his love for the game and his integrity.

Summer Constellations


Alisha Sevigny - 2018
    Her little brother has finally recovered from a serious illness, and now she just wants to enjoy peak season at the campground her family owns. Maybe this will be the year her annual summer fling with Dan Schaeffer becomes something more?But her summer dreams are quickly shattered. First, Dan arrives for vacation with a new girlfriend in tow, and then Julia discovers this may be her last summer in the only home she's ever known.Crushing medical bills have brought her single mom to the brink of bankruptcy, and a wealthy developer is sniffing around the campground. He sees what Julia sees: lush woods, a pristine lake, miles of trails for adventure. Unlike Julia, he thinks this is the perfect spot for a casino resort.Heartbroken and afraid, Julia looks to the stars for some perspective. Taking her telescope down to the dock one night, she has a chance encounter with a guitar-playing boy who offers some helpful advice. Too bad this handsome stranger is the developer's son, Nick Constantine.As plans for a resort move forward, Julia is desperate to find a solution that doesn't mean leaving the lake. Nick, in turn, is desperate to separate himself from his father's aggressive business tactics. He promises that, together, they can thwart the sale.But can Julia trust him to conspire against his own father? And could she ever she trust him with her heart?SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS is a story of lost summers, hidden treasure and love written in the stars. It is also a thoughtful reflection on what it means to love --- and leave --- one's childhood home.

The Islanders Vol. 1


Katherine Applegate - 2015
    Now Lucas Cabral, the person responsible for the events on that fateful night, has returned. But life on the island isn’t the same, and everyone Lucas once considered a friend refuses to speak to him. Everyone except for Zoey Passmore. As Lucas and Zoey grow closer, Zoey risks tearing apart her close-knit group of friends if they discover the truth . . . that she’s falling for her boyfriend’s worst enemy.Now with a stunning new package, another generation of readers will be swept away by the romance, secrets, and betrayals of this close knit group of friends.

Bad Alice


Jean Ure - 2003
    Duffy suffers mildy from Tourette's Syndrome - he only knows his gran and one of her neighbour's kids, a loud, insensitive kid called Stephen - what's he going to do for six whole weeks! Then Duffy meets Alice, a girl his age who lives next door, a girl who Nan disapproves of and everyone in the town thinks is mad; a girl who makes Duffy feel accepted and liked. Alice is volatile, and direct and Duffy tells her all about his little sister, his Tourette's and his absent father who left his mum because of him. Alice is more cryptic about her own home life. Everyone knows her adoptive father, Big Norm; he's the most popular man around; a devout Evangelist who runs a care home - Duffy's nan adores him. Yet Alice and her adopted sister are half in awe, half frightened of their dad; desperate for his approval, yet somehow resentful of him, too. It isn't until Alice shows Duffy the story she's been writing, written in the style of Alice in Wonderland, that the scales finally fall from his eyes.Big Norm has been abusing Alice, to what extent it isn't clear, but she's terrified, and he has to help her. Duffy convinces Alice to face her situation in the real world, not just in a story, and to tell his nan what's been going on. When the truth is out, Alice is taken into care, and Duffy faces the fact he may never see her again, but 'bad Alice' touched his life - he will never forget her.

Nightwanderers


C.J. Flood - 2016
    While Rosie is shy, red-faced and passive, Ti is big, tough and daring. They shouldn't be friends, but they are. Creeping out at night, the girls love to secretly wander through their coastal town, exploring empty streets and sharing their frustrations about school and their different, but equally difficult, families. But when Rosie betrays Ti, the two girls run in different directions - making decisions that could do irreparable damage to both of their lives. As Rosie confronts harsh truths, she must find a way back to Ti, and to herself.