Book picks similar to
Flyaway by Helen Landalf


young-adult
contemporary
romance
realistic-fiction

Margaux with an X


Ron Koertge - 2003
    Margaux (with an x) is the dream catch of every teenage male within her radar. Encouraged by her caustic friend Sara, she's perfected the art of the sarcastic tease, while keeping her sweaty-palmed suitors just far enough at bay. It's a dreary game, but at least she's not home with Mom, the shopping channel addict, Dad, the professional gambler, and a certain haunting secret from her past. Then along comes Danny Riley — a scrawny, weak-chinned, animal-loving oddball with a quaint chivalrous streak, a kindhearted kid who can match her banter to the polysyllable and who harbors a few painful memories of his own.Only in the hands of Ron Koertge would such an unlikely pair find each other — and reward the reader with such satisfying, straight-shooting repartee, full of angst and wisdom, humor and heart.

Stargazing For Beginners


Jenny McLachlan - 2017
    But while Meg may understand how the universe was formed, baby Elsa is a complete mystery to her. And Mum’s disappearance has come at the worst time: Meg is desperate to win a competition to get the chance to visit NASA headquarters, but to do this she has to beat close rival Ed. Can Meg pull off this double life of caring for Elsa and following her own dreams? She’ll need a miracle of cosmic proportions …

Frenemies


Alexa Young - 2008
    She's determined to host the social event of the season—a soiree in honor of her forever-friendship with Halley! Unfortunately, Halley's new look is one thing Avalon just can't celebrate. . . .Halley Brandon is just back from art camp and can't wait to share her funky new style with her best friend, Avalon. But when Avalon cries fashion foul, Halley realizes her best friend's true colors may clash with her own. Has their ultra-fabulous friendship finally gone out of style?From sharing custody of their puppy, Pucci, to drawing up a list of who gets which friends, Avalon and Halley discover what happens when you battle the person who knows everything about you—and isn't afraid to use your secrets to get what she wants.Best friends. Worst enemies. Frenemies.

Returnable Girl


Pamela Lowell - 2006
    That's how Ronnie Hartman feels after her mother and Kenny, her mom's good-for-nothing boyfriend, move to Alaska, bringing Ronnie's two younger brothers with them and leaving her behind. Now thirteen years old, Ronnie has been returned from multiple foster homes because of her impulsive lying and stealing. Her latest foster mom, Alison, is Ronnie's very last chance if she doesn't want to end up in some awful residential treatment center. Meanwhile, Ronnie wants more than anything to fit in with the popular crowd, especially with the beautiful (but stuck-up) Paige. But when Ronnie betrays her only friend, a chubby outcast named Cat, she begins a pattern of deception that can only end in disaster. As Ronnie struggles to define herself, an important letter will present her with the most heart-wrenching decision of her life: to accept the woman who wants to adopt her, or to return to the mother who once abandoned her.

The Melting of Maggie Bean


Tricia Rayburn - 2007
    But the past year's been kind of rough, what with her dad losing his job and her loads of schoolwork. Maggie's learned to cope by eating chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. So much so, that Maggie is dragged by her aunt to weekly Pound Patrollers meetings. No big deal, just utter social devastation. She keeps her mind off PP meetings by "accidentally" running into gorgeous 8th grader Peter Applewood; updating her study spreadsheet--a.k.a, Maggie's Master Multi-Tasker; finding a job for her dad; and secretly practicing for one of the two freshman spots on the synchronized swim team. She's got a long way to go to reach her goals, but when Maggie Bean sets her mind on a goal, nothing--not even a bag of Kit Kats--can stand in her way.

Crunch Time


Mariah Fredericks - 2005
    But when they all blow off their SAT prep in favor of forming their own study group, they actually begin to bond -- over why there's so much competition over a stupid test. And what it really measures, anyway. Then it's revealed that someone has cheated on the SATs, and all eyes point to the study group. Everyone knows that Leo can't stand to lose. That Max is convinced he's a loser. That Jane couldn't care less about the whole thing. And that if Daisy doesn't clinch the right score, forget it -- she can't afford to go to college.

Ultra


David Carroll - 2013
    At age 13, he's an amazing distance runner. He takes on the second-hardest challenge of his life when he enters his first ultramarathon: a grueling 100-mile, 24-hour-long race that will push him to the very limit of his endurance.While Quinn struggles to go on — up a mountain and through the night, as his muscles break down and he begins to hallucinate — we learn why the ultra-marathon is only the second hardest thing he has endured in his young life. And maybe this devastating event from his past is exactly what Quinn has been running from . . .Framed as an interview with a media commentator after Quinn's newsmaking finish, this remarkable debut novel from ultra-marathon runner David Carroll reminds us that when we dare to challenge what is possible, the word impossible loses its meaning.

Bounce


Natasha Friend - 2007
    From the author of PERFECT and LUSH, another novel that tells it like it is.The perils of dealing with a new stepfamily are illuminated with the same Blume-like heart and wit that Natasha Friend brought to PERFECT and LUSH.

How to Breathe Underwater


Vicky Skinner - 2018
    But when Kate finds her dad cheating on her mom, Kate’s perfect world comes crashing down, and Kate is forced to leave home and the swim team she's been a part of her whole life.Now in a new home, new school, and faced with the prospect of starting over, Kate isn't so sure that swimming is what she wants anymore. But when she decides to quit, her whole world seems to fall apart. But when Kate gets to know Michael, the cute boy that lives across the hall, she starts to think that starting over might not be so bad. There's only one problem: Michael has a girlfriend.As the pressures of love, family, and success press down on her, can Kate keep her head above water?

Then I Met My Sister


Christine Hurley Deriso - 2011
    Since birth, I've known that everyone loved Shannon. She was perfect--beautiful, smart, talented. And me? Not so much. My parents always expected me to live up to her greatness. But I could never measure up to her, so why even try?This summer, I've started reading the journal Shannon kept just before she died . . . and suddenly nothing is what I thought it was. The more secrets I learn about Shannon and our family, the more everything changes. And as it turns out, facing the truth is no cakewalk, either.

Talent


Zoey Dean - 2008
    They'll make deals, throw parties, crush on boys, all on the way to discovering that no matter how famous or important you are, friendship always comes first. Well, almost always.

Unforgettable


Loretta Ellsworth - 2011
    While most people would forget about the little details of everyday life, Baxter never forgets-not pain, not hurt, not embarrassment. In fact, Baxter never forgets anything-including a string of account numbers, flashed before his eyes by his mother's criminal boyfriend, Dink, for use in a credit card scam. Years after his testimony has locked Dink away, Baxter and his mother are in a new town, trying to forget the danger Dink brought into their lives. Baxter wants to hide his unique ability, but it becomes increasingly more difficult when he reconnects with Hallie, a girl from his childhood who has lived on in his memory long after she has forgotten him. Can Baxter win Hallie's heart? Loretta Ellsworth's newest novel is one readers will never forget.

Boost


Kathy MacKel - 2000
    But she's also skinny and gets pushed around on the court. Her older sister, Callie, is a freshman on varsity cheerleading, but she's not quite light enough to be a flier - her coveted position. Both girls need to boost their level of competition to get off the bench and into the action. When steroids are found in Savvy's gym bag, she claims they are not hers. Suddenly, accusations are flying and nobody knows who is telling the truth. When it comes to competitive sports, no one is exempt from being offered a boost.

There's Something About Nik


Sara Hantz - 2017
    He’s not crazy.He’s just the son and heir to one of the most important families in Europe—one where duty always comes first. And his posh, too-public life is suffocating him. So when he gets the chance to attend boarding school in America, pretending to be an average exchange student is too big of a temptation to pass up.Then he literally runs into Amber on campus. And she hates him at first sight.It’s kind of exhilarating to be hated for who he is, not for his family name or his wealth. Maybe if he turns up the charm and turns down the aloof mask he habitually wears, he can win her over. Even though a bad past experience has made her swear off dating this year.But the more he gets to know her, the more uncomfortable he is keeping things from her.Because Nik Gustafsson has a secret. And it’s a big one. Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a hot boy who's the strong and silent type, a studious girl who refuses to believe in fairy-tale romance, and one epic secret that could be disastrous if it comes to light.

The Truth About Us


Janet Gurtler - 2015
    Her dad is making her spend the whole summer volunteering at the local soup kitchen.The truth is she wishes she was the care-free party-girl everyone thinks she is.She pretends it's all fine. That her "perfect" family is fine. But it's not. And no one notices the lie...until she meets Flynn. He's the only one who really sees her. The only one who listens.The truth is that Jess is falling apart – and no one seems to care. But Flynn is the definition of "the wrong side of the tracks." When Jess's parents look at him they only see the differences-not how much they need each other. They don't get that the person who shouldn't fit in your world... might just be the one to make you feel like you belong.