Book picks similar to
Damage by A.M. Jenkins


young-adult
sports
realistic-fiction
fiction

What They Always Tell Us


Martin Wilson - 2008
    But at home, there is Henry, the precocious 10-year-old across the street, who eagerly befriends them both. And when Alex takes up running, there is James's friend Nathen, who unites the brothers in moving and unexpected ways.

Phantom Limbs


Paula Garner - 2016
    Since then, it’s been three years of radio silence, during which time Otis has become the unlikely protégé of eighteen-year-old Dara—part drill sergeant, part friend—who’s hell-bent on transforming Otis into the Olympic swimmer she can no longer be. But when Otis learns that Meg is coming back to town, he must face some difficult truths about the girl he’s never forgotten and the brother he’s never stopped grieving. As it becomes achingly clear that he and Meg are not the same people they were, Otis must decide what to hold on to and what to leave behind. Quietly affecting, this compulsively readable debut novel captures all the confusion, heartbreak, and fragile hope of three teens struggling to accept profound absences in their lives.

What I Lost


Alexandra Ballard - 2017
    As a result, she’s finally a size zero. She’s also the newest resident at Wallingfield, a treatment center for girls like her—girls with eating disorders. Elizabeth is determined to endure the program so she can go back home, where she plans to start restricting her food intake again. She’s pretty sure her mom, who has her own size 0 obsession, needs treatment as much as she does. Maybe even more. Then Elizabeth begins receiving mysterious packages. Are they from her ex-boyfriend, a secret admirer, or someone playing a cruel trick?

Knights of the Hill Country


Tim Tharp - 2006
    This year, the Kennisaw Knights are going for their fifth straight undefeated season, and if they succeed, they'll be more than the best high school team in the eastern Oklahoma hill country--they'll be legends. But the Knights' legacy is a heavy weight to carry for Hampton, linebacker and star of the team. On the field, he's so in control you'd think he was able to stop time. But his life off the field is a different story. His father walked out on him and his mom years ago, and now his mom has a new boyfriend every week. He's drawn to a smart, quirky girl at school--the type a star athlete just isn't supposed to associate with. And meanwhile, his best friend and teammate Blaine--the true friend who first introduced Hampton to football back when he had nothing else--is becoming uncomfortably competitive, and he's demanding Hampton's loyalty even as Hampton thinks he's going too far. This unforgettable novel is the story of a boy whose choices will decide the kind of man he becomes, and raises powerful questions about sportsmanship, loyalty, and the deceptiveness of legends.

True Letters from a Fictional Life


Kenneth Logan - 2016
    As he fills his drawers with letters to the people in his world -- letters he never intends to send -- he spills the truth: he’s trying hard, but he just isn’t into Theresa. It’s a boy who lingers in his thoughts.He feels trapped by his parents, his teammates, and the lies they've helped him tell, and he has no idea how to escape. Is he destined to live a life of fiction?

Tell Me Something Real


Kristen Kehoe - 2017
    Sees everything." ...our fingers fan against one another, eventually threading together, where we grip tightly. "She sees everything, too. In him." Lincoln Brewer was no stranger to disappointment and heartache. An addict mom, no money, and an autoimmune disease which required far more time and attention than she had, taught Lincoln early on that people like her could only survive-dreams were for other people, the kind to whom the word future meant more than a high school diploma and moving far, far away from the town they had grown up in. Go to school, work, run, repeat. Look for the day she could leave and begin life without the baggage. This was her life. And it was enough. Until him. Ford Slaughter didn't give a damn about anyone. It was easier that way. Well, had been easier, until it landed him in the middle of a lawsuit/scandal that his parents couldn't deal with, which then landed him in the middle of Podunk U.S.A., aka Albany, Oregon. Regardless of location, his plan was simple: engage with no one, go to school, and count down the days until he was eighteen and graduated so he could finally be free. What Ford didn't count on was the girl who literally fell into his lap that first day. He didn't count on Lincoln Brewer. He didn't count on falling in love.

Cracking the Bell


Geoff Herbach - 2019
    In fact, football saved Isaiah's life, giving him structure and discipline after his sister's death tore his family apart. But when Isaiah gets knocked out cold on the field, he learns there's a lot more to lose than football.While recovering from a concussion, Isaiah wonders what his life would look like without the game. All his friends are on the team, and Isaiah knows they can't win without him. The scholarship offer from Cornell is only on the table if he keeps playing.And without football, what would keep his family together? What would prevent him from sliding back into the habits that nearly destroyed him?Isaiah must decide how much he's willing to sacrifice for the sport that gave him everything, even if playing football threatens to take away his future.

Jerkbait


Mia Siegert - 2016
    Forced to share a room to prevent Robbie from hurting himself, the brothers begin to feel the weight of each other's lives on the ice, and off. Tristan starts seeing his twin not as a hockey star whose shadow Tristan can't escape, but a struggling gay teen terrified about coming out in the professional sports world. Robbie's future in the NHL is plagued by anxiety and the mounting pressure from their dad, coach, and scouts, while Tristan desperately fights to create his own future, not as a hockey player but a musical theatre performer. As their season progresses and friends turn out to be enemies, Robbie finds solace in an online stranger known only as “Jimmy2416.” Between keeping Robbie's secret and saving him from taking his life, Tristan is given the final call: sacrifice his dream for a brother he barely knows, or pursue his own path. How far is Robbie willing to go—and more importantly, how far is Tristan willing to go to help him?

How to Disappear


Sharon Huss Roat - 2017
    But when Jenna moves away, Vicky’s isolation becomes unbearable.So she decides to invent a social life by Photoshopping herself into other people’s pictures, posting them on Instagram under the screen name Vicurious. Instantly, she begins to get followers, so she adds herself to more photos from all over the world with all types of people. And as Vicurious’s online followers multiply, Vicky realizes she can make a whole life for herself without ever leaving her bedroom. But the more followers she finds online, the clearer it becomes that there are a lot of people out there who feel like her— #alone and #ignored in real life.To help them, and herself, Vicky must find the courage to face her fear of being “seen,” because only then can she stop living vicariously and truly bring the magic of Vicurious to life.In this beautiful and illuminating narrative, Sharon Huss Roat shines a light on our love of social media and how sometimes being the person you think you want to be isn’t as great as being the person you truly are.

Fans of the Impossible Life


Kate Scelsa - 2015
    She promised her parents she would at least try to pretend that she could act like a functioning human this time, not a girl who can’t get out of bed for days on end, who only feels awake when she’s with Sebby.Jeremy is the painfully shy art nerd at Saint Francis who’s been in self-imposed isolation after an incident that ruined his last year of school. When he sees Sebby for the first time across the school lawn, it’s as if he’s been expecting this blond, lanky boy with mischief glinting in his eye.Sebby, Mira’s gay best friend, is a boy who seems to carry sunlight around with him. Even as life in his foster home starts to take its toll, Sebby and Mira together craft a world of magic rituals and impromptu road trips, designed to fix the broken parts of their lives.As Jeremy finds himself drawn into Sebby and Mira’s world, he begins to understand the secrets that they hide in order to protect themselves, to keep each other safe from those who don’t understand their quest to live for the impossible.

Simon Says


Elaine Marie Alphin - 2002
    Aspiring young artist, Charles Weston has enrolled in a private arts high school solely to meet the "famous" Graeme Brandt, a student whose recently published novel touched a chord deep within Charles.But Graeme is not at all what Charles expected, and soon the two teen prodigies are drawn into a clash of wills that threatens to destroy them both.

Radio Silence


Alice Oseman - 2016
    Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside. Then Frances meets Aled, and for the first time she's unafraid to be herself.So when the fragile trust between them is broken, Frances is caught between who she was and who she longs to be. Now Frances knows that she has to confront her past. To confess why Carys disappeared…Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.Engaging with themes of identity, diversity and the freedom to choose, Radio Silence is a tour de force by the most exciting writer of her generation.

The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door


Karen Finneyfrock - 2013
    When Celia's quest for justice threatens her relationship with Drake, she's forced to decide which is sweeter: revenge or friendship.This debut novel from Karen Finneyfrock establishes her as a bright, bold, razor-sharp new voice for teens, perfect for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

Just Our Luck


Julia Walton - 2020
    That was the first rule for life that Leo's Greek grandmother, Yia Yia, gave him before she died. But Leo's anxiety just caused a fight at school, and though he didn't lie, he wasn't exactly honest about how it all went down . . . how he went down. Now Leo's father thinks a self-defense class is exactly what his son needs to man up.Leave the Paros family alone. That was Yia Yia's second rule for life. But who does Leo see sitting at the front desk of the local gym? Evey Paros, whose family supposedly cursed Leo's with bad luck. Seeing that Leo is desperate to enroll in anything but self-defense class, Evey cuts him a deal: she'll secretly enroll him in hot yoga instead--for a price. But what could the brilliant, ruthless, forbidden Evey Paros want from Leo?Sharp, honest, and compulsively readable, Just Our Luck is as funny as it is heartwarming.A feel-good story, with shades of Holes and The Karate Kid --Bulletin

Breakaway


Kat Spears - 2015
    With a grief-crippled mother and a father who’s not in the picture, he needs them more than ever. But when Mario starts hanging out with a rough group of friends and Jordie finally lands the girl of his dreams, Jason is left to fend for himself while maintaining a strained relationship with troubled and quiet Chick.Then Jason meets Raine, a girl he thinks is out of his league but who sees him for everything he wants to be, and he finds himself pulled between building a healthy and stable relationship with a girl he might be falling in love with, grieving for his sister, and trying to hold on to the friendships he has always relied on. A witty and emotionally moving tale of friendship, first love, and loss, Breakaway is Kat Spears at her finest.