For the Contemporary
Harley in the Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman
This unique story brings us under the tent of the circus, but there’s no magic involved, at least not the kind that involves top hats and rabbits. Harley in the Sky delves into some realistic character development and major drama, including family and relatonships. This is one to really get into if want to keep both feet on the ground.
Harley Milano has dreamed of being a trapeze artist for as long as she can remember. With parents who run a famous circus in Las Vegas, she spends almost every night in the big top watching their lead aerialist perform, wishing with all her soul that she could be up there herself one day.
After a huge fight with her parents, who continue to insist she go to school instead, Harley leaves home, betrays her family and joins the rival traveling circus Maison du Mystère. There, she is thrust into a world that is both brutal and beautiful, where she learns the value of hard work, passion and collaboration. But at the same time, Harley must come to terms with the truth of her family and her past—and reckon with the sacrifices she made and the people she hurt in order to follow her dreams.
The Lucky Ones by Liz Lawson
This is one of those books that stays with you for a while, and deals with, sadly, currents events by way of a school shooting. We’re all too familiar with the topic, and maybe it’s not something that you want to read about because of the subject matter, The Lucky Ones can touch your soul if you let it.
May is a survivor. But she doesn’t feel like one. She feels angry. And lost. And alone. Eleven months after the school shooting that killed her twin brother, May still doesn’t know why she was the only one to walk out of the band room that day. No one gets what she went through–no one saw and heard what she did. No one can possibly understand how it feels to be her.
Zach lost his old life when his mother decided to defend the shooter. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends bailed, and now he spends his time hanging out with his little sister…and the one faithful friend who stuck around. His best friend is needy and demanding, but he won’t let Zach disappear into himself. Which is how Zach ends up at band practice that night. The same night May goes with her best friend to audition for a new band.
Which is how May meets Zach. And how Zach meets May. And how both might figure out that surviving could be an option after all.