Synopsis (adapted from Goodreads): Amanda Kelly spent her entire life trying to control every aspect of it, while striving for perfection. Her obsession with being perfect, along with her feelings of worthlessness, consumed her. The one thing she thought was perfect in her life was the bond she shared with her best friend, Noah. Everything was going according to her life plan until she woke up one day and realized she had fallen in love with him. The one thing she couldn’t control was the affect he had on her. Noah had the power to give her one hundred lifetimes of happiness, which also gave him the power to completely devastate her. He was the one thing in her life that was perfect, but she couldn't allow herself to have him.Her life begins to unravel. Events take over and force her to let go of her dreams and desires. She needs to realize that a person cannot control the events in their life, only their reaction to them...but will it be too late for her to save her relationship with her best friend?
Synopsis (from Amazon): Angry and defiant, Stella runs away from home and lands in a small seaside village. It is overlooked by the forbidding ruins of Trial Bay gaol. Stella hides out in the town and is disturbed by her growing confusion about her identity. Her mysterious flashbacks to the gaol one hundred years before are even more frightening. What is reality? What is fantasy? And is the guy next door the one to help her solve the mystery? Or will a stranger unlock the key to her past?
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Jenny was enjoying herself on the swings when Azula, one of the guardians of the playground came to take her away.
Together they journey to a cinder building where Jenny must make a powerful decision.
Synopsis (adapted from Goodreads): Olivia Miller is pretty sure she’d win the high school senior award “Most Likely to Never Figure Out What They Want To Do With Their Life.” She’s a model student with a big heart for community service, but her dad has belittled any ambition she ever had in pursuing something she’s interested in. But there’s a new guy at school, Cameron McClain, who becomes a fabulous distraction. Together, they navigate the exciting, though sometimes confusing, waters of a teen dating relationship that grows into first love. As she is poised to leave for college, she works up the nerve to confront her father. But will she ever be able to get him and his judgmental comments out of her head?
Synopsis (from Goodreads): College is not in the cards for Seth. He spends his minimum wage on groceries and fakes happiness to distract his mom from the MS they both know will kill her. It’s agony to carry around a frayed love note for a girl who’s both out of his league and beneath his dignity. Quinn’s finishing high school on top. But that cynical, liberal guy in her social studies class makes her doubt her old assumptions. Challenging the rules now, though, would a) squander her last summer at home, b) antagonize her conservative dad, and c) make her a hypocrite. Seth and Quinn’s passionate new romance takes them both by surprise. They keep it a secret: it’s too early to make plans and too late not to care. But it’s 1989. As politics suddenly get personal, they find themselves fighting bare-fisted for their beliefs—and each other—in the clear light of day.
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Nina never was one who felt comfortable in this world. As she struggles to cope with the pain of her present and past, the young girl's life is changed through the beauty of art. When Nina grows up and winds up in over her head in a dark place, she finds herself somehow transported to another time when nothing is quite what it seems. She must fight the horrors of her past all over again. Along the way, she faces greater challenges than she imagined. This is a character-driven novel with a heroine who faces life, love, and overcoming suicidal depression on her own terms.
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Penny Beck is a girl who says yes when she means no. She keeps to herself, follows the rules, and does what she's told. After a disastrous experience with her boyfriend, she's determined to change from the spineless person she's always been into the strong woman she wants to become. All she needs is a little practice. On a cross-country trip to check on her grandpa, she strives to become bolder and more outspoken with the strangers she meets. Penny's plan is to practice saying and doing what she wants without worrying about what anyone else thinks. Then she meets Archer, an introspective loner to whom she finds herself drawn. She realizes she does care what he thinks, very much. Will Penny be able to stick to her plan, or will she revert back to her people-pleasing ways?
Synopsis (adapted from Goodreads): All Carrie Roberts wants is to be a little bit smaller. To fit into the perfect dress for the Valentine’s Day Dance. To look beautiful for her boyfriend. To keep his jealous ex-girlfriend, a rival cheerleader, away from him. Exercising and dieting don’t work, but an advertisement for weight loss pills promises a quicker solution to her problem. As time runs out, she takes more than the recommended dose until she’s just a few inches slimmer. Heads turn when she arrives at the dance, and the wonderful night with her boyfriend is beyond what she dreamed it would be. Days later, Carrie discovers that her body is changing in ways that should be impossible. While her doctor searches for a cure, she desperately turns to her friends and family for support. Everyone is noticing her now whether she likes it or not, and even the media is intrigued by her incredible story. Getting everything she once wanted has created new problems—problems that are growing more terrifying every day. Because Carrie Roberts is shrinking.
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Lila and Austin have known each other since she befriended his younger brother when she was a toddler. In fact, since her parents moved from her hometown, Lila’s lived with Austin’s family. The two are friends, though more of the teasing, taunting breed than the BFF variety. But all it takes is one moment for everything to change… For Austin, that moment comes when Lila performs a rumba in the school’s auditorium to qualify for the state dance competition, the young woman on stage so far-removed from the little girl in his memories. For Lila, the moment is a reflected image of Austin preparing for prom, the guy standing in front of his mirror hardly resembling the child that spent so much of his youth pestering her. Will they find a way to admit to themselves and their families that their feelings are deeper than friendship? And can Lila focus on this building relationship – and deal with her unstable ex – and still win the dance contest?
Here are the contenders, in alphabetical order by title. You can also tell me in comments what appealed to you about the book you chose!