Best of 2022: Teen fiction

Oak Park’s Best of 2022 returns! Our annual librarian-curated selection of titles features some of the titles most requested and checked out by Oak Parkers.

See our teen fiction favorites on this page or browse more using the links below.

Adult fiction: General | Adult fiction: Romance, lives & relationships | Adult fiction: Mystery, history & sci-fi | Adult nonfiction | Teen fiction | Kids books | Picture books | TV shows | Movies | Music

Teen fiction

Wildbound by Elayne Audrey Becker

Why you should try it: "The conclusion to the Forestborn duology portrays shapeshifters in a kingdom where magic beings are persecuted. Becker's world contains characters with fully-formed emotional lives who defy fantasy stereotypes."—Kheir, Archivist

Description: With the assassination of Telyan's king, the time for peace has passed. Determined to make up for his failure to procure the stardust, Helos finds work as a healer at Fendolyn's Keep, the military garrison to which Telyan's exiled royals—and half its civilians—have fled. Racing against the Fallow Throes' ticking clock, he endeavors to repair his relationship with Prince Finley and fight off the gathering shadows in his head, as the base around him prepares for war.

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Thieves by Lucie Bryon

Why you should try it: "Wonderful and fine detailed illustrations, with loveable characters that go on a fun adventure."—Andrea, Collection Management Librarian

Description: What happened last night? Ella can't seem to remember a single thing from the party the night before at a mysterious stranger's mansion, and she sure as heck doesn't know why she's woken up in her bed surrounded by a magpie's nest of objects that aren't her own. And she can't stop thinking about her huge crush on Madeleine, who she definitely can't tell about her sudden penchant for kleptomania… But does Maddy have secrets of her own?

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Lucas on the Line by Suyi Davies

Why you should try it: "This is the deep dive into Lucas Sinclair that we all deserve! I really appreciated how it showed Lucas dealing with the trauma of Starcourt and the trauma of being Black in 1980s Hawkins, with some connecting of the two. It fleshed him out in a way the show never has, and honestly, his whole role in season four made so much more sense. Perfect tie-in."—Shelley, Children's Services Librarian

Description: The thrilling adventure of Stranger Things continues where season three left off, with fan favorite Lucas Sinclair finally telling his own story in his own words.

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Other Ever Afters: New Queer Fairy Tales by Melanie Gillman

Why you should try it: "Heartwarming, queer, cute fantasy book!"—Megha, Children's Services Library Specialist

Description: Once upon a time . . . happily ever after turned out differently than expected. In this new, feminist, queer fairy-tale collection, you'll find the princesses, mermaids, knights, barmaids, children, and wise old women who have been forced to sit on the sidelines in classic stories taking center stage.

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Baby Teeth: A Novel in Verse by Meg Grehan

Why you should try it: "I was awed by this sparse, poetic, unique take on vampires."—Jenna, Collection Management Librarian

Description: It starts when Claudia offers her a yellow rose. Immy has been in love before—many times, across many lifetimes. But never as deeply, as intensely as this. Claudia smells like paint and peppermint tea. She wears her hair in a plait and has a green thumb, and Immy is utterly besotted. Claudia has never been in love like this either. But then, this is her first time with a vampire.

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The Silence That Binds Us by Joanna Ho

Why you should try it: "This book was a punch to the gut, but the heavy subjects were handled with a masterful hand. Powerful, moving, and realistic."—Jenna, Collection Management Librarian

Description: Maybelline Chen isn't the Chinese Taiwanese American daughter her mother expects her to be. May prefers hoodies over dresses and wants to become a writer. When asked, her mom can't come up with one specific reason why she's proud of her only daughter. May's beloved brother, Danny, on the other hand, has just been admitted to Princeton. But Danny secretly struggles with depression, and when he dies by suicide, May's world is shattered.

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I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

Why you should try it: "This sneakily fun novel is compulsively readable and very queer-positive. A really lovely coming-of-age story. I loved the characters and their relationships as they developed and evolved over time."—Rose, Adult Services Librarian

Description: After her moms moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, Chloe's spent the past four years dodging gossipy classmates and the puritanical administration of Willowgrove Christian Academy. The thing that's kept her going: winning valedictorian. Her only rival: prom queen Shara Wheeler, the principal's perfect progeny. But a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and vanishes. On a furious hunt for answers, Chloe discovers she's not the only one Shara kissed.

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Padawan by Kiersten White

Why you should try it: "I got really into Star Wars books this year, and this one was great on audiobook during a road trip. Young Obi-Wan!"—Jenna, Collection Management Librarian

Description: Obi-Wan Kenobi has not been apprenticed long to Qui-Gon Jinn, but he yearns to prove himself on a mission. When he and Qui-Gon are finally set to leave on an assignment, Qui-Gon is nowhere to be found. Angered by his master's abandonment, Obi-Wan sets out on the mission alone, determined to prove himself.

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