Try a novel written in free verse poetry (ie it doesn't rhyme) for a quick read with depth!
*Updated with new selections 10-28-15
Adoff, Jamie. The death of Jayson Porter
In the Florida projects, sixteen-year-old Jayson struggles with the harsh realities of his life, which include an abusive mother, a drug-addicted father, and not fitting in at his predominately white school, and bring him to the brink of suicide.
Bingham, Kelly. Shark girl
After a shark attack causes the amputation of her right arm, fifteen-year-old Jane, an aspiring artist, struggles to come to terms with her loss and the changes it imposes on her day-to-day life and her plans for the future.
Chaltas, Thalia. Because I am furniture
The youngest of three siblings, fourteen-year-old Anke feels both relieved and neglected that her father abuses her brother and sister but ignores her, but when she catches him with one of her friends, she finally becomes angry enough to take action.
Ellis, Ann Dee. This is what I did
Bullied because of an incident in his past, eighth-grader Logan is unhappy at his new school and has difficulty relating to others until he meets a quirky girl and a counselor who believe in him.
Grover, Lori Ann. On pointe
In this novel written in free verse, Clare and her grandfather must deal with changes in their lives when Clare's summer growth spurt threatens to end her dream of becoming a ballet dancer and her grandfather suffers a stroke.
Hemphill, Stephanie. Wicked girls
A fictionalized account, told in verse, of the Salem witch trials, told from the perspective of three young women living in Salem in 1692--Mercy Lewis, Margaret Walcott, and Ann Putnam, Jr.
Hopkins, Ellen. Crank & sequel Glass
Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter, gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father, Kristina disappears and Bree takes her place. Bree is the exact opposite of Kristina. Through a boy, Bree meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul - her life.
Levithan, David. The realm of possibility
A variety of students at the same high school describe their ideas, experiences, and relationships in a series of interconnected free verse stories.
Lyons, Stefanie. Dating down
Seventeen-year-old aspiring artist Samantha Henderson, eager to learn about life and to get away from her father's political campaigns and her stepmother, refuses to give up on her new boyfriend, "X," even after he proves to be trouble, damaging her friendships and introducing her to drugs.
Marcus, Kimberly. Exposed
High school senior Liz, a gifted photographer, can no longer see things clearly after her best friend accuses Liz's older brother of a terrible crime.
Mass, Wendy. Heaven looks a lot like the mall
When high school junior Tessa Reynolds falls into a coma after getting hit in the head during gym class, she experiences heaven as the mall where her parents work, and she revisits key events from her life, causing her to reevaluate herself and how she wants to live.
McCormick, Patricia. Sold
Thirteen-year-old Lakshmi leaves her poor mountain home in Nepal thinking that she is to work in the city as a maid only to find that she has been sold into the sex slave trade in India.
Myers, Walter Dean. Street love
This story told in free verse is set against a background of street gangs and poverty in Harlem in which seventeen-year-old African American Damien takes a bold step to ensure that he and his new love will not be separated.
Sandell, Lisa Ann. Song of the sparrow
Living with her father and brothers in the encampments of Arthur's army, seventeen-year-old Elaine describes her life during the struggle against invading Saxons.
Schroeder, Lisa. I heart you, you haunt me
When her recently deceased boyfriend, Jackson, reappears as a ghost, Ava is thrilled to have him in her life in any way she can, but when she finally begins to move on with her life, Jackson must find a way to let her go.
Sones, Sonya. What my mother doesn't know
Sophie describes her relationships with a series of boys as she searches for Mr. Right.
Sones, Sonya. One of those hideous books where the mother dies
Fifteen-year-old Ruby Milliken leaves her best friend, her boyfriend, her aunt, and her mother's grave in Boston and reluctantly flies to Los Angeles to live with her father, a famous movie star who divorced her mother before Ruby was born.
Stone, Tonya Lee. A bad boy can be good for a girl
Josie, Nicolette, and Aviva all get mixed up with a senior boy who can talk them into doing almost anything he wants. In a blur of high school hormones and personal doubt, each girl struggles with how much to give up and what ultimately to keep for herself.