Read Beyond the Beaten Path with Young Adult titles that span a wide range of genres, from magical realism to coming-of-age stories.
"Wild Beauty" by Anna-Marie McLemore
Nomeolvides women have the power to conjure flowers. They're also cursed: whenever they fall in love, the object of their affection vanishes. The women strive for normalcy, channeling their magic into the elaborate gardens at La Pradera estate and forsaking suitors before they can disappear, but then Estrella Nomeolvides and her four cousins all fall for La Pradera's vivacious owner, Bay Briar. The girls perform a ritual that's intended to protect her, but it instead summons Fel, a strangely dressed boy who can't recall his past. Featuring gay, bisexual, and genderqueer characters from multiple cultures, this vibrant, eloquently written fairy tale illustrates the nondiscriminatory nature of love while thoughtfully exploring its risks and rewards. (Ages 12+)
"We Walked the Sky" by Lisa Fiedler
Calliope VanDrexel is a 16-year-old circus performer who loves her grandmother Victoria and the tightrope that allows her to walk the sky. Her days as an aerialist come to an abrupt halt when her grandmother dies and her mother, Quinn, moves their small family to an animal sanctuary. Callie is forced to live with a mother she doesn't understand and must learn to navigate the social hierarchy in high school. Her only comforts are the cryptic notes found in her grandmother's old jewelry box and the new unexpected friendships she makes. These notes and her friends help Callie begin to find the balance between loving what was lost and embracing what can be. (Ages 12+)