I’m one of those readers who is normally totally out of the loop as to what the newest greatest book is. But this year I have read a few that have a lot of buzz around them. These are four books that totally deserve the hype.

Seriously, you can quit reading now. Just buy the above books.

The Hate U Give – There isn’t much I can say about this that hasn’t already been said. The movie has already wrapped. Read this one before the movie comes out because there is no way a 2 hour movie will be able to capture all the nuance of this book about the aftermath of a cop shooting a black teenager.

Allegedly – A black girl was charged with killing a white baby who was being babysat at her house. Now she’s a teenager and is pregnant. In order to keep her baby she needs to convince people that she did not commit the murder. Depressing, suspenseful, and wonderful.

River of Teeth – Alternate history based on the fact that there was once a proposal to release hippos in the Mississippi River. This is a western with hippos instead of horses.

Dear Martin – A black teenager is racially profiled and detained by police. Afterwards, he starts to write a series of letters to Martin Luther King to work out how to live his life in the face of the racism he sees around him.