Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis (288 pages; Balzer & Bray, 2010)
Just like the other women in her family, Joy has an extrasensory ability that allows her to read people's minds. She's always thought of it as a gift, and uses it to help the people around her, but her sister, Icka, hates her "hearing," as the family calls it, and wants to make it stop. She finds ways to torment Joy and her friends by exposing their thoughts to them, and Joy believes her sister won't be happy until she's completely ruined Joy's life.
On her birthday she stands up to Icka and tells her she wishes she would leave her alone forever, but later that evening Joy has a headache and temporarily can't "hear." The next morning Icka is gone and Joy's special power returns, but it's different—before she just heard people's wishes and hopes, but now she hears their negative thoughts too.
Joy is bombarded by the thoughts of the people around her and finds that her friends may not be friends after all. And after overhearing an altercation at the mall between Jamie, a fellow classmate, and his brother, she discovers that her family might not be the only one with extrasensory abilities—someone else may just be able to explain the sudden change in her psychic powers as well as help her unravel the mystery of what happened to Icka.
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (390 pages; HarperCollins, 2008; book one in the "Darkest Powers" series)
Years of moving from town to town in the wake of her mother’s death have left 15-year-old Chloe feeling lost. But once she's taken under the wing of her aunt Lauren, life finally becomes normal: she's attending art school, with dreams of directing movies, and making new friends.
But then puberty hits, and Chloe's world is turned upside down—she starts seeing ghosts, and they want her help. However, the stress of her new "occupation" leads to a mental breakdown, and she's diagnosed with schizophrenia. Her aunt sends her to live in a group home for kids with mental illnesses.
Lyle House has everything a young person would expect in a group home, but it has its secrets too. Chloe’s housemates are practically bursting with hormones and jealousy for each and every newcomer, including Chloe, but there's more to them than meets the eye, and it’s no accident that any of them ended up there.
Chloe learns from her housemates that she's a necromancer—in other words, she can communicate with the dead—and gains insight into how to use her gift. But along the way she learns a thing or two about her new friends' unique gifts as well.
Num8ers by Rachel Ward (336 pages; Chicken House, 2010)
Everytime Jem meets someone new she's taken aback, because as soon as she looks into that person's eyes, numbers pop into her head, representing the date the person will die.
When Jem was younger she first encountered this phenomenon while looking at her mother. She had no idea what "10102001" meant at the time, but when her mom died and she watched the coroner record the date, she began to understand.
Flash-forward to Jem at 15. She's living below the radar as much as she can in and around London and refusing to look people in the eye, afraid of what she'll see. Moving from foster home to foster home and attending one school after another, she just can’t seem to fit in—until she meets Spider.
Soon after, while visiting the London Eye ferris wheel with her new friend, Jem makes a horrifying discovery: everywhere she turns, people have the same date in their eyes. What happens next in Rachel Ward's pulse-pounding thriller leads to a shocking conclusion you won't see coming.
Evermore by Alyson Noël (320 pages; St. Martin's Griffin, 2009; book one in the "Immortals" series)
After a fatal accident claims the life of her entire family, 16-year-old Ever is able to see people's auras, hear their thoughts, and know all about them simply by touching them. Because of her newfound powers she's labeled a freak, so she goes out of her way to avoid human contact.
Then she meets Damen, who's everything a girl could hope for—dark and exotic, not to mention wealthy, but also something of a mystery. Still, she feels an instant connection, as if she'd known him all her life.
Damen possesses special powers of his own. He can make things disappear and reappear, and it seems like he always knows what Ever's thinking. He's also the only one who can quiet the noise in her head. Equal parts light and dark, he comes from a place where people never die, and his blossoming romance with Ever forms the crux of the first installment in Alyson Noël's six-book "Immortals" saga.