I just finished an advanced reader's copy of The Waves, An Island Novella, by Jane Minkman.
No relation to Virginia Woolf's work. In spite of the title and the lighthouse on the cover. Definitely not as much of a downer, bless Woolf's soul.
Book theme: Losing your childhood beliefs does not mean you lose all faith in the world. Walt is inspired by an older cousin who questions the status quo without being cynical, but it takes going to a land where no one shares his beliefs for him to find his own peace with what he had always been taught.
The novella was peopled with good, sympathetic characters. It had a bit of the feel of Ursula K. Le Guin, in the world building around arbitrary systems of beliefs. And a bit tame Lord of the Flies. The obvious sources of their ways of seeing the world was not treated as a joke, even though it could have been, instead just imbuing the story with a sweet tolerance.
I would recommend this to a teen reader, and look forward to more from this author. Too bad about the cigarette smoking scenes, though.