Teen Books – What’s Great, What’s Hot, What’s Not

I get a lot of questions about teen books (aka, young adult).  Not all readers of this category are teens – there are definitely books in this category that are worth reading even if you’re a senior citizen.  Although some of the books are definitely aimed at teen readers, many qualify as teen because they have a teen protagonist, or are low on the sex and violence.   I am going to list books I recommend reading, even as an adult, and that teens will enjoy too.  I will also list the books that are popular with teens right now, because it’s never a bad idea to know, in case of last minute birthday presents, or knowing what your students are reading or want to read.  I will also tell you which books you should run far, far away from.

Read These:

  • Divergent (and now Insurgent) by Veronica Roth
  • The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go (and sequels) by Patrick Ness
  • Terrier, Bloodhound, and Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Uglies (and the rest of the series) by Scott Westerfield
  • Blood Red Road by Moira Young
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
  • The Outsiders by S.C. Hinton

That should get you started.  I have to stop now.  Or I’ll just keep adding books.

Fake Being Cool:

  • The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  • Divergent (and now Insurgent) by Veronica Roth
  • City of Bones (Mortal Instruments Series) & ClockworkAngel (Infernal Devices Series) by Cassandra Clare
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  • The Gatheringby Kelly Armstrong
  • The House of Nightseries by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter

Run Away From:

  • The Fame Gameby Lauren Conrad
  • Anything by V.C. Andrews
  • Anything by Sara Shepard (of Pretty Little Liars fame)
  • Anything featuring horses, exclusive academies, and especially exclusive riding academies
  • Sarah Dessen (she makes my brain turn to mush – it’s light reading so light I expect it to fly away)
  • Twilight, just avoid it altogether, lest you too, get sucked in

I know these are not complete lists, and I’d love to hear what you thought of these, and whether there are any that really need to be added.




Filed under Books, Bookstore, Review

4 responses to “Teen Books – What’s Great, What’s Hot, What’s Not

  1. Merilyn Fox

    I would also recommend the Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke.

    • Good call. There are so many good books. I almost said too many, but no such thing. Anything by Madeleine L’Engle, or Eric Walters. I basically had to stop because my list was getting ridiculous.

  2. I love Young Adult fiction, and I guess at 25 I’m still technically a young adult, but i still agree with you that many books in the genre can be enjoyed throughout your life. Good call on The Book Thief (one of my personal favorite books of all time) and Tamora Pierce. I haven’t read that particular series but other stuff of hers is great too.

    • I think when you limit yourself to a genre, you can miss a lot of awesome books. In general, I’m not a big biography/history fan, but that’s mostly because the writing is so dry. As long as the writing is good, I’ll happily read an air conditioner manual.

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