Good Reads For Teens

We live in a world where teens are practically attached to their phones or some other form of technology, so it is important to set time aside and take a break from the technological world around us. What better way to do just that than by reading? Here are some of the most popular books that have been published in the past seven years, guaranteed to enthrall teens of all ages!

(2010) Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

In 1878, Sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray comes to London in search of her older brother. When she arrives, Tessa is faced with the Downworld, where vampires, warlocks, and other supernatural beings await her. Only the Shadowhunters are able to keep the world in order. When Tessa is kidnapped by The Pandemonium Club, she discovers that she is a Downworlder, and she possess a rare power. Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters, who promise to help find her brother if she uses her power to help them.

(2011) Divergent by Veronica Roth

Beatrice Prior lives in a dystopian future where the world is divided into five factions- Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the peaceful), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), and Erudite (the intelligent). On Appointed Day, Beatrice makes the decision to transfer to Dauntless, which will affect her and her family’s life forever. Beatrice is carrying a secret. She is Divergent. And if anyone were to discover her secret, she and everyone she loves will be in danger.

(2012) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Life hasn’t always been kind for Hazel Grace Lancaster. She has a tumor, and she also has cancer, which requires her to carry around a portable oxygen tank. When her mother convinces Hazel to attend a cancer patients’ support group, her life seems to turn towards the better. She forms friendships, and she catches the eye of Augustus Waters, who is now cancer free after having his leg amputated. As Hazel and Augustus grow closer, they face many struggles and try to power through the pain and loss that is thrown their way.

(2013) Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor Douglas and Park Sheridan live opposite lives. Eleanor lives in a home where her stepfather, Richie, is physically and verbally abusive to her mother. Eleanor wears loose-fitted clothes, ribbons in her hair, and is bullied in school. Park lives in a home that is surrounded with love. Park gets along with the popular kids in school. Against the odds, Eleanor and Park form an unlikely friendship that soon blooms into more, all the while trying to rise against the struggles that surround them.

(2014) We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Cadence doesn’t remember what happened during her 15th summer at Beechwood Island. She battled with chronic headaches and can’t even remember what caused it. It isn’t until Cadence’s 17th summer at Beechwood when she begins to recall the event of her 15th summer. As she begins to remember, her relationship with her group of four friends—the Liars—becomes destructive. As Cadence’s memory returns, she will have to redefine herself as her and her friends’ loyalty, trust, and acceptance are put to the test.

(2015) Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Madeline Whittier has severe combined immunodeficiency, which is a rare disease that makes her allergic to almost everything. Madeline cannot leave her house, and is cared for by her mother and her nurse Carla. When a family moves in next door, Madeline forms a friendship with Olly. Olly begins to sneak into Madeline’s home to see her, but when her mother finds out, she bans Madeline from ever seeing Olly again. Olly and Madeline go to Hawaii where she discovers secrets about her past and illness.

(2016) The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun is Also a Star focuses on the story of Natasha Kingsley, a Jamaican teenager who has to be deported in the next twenty-four hours, and Daniel Bae, a Korean-American who is on his way to Yale. As Daniel is going to his college admissions interview, he stumbles across Natasha, who is jamming out to music. Danielthen proceeds to follow Natasha around New York, trying to convince her about their instant connection. The bond between the two grows stronger, but Natasha’s deportation comes ticking closer with every second.

(2017) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Starr Carter balances moving between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives, and the prestigious prep school she attends. The balance is shattered, however, when Starr witnesses one of her childhood friends, Khalil, being fatally shot by a police officer. When his death becomes a national headline, peopledescribe him as a thug and a drug dealer while others protest in his name. The police officers and a local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family as everyone tries to figure out what truly happened. And the only one who has that answer is Starr.

Summer Reading List, Part III

Anna’s Summer Reading List:

For me, summer is a time to let my brain completely relax, meaning no tough, educational, or enlightening books. I like easy-to-read, relaxing stories that take me away from the boredom and heat of the summer. These are just a few I’ve chosen for this summer’s fun reading list.

1. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

photo from casandraclare.com

Yes. Yes I do enjoy reading Young Adult and Teen novels. The Mortal Instruments series was suggested by a friend, and I finally broke down and bought the first one after staring at it on several trips down the puny selection of books at our local Wal-Mart. And it was totally worth it. You get thrown into the world of demon-hunting right from the get-go. Clary, 15, and her friend Simon go to a teen club where Clary sees some pretty unusual-looking people that Simon can’t see. Clary follows them, and discovers the world of the Shadow Hunters, with the handsome Jace being the ringleader for the group of teens. From there, the reader is taken on a fast-paced adventure that doesn’t stop when the book does, meaning now I have to go out and buy the rest of the series. I would say “Curse you, Cassandra!” but I’m kinda more than a little okay with buying the rest of the series. As soon as my college-student bank account allows me to.

 2. Me: Stories of my Lifeby Katharine Hepburn

photo from bettesmovieblog.blogspot.com

As much as I love to indulge in the guilty pleasure of teen fantasy, I realize that sometimes it’s good to get back into the “real world.” For me, that means old movies. Okay, so that’s not really the real world, but I do love everything about old Hollywood, and love reading the autobiographies of the stars that lived the life. I bought Kate’s autobiography at a discount bookstore to take on spring break last year, which I did, but somehow it found its way to the back of a bookshelf containing To Be Read books, and as they continue to pile up, Kate gets farther and farther to the back of the pile, and therefore has yet to be read. So I intend to read it this summer. In Me, Kate shares with us just a small piece of her life, and how she became Katharine Hepburn, a woman who defied tradition, got blacklisted, and ended up one of the biggest names in Hollywood history.

 3. Calico Canyon by Mary Connealy

photo from maryconnealy.com

Because every girl enjoys a little romance. Set right after the civil war and in the midst of the Industrial Revolution, this particular book focuses on the story of Grace Calhoun, a young woman on the run from her abusive adoptive father who forced her and other orphans to work in his mills, who ends up teaching in a small town in Texas. The blight of her classroom is a family of five rowdy boys, a set of twins and one of triplets, and their loud, single, rancher father. Obviously, these two are made for each other, but they have yet to figure this out. Long story short, Grace ends up hiding from her father in the back of this rancher’s wagon, where she nearly freezes to death, and spends the night inside his home, literally a one-room cave, thawing out, along with the five boys. The preacher hears about this impropriety, and forces marriage, much to the chagrin of the rancher and Grace. (On their way out of the cave, we learn that the preacher and his wife know that there was no impropriety, but simply decided to play matchmaker and force marriage on the two.) The story that Mary writes will keep you in stitches as she unfolds the story of the unlikely pair.

 4. Mirror Mirrorby Gregory Maguire

photo from gregorymaguire.com

Gregory Maguire is a literary genius; his retelling of the Wizard of Oz story from the vantage pint of the Wicked Witch of the West was absolutely fantastic, and inspired a Tony-award winning musical. In this story, he recounts his version of the Snow White story. I bought this book at a discount book store as well, and had it on my TBR pile (not “stack”, “stack” indicates a few books, whereas “pile” indicates the barely organized chaos that is my TBR collection), and somehow it managed to get itself lost under all of that insanity, only to be recently rediscovered in the process of packing up and moving apartments. And being a sucker for fairy tale retellings, it got bumped to the top of the pile again, to be devoured as soon as I am settled in my new place. And I can’t wait to see what Maguire’s word craft holds for me this time.

 

photo fromtlcbooktours.com

5. Love on Assignment by Cara Lynn James

The second installment of the Ladies of Summerhill series, Love on Assignment follows Charlotte, an aspiring journalist in the year 1900, set out to go undercover as a governess for a widowed pastor/professor in town who writes religious columns for a competing paper in town. She is all set to reveal his secrets and destroy him, only to discover that he lives up to his columns, and there is no dirt to tarnish his reputation. Of course they end up falling in love, only to have their relationship jeopardized when he learns that she has been deceiving him all this time, but they find a way to work it all out and live happily ever after. I read the first of this series, Love on a Dime, because I downloaded it free for my Kindle, and I saw this one at the dollar store for $3. This series focuses on women writers in the early days of writing as a profession for women, and that is what caught my attention. In Love on a Dime, the lead is a dime novelist writing under a pseudonym because her family wouldn’t approve, even though she inserts religion and scripture references into her writing. This time period is fascinating, and the concept of female writers is so new and unexplored.