by Suzee Skwiot
School's out for summer, which means your teen now has the time to read purely for the pleasure of it. To that end, we've rounded up 13 page-turning teen reads that will keep them from saying, "I'm bored." At least for 200-ish pages.
Oh, and it's been out for a while, but if he or she hasn't read The Fault in Our Stars, then add that to this list (and have them read it before they see the movie!).
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'The Prince of Venice Beach' by Blake Nelson
For a classic, teen runaway mystery, grab the tale of Robert "'Cali" Callahan, who is getting by living on the streets of Venice Beach. Kids may think it's pretty rad, but when police ask him for information to track down a missing teenager, he runs into some questionable characters.
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'We Were Liars' by E. Lockhart
It's a little spooky and a lot beautiful. The novel follows the story of a typical upper-class family as they vacation on their private island (isn't that the life?) and shows how the kids battle for attention as they bond together. It's definitely a little spooky, especially as the narrator flashes from her present day, but is appropriate for middle school readers.
'The Queen of the Tearling' by Erika Johansen
Want a Game of Thrones meets The Hunger Games trilogy? This one is perfect for middle schoolers and early high schoolers. Princess Kelsea, a 19-year-old heir to the throne of Tearling, has to battle the Red Queen of Mortmesne to regain her own power after the passing of her mother. The entire world is 300 years in the future, in a land that has grown out of an environmental catastrophe. Better yet, get them to read this one quickly because it's being adapted into a movie starring Emma Watson!
'The Truth About Alice' by Jennifer Mathieu
For a nice lesson in teenage gossip: After a crazy party, rumors about Alice start circulating. She quickly has to deal with the stories, the fallout with friends, and serves as a good cautionary tale for any middle schooler.
'Dangerous Creatures' by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
If you already have Beautiful Creatures on your family bookshelf, this one is a natural next read. The spin-off features Ridley Duchanness as she heads off to New York City with her boyfriend. There's magic, danger, and some dark plot points, so keep this one for readers 13 and up.
'Conversion' by Katherine Howe
If your high school sophomore or junior is looking for a good read (and, most likely, you'll want to grab this one for yourself too), go with this spooky novel. Colleen Rowley is a senior in high school, who's peacefully reading The Crucible, and begins to realize that events in her life start to mirror the book. Girls around here become sick and no one has an explanation for their mysterious illnesses. Now it's up to her to solve the story.
'Sinner' by Maggie Stiefvater
Do you miss the Shiver trilogy? Fear not. It's been resurrected. Cole St. Clair is back and he's determined to get back Isabel Culpeper. They're passionate and powerful and just can't seem to let go of one another. There's a little bit of mild romance, so keep this one for the 13+ crowd.
'Isla and the Happily Ever After' by Stephanie Perkins
The finale to Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door is here! This one follows Isla and Josh in their final book, and readers can catch their romance in its final moments. Again, be mindful of the minor romantic subplots.
'Ruin and Rising' by Leigh Bardugo
Here is the end of the Geisha trilogy. Now before the kids can mourn the end of Darkling, Alina, and Mal, readers will get a final look into the dark world of magic and power as they uncover the secrets to Darkling's past. The magic and mystery are a little dark, so make sure your reader is comfortable with some covert plots.
'City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments)' by Cassandra Clare
The final installment of the Mortal Instruments series has the shadowhunters and demons battle. Dun, dun, dun! Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends have to fight the ultimate demon: Clary's brother, Sebastian. The whole world is sent to change, and everything comes to an end. There's some violence and hidden mysterious points, so hand this one to any reader above the eighth-grade level.
'Uncaged' by John Sandford & Michele Cook
Do you have a mystery thriller reader in your home? If they love the twists and turns and red herrings, then the story of Shay Remby will keep them turning the page this summer. Shay is on the search for her brother, Odin, who's a genius and a hacker, but also completely reckless. He's hacked into a research lab and came away with important data and a dog. When she's confronted by the lab, she's forced to protect her brother and will do whatever it takes to keep him safe.
'To All the Boys I've Loved Before' by Jenny Han
Listen up, ladies! Have your daughter and her girlfriends share this one and pass it around. Lara Jean Song has written love notes to all the boys she's ever loved but has kept them hidden in her mother's hatbox. But suddenly, all the letters she's ever written are mailed to all her love interests and her love life spins out of control. For any teenager, they can relate (even if they haven't gone through the same thing), but can definitely share in the fear of leaked love letters.
'Since You've Been Gone' by Morgan Matson
Another summer BFF tale for the ladies: Sloane and Emily are total best friends but complete opposites. Emily is the quiet, shy one who's afraid to talk to guys. Sloane, on the other hand, is a perfect social butterfly. As they're about to embark on an amazing summer, Sloane disappears with no warning. But she does leave a bucket list for Emily that'll turn her summer into a complete adventure. It's a little sweet, a lot of wonderful, and might lead to some tears. But it's totally worth it. They'll hug their friends a little tighter.
What are your teen's favorite books? What are yours?