The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
This book has everything; suspense, strong characters, great writing, a love-triangle and a disturbing premise. The third book comes out in September and let’s just say that I’ll be the first in line waiting for my copy. It’s worth the hype.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks by E. Lockhart
Don’t let the clumsy title fool you. This book is fantastic. Strong female protagonist, prep school drama, infiltration of an old boy’s secret order…what more can you ask for? Was a National Book Award nominee in 2009.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Following in the trend of Twilight and other fantasy novels, this story features strong writing and a zombie or two. Not exactly my choice of antagonists but Ryan delivers this tale with spine-chilling suspense. The second novel is out in paperback now.
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin (also good Confessions of a Teenage Amnesiac by Zevin)
Released about 5 years ago, this book is still one of my favorites. Liz dies young but experiences another life in Elsewhere. It’s a beautiful, uplifting story no matter what your religious slant might be.
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
What happens if you get to live the last day of your life over and over again until you get it right? Absolutely the BEST teen book I’ve ever read. After reading this book, I decided writing teen fiction is best left up to the experts such as Oliver. No book captures high school like this book and if that’s not enough, the premise is fantastic.
Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Another book about death…but this one is special. It’s the most beautifully written book about dying that I could ever hope to read. The figurative language is breathtaking, the voice perfect and characters memorable. Highly recommend this one even though it’s really sad.
Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr
Another National Book Award finalist, this was Zarr’s debut novel. A bit gritty and realistic but very well written and emotionally true.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson
A bit science fiction, teen drama and romance. I raced through this book loving the futuristic themes. Great read.
The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
Engaging, strong voice and an utter page-turner. This one will make you weep (although that could just be the mother in me)
Graceling by Krsitin Cashores
Love Graceling! Fantasy about a girl born with the special ability—or Grace—to kill. The characters in this story are unforgettable. I loved this book but wouldn’t recommend the 2nd book in the series. It’s an unrelated story and not as well edited.
Because I am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas
To deliver a story of this emotional magnitude in verse is something I can’t imagine doing. I was disappointed that the book was over too soon, it’s that good.
Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway
A fun romp into the world of teenage music stars and love. Great summer read.
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
I loved this book…exquisitely written, strong, pitch-perfect voice and engaging plot. Marcelo has an autism-like condition that is ignored by his father who insists Marcelo begin working in the real world –or his legal office. A heartwarming story that shares a unique perspective into the world of autism spectrum disorders.
Dairy Queen by Catherine Murdock
D.J. Schwenck is a hard-working Wisconsin farm girl who knows a heck of a lot more about football that just about anyone around her. This is the ultimate sports book for girls. One of my absolute favorite reads.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
By now, everyone and their dog has read this book, but I haven’t until just recently. The three POV’s are masterfully done and the storyline is one in which every young women should experience. Strong female characters and terrific writing.
Any Sarah Dessen book
Sarah Dessen is the ultimate writer for teens. Her books are more character driven than plot, but the stories make her one of the most popular YA novelist.