This is What I Want

List of The Best Books for Teens Based on Genre


Whether terrifying or wonderful, teenage years are a chapter of life that cannot be forgotten. People of all ages, even adults, best books to read for teens when they remember this. Like the best children's books, these stories about teens give hope for the future and make you long for love and life when you were young.

Our list of the best books for young adults includes some of the most important works of fiction, romance, drama, crime and fantasy. Many of them have been best sellers and won awards. Some have affected culture, and the best books to read for teens have helped make the YA genre what it is today.

Trying to decide which books are the best to read for teens? Here's what you need! We have got the whole package of genres for your ease. Pull up a chair if you like young adult memoirs, exciting beach reads, paranormal fiction, or any other type of book. You can find some great books for teens here, and if you are looking for the best gadgets for teens, we have those too. Keep reading to find more.

Genre: Romance

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1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

If you haven't read Pride and Prejudice yet, which is thought to be one of the best love stories, why not start a small book club with your teen? This classic book for young adults is just as good for adults, and you can talk about romance and personal identity through the lens of history. This book by a feminist is a great way to talk and acknowledge the facts about how dating and weddings have changed over time.

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2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The main character, Hazel Lancaster, thinks that her life is over. Cancer has taken over her life. When she meets Augustus Waters, she finds new motivation to live because of his ability to make her laugh and make her feel like she matters to him. John Green's heartbreaking work of modern fiction made a lot of noise because it took a bold, honest look at how teenagers live today. Green has written several books that all teens should read, but this one is especially good if you like sad books.

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3. Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali

Looking for a modern love story that also talks about identity and loyalty in a world with many different kinds of people? It's in the book Love from A to Z. This book is told from the points of view of two different characters. It is about how the relationships of two Muslim teenagers who meet on vacation change over time. The result is a look at culture, racism, loss, and hope that will speak to people of all ages and backgrounds. Check out the best horror books you can read today for more great books.

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4. This Is Kind of An Epic Love Story by Kacen Callender

This is an Epic is a new, charming romantic comedy that fans of Simon vs. the VSO Sapiens Agenda and Boy Meets Boy will love. Love Story is about Nathan Bird, who wants to be a screenwriter but doesn't like happy endings very much. Nate is sure he will never find love because he has seen too many broken hearts. When Nate's best friend from childhood, Oliver, moves back to town, everything changes. Oliver makes Nate question everything he believes he knows about love, relationship, and himself. Ollie has trouble hearing, but his inability to hear is never the most important thing in this book. Nate and Ollie's growing love is central to this thoughtful and open-minded romantic comedy. The main characters are two Black and Latino people who try to go against the odds.

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5. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The diary of Anne Frank is among the few nonfiction storybooks on this list of the best books for teenagers, but we would be wrong to leave it off. It is heartwarming and scary and shows history in a way few other texts can. The diary talks about how Anne's family and friends hide in their Annex," where they wait for the war to end. This classic will make people talk about love, friendship, and growing up.

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6. Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

Stella, 17, has cystic fibrosis and has to stay in a hospital. Even though she doesn't like living there, she soon meets Will, another young person with cystic fibrosis. Even though they hit it off right immediately can’t be close because they are both sick. As they fall in love, they must deal with their feelings and the disease that keeps them apart.

Genre: Drama

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7. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

The modern fable by Gene Luen Yang won the 2007 Printz Award, and both critics and readers loved it. The graphic novel tells three different stories linked in ways that become clear as you read. This book is a must-read for teen shelves because of how creatively it shows what it's like to be the target of prejudice.

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8. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Even though not everybody there agrees that Where the Red Fern Grows is a great, exciting story, no one can deny that it is a classic of middle-grade and young adult literature; the story is in both categories. It came out before bookstores cared so much about the difference. It's an old favorite that shows how strong the bond between a man and his best friend can be. This edition also has a note from Clare Vanderpool, who won both the Newbery Medal and the Printz Honor.

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9. The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

Leigh Chen Sanders, the main character, is half Asian and half white. After her mother kills herself, Leigh decides to go to Taiwan to learn about her familial history, meet her grandmother, and give us a better understanding of her life or the lives of those around her. In this teen book, Emily X.R. Pan's touching and often poetic writing dives fearlessly into the heavy weight of sadness while playing with the playfulness of magical realism. When it comes to books for young adults, author John Green says, "This is a very special book."

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10. The Call of the Wild by Jack London

This short but powerful classic is often considered Jack London's best work. It's about a dog named Buck who is taken from his home by a gardener who needs the money to pay off gambling debts. Buck is sold to a stranger, who puts him in a cage, beats and starves him, and then sells him again to a man in Canada who will train him to be a sledge dog. As the book goes on, Bucks' struggles in the wild force him to stop acting like a family pet and start relying on his animal instincts to stay alive.

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11. American Street by Ibi Zoboi

In her first book, American Street, Haitian-American author Ibi Zoboi tells the story of Fabiola Toussaint. She comes to America from Haiti with her mother to find the American dream. When her mother is detained when she arrives, Fabiola ends up living with family members on the corner of American Street and Joy Road in Detroit. There, she has to figure out how to live in a brand-new world while keeping her Haitian values and roots. The contemporary fiction novel is a finalist for the National Board Award and has won many awards. It is one of the best books for teens because it shows what it's like to be an immigrant in the United States.

Genre: Fiction

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12. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

If you like Sarah Dessen's books for young adults, you're probably thinking, "How did you choose just one?" The author has won the Margaret A. Edwards and Romantic Times Career Achievement Awards for her work in romantic teen books. Just Listen is a great example of the genre because it's about a model named Annabel and an artsy, moody guy named Owen. This modern romance is easy to read and gets people talking because it has classic coming-of-age themes. These are trigger warnings, especially for high school textbooks: sexual abuse and eating disorders.

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13. This is My America by Kim Johnson

This is My America, Kim Johnson's first work of contemporary fiction, is about Tracy Beaumont, a 17-year-old Black girl trying to save her father, who is on trial for murder for a crime he didn't do. Her track star brother is charged with killing a white girl as she tries desperately to save him. This powerful and thought-provoking book deals with race and injustice, which would appeal to readers of any age who care about social issues.

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14. Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray

What do you get when a young adult author mixes historical fiction, dark realism, and a little bit of the supernatural? What is it? The first book in Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle series, A Great and Terrible Beauty. In this story about strong women, 16-year-old Gemma goes to boarding school, where she quickly learns that the world isn't what it seems. The book has some dark parts, so watch out for suicide and gothic themes.

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15. Watership Down by Richard Adams

The Watership by Richard Adams Down has been one of the most popular teen books for a long time. In this classic work of fiction, several rabbits try to avoid being hurt while dreaming of a better life. The main characters are animals, that's right. Yes, this is a book for young adults. Look for stories about surviving, being brave, and having hope despite the odds.

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16. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1960, looks at racial tensions in a small Alabama town through the eyes of 6-year-old Scout Finch. The book is taught in many schools, but it is also one of the most frequently banned books because it contains racial slurs, sexually violent content, and a stern look at racial injustice. Even though it's been controversial, many people think it's one of the best books ever written.

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17. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

This piece of fiction by Mexican-American writer Sandra Cisneros is often on school reading lists, but readers of all ages enjoy it. Many people think of it as a modern classic. It tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, a Latina girl who is 12 years old and lives in a poor part of Chicago. This coming-of-age story is partly based on Cisneros's own life. It deals with gender, sexuality, race, and cross-cultural personality issues.

Genre: Crime

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18. One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

For every teen who has ever wondered if their life matters and for every teen who has managed to lose someone they love, here is a book that asks and answers life's most important questions without holding back. When Kezi Smith is killed after a social action event, her family is sad about the person they lost and confused by the image of a perfect, flawless Kezi that the world has created. This modern work of fiction will take you by surprise with its twists and draw you in with its honest look at the difference between fact and fiction. You can expect to read about prejudice and social justice.

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19. Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Firekeeper's Daughter, the first thriller by Angeline Boulley, will be a Netflix show. Before you watch the movie and fall in love with the heroine Daunis Fontaine, you should read the book. In this book about identity and addiction, Daunis struggles to figure out who she is as a mixed-race tribal member who is not enrolled and lives outside the Ojibwe reservation. She goes undercover after seeing a murder to find out the truth about what happened and the neighborhood right outside her door. This is a #ownvoices story written by a Native American woman.

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20. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The title of this award-winning book by Markus Zusak might make you think it's a detective story, but it's not. Instead, it's a made-up story about a young girl named Liesel who lives in Germany while the Nazis rule it during the Holocaust. She had to steal books to be able to read, even though the Nazis had marked them to burn. The book is told from a very different point of view: Death himself tells Liesel's story of struggle and survival. This cross-genre Holocaust book will appeal to readers of all ages because of its themes of love, hope, and the power of words to hurt or heal.

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21. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

This thriller by Jason Reynolds moves quickly and keeps you interested. It's about the terrible effects of gun violence. The book, which has won many awards for young adult fiction, is about a 15-year-old boy named Will who wants revenge for the death of his brother. The simple setting of the book—the whole story takes place in an elevator—contrasts the complex interactions between the characters as Will moves from floor to floor.

Genre: Fantasy

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22. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

Part paranormal fiction and part urban fantasy, Cassandra Clare's series exploded onto the young adult scene in the early 2000s, making the New York Times bestseller list and being quickly translated for readers worldwide. In the story, Clary, a young New Yorker whose last name is very similar to the author's, sees a murder happen in a nightclub. Even though there were some plot holes, teens liked the different versions of modern New York, and the themes of friendship and loyalty were fun to read about. It's a good book for teens who don't need to think too hard about their fiction as long as there's an exciting adventure and a sweet romance.

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23. The Inheritance Cycle series by Christopher Paolini

Even if you think Eragon, the first book in Christopher Paolini's (one of the best teen series!) The Inheritance Cycle is more middle grade than a young adult at first; you wouldn't be completely wrong. Even though the first book in the series is written for slightly younger readers, the rest of the books are definitely for young adults. So, many reviewers and critics have put it in the middle. When it came out, it was one of the most popular books for teenage boys because it was full of exciting adventures and a mix of magic and myth. So, why is this one of the best books for teens? With its classic fantasy plot and dystopian undertones, Eragon can capture the imaginations of kids and adults everywhere. The main ideas are friendship, finding one's true home, and good vs evil.

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24. Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs's first book, is a teen fantasy novel that will hit fantasy fans. The novel tells the story of Jacob Magellan Portman, who is on a quest to find out more about the stories his grandfather told him about how he lived as a Jew during World War II. The story is told through prose and a series of photographs. Worried about what to read? Based on your star sign, find the best book for you.

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25. His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman

This set of three fantasy books about coming of age by Philip Pullman starts with The Golden Compass, which some critics say is one of the best books ever written for young adults. This award-winning trilogy will enchant adults about two kids, Lyra and Will, who go on adventures in parallel universes that are both like ours and very different from it. Even though it's aimed at young adults, the complex themes of the series, which deal with morality, identity, and fate vs free will, will attract readers of all ages.

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26. The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer

What do you get when you mix traditional fairy tales with a bit of science fiction and a pinch of fantasy? The Lunar Chronicles is a set of science fiction books by Marissa Meyer. In Cinder, the first book in the series, Cinder Lihn is a teenager who lives in New Beijing and works as a mechanic for cyborgs. But when she gets involved with a prince named Kai, she suddenly understands the weight of an unrequited love and how it fits into a huge conflict between galaxies. The themes of modern romance, loyalty to friends and country, and what it means to betray will appeal to readers.

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