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Teen Book Suggestions   Tags: teens, young adult  

Need help finding great books for teens? Don't know what to read next? Look here for help!
Last Updated: Dec 16, 2014 URL: http://cityofpasadena.libguides.com/teenbooks Print Guide RSS Updates

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WELCOME

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Looking for great teen books?  You've come to the right place.  This guide will point you to some great selections!

Use the tabs at the top to navigate the guide and discover new, exciting stories.

Your Next Good Read

Still can't find what you're looking for?  Try YOUR NEXT GOOD READ.  Tell us a little bit about what you like (and don't like) to read. We'll send you some suggestions you might enjoy.  Click on the link below.

 

YA Book Club picks

Join us for a book discussion!  Teens and adults welcome.

Need to read the book, but can't get a copy? Call (626) 744-4246 or email Jane Gov at jgov@cityofpasadena.net 

YA Book Club will return in the Summer!

 

FEATURED BOOKS and STAFF PICKS

GOOD BOOKS FOR TEENS

STAFF PICKS

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Eleanor and Park - Rainbow Rowell
Call Number: YA FIC ROWELL,R
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits--smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. YALSA Teens Top Ten

--Recommended by Jane

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie
Call Number: YA FIC ALEXIE,S
Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

--Recommended by Jennifer D.

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Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher
Call Number: YA FIC ASHER,J
When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recounting the events leading up to her death.

--Recommended by Jennifer D.

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The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
Call Number: YA FIC GREEN,J
Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss, and life.

"If you want a book that makes you really feel what love is, that can make you laugh even while you're crying, this is that book. You'll be glad you picked it up." --AnnMarie

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Looking for Alaska - John Green
Call Number: YA FIC GREEN,J
Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash.

--Recommended by Jennifer D.

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The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks - E. Lockhart
Call Number: YA FIC LOCKHART,E
Sophomore Frankie starts dating senior Matthew Livingston, but when he refuses to talk about the all-male secret society that he and his friends belong to, Frankie infiltrates the society in order to enliven their mediocre pranks.

--Recommended by Jane

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The Adoration of Jenna Fox - Mary E. Pearson
Call Number: YA FIC PEARSON,M
In the not-too-distant future, when biotechnological advances have made synthetic bodies and brains possible but illegal, a seventeen-year-old girl, recovering from a serious accident and suffering from memory lapses, learns a startling secret about her existence.

--Recommended by Jane

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Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell
Call Number: YA FIC ROWELL, R
Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan ... But for Cath, being a fan is her life--and she's really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it's what got them through their mother leaving.

--Recommended by Jane

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Between Shades of Gray - Ruta Sepetys
Call Number: YA FIC SEPETYS,R
In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her family and the thousands like hers by burying her story in a jar on Lithuanian soil. Based on the author's family, includes a historical note.

"Read. This. Book. You will be glad you did."--Jane

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Bruiser - Neal Shusterman
Call Number: YA FIC SHUSTERMAN,N
"Told in four alternating perspectives, sixteen-year-old twins Tennyson and Bronte befriend the school outcast, Brewster, who has an abusive uncle, a needy younger brother, and a wonderful yet perilous secret: he's able to absorb the aches and pains from the people he cares about. Perfect for a book discussion."--Jane

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Unwind - Neal Shusterman
Call Number: YA FIC SHUSTERMAN,N
In a future world where those between the ages of thirteen and eighteen can have their lives "unwound" and their body parts harvested for use by others, three teens go to extreme lengths to uphold their beliefs--and, perhaps, save their own lives.

--Recommended by Jane

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This Is What Happy Looks Like - Jennifer E. Smith
Call Number: YA FIC SMITH,J
Perfect strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O'Neill meet online when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an e-mail about his pet pig, Wilbur. The two 17-year-olds strike up an e-mail relationship from opposite sides of the country and don't even know each other's first names. When the relationship goes from online to in-person, they find out whether their relationship can be the real thing.

"Really sweet love story that will keep you turning pages to see if it works out!" --AnnMarie

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor
Call Number: YA FIC TAYLOR,L
Seventeen-year-old Karou, a lovely, enigmatic art student in a Prague boarding school, carries a sketchbook of hideous, frightening monsters--the chimaerae who form the only family she has ever known.

"Tragedy, love, and war... for all readers of fantasy.
...There are so many layers of emotion and cruelty and hope and beauty that I am left quite speechless." --Jane

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Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo
Call Number: YA SF BARDUGO,L
Orphaned by the Border Wars, Alina Starkov is taken from obscurity and her only friend, Mal, to become the protegé of the mysterious Darkling, who trains her to join the magical elite in the belief that she is the Sun Summoner, who can destroy the monsters of the Fold.

--Recommended by Jane

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Legend - Marie Lu
Call Number: YA SF LU,M
In a dark future, when North America has split into two warring nations, fifteen-year-old Day--a famous criminal, and prodigy June--the brilliant soldier hired to capture him, discover that they have a common enemy.

--Recommended by Jane

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Finnikin of the Rock - Melina Marchetta
Call Number: YA SF MARCHETTA,M
Now on the cusp of manhood, Finnikin, who was a child when the royal family of Lumatere was brutally murdered and replaced by an imposter, reluctantly joins forces with an enigmatic young novice and fellow-exile, who claims that her dark dreams will lead them to a surviving royal child and a way to regain the throne of Lumatere.

--Recommended by Jane

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Glow - Amy Kathleen Ryan
Call Number: YA SF RYAN
Part of the first generation to be conceived in deep space, fifteen-year-old Waverly is expected to marry young and have children to populate a new planet, but a violent betrayal by the dogmatic leader of their sister ship forces Waverly to fight for her life and the lives of the other girls, all while navigating the desires and hidden motives of their captors.

"Told in alternating points of view between Waverly and her boyfriend Kieran, who has to assume responsibility of their ship when their parents are killed, this story is full of action and suspense. You never know who to trust... It has a great villain too. You won't be able to put this down! Be sure to check out the sequel, "Spark." This series will be a popular phenomenon--would make an awesome movie, like Hunger Games and Twilight." --AnnMarie

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The Rules of Survival - Nancy Werlin
Call Number: YA FIC Werlin, N
ISBN: 0803730012
Publication Date: 2006-09-07
In a letter to his youngest sister, Emmy, Matt recounts the horror that was their childhood. Nikki, their mother, was a walking time bomb; some days she could be kind and thoughtful, but, on the bad days, she was a nightmare. Matt, now fourteen years old, is starting to realize that living with their mother is no longer an option. Matt and Callie (his other sister) spend most of their nights waiting for Nikki to turn their home into a war zone. Although hope is a stranger to these frightened children, they meet Murdoch who could be the one to tame their mother and protect them. The only problem with this situation is that Nikki is utterly unpredictable and that leaves Matt with no other choice but to contact his father. Referred to as the "nurse man," Matt and Callie's father was driven away by Nikki and the only link they have with their father is the monthly child support check. However, their father also sends in support for Emmy,who is not his biological child, so that must mean he really cares about them. Just when things couldn't get any worse, Nikki makes up an awful accusation about Murdoch that forces Matt to devise a plan to get away from their mother, which will bring three strangers together to fight for the safety of these three desperate children.

"Honestly, it was really, really hard for me to not throw the book across the room because Nikki has no business raising children when she, herself, is an overgrown spoiled brat. However, her children are the exact opposite of her, which gives readers hope that they will find a way out of their situation because they know the power of love and devotion. The adults in this books, aside from Murdoch, are just as clueless as the kids, but their saving grace was Murdoch who took a giant risk to help these kids. By enlisting the help of Matt's father, and Aunt Bobbie, these timid adults finally build the courage they need to save Matt, Callie, and Emmy. Although the ending is bittersweet, readers will learn that hope is always there even in the most dire of circumstances."

--Recommended by Deb

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I Hunt Killers - Barry Lyga
Call Number: YA FIC Lyga, B
ISBN: 9780316125840
Publication Date: 2012-04-03
Known as the son of the most notorious serial killer, Billy Dent, Jazz has been trying to live a normal life for the past four years--he even has a girlfriend and a best friend. However, when the body of a dead woman shows up Lobos Nod, Jazz can't help but investigate the crime scene because who would know crime scenes more than him? The thing about Jazz is that he didn't learn about his father's crimes from a report...his father actually brought him to the murders and forced him to watch.When Jazz approaches G. William (the officer who captured his father and has tried to help Jazz live a normal life) about the victim, he is instantly told to mind his own business because not every dead body conveys a serial killer is on the loose. However, this body isn't just another dead body; the victim was found naked and missing three fingers where the killer "accidentally" drops the middle finger for police to find. There's something not right about the whole thing so Jazz and his best friend, Howie, break into the morgue to look over the corpse and Jazz' theory is starting to make sense when he noticed the bruising on her knuckles and the lack of it on her back. Despite being careful, Jazz and Howie are caught while "investigating" Jane Doe and the killer continues his rampage and, unfortunately, his pattern is awful familiar, which Jazz starts to believe that his father has returned. The only problem with this theory is that Billy Dent is locked away in solitary confinement so this must be copycat killer and, with copycat killers, they are bound to make a mistakes.

"I can't imagine what it's like being Jazz because he is constantly haunted by his father's words, actions, and advice. Jazz really didn't have a chance at a normal life because of his father so I have to hand it to him for being so well adjusted. Than again, according to Jazz, serial killers can blend in perfectly with society, but what sets him apart from people like his father is his empathy. He stood up to Howie's bullies and made a friend for life and he genuinely loves his girlfriend despite the fact her father hates him. Serial killers, from what we learn, are narcissists and utterly selfish so Jazz doesn't "fit the profile" yet he is still paranoid that it's not real or genuine. What's troubling Jazz is that he has no faith in who he is because he feels responsible for Billy's victims. No matter what Connie, Howie, or G. William say, nothing will ever be good enough until he brings this copycat down. The question is: how much is Jazz willing to risk to prove he isn't a serial killer. This novel packs quite a punch and I can't wait for the sequel!"

--Recommended by Deb

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The Impossible Knife of Memory - Laurie Halse Anderson
Call Number: YA FIC Anderson, L
ISBN: 9780670012091
Publication Date: 2014-01-07
After coming home from the war, Hayley's father is constantly haunted by the memories and the visions of the war that ravaged his mind, body, and soul. What appears to be Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Hayley's father isn't coping well where he can no longer hold down a job and self-medicates with drugs and alcohol. Hayley, who is seventeen years old, wakes up every day fearing what lies behind her father's bedroom door. For Hayley, normalcy can only make things worse for her father so the idea of friends and a boyfriend are not possible so that is why she sleeps through class, refuses to do her homework, and barely socializes with until she met Finn. Finn wants Hayley to write an article for the school newspaper because he knows how smart and eloquent she is and, despite Hayley's bad attitude, she really is a bright young girl who could go places if she applied herself. After making a pretty sweet deal with Finn, Hayley ends up writing that article, which was not only fun but gave her an escape from all of the worrying and stress. Moreover, the more time that she spends with Finn, the more her feelings grown for him. Hayley wants nothing more than to be happy and for her father to be healthy, but will his pain overcome his will to fight? More importantly, will Hayley be able to keep it together or will she fade away just like her father?

“Laurie Halse Anderson has written yet another riveting story about an issue that society has yet to really understand. Unfortunately, unless you live with someone with PTSD, insight to this disease is very limited and Halse Anderson provides readers with a fairly accurate portrayal. Although most people are aware how devastating PTSD can be for person who has it, we tend to forget the people that have to help and live with their loved ones illness. Despite all of the stress and the heartache that she must endure, Hayley is given a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a normal teenager and that opportunity is named Finn. When Hayley finally opens to up Finn, and vice versa, these two teens find the common ground they have been longing for. I can't tell you how many times my heart broke for Hayley and her father because no one should have to suffer from the horrible disease because it destroys everything in its path. The Impossible Knife of Memory is an incredibly compelling read and very difficult to put down.”

--Recommended by Deb

 

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Jane Gov
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jgov@cityofpasadena.net

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