35 Books for Teens – Young Adult Books Every Girl Should Read

Books can take you anywhere. They have the extraordinary ability to take us to different worlds through the eyes and thoughts of a main character or narrator. Their experiences so feel real as we read on to see what happens next. Some leave you thinking about what just happened, inspire you in your own life in different ways and help you deal with heavy topics. Others can teach you about the world around you, but books can also just be a fun way to pass the time.

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Since you could read every day of your life and never pick up the same book twice, it’s tough to know where to start. That’s why we’ve narrowed down the most inspiring, exciting, pull-you-in books that every single teenager should read. These are the best-of-the-best stories to finish before you turn 17.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Once, in my writing class, the teacher asked which book students read over and over again. Half the class said Perks of Being a Wallflower. The book captures the teenage experience so poignantly, it’s a necessity for all teens. Go along with Charlie as he struggles to find love, make friends, and recover from a traumatic past.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares

This coming-of-age series follows a group of childhood best friends all the way from high school to college. The girls share their ups and downs as they turn from teenagers into adults, documenting it all on a pair of pants that magically fit each girl perfectly.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Book 1)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

This is a classic teen novel about the struggles we all face: fitting in, feeling left out, and how to deal with change. Fangirl is a book every girl should read before heading off to college.

Fangirl: A Novel

St Martin s Griffin

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

After the tragic death of her sister, Julia attempts to keep her family together and live up to her sister’s memory. Follow along as she struggles to find herself and cope with the pressures and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican-American household.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

A book that dives deep into the pressures of being successful at a young age and how mental health can take a toll on your life. It’s real, honest, raw and continues to be relevant even today.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story


They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

After getting a call from DeathCast, a service that lets people know when it’s their final day to live, two boys come together to spend their last day on earth learning about life and love. Adam Silvera brings these characters to life in a heart-pounding novel that will make you look at life differently than ever before.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

You’ve already seen the sinsational film, but the book it’s based on is a must-read. Like the movie, it tells the story of two teens trying to live their lives to the fullest, even though their time is limited. It’s beautifully written and the incredible, heartbreaking romantic storyline will leave you in tears.

      Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

      After growing up listening to his grandfather’s wild tales of the supernatural, Jacob Portman discovers that everything he said was true. On a trip to Wales with his father, Jacob accidentally uncovers a secret world of supernatural children trapped in time. Follow the thrilling tale, illustrated with strange and unusual vintage photographs found by the author.

      Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children Boxed Set

      The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

      This riveting novel puts the police brutality and racial injustice prevalent in today’s society into perspective. The Hate U Give is now thought of as one of the best pieces of young adult literature in history, continuing to break records today.

      Five Feet Apart by Mikki Daughtry, Rachael Lippincott and Tobias Iaconis

      Stella Grant and Will Newman fall in love after meeting while their hospital stays overlap. Because of their chronic respiratory illnesses, it’s important that they always stay six feet apart. But their feelings for each other are so strong they decide to get closer even if it’s only by one foot.

      Five Feet Apart

      Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

      The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

      Pecola is a young black girl who’s made fun of for her dark skin in the 1940s. So everyday, she prays to be pretty like other girls and have blue eyes. As readers follow her on her journey, flashbacks show all the kinds of abuse she went through from her parents and all the other situations in life that have made her feel ugly.

      The Bluest Eye (Vintage International)

      With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

      Emoni is a young mom. Ever since she got pregnant in high school, she’s struggled to take care of not only herself but her daughter and Abuela. Regardless, she still has big dreams and wants to become a chef even though it’s been pushed aside while she takes care of her loved ones. Despite this, she finds herself in the kitchen and might have the chance to make her dreams come true.

      With the Fire on High

      Quill Tree Books

      A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

      This story is all about high school girl Meg Murry who’s trying to bring her dad back home. The first in a four-book series, Meg meets a stranger one night who informs her of a tesseract that will help her travel through dimensions. Along with her brother Charles and her friend Calvin, they travel to find out what exactly happened to Mr. Murry and take him back to their reality.

      A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet)

      The Prettiest by Brigit Young

      Three girls in the eighth grade all have to deal with the aftermath when an anonymous list goes viral naming the 50 prettiest girls in school. Eve makes it to the top but doesn’t like how everyone is suddenly objectifying her. Sophie used to have Eve’s spot, but now that she’s been ranked number two, she’s being bullied because of it. Then, there’s Nessa. She doesn’t make the list at all but she’s being bullied because of her weight. When these three find each other, they band together to bring the list’s creator down.

      The Prettiest

      Roaring Brook Press

      How Could She by Lauren Mechling

      Geraldine isn’t doing so well and she tries to get her life together in Toronto after a breakup. It doesn’t help that her friends Sunny and Rachel took off to New York forever ago and seem to be living their best lives. Geraldine wants the same for herself, so she packs up and does the same. But everyone is dealing with their own issues and their friendships get called into question.

      The Only Black Girls in Town by Brandy Colbert

      Twelve-year-old Alberta is used to being the only Black girl in her California town. But one day learns that the new owners of the bed and breakfast by her are black and they have a daughter the same age as her. She wants to become friends with Edie, but while she loves her California life, Edie is missing the streets of Brooklyn. When the two find old journals in Edie’s attic, they go on a journey to find out who they belonged to and find out some deep secrets of the past.

      The Only Black Girls in Town

      Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

      Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

      A plane full of teen beauty pageant contests is headed to the girl’s biggest show ever until their plane crashes. Stuck on a deserted island, they all struggle to stay alive. But holding onto their glamorous, high-end lifestyles will definitely get in their way.

      Beauty Queens

      Scholastic Press

      Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

      Melinda is about to enter high school, but before she starts this new chapter in her life, she is raped. She tries to go on with life like it never happened, but her depression gets worse over time and she begins skipping school and hanging out with some not-so-great people. Eventually, she meets a friend and finds the courage to speak up and defend herself.

      Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

      Imagine a world where books are illegal, where firefighters are employed to prevent the general public from learning. Guy Montag lives this life and works in this profession. He’s never truly questioned it and accepted everything for what it was until his new neighbor opens his eyes. He ends up understanding that the world isn’t as simple as he thought and goes on a mission to ensure others don’t become complacent like he was.

      Fahrenheit 451

      Simon & Schuster


      Animal Farm by George Orwell

      This book follows the lives of farm animals after they overthrow the humans that run the operations. Now, they’re finally in charge and can live how they want to. But some of the former livestock realize that even though everyone is equal now, some are more equal than others.

      Animal Farm

      Orwell, George

      The Giver by Lois Lowry

      This story follows Jonas, a boy who lives in a world where everyone and everything is the same. It’s considered perfect since no one can be better than anyone else and nothing about anyone is able to stand out. But Jonas inherits a position where he’s in charge of storing all the memories from years past. This helps Jonas realize there was a time when people were allowed to be themselves and his world is more dangerous than he realized. The book is good on its own but it’s also part of a quartet.

      The To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Trilogy by Jenny Han

      This book series has given us one of the most romantic set of movies in years. The To All the Boys films follow Lara Jean, a high school student keeps writes letters to guys she’s fallen in love with and keeps them in a box in her room. That becomes a problem when all of those letters get mailed to the boys they’re addressed to and Lara has to deal with the aftermath.

      The To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Paperback Collection: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before; P.S. I Still Love You; Always and Forever, Lara Jean

      Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

      The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

      A Mexican-American girl named Esperanza lives in Chicago. At 12 years old, she’s finally settling down with her family on Mango street after moving frequently. Following a year of her life, we get to see the main character start to develop into the woman she’s met to become while fighting against gender stereotypes, racism and physical and sexual violence.

      The House on Mango Street

      The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

      Behold: the series that changed my life. There’s a reason Harry Potter boasts legions of dedicated fans and holds the tile for best-selling book series of all time – it really is that good. J.K. Rowling creates an impossibly intricate magical world that will have you reaching for the series time and again (I’ve literally read it 30 times and I CANNOT stop).

      Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7)

      The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

      Junior is an aspiring cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. He decides to take control of his future, transferring away from his school on the reservation in order to attend an all-white high school nearby. The book is based off of the author’s real-life experiences, as he attempts to break away from the life he was born into.

      The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

      Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

      Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

      You’ve heard all your friends talking about this book – and for good reason. It’s a timeless teen tale, following Simon as he navigates high school life, friendship, and his own biggest secret – that he’s gay. When a fellow classmate accidentally find out and threatens to out him, Simon must come to terms with who he is, while trying to win over the guy of his dreams.

      Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

      Balzer Bray Harperteen

      Tithe by Holly Black

      Kaye’s world is turned upside down when she discovers that the faerie world is real. She finds herself between two of their queens that are looking to do whatever it takes to make sure their followers survive this war that they’re in. Author Holly Black creates a majestic world that will leave readers hungry for more. Read the entire Folk of Air series to follow along Kaye’s journey to find her identity as she enters the reams of good vs. evil.

      Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale

      Margaret K. McElderry Books


          Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

          In this fun fantasy read with a whole lot of dragons. Two best friends must come to terms with their past and their possible futures, when they compete against each other to lead their city’s army in this riveting and eye-opening read.

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

          In her debut novel, Emily X.R. Pan writes one of the best books about grief after the loss of a loved one. When her mother kills herself, Leigh travels to Taiwan in search for her mother’s reincarnation, while grappling with her own guilt.

          The Astonishing Color of After

          Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

          A life-changing event causes Annabel to lose all her friends before her senior year, making her a loner in one of the most important years of her life. However, someone new comes to town and gives her the chance to finally share her side of the story.

          Crank by Ellen Hopkins

          Crank is an eye-opening series about how drug use can destroy the life of a person and those around them. It’s one of the most realistic depictions of addiction that keeps you on the edge of your seat, wanting to find out what happens next.

          The Crank Trilogy: Crank; Glass; Fallout

          Margaret K McElderry Books

          The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld

          In a world where everyone can be pretty, most look forward to the day they finally can be accepted into society, thanks to a procedure done on their 16th birthday. However, Tally Youngblood sees how these ideals are impacting her society for the worse, so she tries to do whatever she can to change it.

          The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

          For years, the Hunger Games was the buzziest book on shelves, but I can promise you, this trilogy deserves alllll the hype. It’s a thrilling tale of a post-apocalyptic society where the government forces teenagers to kill each other on live television. Only the winner makes it out of the arena alive.

          The Hunger Games Box Set: Foil Edition



          Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

          Speak is a beautifully-written novel about a teen suffering from depression after a traumatic life experience. The story is emotional and raw, but still, one that all teen girls should hear.

          Speak 20th Anniversary Edition

          Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

          This book, which is the first in a series, is directed towards a younger audience (around 10-years-old). It’s the first dystopian book I ever read and changed me for life.

          The Shadow Children, the Complete Series: Among the Hidden; Among the Impostors; Among the Betrayed; Among the Barons; Among the Brave; Among the Enemy; Among the Free

          Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

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