Teen books that adults will love, too

The merits of Young Adult books have received much debate in recent years with the genre’s publishing explosion. The Twilight series, following the Harry Potter phenomena, transformed adults into impassioned lovers of Teen and Tween literature.  Where do these readers go, now that those series have come to an end?  Some may be eagerly reading, J.K. Rowlings first foray into adult fiction, The Casual Vacancy, which came out last week.

However, there are many other books written and promoted for teens that an adult will love.  Any of these titles would be a great way to dive back into Young Adult books.

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
This is book— and series—has created a lot of excitement recently, especially after the movie came out earlier this year.  It’s a great one that simply has to be on the list (certainly on my list).  Twenty-four teenagers are forced by The Capital into a competition to kill each other until only one remains standing, gaining a great amount of food and fame if and only if he or she wins.

Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Just in time for Halloween, it is a creepy fun read about a boy that is raised by a graveyard of ghosts.  It’s a terrific book that may be even more fun as an audio book.  Read by the author himself in his rich, rumbly voice, this is a treat that will put you in the spooky spirit as you listen during your commute home.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
This is a thought provoking story of the trauma that a family endured when they are forced from their home and sent to Soviet work camps during World War II.  It is a story of survival, hope, and love.   It draws you in to the pain the people felt, the hardships they went through, and the instincts of survival they had to draw on.

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
After an unbelievable natural disaster, this post-apocalyptic story tells of a young teen and her family’s survival in central Pennsylvania with no heat, electricity and a shrinking food supply.  With winter approaching, the family’s concern is not only with staying alive, but with life itself.

Missing May by Cynthia Rylant
Here is a powerful expression of the grief felt when a loved one who was an essential part of your life dies.  This compassionate, yet sometimes difficult, story takes us through the struggle of a young teen as she struggles with her own loss while trying to fill the void in her uncle’s life, now that his wife is gone.

Feed by M.T. Anderson
This cautionary tale takes a familiar element of cyberpunk and creates a futuristic teenage story where people can have their brains directly wired to cyberspace.  It’s a challenging and scary read that will leave you wondering where our culture is taking us.

So regardless of your age, if you have enjoyed teen books before, you’ll probably like someone these too!

- Kim L.


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