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10 Books All Teens Should Read Before They Turn 18

Updated on September 10, 2019
swalia profile image

Blogger || Media professional || Art of Living teacher || Yoga Enthusiast || Avid reader || Spiritual || Loves to travel ||Loves to Cook ||

Ernest Hemingway rightly says "There is no friend as loyal as the book." Books take us through different worlds through the eyes and thoughts of its characters. Books not only enhance our knowledge and widen our horizons but also inspire us in different ways. Some books continue to make an impact with their messages and lessons that anyone can take away from them. Here are 10 books that every teen should read before they turn 18:

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

— John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

'The Fault in Our Stars' is a bestseller with an incredible romantic storyline involving two terminally ill teenagers: Hazel Grace Lancaster, a 16-year-old girl with thyroid cancer that has affected her lungs and 17-year-old Augustus Waters, an ex-basketball player and amputee. The book is beautifully written and teaches us to live our life to the fullest as our time on this Earth is limited.

2. The Harry Potter Series by J.K.Rowling

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling's series isn't just one book but a series of seven books. However I'm going to count it as one. The amazing story of Harry Potter, Hermione, Ron and the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is a must read for everyone, regardless of age or gender.

3. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

This classic book is a series of diary entries by Anne Frank while she was in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The diary reveals the deep thoughts and feelings of a teenage girl, and traces her development and maturity in the midst of almost unimaginable stress.


4. The Hunger Games (Trilogy) by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games trilogy is the story of Katniss Everdeen who fights back again the tyrannical Capitol of Panem. Each year, the Capitol sends one boy and one girl from each province to its annual Hunger Games, where they are forced to kill or be killed. Katniss is a flawed, yet strong and powerful protagonist. Its classic good-versus-evil plot is fast-paced and suspenseful. The novel emphasizes on friendship, family, and loyalty, making it relatable for all readers.

“You can't just sit there and put everyone's lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can't. You have to do things.”

— The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of age story which takes an honest look at the lives of “everyday” teenagers. Through the eyes of 15-year-old narrator Charlie, the novel narrates the daily trials and tribulations that teenagers face. The novel not only tackles hefty and controversial topics like drug abuse, teen pregnancy, and suicide but also focuses on the role that friends, family and love play in helping us through difficult times.

6. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak is a very well written novel about a depressed teen. After being raped at a party, Melinda is unable to tell angry party goers why she called the police — and eventually stops speaking all together. Speak tells the story of Melinda as she overcomes her past and finds her voice. The story is emotional and raw but one that I believe all teenagers especially all teen girls should hear.

7. Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 is set in a far future world where television dominates and books are outlawed. The totalitarian regime has ordered all books to be burned by "firemen" whose job is to start the fires instead of stopping them. But one fireman sees the value of the printed word. I think every book lover is going to love this novel.

8. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little Prince, fable and modern classic is for young teens but is equally appreciated by older audiences. With a timeless charm, it tells the story of a little boy who travels to the universe, leaving behind the comfort of his own planet. He lands on earth and has a series of extraordinary experiences. This classic novel is a must read for the ones who enjoy reading simple yet powerful stories.

9. How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

This classic book written decades ago, covers timeless truths for engaging people, making friends and earning the right to be heard. It offers simple and profound lessons in emotional intelligence.

“I just can’t believe that life would give us to each other,’ he said, ‘and then take it back.’

‘I can,’ she said. ‘Life’s a bastard.”

— Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park

10. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know first love almost never lasts but that doesn’t mean they won’t try. The novel beautifully captures how young love can feel desperate, overwhelming, and catastrophic.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie ► Animated Book Summary

© 2019 Shaloo Walia

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    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      10 days ago from India

      Thank you Jeff! Love for books is something which we have in common

    • Erudite Scholar profile image

      Jeff Zod 

      10 days ago from Nairobi

      Hey Shaloo,

      I love reading books so much and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article. I have read some books such as the Harry Potter series. It actually started me on this amazing reading journey. I am yet to finish up

      How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

      Thank you so much for the insights.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      11 days ago from India

      Thank you Venkatchari ji. I find Harry Potter series entertaining as well as inspiring. Harry had everything going against him since birth but he never lost courage and hope. Ron and Hermione teach us about loyalty and friendship. Dumbledore is a storehouse of wisdom and knowledge.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      11 days ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very nice recommendations from you. They seem to contain many great messages to people. Three of them are my favorites also. But, not that Harry Potter series. I wouldn't recommend them for inspiration purpose as they depend on magic spells. They are otherwise good for entertainment.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      12 days ago from India

      @Brian Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      12 days ago from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA

      Some of these books are among my favorites and some of them are new to me. I'm always glad to add to my list of books I want to get around to reading.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      12 days ago from India

      @Linda Even I still read books meant for teenagers & children. I never read Roald Dahl as a child. Making up for it by reading his books now

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      12 days ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love the first quote in your article. I've read three of the books in your list. I'm looking forward to reading the rest. I like reading books for teens (and children), even though it's been a long time since I was a teenager.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      12 days ago from India

      @Lorna Some books are just like that...You just can't get tired of them.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      12 days ago

      No longer a teen, however, I still get great pleasure out of reading 'The Little Prince', an all time classic. Your list provides a good variation for teens to read today. Thank you for sharing.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      13 days ago from India

      @Bill I am sure you will enjoy reading them.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      13 days ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, I've read four of them. Evidently I have some reading to do. Thanks for the suggestions. This old "teen" will get busy.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      13 days ago from India

      @Eric Well, it's good that the school is so particular about the reading habits of students. But even Harry Potter series is graded according to age? I find it 'age appropriate' for all. Absolutely love the books & the movies as well!

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      13 days ago from India

      @Jeff Harry Potter books are perhaps the most loved books in recent times and rightly so.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      13 days ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Shaloo, cool choices. I think I have at least 6 of those around here. There is this deal at my sons grade level. He is required to "check out" of the school library and go "age appropriate". And do required reading from that.

      This makes it tough for us to even get into the whole Potter series that we have. But he has nine more years to get there ;-)

    • Erudite Scholar profile image

      Jeff Zod 

      13 days ago from Nairobi

      @swalia I agree with you. The Harry Potter series got me hooked to reading.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      13 days ago from India

      Hard to believe indeed! But you can always read them. Harry Potter is just ....magical :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      13 days ago from Queensland Australia

      Lol I won't tell you....(but I haven't. Hard to believe I know.)

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      13 days ago from India

      @John Don't tell me you haven't read Harry Potter series?

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      13 days ago from Queensland Australia

      These do all sound like good books for teens to read, Shaloo. The only ones I have read are actually The Hunger Games trilogy, though a few of the others I have seen as movies or animated series (in the case of The Little Prince.) I have read a few chapters from Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People." Thanks for sharing.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      13 days ago from India

      Thank you Noel. You seem to be a voracious reader.

    • Noel Penaflor7 profile image

      Noel Penaflor 

      13 days ago from California

      I'm glad I read these at the time it was possible (I was 18 a long time ago). I've read most of these as an adult and would recommend them all. Excellent list.

    • swalia profile imageAUTHOR

      Shaloo Walia 

      13 days ago from India

      @Guckenberger It is indeed a very engaging novel.

    • Guckenberger profile image

      Alexander James Guckenberger 

      13 days ago from Maryland, United States of America

      'Fahrenheit 451' is one of my all-time favorite books.

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