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Great Books for Young Adults that Address Real Life Issues

Updated on September 3, 2012
All of Ellen Hopkins young adult books
All of Ellen Hopkins young adult books | Source

The Real Issues of a Teenage Life

From bullying to eating disorders, teenagers have a lot to deal with. Whether or not a teenager is facing any of these problems, they still see them occur every day at school and in public. While many parents would be happy to cast aside those serious discussions and leave a child in the dark, they still have to talk about it. However, there are many books today that can help you with these discussions. Not only are they wonderful reads, but they dig deep down into the serious issues of anorexia, being an outcast, self-harm, drug use, relationships, and sex. The following books are great recommendations and while they bring the issues to light, they also enthrall the reader and keep them asking for more.

Cover of Wintergirls
Cover of Wintergirls | Source

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

278 Pages

Wintergirls is a story of depressions, anorexia, and the lose of an old friend. Lia is trying to control her fragmented family life, her food, and her feelings, and when it becomes to much to handle anymore, she dives off the deep end. Not only has her best friend Cassie just been found dead in a hotel room, but no one knows why she was there in the first place. While Lia searches for the reasoning to her friends death, she also finds herself restricting her diet more and more while increasing her exercise routine. Before she can allow her self to completely break down, she needs to know the truth, she needs to know why Cassie kept calling her that night.

Cover of Go Ask Alice
Cover of Go Ask Alice | Source

Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks

214 Pages

This book is written as a diary from a young girls life. She comes to find that she doesn't like herself the way she is and she wants change herself to be more attractive to others. As she begins the process she finds herself in a downward spiral that eventually leads her to drug use. What will a young girl in order to make friends? And what will she do in order to obtain that high one more time? You'll just have to read the diary to find out.

Cover of Thirteen Reasons Why
Cover of Thirteen Reasons Why | Source

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

288 Pages

This debut novel by Jay Asher follows the events of a young mans life after he receives a set of tapes and is asked to not only listen to them, but also to follow along with where they ask him to go and to imagine what the voice on the other end is describing. The person who recorded the tapes is now dead, and she accuses Clay Jensen of having a hand in her death. What will these tapes reveal? What has he done to make this girl want to kill herself? He isn't sure, but as he listens and follows the tapes, he discovers that his life will never be the same again.

Cover of Cut
Cover of Cut | Source

Cut by Patricia McCormick

151 Pages

Callie isn't only a girl who self-harms, she's also a girl in a treatment center. While Callie tries to reason out to herself and to others that she is perfectly fine, she comes across a mix of memories and emotions that leave her feeling drained. All she wants to do is to get back outside and to run again. When the time comes though, will Callie keep running from her life, or will she finally sit down and face the facts?

Cover of Perfect an Ellen Hopkins book
Cover of Perfect an Ellen Hopkins book | Source

Any Book Written by Ellen Hopkins

While this may seem like a big group of books, they really are all worth the time. Each of these books addresses majors issues, and each and everyone of the above issues has been brought into light in one if not more of Ellen Hopkins books. These books are also written in a unique way that helps to emphasis the important details as well as make the reading seem to go by more quickly. If you've never picked up an Ellen Hopkins book, then you have no idea what you're missing. Issues discussed in Ellen Hopkins's books: family life, relationships, abuse, sex, anorexia, drugs, mental disorders, suicide, sexual orientation and more.

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