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10 Books All Teens Should Read Before They Turn 18

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Books to read before you turn 18

Books to read before you turn 18

Books to Read Before 18

Ernest Hemingway rightly says "There is no friend as loyal as the book." Books take us into different worlds through the eyes and thoughts of their characters. Books not only enhance our knowledge and widen our horizons but also inspire us in different ways. Some books make lasting impacts 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 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 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 “every day” 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 partygoers why she called the police — and eventually stops speaking altogether. 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 is a fable and modern classic 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.

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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.

© 2019 Shaloo Walia


Shaloo Walia (author) from India on February 18, 2020:

I still read books meant for teens or children when I need some quick, engaging read.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on February 18, 2020:

I love books. When I was a teen, I had some serious vision problems and fell way behind my reading level. I don't know that I ever caught up but I have since fallen in love with books. I've read most of the books on this list but you did surprise me by adding some I never heard of before. I'm going to have to put them on my reading list. I think perhaps I never grew up and I'm still a teen at heart.



Shaloo Walia (author) from India on October 23, 2019:

Thank you Aurelio.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on October 23, 2019:

I read 7, 8, and 9 in my teens and found them fascinating. I agree with your recommendations.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on October 08, 2019:

Thanks! It's really sad to see how reading habits are on a decline among children. I always gift books to my little nephew as there's no better gift than a book.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on October 08, 2019:

Great choices....I read some of these as an adult. Today so many things keep kids from reading so a list such as this offers choices for gifts for holidays and birthdays or "any days." Angels once again are headed your way ps

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on September 12, 2019:

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

J Zod from Nairobi on September 12, 2019:

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.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on September 11, 2019:

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 from Hyderabad, India on September 11, 2019:

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.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on September 11, 2019:

@Brian Thank you for reading and commenting!

Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on September 11, 2019:

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.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on September 10, 2019:

@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

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 10, 2019:

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.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on September 10, 2019:

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

Lorna Lamon on September 10, 2019:

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.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on September 10, 2019:

@Bill I am sure you will enjoy reading them.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 10, 2019:

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

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on September 10, 2019:

@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!

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on September 10, 2019:

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

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 10, 2019:

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 ;-)

J Zod from Nairobi on September 10, 2019:

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

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on September 10, 2019:

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

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on September 10, 2019:

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

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on September 10, 2019:

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

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on September 10, 2019:

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.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on September 10, 2019:

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

Noel Penaflor from California on September 10, 2019:

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.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on September 10, 2019:

@Guckenberger It is indeed a very engaging novel.

Alexander James Guckenberger from Maryland, United States of America on September 09, 2019:

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

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