Saturday 24 February 2018

13 books every teenager should read in 2017

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Gillian Weston and Sarah McGuinness

Take a break from social media and get lost in a book with our selection of 13 books every teenager should read in 2017.

1. We Were Liars, E. Lockhart

We Were Liars tells the story of the beautiful and privileged teen Cadence. The book opens during a summer that Cady is spending with her rich family on their island. Cady knows there has been an accident, but she can’t remember why or when it happens. What pans out through the course of the book is shocking and intense, and will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

One of Jane Austen’s most famous of novels, this nineteenth century story follows Elizabeth Bennett, a fierce, confident and independent young lady, from a poor family of five sisters. Her personality traits cause her to quickly judge someone without knowing them.  The novel wouldn’t be complete without the smart and hilarious comments and thoughts of Elizabeth on her enemy, Mr Darcy, her society and the way of living in English Victorian society.

3. Asking For It, Louise O’Neill

Written by Irish author Louise O’Neill, this book tells the story of 18-year-old, self-obsessed and attention crazy Emma O’Donovan, a victim of sexual abuse in a small town in Cork. The book is split into two parts, before the incident and after it happens, when Emma’s life comes crashing down. The book was a huge hit with Irish audiences, and is definitely a must read for young women and men.

4. To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Although it’s a prominent part of the Junior Cert English course, this book is still an important read for anyone interested in modern literature. Narrated by the young Scout Finch, it follows her growing up in a quiet town until a case of rape breaks out between a black man whom her father Atticus must defend, and the white town troublemaker’s daughter. As Scout learns important  life lessons from Atticus, and other characters in the novel, you will find yourself learning them along with her.

5. A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett

Smart, sweet and beautiful Sara Crewe has a perfect life at a boarding school until her world is turned upside down when her father dies. The story of her life after she is forced to live in an attic is unexpected and heart-warming, making it a perfect read for anyone in search of a good book.

6. The Hunger Games series, Suzanne Collins

Before they were  brilliant movies, they were brilliant books. The Hunger Games series is centred around main character Katniss Everdeen, who lives in poverty stricken District 12 and is chosen to compete in the horrific Hunger Games. Katniss’s character stands out from so many others as she is confident, strong and powerful, and really makes a brilliant read for any age.

7. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

Set in Nazi Germany, this book follows the story of Liesl, a nine-year-old girl who steals books and lives with a foster family, as her family have been taken to a concentration camp. A complete page-turner, this novel is gripping and brilliant by all accounts.

8. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green

This is the story of teenagers Hazel and Augustus, who both have cancer. Hazel’s life is looking pretty grim until she meets Augustus Waters at a support group and he changes her life. A beautiful and moving book but, be warned, have plenty of tissues on hand while reading.

9. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fizgerald

The Great Gatsby is a literary triumph and multi-award winning novel. Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, this novel captures the glitz of the glam of the roaring twenties, and tells a tale of love, lies and luxury. While this book is on the Leaving Cert course, it can also be read for pleasure outside of school, where it can be enjoyed and interpreted in whatever way the reader chooses.

10. The Harry Potter series, J K Rowling

Everyone has seen at least one of the Harry Potter films in their lifetime, fact. However, the novels are completely unique in the sense they can be enjoyed by any and everyone, regardless of age.

11. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

Mental health and well-being among teenagers is a common issue in today’s society and is explored by author Stephen Chbosky in this coming of age novel. The book focuses in on main character Charlie as he struggles with school, friends and coming to grips with growing up. This novel is great as it is both light and dark, and provokes the thoughts of readers on relevant topics such as self- love and the the importance of relationships.

12. Autobiographies, selection

It's important to have an interest in what you are reading and to want to know all there is about the topic you are reading about. This is where autobiographies are great, as what could be more fascinating than reading about the lives of your idols? For all the sporty teenagers out there, there are some great books out there from various sportsmen and women to enjoy (for example, Proud by Gareth Thomas and Unbelievable by Jessica Ennis). There are many more fantastic memoirs to choose from, including the best-selling Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer.

13. The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins

Having recently taken to the big screen, The Girl On The Train has sky-rocketed in popularity, and it’s no wonder why. This thriller follows a mentally unstable woman, Rachael, who finds herself getting involved with the investigation of a stranger's murder. The deeper Rachael digs into finding out the truth, the harder she finds it to return back to her own life, which causes trouble with her ex-husband Tom and his current wife. The gripping plot of the novel hooks readers in and keeps them engaged, which makes it ideal for teenagers. One thing is for certain, once you pick up a copy of this book, you will not want to put it down!!

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