Whether you’re an adult who’s looking for some fantastic new picks for an upcoming teen book club you’re organizing, or you’re a teenager yourself looking for some recommendations, choosing a new book can be hard.
There are so many fantastic options out there to choose from, but sometimes, it can be tricky determining which are suitable for a young adult’s reading level.
You also want to make sure that you’re choosing books that will provide enough fuel for interesting discussions. After all, it is a book club where we share thoughts and ideas. This is where we come in.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of what we believe to be the most interesting and thought-provoking young adult books, to discuss at your next book club.
In order to find out more, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look.
Now, we couldn’t start off our young adult list without mentioning the ever-famous Harry Potter series.
The best-selling books of all time , these novels would make a fantastic opening book for your young adult book club.
The story follows a young boy called Harry, as he discovered on his 11th birthday that he’s actually a wizard.
He’s transported to a whole new world, where he makes new friends in a magical school called Hogwarts. As readers, we see him grow up from a young boy to a young man.
When it comes to Harry Potter, there’s so much to discuss.
It carries themes of love, grief, mental health, and friendship, all of which are very pertinent for young teens who might be undergoing similar personal problems.
- Lots Of Points For Discussion – When it comes to Harry Potter, there are a whole host of different themes to discuss, some of which are particularly relevant such as mental health.
- Universally Loved – You can guarantee without any trepidation, that everyone will love this pick. It’s the best-selling book of all time, and everyone has a connection to it.
- Setting – The setting of Hogwarts appeals to young teens, as it gives them a glimpse of what their life would be like if they could attend a magical school.
- Might Have Read Previously – Many, if not all the people in the book club might have read this book previously. Although suggesting a re-read can be fun, members might want something new and fresh to delve into.
Hinton has recently won a prestigious award for her contribution to teen readers, the raw relatability of her characters, and the portrayal of the working class.
In The Outsiders, we follow a young man called Ponyboy, who is part of a street gang called the socs. The socs have a long-standing feud with a rival gang called the greasers.
As a result, all manner of tragedies befalls their lives, as they get tangled up in crime.
Ponyboy is eventually able to extricate himself from the gang and decides to make a difference in the community after returning home from college.
His own participation in gang crime during his youth gives his plight an added dimension.
S. E Hinton wrote this novel when she was just a teenager herself. We think that there are lots of relevant and pertinent topics in this book to talk about.
- Pertinent – We think that this book displays incredibly pertinent topics that teens will enjoy discussing, such as gang crime.
- Relatable – S. E Hinton’s amazing depiction of Ponyboy’s rich inner life is incredibly relatable for teens.
- Coming Of Age – There are coming-of-age themes portrayed throughout the novel, which make it a great pick for a young adult audience.
- Dark Themes – There are many dark and heavy themes in this novel, so if you’d prefer a lighter, and altogether more cheerful book, you should probably stay away from this one.
Many of us witnessed this film on TV when we were younger, but have you ventured out and actually read the books it was based upon? The Princess Diaries follows the story of a young teenage girl called Mia.
Mia is a little bit nerdy in school and often gets sidelined by boys. But one day, her entire life changes with a visit from a grandmother she’s never met before.
This grandmother tells her that she is actually part of a long bloodline of royals, and she herself is a Princess. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Actually no, as now there’s a great deal of pressure for Mia to learn all the rules of manners and decorum, and she’s just a little bit of a clutz.
Then, when news gets out in school that she’s actually a Princess, everyone wants to be her friend, but not for the right reasons. This book is a very fun read and plays out some teen fantasies of royal lineage.
- Protagonist – We found our main protagonist, Mia, to be incredibly fun, witty, and relatable.
- Entertaining – This was an incredibly entertaining read, and we enjoyed Mia trying to learn all of the different rules of etiquette, such as walking with a stack of books balanced on her head.
- Easy To Read – If you’re looking for a book club book that’s super easy to read and get through, then we’d recommend delving into this one.
- Might Not Suit All Club Members – This might not appeal to all members of the book club, especially if there’s a mixture of both females and males.
If you haven’t heard of this book before, first of all, which planet have you been living on? And second of all, you have to read it!
This is the book that absolutely everyone has been raving about, and it’s prompted an entire series to be written due to its popularity.
The story follows a young 19 year old girl called Feyre, she’s a huntress who enjoys exploring the woods.
One fateful day, however, and her life will never be the same again. She’s captured whilst she’s out on one of her hunting escapades, but her captor isn’t an animal.
It’s actually a member of the immortal and lethal Fae, a race who once ruled their world. Her captor is Tamlin, and he has no intention of letting Feyre go.
The result is an epic fantasy novel that’s full of intrigue and life or death scenarios.
- Relevant – One of the key pros of this book is that it’s incredibly relevant at the moment. Lots of young adult readers are talking about it, and it would be fun to bring the discussion to a book club setting.
- Mythology – We love the bits and pieces of mythology about the fae that are scattered throughout the book.
- Beauty And The Beast Retelling – This story is a popular retelling of the beauty and the beast story, so if you’re a fan of this trope, you’re sure to love this book.
- Frustrating – Some readers found the protagonist’s actions frustrating at points, as she gets herself into difficult situations despite the advice of those around her.
This book by Susanna Kaysen is an extremely interesting pick for a book club.
If you’ve never read the book or seen the film, it essentially follows the journey of a young woman as she’s placed in a mental institution. Kaysen has actually based this on her own life experiences as a teenager.
She is told that she has a mental health disorder called borderline personality, and as a result, she finds herself in an all women’s institute.
It sheds light on the subjective nature of mental illness, as despite being in the institute for a prolonged period of time, Susanna does not feel as though she’s actually mentally ill.
Throughout the book, we see how her teenage life is interrupted by her stay in the mental institution, as she doesn’t have the same opportunities as her peers in the outside world.
This perturbs Susanna and makes us wonder whether the institute is provoking her mental health more than it did when she lived a regular life.
This is great if you want to have a discussion in your book club about the topic of mental health, and can help to broach some difficult themes.
- Thought-Provoking – This was an incredibly thought-provoking book that led us to question the nature of mental illness, and whether or not it is indeed the person who is ill, or the society surrounding them.
- Topical – This novel deals with a lot of topical themes for teens, such as substance abuse.
- Short – If you want a quick last minute book club read, this one is short enough to get through easily.
- Similar To Movie – If readers have already seen the movie starring Winona Ryder, they might be disinclined to read the book, as they’re actually very similar to one another.
If you’re looking for a high fantasy book for your young adult book club, then we’d definitely recommend that you read Once Upon A Broken Heart By Stephanie Garber.
This was an incredibly epic and entertaining read, and we loved the strangeness of it all.
It follows the journey of a young woman with pink hair called Evangeline, who has grown up in her father’s curiosity shop.
At the beginning of the novel, she’s intent on visiting the immortal beings called ‘the fates’.
The fates can essentially grant a mortal anything they desire, but they’re known for being incredibly ruthless, and all of their rewards come at a price.
Evangeline visits a fate called Jacks, who is the Prince of Hearts.
She chooses him because she’s had her heart broken by the boy she loves, who is now about to marry her sister instead in a ceremony in the town.
In order to stop the wedding, Jacks grants her wish, but not in a conventional way. He turns them all to stone.
Evangeline quickly realizes that she’s gotten herself into a very precarious situation, and Jacks wants his repayment too. Three kisses from Evangeline with any mortal he chooses. What could he be up to?
- High Fantasy – If you’re looking for a fantastic high fantasy pick for your book club, then we’d recommend picking this one up.
- World Building – Garber does a great job of world-building, and we actually feel as though we’ve been transported here too.
- Fairy Tale Elements – If you’re a fan of books that elicit fairy tale themes, then this one is seeped in these tropes, and makes a very enjoyable read.
- Long – This is a very long book, standing at almost 600 pages, and therefore might prove to be too big for some book clubs, depending on how often you meet.
Now, we know what you’re thinking. Anne of Green Gables is tailored toward a younger audience and isn’t suitable for teens. But, this assumption about this classic novel couldn’t be more wrong.
This novel follows a young orphan girl called Anne Shirley, who’s been adopted by an old woman called Marilla, and her brother.
She comes to stay in the beautiful and idyllic town of Green Gables, where she gets herself into all sorts of different predicaments, due to her fiery temper and unconventional way of seeing things.
By the end of the novel, Anne isn’t the same girl she was before, she experiences a painful loss and has learned a great deal about love and friendship.
As the books progress, we see Anne at various stages of her life, at University, working as a school teacher, marrying, and having children of her own.
Indeed, the Anne of Green Gables books are perfect for readers of all ages, as they take you through each of the different stages of life’s natural progression.
- Heartwarming – We think that the Anne of Green Gables books are some of the best, and most heartwarming that we’ve ever read.
- Descriptive – Nobody can describe the changing seasons quite like L.M Montgomery, she does this masterfully.
- Likable Heroine – Anne is an incredibly likable heroine, and many readers will find her relatable.
- Part Of A Series – Although this isn’t necessarily a con, the Anne of Green Gables books are part of a very large series. So, if you’re looking for a simple standalone novel, maybe skip this one for now.
If you’re looking for the perfect classic novel to read for your young adult book club, then we’d absolutely have to recommend Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
It’s amazing that a book written during the 19th century, when things were so different socially and societally, is still relatable to the teens of today.
It follows the marsh sisters, who are four young women with very different personalities. Perhaps this is why the book is so relatable, as there’s always one character that you can find similarities with.
One of the strongest protagonists in the book is Jo, who is a woman before her time.
She wants nothing more than to write and to have her books recognized and subsequently published. But, in the difficult restrictive society, she finds herself a part of, this dream is a huge struggle.
We follow the Marsh sisters through various stages of their lives, as they navigate through different difficulties, including falling in love.
Readers will adore this book, and we’d recommend staging a viewing session of the movie rendition by Greta Gerwig after completing it.
- Poignant – This is an incredibly poignant novel, as it deals with life’s difficulties, such as grief.
- Relatable – As we mentioned previously, despite having been written such a long time ago, this book is incredibly relatable.
- Heartwarming – This book is an incredibly heartwarming tale of sisterhood and the bonds that tie us all together.
- Language – Depending on the specific age group of the book club, some readers might find the language difficult to understand, as it was written such a long time ago.
This book is honestly one of the most entertaining that we’ve ever read. It follows the story of a young girl called Georgia, who’s attending school in the UK.
She isn’t the most popular girl at school, in fact, far from it. As a result, she doesn’t get many opportunities to snog the boys she likes.
This is Georgia’s quest to become popular, and all of the mishaps that follow.
Georgia is also undergoing some difficult personal issues in the backdrop of the novel too, as her parents seem to be heading for a divorce, which she finds particularly painful.
She also has an unruly cat called Angust, who gets her into a few sticky situations.
This is a great book for teenagers, as it really speaks to the need of wanting to fit in. In addition, it shows that popularity isn’t everything and that being yourself is more important.
- Life Lessons – As we follow Georgia on her quest to become popular, the novel cleverly shows us that it’s not all it’s made up to be.
- Funny – This book has lots of humorous moments in it that we adore.
- Realistic – This book shows the true realities and struggles of being a teenager in today’s world.
- Geared Toward A Female Audience – This book is geared toward a female audience, so male members of the book club might not find this one as enjoyable.
This coming of age book was often compared to the Catcher In The Rye when it first made its debut.
It’s not hard to see why, as this tale follows two young teens as they must overcome immeasurable struggles, ones that afflict all teenagers, and some additional ones too.
It tells the story of a young girl called Hazel. Hazel acts, speaks, and feels just like any other teenager her age, but the problem is that she’s also battling thyroid cancer. This brings us to the opening of the novel.
Despite some initial apprehension, Hazel agrees to go to a support group for teens who have serious illnesses, where they can talk and share their experiences.
Hazel doesn’t think anything momentous will come out of it, but she’s proven wrong. Here, in her support group, she meets a young boy called Augustus Waters.
Augustus is going through his own difficulties, as he used to be a big basketball star in his school, but has had to have an amputation of one of his limbs. He also suffers from a chronic condition called osteosarcoma.
The unexpected happens, and both of these characters fall in love. This is an incredibly heart-wrenching read and is filled with both humorous and poignant moments.
Perhaps the thing that Green is best at doing is his portrayal of grief, which is incredibly tangible.
- Insightful – Green is great at giving readers an insight into what it’s like to live with a chronic illness on a day-to-day basis.
- Heart Wrenching – If you need a good cry, then we’d recommend picking up this book as it’s incredibly heart-wrenching to read.
- Well Written – This book is very well written, and the dialogue shared between the characters is extremely believable.
- Sad – This book is an incredibly sad read and can be very heavy in parts, so if you’re looking for a book that’s a little bit lighter, maybe choose another one from our list instead.
If you’ve seen the movie of the same name, then you just know that this is going to be an enjoyable read. Our protagonist, a young girl called Lara, decides that she needs to get something, or a lot, off of her chest.
Despite her young age, she’s had a lot of tumultuous brushes with love and is a hopeless romantic.
She decides that as a therapeutic tool, she’s going to write love letters to all of the boys that she’s ever fallen in love with, giving them a piece of her mind.
She never intends to circulate these letters, but keeps them in a shoe box above her wardrobe.
Things go horribly wrong, however, and her younger sister actually mails them. As a result, each of the boys she’s written to receives her letters, and as a result, some very tricky situations arise.
- Lighthearted – If you’re looking for a lighthearted read for book club, we’d recommend this one.
- Premise – We found the premise of this book to be highly entertaining and original.
- Protagonist – We really liked the protagonist of this book, as she was highly relatable.
- Reading Level – Depending on the specific reading level of your book club, this one might work better for younger teens.
Bear in mind when choosing your picks, that you choose them based on the specific reading level of the book club.
Above, we’ve presented a wide range of different books, each of which caters to different reading levels.
Some might be too juvenile for older teens, while others might deal with topics that are considered to be too heavy for younger readers.
As well as this, language plays a key role, and you should always make sure that you’re choosing ones that readers won’t struggle with.
Another important thing to note is the genre that your book club is interested in. It might be a good idea to take a survey at the beginning of the club, in order to gauge what they most like to read.
This will give you a better idea of what kind of genre to shop for.
When staging a book club, an important thing to take into consideration is how long the book you’ve chosen is.
Most book clubs tend to prefer shorter novels, as it gives everyone the chance to read and complete the book alongside their studies and extracurricular activities.
This will, of course, also depend on how often your book club meets up. For example, if you meet on a weekly basis, shorter reads would be a good idea.
If however, you meet on a bi-weekly basis, you can stand to choose some of the lengthier novels on our list.
To sum up, there are a whole host of different books to choose from for your book club.
Whether you’re looking for an action-packed fantasy book, a classic coming-of-age novel, or a dramatic, and thought-provoking read, there’s something for everyone.
We think that all of the books listed above would make great topics for conversation, and get young readers interested.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Start A Book Club?
When first starting up a book club, there are three things that you’ll need to take into consideration.
The first is what kind of book club you’d like to host, who you’d like to invite, and where you want to meet.
What Is The First Rule Of A Book Club?
The first and most important rule of every book club is that you have to read the book.
Why Do Book Clubs Fail?
The key reason why some book clubs fail is simply that the readers didn’t enjoy the books that were being selected for them.
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