Looking for your next great read but unsure where to start? Check out these books recommended by our teen readers! You’ll find everything from immersive science fiction and fantasy to chilling tales of the supernatural.
A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge
In the underground world of Caverna, magic abounds. But there is one thing they do not have: expressions. Only the Facesmiths can teach someone how to express their feelings (or fake them). And then there is Neverfell, a girl whose emotions are so transparent that she must wear a mask at all times, lest she frighten those around her. Her guardian has long kept Neverfell from the politics and dangers of society. But when she is discovered, people in high places begin to plot how to use Neverfell in their dangerous games.
Anonymous says: “Wonderful book that takes you on an adventure through your own emotions. The world around you is seen through changing views and rose-colored glasses.”
Warcross by Marie Lu
For many, the virtual world of Warcross is their life. For teenage hacker Emika Chen, it is a way to earn money by tracking down those who bet on the games illegally. But then Emika accidentally glitches herself into the International Warcross Championships. Instead of being arrested, she is hired by the game’s creator, Hideo Tanaka, to become a spy on the inside. But what Emika discovers will have consequences for Tanaka’s entire empire.
Joshua says: “This book (and its sequel Wildcard) is so fast, yet so focused on the story that it really blows my mind. It’s not too complicated, it’s not too predictable, and it’s simply an amazing book with constant action and the perfect kind of confusion that very few books have. This sci-fi thriller will get you blazing as fast as the action itself… right to the couch to finish this book. Some of the concepts implemented in this book are simply so outlandish but so easy to grasp it makes you wonder if these things will show up in the future. 10/10 will recommend it to anyone who enjoys sci-fi and action. Absolutely worth reading.”
The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
For decades, England has been haunted. Literally, people will not stay dead, and a number of psychic investigative agencies have been created to deal with the problem. Only children can see the ghosts, however, so they train to fight the specters. Lucy Carlyle arrives in London hoping to make her name as an agent. Instead, she joins Lockwood & Co., a tiny operation consisting only of her and two other teens. But when they mess up a case, they have one chance at redemption–and it means taking on one of the most dangerous cases in England.
Joshua says: “There may be strange, creepy things going on in modern-day London, but you aren’t gonna call the Ghostbusters. Instead, there are professional (and small, independent) ‘agencies’ that deal with the location, containment, and destruction of special objects that allow spirits to return to the land of the living. The five-book series focuses on the smallest agency (three people!) of psychic children and their extremely varying and crazy cases. However, it turns out that the Problem (the fifty-year-old sudden appearance of ghosts) and the original heroes have hidden some dark secrets, and each of them are as amazing/horrifying/intriguing as the last. This is an awesome fantasy/mystery thriller, and I did mention FIVE books. Check them out!!”
Fable by Adrienne Young
Fable is the daughter of one of the most powerful traders in the Narrows, but years ago, her father abandoned her on an island full of thieves. She has worked hard to survive. But now, she is determined to get off the island and demand her inheritance. To do so, she asks for help from a trader named West–but West is not who he seems. And the Narrows have changed since Fable last set sail, and her father’s old rivalries are about to become hers.
Joshua says: “Fable is the first of two books about a girl named Fable, who is stranded on a small island port by her father and must escape. The complications mount at a near-perfect pace; the bonds both break and strengthen between Fable and West, a ship’s captain, and the mysteries are deeper than the Unnamed Ocean. This is certainly a good duology to read, and I definitely liked it.”