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Good books for teenagers — Sara’s now favourite reads

It’s already nearly two years ago that I asked Sara to share her favourite books, and many of you have asked to share her current favourites. She is nearly 15 years old now, and still absolutely loves to get lost in a great story!

She reads loads, so there’s a lot of material to choose from, but here are the books she would like to recommend to you most. There is no specific order to the list below, and all come with a little introduction written by her.


great books for teenagers

Good books for teenagers

  1. ‘The hate u give’ by Angie Thomas
    This book is about Starr Carters, a 16 year old girl who moves between the two different worlds of her poor black neighbourhood and a fancy private suburban school. This is already really difficult, but then her childhood best friend is shot by a police officer and dies. She was there, so she knows he did nothing wrong. Now Starr wants to give him justice. I learned a lot from this book, and I really, really LOVE it.
  2. ‘The fault in our stars’ by John Green
    Hazel Grace Lancaster has been in very bad shape for years, she has lung cancer. Then she meets Augustus Waters, and her story changes forever. I think this is one of my all time favourite books, maybe partly because they visit Amsterdam!
  3. ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ by Jenny Han
    So this is a really easy read. It’s about Lara Jean who wrote a love letter to all the boys she loved before. Loved, so the letters are more like goodbye letters, for her, because nobody has ever read them. But then, they get sent out, to all the boys they’re addressed to… I think I read this book in like one day, you just can’t stop reading about Lara Jean.
  4. ‘His dark materials’ by Philip Pullman
    This is kind of a must read. And this is also a trilogy, bound in one book. Lyra, an orphan, lives in a university. When her best friend is kidnapped, Lyra and her dæmon Pantalaimon set out to find him. In these three books Lyra grows a lot, and also learns a lot about magic, angels, other worlds, and love. It’s a really thick book, but I promise, you’ll read it in no time.
  5. ‘Leah on the Offbeat’ by Becky Albertalli
    Leah drums, and draws, and most people think she knows what she wants to do with her life. She seems so sure about it, but actually she is not. In ‘Leah on the Offbeat’, Leah tries to figure out what to do about college, and even closer, prom. I love this book, and also ‘Love, Simon’ the book about Leah’s best friend.
  6. ‘Nought & Crosses’ series, by Malorie Blackman
    Sephy is a Cross, Callum is a Nought. The Crosses rule, the Noughts serve. Sephy and Callum have fallen in love. That’s a crime. That’s dangerous. But it is also something these star-crossed lovers will fight for. You should also read all the other books from the ‘Noughts and Crosses’ series, they’re all absolutely amazing.
  7. ‘On the Come up’ by Angie Thomas
    Brie is the daughter of an underground rapper, who got shot right before his big hit. Brie would really like to be a rapper, too. However, that isn’t as easy as it sounds — especially when you live in a really poor neighbourhood and most of the time your fridge isn’t even full. But Brie puts all her anger in her barz, when she tries climbing up. I love the rap battles in this book, and if I could give stars, this book would get 5?!
  8. ‘Carry On’ by Rainbow Rowell
    This book is actually my latest read, and I honestly was a little surprised that I liked it this much! When Simon Snow turned 11 years old he found out he has, yes, magic. He goes to a secret magic school and his first 8 years there are pretty much like Harry Potter’s. He fights the Humdrum, who wants to bring an end to all the mages. But this book starts when Simon is 18, and it has a real twist. I really really love it, and can’t wait to read its sequel.
  9. ‘Children of Blood and Bone’ by Tomi Adeyemi
    Zélie Adebola’s mother was killed when the maji were targeted. Zélie remembers when the maji could live happily in Orïsha. Now she has a chance to strike against the monarchy. She has to outrun the crown prince. But when she gets to know him better he isn’t that bad as he sounds. (I just found out that Tomi Adeyemi finally wrote a second book, which I’m definitely going to read!)

books for teenagers

xxx Esther

PS Greek myths for children!


Comments (13)

April 7, 2020

Love this list! It’s fun to see which books European teenagers are reading.

April 8, 2020

Thank you for the recommendations, Sara! I just ordered several of these for my daughter. She enjoyed several of the books on your last book recommendation post. Best wishes to you and your family from Chicago 🙂

Sara van de Paal
April 9, 2020

Hope she enjoys them! Xx

Annie from Brimful
April 8, 2020

I love this list, thank you Sara! I actually just downloaded the audio version of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell yesterday for myself. I’ve heard it’s so good! So now to see her name pop up again is rather perfect. 😉

Sara van de Paal
April 9, 2020

I love Rainbow Rowell! I really want to read Fangirl, its on my list! Xx

April 8, 2020

Thank you Sara for this brilliant list. I just ordered 4 of your recommendations for my sons to read while we are in lockdown. I just finished reading La Belle Sauvage which is a prequel to His Dark Materials and tells the story of Lyras adventures as a baby. It’s such a great read, you would love it I’m sure.

Sara van de Paal
April 9, 2020

Yes, I’ve read La Belle Sauvage! It’s awesome. Maybe you wil like His Dark Materials even more (I did!). Xx

April 8, 2020

What a great reading list – many thanks – I loved reading at her age but reading all these books in your second language – seriously impressive !!

Sara van de Paal
April 9, 2020

Thank you!

April 8, 2020

What a great list of books. Noughts and Crosses has now been made into a tv series on BBC. Worth checking out if possible!

Sara van de Paal
April 9, 2020

I will, thanks!

April 16, 2020

Thank you for these recommendations!
Do you also recommend good skincare for teenagers – I am looking for a good product to wash my daughter’s face as I noticed her first acne spots. Thanks!

Esther in Amsterdam
April 20, 2020

Hi Zoe,
I like the Green People skincare range for t(w)eens: https://babyccinokids.com/blog/2017/11/13/organic-skincare-for-teenagers/ — Vanessa’s girls love the range fromSpots & Stripes:https://babyccinokids.com/blog/2018/11/02/spots-stripes-skincare-for-tweens/ — hope that helps! xx

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