21 Books to Read Before You're 21

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    No. 1

    Paper Towns

    by John Green

    From the #1 bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars --now a major motion picture! Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery New York Times bestseller USA Today bestseller Publishers Weekly bestseller     When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q. Printz Medalist John Green returns with the trademark brilliant wit and heart-stopping emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.

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    No. 2

    Eleanor & Park

    by Rainbow Rowell

    #1 New York Times Best Seller! " Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it''s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it''s like to be young and in love with a book."-John Green, The New York Times Book Review Bono met his wife in high school , Park says. So did Jerry Lee Lewis , Eleanor answers. I''m not kidding , he says. You should be , she says, we''re 16 . What about Romeo and Juliet? Shallow, confused, then dead. I love you , Park says. Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers. I''m not kidding, he says. You should be. Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits-smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you''ll remember your own first love-and just how hard it pulled you under. A New York Times Best Seller! A 2014 Michael L. Printz Honor Book for Excellence in Young Adult Literature Eleanor & Park is the winner of the 2013 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Best Fiction Book. A Publishers Weekly Best Children''s Book of 2013 A New York Times Book Review Notable Children''s Book of 2013 A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013 An NPR Best Book of 2013

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    No. 3

    The Hunger Games

    by Suzanne Collins

    Now in paperback, the book no one can stop talking about . . . In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the other districts in line by forcing them to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight-to-the-death on live TV. One boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and sixteen are selected by lottery to play. The winner brings riches and favor tohis or her district. But that is nothing compared to what the Capitol wins: one more year of fearful compliance with its rule. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her impoverished district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before - and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. Acclaimed writer Suzanne Collins, author of the New York Times bestselling Underland Chronicles, delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this stunning novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present.

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    No. 4

    Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone

    by J.k. Rowling

    Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry''s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin! These new editions of the classic and internationally bestselling, multi-award-winning series feature instantly pick-up-able new jackets by Jonny Duddle, with huge child appeal, to bring Harry Potter to the next generation of readers. It''s time to PASS THE MAGIC ON .

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    No. 5

    Seraphina

    by Rachel Hartman

    Shortlisted for the 2012 Governor General''s Literary Award for Children''s Text, Seraphina is now available in paperback!      Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty''s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.     Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs, the captain of the Queen''s Guard. While they begin to uncover a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect the secret behind her musical gift--a secret so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

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    No. 6

    Speak

    by Laurie Halse Anderson

    The first ten lies they tell you in high school. "Speak up for yourself--we want to know what you have to say." From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. In Laurie Halse Anderson''s powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself. Speak was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Young People''s Literature.

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    No. 7

    Thirteen Reasons Why

    by Jay Asher

    THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES AND INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER “Eerie, beautiful, and devastating.” — Chicago Tribune “A stealthy hit with staying power. . . . thriller-like pacing.” — The New York Times “ Thirteen Reasons Why will leave you with chills long after you have finished reading.” — Amber Gibson, NPR’s “All Things Considered”   You can’t stop the future.  You can’t rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play. Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah''s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he''ll find out why.                 Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah''s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.

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    No. 8

    Go Ask Alice

    by Anonymous

    A teen plunges into a downward spiral of addiction in this classic cautionary tale. January 24th After you''ve had it, there isn''t even life without drugs.... It started when she was served a soft drink laced with LSD in a dangerous party game. Within months, she was hooked, trapped in a downward spiral that took her from her comfortable home and loving family to the mean streets of an unforgiving city. It was a journey that would rob her of her innocence, her youth -- and ultimately her life. Read her diary. Enter her world. You will never forget her. For thirty-five years, the acclaimed, bestselling first-person account of a teenage girl''s harrowing decent into the nightmarish world of drugs has left an indelible mark on generations of teen readers. As powerful -- and as timely -- today as ever, Go Ask Alice remains the definitive book on the horrors of addiction.

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    No. 9

    Before I Die

    by Jenny Downham

    For the many readers who love  The Fault in Our Stars , this is the story of a girl who is determined to live, love, and to write her own ending before her time is finally up. Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, and drugs with excruciating side effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints of “normal” life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, are all painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time runs out. A Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of the Year A Booklist Editors’ Choice A Book Sense Children’s Pick A Kirkus Reviews Editors’ Choice A Publishers Weekly Flying Start Author An ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults The newly released feature film  Now Is Good,  starring Dakota Fanning, is based on Jenny Downham''s intensely moving novel.

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    No. 10

    A Monster Calls: Inspired By An Idea From Siobhan Dowd

    by Patrick Ness

    An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor. At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn''t the monster Conor''s been expecting-- he''s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he''s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It''s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd-- whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself-- Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

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    No. 11

    If I Stay

    by Gayle Forman

    The critically acclaimed, bestselling novel from Gayle Forman, author of  Where She Went ,  Just One Day , and  Just One Year .   Soon to be a major motion picture, starring Chloe Moretz!   In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family. Now a major motion picture starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Mia''s story will stay with you for a long, long time.

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    No. 12

    The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials

    by PHILIP PULLMAN

    The modern fantasy classic that Entertainment Weekly named an “All-Time Greatest Novel” and Newsweek hailed as a “Top 100 Book of All Time.” Philip Pullman takes readers to a world where humans have animal familiars and where parallel universes are within reach. Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal--including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world. Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors? This is Lyra : a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want. But what Lyra doesn''t know is that to help on of them will be to betray the other... A masterwork of storytelling and suspense, Philip Pullman''s award-winning The Golden Compass is the first in the His Dark Materials series, which continues with The Subtle Knife  and The Amber Spyglass. A #1 New York Times  Bestseller Winner of the Guardian Prize for Children''s Fiction Published in 40 Countries "Arguably the best juvenile fantasy novel of the past twenty years." -- The Washington Post "Very grand indeed." -- The New York Times "Pullman is quite possibly a genius." --Newsweek

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    No. 13

    Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

    by Ransom Riggs

    The #1  New York Times  Best Seller is soon to be a major motion picture from visionary director Tim Burton, starring Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Ella Purnell, Samuel L. Jackson, and Judi Dench.    Includes an excerpt from the much-anticipated sequel and an interview with author Ransom Riggs   A mysterious island.

   An abandoned orphanage.

   A strange collection of very curious photographs.

   It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children , an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. 

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.   “A tense, moving, and wondrously strange first novel. The photographs and text work together brilliantly to create an unforgettable story.”—John Green, New York Times best-selling author of The Fault in Our Stars   “With its X-Men: First Class -meets-time-travel story line, David Lynchian imagery, and rich, eerie detail, it’s no wonder Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has been snapped up by Twentieth Century Fox. B+”— Entertainment Weekly   “‘Peculiar’ doesn’t even begin to cover it. Riggs’ chilling, wondrous novel is already headed to the movies.”— People   “You’ll love it if you want a good thriller for the summer. It’s a mystery, and you’ll race to solve it before Jacob figures it out for himself.”— Seventeen

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    No. 14

    The Book Thief

    by Markus Zusak

    The extraordinary #1  New York Times  bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak''s unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul. It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

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    No. 15

    The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-time Indian

    by Sherman Alexie

    Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author''s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character''s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live. With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike.

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    No. 16

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower

    by Stephen Chbosky

    Read the cult-favorite coming of age story that takes a sometimes heartbreaking, often hysterical, and always honest look at high school in all its glory. Now a major motion picture starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a funny, touching, and haunting modern classic. The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky, Perks follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show . Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up. A #1 New York Times best seller for more than a year, an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults (2000) and Best Book for Reluctant Readers (2000), and with millions of copies in print, this novel for teen readers (or “wallflowers” of more-advanced age) will make you laugh, cry, and perhaps feel nostalgic for those moments when you, too, tiptoed onto the dance floor of life.

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    No. 17

    Crank

    by Ellen Hopkins

    The #1 New York Times bestselling tale of addiction now features a refreshed look and trade paperback trim size. Life was good before I met the monster. After, life was great, At least for a little while. Kristina Snow is the perfect daughter: gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. Then, Kristina meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild, ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul—her life.

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    No. 18

    A Great and Terrible Beauty

    by Libba Bray

    It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to? From the Hardcover edition.

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    No. 19

    The Raven Boys: Book 1 of The Raven Cycle

    by Maggie Stiefvater

    An all-new series from the masterful, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater! Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them - not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can''t entirely explain. He has it all - family money, good looks, devoted friends - but he''s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she''s not so sure anymore. From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races , comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we''ve never been before.

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    No. 20

    Divergent

    by Veronica Roth

    This first book in Veronica Roth's #1  New York Times  bestselling Divergent trilogy is the novel that inspired the major motion picture starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Kate Winslet. This dystopian series set in a futuristic Chicago has captured the hearts of millions of teen and adult readers. Perfect for fans of the Hunger Games and Maze Runner series,  Divergent  and its sequels,  Insurgent  and  Allegiant —plus Four: A Divergent Collection , four stories told from the perspective of the character Tobias—are the gripping story of a dystopian world transformed by courage, self-sacrifice, and love. Fans of the Divergent movie will find the book packed with just as much emotional depth and exhilarating action as the film, all told in beautiful, rich language. The paperback edition includes bonus materials created by Veronica Roth, including her essays on Utopian worlds and how she named the factions, writing tips, a Q&A, a Divergent playlist, faction manifestos, and an excerpt from Insurgent .  One choice can transform you.  Beatrice Prior's society is divided into five factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice must choose between staying with her Abnegation family and transferring factions. Her choice will shock her community and herself. But the newly christened Tris also has a secret, one she's determined to keep hidden, because in this world,  what makes you different makes you dangerous. Supports the Common Core State Standards

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    No. 21

    Twilight

    by Stephenie Meyer

    Isabella Swan''s move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella''s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife-between desire and danger.Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.

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