Here are my picks for the top books for teens in 2013. Share yours in the comments! Scroll down to the end to see my pick for book of the year too.
All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry
A great pick to book talk for teens, the premise of this historical novel should be more than enough to get teens to pick it up. The writing and the mystery will keep them reading.
The Bird King: An Artist’s Notebook by Shaun Tan
This is a book to get in the hands of teens who enjoy art and writing, for it is a look at the unformed and the just formed. It is a book of pure creativity and the creative process. Beautiful. Haunting. Inspiring.
Black Helicopters by Blythe Woolston
Well written and carefully paced, this book is tantalizingly taut and thrilling. In the end though, it is about a girl caught in a web of lies that she cannot see past.
Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang
Highly recommended, this graphic novel duo has a place in every library collection. Its violence and questions about faith, duty and responsibility make it a good choice for teens and tweens.
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
A killer book, this is a strong sophomore book in a riveting series. Not for the faint of heart, this book has abuse, murder and true tragedies in its pages.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Her book is just like first love. It is stunning, honest and raw. It is unforgettable.
Engines of the Broken World by Jason Vanhee
A horror book for teens, this is also something much more. It is a beautifully written apocalypse that is harrowing, striking and powerful.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Rowell does it again with this second book for teens. Her writing voice is uniquely hers, so that her books could only be written by her.
Fat Angie by E. E. Charlton-Trujillo
Beautifully written, dark and wildly funny, this book will have you crying, raging and cheering.
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
Harrowing, frightening and astonishingly hopeful, this book is a strong and passionate look at a boy willing to destroy everything, especially himself.
Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
A powerful blazing novel that gives insight into teens struggling with gender variance and also offers a book where those teens can see themselves and a way forward.
If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
This book depicts in life in Iran but also offers a diverse look at GLBTQ issues in the Middle East. With a piercingly strong heroine, it is a powerful pick for public library collections.
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
This exceptional teen novel is a whirlwind romantic trip to Europe that will have you wrapped up in its arms much faster than just one day.
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
This is a book that is burning and compelling. It is a book that is beautifully honest, vibrantly written. This is Zoe’s heart on a page in all of its wounds and glory.
Little Fish by Ramsey Beyer
This is a very strong, dynamic look at the first year of college. Teens will enjoy looking into their own future plans with a little laughter and lots of optimism.
Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block
Block has created another amazing read in this book. Her fans will rejoice at a new book from her, but this is also one that will create new fans.
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
This book defies description by genre and really is impossible to summarize well. Let me just say that it is powerful, brutal and set in bleakness but never far from hope.
Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
This compelling novel is amazing teen literature. It has enough depth to be used in a classroom where the symbolism and incredible writing can be celebrated. It is also a riveting combination of romance and horror that will thrill discriminating teen readers.
More Than This by Patrick Ness
Complex, gritty and profoundly beautiful, this book is a wonder of writing. It is beyond inventive, taking readers to a place they never expected to find. You are in the hands of a master storyteller here in one of his best books yet.
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
Beautifully written with wit and style, this book takes a new look at being gay and out.
Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff
A virtuoso book that is rather quiet, very thoughtful and filled with insights just like Mila herself.
Reality Boy by A. S. King
Gerald is a magnificent character, and the book is compelling and harrowing.
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley
Funny and delicious, this book is sure to whet the appetite for more books by Knisley. Get it into the hands of teens who enjoyed the books by Telgemeier.
Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow
Unique and amazing, this book offers a fresh take on horror and an incredible teen heroine who faces death in many ways.
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Beautifully written with strong characters and a brilliant concept, this book is breathtaking, just like a great kiss should be. It is also easily my pick for book of the year.