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The 20 best teen books of all time

Winter break is soon to be in full swing, which has us day dreaming about our TBR pile (to-be-read). What better time to dive into the stack for spines you've been meaning to crack open than over the holidays? No school = reading for pleasure, of course!

Even better? Reading can give you a well-deserved break from staring at math formulas while still working your brain. From far-off magical lands to characters just like you, reading is our fave way to de-stress. That’s why we put together a list of our 20 favorite books of all time. So grab your besties and head to the library and start checking off titles from this must-read list, stat.

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    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

    Do we even need to go into detail about why we love this book so much?! Hazel and Gus have a special place in our hearts and we don’t know if we can thank John Green enough for bringing them to life.

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    The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

    This action-packed novel packs a hard punch! Not only do we love its totally original plot, which is actually quite scary when you think about it, but we love the message it sends as well. Always stand up for what you believe in and what’s right. Katniss stands her ground and totally surpasses everyone’s expectations.

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    The Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth

    People often compare Divergent to The Hunger Games, but we think it’s in a league of its own. Tris has lived in a controlled society her whole life, yet she is still able to break the mold. Instead of fitting into the stereotype, she decides her own future and takes control of her life. It screams girl power.

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    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    From incredible parties to love lost and found again, this novel has it all. Being able to witness the incredible life of Gatsby through and outsider’s point of view creates a wonderful story. Plus, the major plot twists that happen are another reason why this book tops our list.

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    The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

    This list wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Hogwarts. From showcasing the importance of friendships to teaching amazing lessons like overcoming your fears and putting others before yourself, Rowling creates a magical world that has taken over the world. (And we wouldn’t want it any other way!)

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    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    You may have to read this classic for school, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be your favorite! Harper Lee transports us back in time to an era of racism and the innocence of children. Although this covers serious topics, we are still able to fall in love with the characters and all their quirks.

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    The Giver by Lois Lowry

    Jonas refuses to live the life he is forced to and decides to create his own destiny. Lois Lowry creates a way for readers to see the contrasting way of life the Community lives in versus how we live today. Jonas is yet another valiant hero who we root for from beginning to end.

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    The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

    Although this novel is fiction, it focuses on very real aspects of life that people in the ‘60s had to endure. As you become more and more fond of Ponyboy and fellow Greasers, it makes you question why they were forced to live a certain way due to their social class. We love that Hinton created a way for us to relive a part of our history in order to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

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    The Princess Bride by William Goldman

    Yes, Princess Bride was an actual book! Reading this novel gives you a better insight into why Westley and Buttercup act the way they do and gives more information about their past. Trust us, it’s even better than the movie.

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    Lord of the Flies by William Golding

    This story is both frightening and heartwarming at the same time. Witnessing young boys try to find ways of survival creates a connection between the characters and readers that is unlike any other. Golding’s use of symbolism adds another layer of genius that makes the reader think about who they truly are.

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    Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

    This heartwarming story has readers feeling connected to a rat—and if that’s not a huge deal, we don’t know what is. Warning: you will need tissues nearby for this classic.

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    My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

    This novel is an emotional rollercoaster from the first page to the last. The tale between these two sisters and estranged brother is one that will have you hugging your fam a little tighter. Tissues and ice cream should also be in supply while reading.

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    The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter

    There’s nothing better than reading about a girl academy devoted to creating the best secret spies. We love the idea of hush-hush boarding schools, forbidden relationships and having the perfect accessory for every outfit. Cammie definitely has the best job out there.

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    If I Stay by Gayle Forman

    This heart-wrenching novel will have you wanting to turn the page as fast as you can. Everyone dreams of the idea of having a high school sweetheart, but when everything is taken from you, is it enough to live for?

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    The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

    This is one of our fave Sarah Dessen titles because it’s all about discovering who you are and going out of your comfort zone. Not only does Macy face her worst fears, she is able to conquer them, which is reason enough to celebrate.

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    The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

    The tale of forbidden love is far from original, but Nicholas Sparks is able to create a new twist to the classic plot that has us dreaming of summer love. The Miller family goes through a lot in one summer and is still able to come out of it stronger than ever—even with some bumps along the way. We love to see families stick together through it all.

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    The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis

    No matter how old you are, Narnia is always a great place to escape. We love getting to see the Pevensie children grow up and find their strengths along the way. Sigh, if only we had a lion guiding us through life as well.

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    The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares

    Four friends fighting to stay together through all the twists and turns in life has made a huge impact on our lives. Although it may be difficult, having a strong friendship is one of the best things in life. It’s a lesson that we have learned to take very seriously.

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    The Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard

    Isn’t it weird to think about how one of the biggest TV shows ever started out as a book? Sure, the show has now strayed extremely far from the book plot, but we love to read and find out where it all began. Don’t worry, the books are just as spooky and will have you hooked in no time.

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    Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

    One of our fave parts about this hit novel is how it remains optimistic, even if Charlie is going through some pretty serious situations. With an unlikely friendship and a full life ahead of them, the Perks gang is one of our fave trios yet.

    What are your favorite teen books of all time? Share in the comments below.

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by Caitlin Moynihan | 12/16/2017
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