Rad Reads

GL's top 100 must reads

Head out to the library, bookworm, and start marking these sizzling titles off your list.
  • nancy-drew.jpg
    Sensational series

    1. Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard. Tons of strange things start happening to these four young girls, whose clique falls apart after the sudden disappearance of their leader, Alison.


    2. Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish and Herman Parish. A series of adventures with a literal-minded housekeeper that’s still going strong.


    3. The Clique by Lisi Harrison. It follows five young girls who make up the “Pretty Committee.” Juicy!


    4. Gossip Girl by Cecily Von Ziegesar. Just in case you’ve been under a rock, the Gossip Girl series revolves around the lives and romances among the privileged teenagers at Constance Billard School for Girls in NYC’s Upper East Side. Much like on the screen version, the books are by the unseen blogger but a lot more entertaining.

    5. The It Girl by Cecily Von Ziegesar. A spinoff from the Gossip Girl series, this batch follows character jenny Humphrey’s life after Constance Billard.


    6. A List by Zoey Dean. Anything about a bunch of rich friends who live in Beverly Hills is bound to be good.


    7. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling. OK, the chances there being anyone left on the planet that hasn’t obsessed over these books is slim but, just in case this is you, run do not walk and read all seven fantasy books about an adolescent wizard Harry Potter and his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.

    8. The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. It’s a series in which a teenage girl falls in love with a vampire name Edward Cullen. Though we’re thinkin’ you already knew that.


    9. Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Four children help the Prince and his army of talking beasts free Narnia from evil in this seven-part series. Classic yet they feel contemporary.


    10. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares. Lena, Tibby, Carmen, and Bridget discover many more things about themselves and the importance of their relationship with each other in these four novels.


    11. Sweet Valley High by Francine Pascal. Ah, yes, the high school lives of twins Jessica and Elizabeth.


    12. The Babysitters Club by Ann Martin. Um, who DIDN’T want to be a member of the “BSC” at one point in her life?


    13.  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. A trilogy consisting of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay.


    14. L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad. Yep, it’s written by our MTV reality star fave. L.A. Candy is the fictional account of Jane Roberts’ Hollywood life and her new reality show. Read to see how many similarities you can find between Jane and Lauren. 


    15. Talent trilogy by Zoey Dean. Four Bel Air teens on a mission to reach their Hollywood dreams.

    16. Dork Diaries by Rachel Russel. Hey, it’s not easy being the newbie at a swanky private school. And Nikki Maxwell has a whole diary of proof.


    >> 17. Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene. She’s a young amateur sleuth who will stop at nothing to solve various mysteries. We love to find vintage copies on eBay. 


    18. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. How could you not adore this series of books pertaining to the unconventional nine-year-old with ah-mazing pigtails?

  • charlotte's-web.jpg
    Childhood wonders


    19. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. A childhood fave, the story leaps into the imaginative mind of a mischievous boy named Max.


    >> 20. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White. Who couldn’t forget about the pig named Wilbur whose life was saved by his barn pal spider Charlotte?

    21. The Complete Ramona Collection by Beverly Clearly. No matter what type of girl you are, you can relate to Ramona’s curious spirit in some sort of way. 


    22. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, who live at Green Gables (a farm on Prince Edward Island), want to adopt an orphaned boy. Though things get swapped when 11-year-old Anne appears under their roof instead.


    23. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. A collection of poetry like “The Truth About Turtles” and “Who’s Taller?”


    24. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. A series of books centered around Laura Ingalls Wilder’s childhood in the 19th century Midwest.  


    25. Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan. A children’s book about loneliness and abandonment, centering around a widowed farmer and his two kids.


    26. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. If you’re a dog-lover, this adventure is for you.


    27. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Simply put, it’s a story about a boy and his relationship with a tree in a forest.

  • alice-in-wonderland.jpg
    Complete classics


    28. The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald. A young man tries to win back his former love—even though she is married.


    29. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The explosion of racial hate and violence in a small Alabama town is viewed by a young girl whose father defends a black man accused of rape.


    30. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Elizabeth Bennet deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education and marriage, all in the British countryside at the turn of the century. Uh, last century.


    31. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Sallinger. This novel deals with complex issues of identity, belonging within the main character Holden Caulfield.


    >> 32. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. A girl named Alice falls down a rabbit hole and, well, the rest is one curious mess.


    33. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. A classic romantic novel about the American Civil War. Frankly, my dears, we still do give a damn. 


    34. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. A true lit classic that deals with the topic of racism.


    35. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Sure, it’s a tad long, but you’ll fall in love with the title character. Promise!

  • devil-wears-prada.jpg


    36. A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. A truly unforgettable story about love.


    37. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks. A drama following a rebellious girl who is sent to live with her ailing father for the summer. Helps not to think about Miley butchering the lead.


    38. Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood. Read about Charlie St. Cloud, a young man overcome by grief at the death of his younger brother.

    39. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. A memoir of self-discovery, this read is about what can happen when you claim responsibility for your own happiness.

    40. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Following the lives of four sisters (Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March), this read is loosely based on the author's childhood experiences with her own three sisters.


    41. Cheaper By the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey. One family loaded with 12 kids? Chaos ensues.

    42. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. What happens when a young journalist tries to overcome her shopping addiction? Hilarity.


    >> 43. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger. We swear, the magazine world isn’t as stuffy as it is depicted in this read.


    44. A Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. Escape to an imaginary forest kingdom, created by neighbors Jesse and Leslie.


    45. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. A love story that’s more tearjerking than the flick.


    46. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. A coming-of-age tale of 11-year-old Francie and her Austrian/Irish-American fam in Brooklyn, New York during the early 20th century.


    47. Harriet The Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. Oh, you know, Harriet M. Welsch is just your typical 11-year-old aspiring writer who lives in New York’s Upper East Side and writes all of her “spy route” thoughts in her precious notebook as practice.

  • prep.jpg
    School daze


    >> 48. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. Celebrate the triumphs and tribulations of high school life with Lee after she wins a scholarship to the prestigious Alut school in Massachusetts.


    49. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. Susan “Stargirl” Caraway used to be homeschooled. But now the free-spirited, eccentric newbie is stirring things up at Mica High in this celebration of non-conformity.


    50. You, Maybe by Rachel Vail. Fifteen-year-old sophomore Josie is very much her own person. But her independence gets tested when popular senior Carson Gold starts sending all of his attention her way.


    51. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. A first-person account of coming-of-age trials from a high school guy’s point of view. 


    52. The Year Of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty. Opinions change when a group of privileged students at Ashbury High are assigned pen pals at the working-class Brookfield.


    53. Solving Zoe by Barbara Dee. An amusing look at middle school life through the eyes of 11-year-old Zoe.


    54. I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter. Cammie Ann Morgan attends Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, but really it’s a school for spies in training.


    55. The Geography of Girlhood by Kristen Smith. A story that follows Penny through her first crushes, kisses and everything else that comes along with growing up.


    56. Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson. Ashley wants nothing to do with prom…until the funds get stolen. Now she’ll stop at nothing to make it the best night ever—just for the sake of her bestie, Nat.

  • angus-thongs-and-full-front.jpg
    Dear diary


    57. Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison. A LOL journaled account of a year in the life of British teen Georgia Nicolson. 


    58. The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell. Reading the teenage diary of Carrie Bradshaw (of Sex and the City fame) is like getting to know a good friend better. Sweet!


    59. Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty. Written in the form of notes and letters to and from main character, it’s a peep into the life of Australian teen Elizabeth and her relatable adolescent struggles. 


    60. Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech. A journal of thirteen-year-old Mary Lou Finney’s wild summer.

  • 13-little-blue-envelopes.jpg
    Beach reads


    61. Summer Boys by Hailey Abbott. When cousins Ella, Beth and Jamie set sights on the hot guys near their Maine vacation home, you know the story will be sizzling. 


    62. Beach Blondes by Katherine Applegate. Sixteen-year-old boyfriendless Summer Smith is ready to kick things up a notch in the Florida Keys.


    63. Dairy Queen by Catherine Murdock. After a summer of running the family farm and training the quarterback for her school's rival football team, sixteen-year-old D.J. decides to go out for the “boyish” sport herself. Interesting!


    64. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. Belly lives for her summers at Cousins Beach. But, at 15, things are different. And her relationships have definitely changed.


    65. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. It’s Frankie’s summer mission to help land BFF Anna her first romance. Little does she know Anna’s already had one…with Frankie’s now deceased older brother.


    >> 66. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson. It’s funny. It’s romantic. And it’s all about Ginny’s European adventure, dictated by her late Aunt Peg.


    67. Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella. When Emma Corrigan thinks her plane’s going down, she dishes her darkest secrets to the stranger next to her. Well, her life was spared. And Monday morning, she discovers that stranger is actually her company’s CEO. Oopsie! 

  • tuck-everlasting.jpg
    Fantasy finds


    >> 68. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. The Tuck fam drink from a magic well, which gives them an everlasting life. The world can’t know about their secret, but it might come out when Mae Tuck might be tried for murder. 


    69. Ella Enchanted by Gail Levine. Ella’s under a spell. She must be constantly obedient—which she needs to hide from her new step fam for the sake of the prince of the land.


    70. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. What happens when one father screws up a family’s fifth dimensional teleportation? You’ll have to read to find out.

  • are-you-there-god.jpg
    The best of Judy Blume


    71. Deenie by Judy Blume. What happens when a thirteen-year-old girl destined for a modeling career discovers she has scoliosis?


    72. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume. A story that unfolds throughout almost twenty summers of two young women.

    >> 73. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. While sixth grader Margaret searches for the meaning of religion, she also deals with the many “pleasures” of adolescence like periods, buying bras, liking boys…you know the drill. 

    74. Just As Long As We’re Together by Judy Blume. Stephanie and Rachel are besties. But when new girl Alison gets thrown into the mix, these teens’ relationships quickly become altered.

    75. Forever by Judy Blume. It’s all about high schoolers Katherine and Michael and the topic of sex.


    76. Then Again, Maybe I Won’t by Judy Blume. Ever since his dad got rich from an invention and his family moved to a wealthy neighborhood on Long Island, Tony Miglione's life has been flipped upside down. Throw hitting puberty into the mix and you’ve got one interesting story.

  • keeping-the-moon.jpg
    The best of Sarah Dessen


    >> 77. Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen. Fifteen-year-old Colie spends the summer working as a waitress in a beachside restaurant. 


    78. Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen. Halley’s junior year of high school includes the death of her best friends’ boyfriend and her own first serious relationship. 


    79. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen. Sixteen-year-old Caitlin decides she needs to make major changes in her life after her older sister runs away.


    80. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen. The summer following her father’s death, Macy works at a catering company and makes new friends who try to help her deal with her grief.

  • the-princess-diaries.jpg
    The best of Meg Cabot


    81. The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot. Mel, a young gossip columnist living in New York City, is bored with her life—especially with the lack of romance—until the elderly woman next door is nearly murdered. 


    >> 82. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. She's just a New York City girl living with her artist mom when she discovers she is a princess. 


    83. All-American Girl by Meg Cabot. A sophomore girl stops a presidential assassination attempt, is appointed Teen Ambassador to the United Nations and catches the eye of the very cute First Son. Lucky!


    84. Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls by Meg Cabot. Nine-year-old Allie Finkle's live-by-it list of rules for every gal. 


    85. Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot. An ex pop star swaps the bright lights for a New York college dorm. Interesting. 
  • diary-melanie-martin.jpg
    The best of Carol Weston 

    Our favorite advice guru (aka Dear Carol) has some awesome fabulous fiction and non-fiction we can’t put down.


    >> 86. The Diary of Melanie Martin: or How I Survived Matt the Brat, Michelangelo, and the Leaning Tower of Pizza by Carol Weston. Take a break without leaving your home in this fictional story of 10-year-old Melanie’s family vacay to Italy.


    87. Girltalk Fourth Edition: All the Stuff Your Sister Never Told You by Carol Weston. It’s got bra shopping advice, babysitting tips, and everything else a teen girl needs to know about growing up.


    88. For Girls Only: Wise Words, Good Advice by Carol Weston. A collection of fabulous quotes that touch on family, friends and love.


    89. Private and Personal: Questions and Answers for Girls Only by Carol Weston. If you clip out the “Dear Carol” pages of all of your GL’s and save ’em, this book’s for you.

  • gl-guide-amazing-you.jpg
    Girls' Life guides

    Of course we’d include our awesome Scholastic book series, silly!


    90. Head-to-Toe Guide to You from the creators of Girls’ Life magazine. From period probs to growing pains, this book is stacked with all the body-related info you could ever want, helping you feel fab both inside and out. 


    91. Ultimate Guide to Surviving Middle School from the creators of Girls’ Life magazine. Middle school will be a piece of cake after reading all of these tips. 


    92. Guide to a Drama-Free Life from the creators of Girls’ Life magazine. Don’t sweat it! Here’s all the relationship advice on friends, boys, parents, you name it. 


    >> 93. Guide to Being the Most Amazing You from the creators of Girls’ Life magazine. A book loaded with all the pointers you need to handle the most stressful of sitches. 
  • falling-in-love-with-englis.jpg
    Fresh newbies

    94. Prom & Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg. From homecoming to prom, these characters’ senior year of high school finds them caught in a slew of practical jokes and risky business. 


    95. The Romeo & Juliet Code by Phoebe Stone. Ah, yes. A fresh take on love and war. 


    >> 96. Falling in Love with English Boys by Melissa Jensen. Sixteen-year-old Catherine’s stranded in London for the summer. Tough life, right? 


    97. Radiance by Alyson Noel. In this Immortals spin-off, Riley’s crossed the bridge into the afterlife and soon discovers it’s not as leisurely as one would think. 

  • close-to-famous.jpg
    And ones we just can't wait for...


    >> 98. Close to Famous by Joan Bauer. Some unforeseen events are shaking up the tiny town of Culpepper. Could this finally be the chance for everyone’s big break? Out this February. 


    99. Clarity by Kim Harrington. It’s her debut novel, but we have a feeling this mystery/love story is just the beginning for Kim Harrington. Due out this March.
    100. What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen. Mclean has spent the last two years switching towns with her dad after her parents divorce. Will this recent move be the one that helps her be herself for a change? Out this May. 

POSTED IN , , , , ,

by GL | 2/1/2016