It seems as if these days, all the novels making the teen best-seller lists are products of the love-obsessed pubescent mind. Romance, pain, excitement, and other emotions void of the otherwise mundane teen life are reflected in these novels. I bet you`re listing them all in your mind now. Yes. You know I`m right. Teens currently, and particularly teenaged girls have restricted themselves to these sappy genres, and distanced themselves from novels which allow them to appreciate or understand their current state on a healthy level. And I’m angry. So I took it upon myself to share some of the most fantastic literary products of intellectual depth I have ever seen…for teens. And here they are:
1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
This novel explores the concept of self-discovery and adventure, in the way that every youngster dreams of. I know for a fact that I’m not the only one who fantasizes about what the future holds. This book walks you through the intimate and enlightening journey of Santiago, a young Spanish Muslim boy who makes his way to Egypt to find treasure, only to realize what that really means.
2. Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks as “Anonymous“
This true collection of diary entries, belonging to a young girl in the seventies struggling with drug addiction is beyond inspiring. The entries take us through her innocent stage to her first encounter with narcotics, then eventually to her homelessness, sickness, prostitution, and death. What`s most interesting about these entries is that they were found everywhere. Some in books, some on gum wrappers, and others on paper bags. This book truly walks the reader through what it means to be a young girl, and fall into the trap of the drug trade.
3. Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Another amazing novel about drug abuse, or “crank“ a term for crystal meth. This book introduces us to the protagonist Kristina who discovers her alter ego `Bree who does all the things Kristina won`t do as a good girl. Not only does Crank allow the reader to understand the inner struggle between a drug and its consumer, but the internal war many teens go through trying to discover their true self.
4. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
A classic. I read it in eighth grade and it still sends a shiver down my spine to think of it. Set in sixties America, a gang of “Greasers“ or lower class bad boys get into a series of conflicts between the posh elite of the town…and their girlfriends. Through it, they lose their lives, loves, but learn what it means to be human being.
5. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Deeply affecting, and disturbing. A novel that starts after the suicide of a young teen girl, flashbacks to what caused her to end her life. She leaves behind cassette tapes for her crush before committing suicide and lists thirteen reasons why she killed herself, and he makes the list. An extremely touching story that deals with the themes of confusion and desperation, something any teen can relate to.
Written by Farah Ahmed