Six for Sunday: Books I Wish I had as a Teen
I’m cheating slightly with two of my choices because I did have them as a teenager and they had a big impact on me so I wanted to include them here. I wish that teen/ YA fiction was even a recognized section/ classification when I was a teenager and that we had the great selection of books available now.
Geek Girl series by Holly Smale
Harriet Manners knows a lot of things.
She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a “jiffy” lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn’t quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she’s spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend’s dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.
Reading this was almost painful as it brought back so many memories of the awkwardness of being a teenager. Having this when I was younger would have helped me to feel less alone, knowing that other people experience those feelings too!
The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth
Five years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night took a turn when the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge.
When they finally returned to London, nothing had changed at all—nothing, except themselves.
Now, Ev spends her days sneaking into the woods outside her boarding school, wishing for the Woodlands. Overcome with longing, she is desperate to return no matter what it takes.
Philippa, on the other hand, is determined to find a place in this world. She shields herself behind a flawless exterior and countless friends, and moves to America to escape the memory of what was.
This was the ending that the Narnia series deserved (rather than The Last Battle!). I remember feeling really betrayed and frustrated by Susan’s exclusion and learning that C.S. Lewis held such conservative views about women and their role. I also finished the series with tonnes of questions, many of which this book addressed beautifully.
See my full review here.
The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan
Armed with a suitcase and an old laundry bag filled with clothes, Kasienka and her mother head for England. Life is lonely for Kasienka. At home her mother’s heart is breaking and at school friends are scarce. But when someone special swims into her life, Kasienka learns that there might be more than one way for her to stay afloat.”The Weight of Water” is a startlingly original piece of fiction; most simply a brilliant coming of age story, it also tackles the alienation experienced by many young immigrants. Moving, unsentimental and utterly page-turning, we meet and share the experiences of a remarkable girl who shows us how quiet courage prevails.
This was the first book I picked up by Sarah Crossan and it turned me into an immediate fan. She says so much with so few words and I think that this book should be required reading for everyone in the U.K. because of its nuanced view on immigration and integration. Sarah Crossan is now an auto-buy author for me!
Thunderwith by Libby Hathorn
Lara feels completely alone after the death of her mother. She is an intruder in her father’s new family, living far away from all that has been familiar. How can she find acceptance and love in this harsh place? Will the hostile Gladwyn and her kids ever really allow Lara to be part of the family she so longs for?
In the summer of raging storms Lara Ritchie must fight the storm within herself. It is through the unexpected friendship with a kindred spirit that Lara discovers the strength to face up to her ordeals. But where did he come from? Has he been sent to her for a reason? Who will explain his mystery to her?
This is actually a book I did read and reread as a teen, really relating with the main character. It takes an in-depth look at the process of grieving, family and fitting in, something I think that any teenager could relate to.
I am Thunder by Muhammad Khan
Fifteen-year-old Muzna Saleem, who dreams of being a writer, struggles with controlling parents who only care about her studying to be a doctor. Forced to move to a new school in South London after her best friend is shamed in a scandal, Muzna realizes that the bullies will follow her wherever she goes. But deciding to stand and face them instead of fighting her instinct to disappear is harder than it looks when there’s prejudice everywhere you turn. Until the gorgeous and confident Arif shows an interest in her, encouraging Muzna to explore her freedom.
But Arif is hiding his own secrets and, along with his brother Jameel, he begins to influence Muzna with their extreme view of the world. As her new freedom starts to disappear, Muzna is forced to question everything around her and make a terrible choice – keep quiet and betray herself, or speak out and betray her heart?
This was a recent read for me, but such an important one. I love the journey that Muzna goes through, from deciding to wear the hijab, to doubting herself like any teenager, to be being influenced by her boyfriend and his older brother, to finding her own feet and deciding for herself what she’s going to believe in and what she’s going to stand up for. Such an inspiring read!
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Jess Aarons’ greatest ambition is to be the fastest runner in his grade. He’s been practicing all summer and can’t wait to see his classmates’ faces when he beats them all. But on the first day of school, a new girl boldly crosses over to the boys’ side and outruns everyone.
That’s not a very promising beginning for a friendship, but Jess and Leslie Burke become inseparable. Together they create Terabithia, a magical kingdom in the woods where the two of them reign as king and queen, and their imaginations set the only limits.
This is another that I actually had as a young person and as a teenager, but it still has such an impact on me as a reader. I loved the friendship between Leslie and Jess, the long summers spent in their magical kingdom and the family ties.
What did you think of my choices?
Which books do you wish you had as a teen?
#SixforSunday is created by Steph from A Little But a Lot.
Check out some of my previous weeks of #SixforSunday here:
Thanks for reading!