Sure, you've probably read Twilight and Harry Potter and maybe even The Book Thief, but here are some GREAT young adult reads that go beyond your average book!
Looking for Alaska by John Green - ages 14+
This story follows Miles as he escapes the monotonous comfort of home and joins a boarding school in search of a “Great Perhaps”. Miles finds excitement, danger, friendship and even love, in the form of Alaska Young. Pranks abound after Miles befriends a group of students who seem “too smart to be the wrong crowd”. Miles finds a sense of belonging at Culver Creek and meets people who will influence his life forever, but nothing can stay the same forever...
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan - ages 12+
In a town that is a model for tolerance and acceptance, teenager Paul and his friends struggle with managing relationships and friendships. Paul falls for a boy named Noah, but is cautious about where the relationship will go. Both boys have been hurt before but really like each other and want to be together. Joni has been Paul’s best friend since first grade, but now that she is dating Chuck, she does not listen to Paul’s concern about her choices. Their friend Tony is gay, but his parents are overprotective, so when Tony wants to go out with his friends, he must lie to his parents about a “study group”. These central characters are supported by a wonderfully wacky group of friends, such as Infinite Darlene, the drag queen quarterback.
The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman - ages 11+
This story follows Lyra Belacqua. She is an orphan (or so she believes) living an uneventful life at Jordan College with her daemon, Pantalaimon. Pan can change into any animal that reflects Lyra’s feelings, since Lyra is a child. Adults’ daemons do not change shape. Lyra is visited at the college by her Uncle Asriel, and she learns about strange occurrences in the North, such as Dust and armored bears. When her friend Roger is stolen by the Gobblers, Lyra wants to go find him. Lyra is introduced to Ms. Coulter and moves to London with her, where Lyra learns even more about the North. Lyra uses a compass-like device (the alethiometer) to find answers to her destiny. Adventures ensue and not all is what it appears to be.
Red Glass by Laura Resau
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
City of Light, City of Dark by Avi
Realm of Possibility by David Levithan
Monster by Walter Dean Myers
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli