10 Great Fiction Books Every High School Student Will Love
Maybe you’re a high school student who doesn’t usually read a lot and are attempting to change that, or perhaps you’re a friend, parent, teacher, mentor, or relative of a high school student and you’d love to introduce them to some really great books.
We all know that we should probably read a little more than we usually do and different people will try to make that happen for different reasons.
You may not be doing so well in English class, reading comprehension tests may be the bane of your existence, you just don’t think books are all that interesting, or someone told you that if you want to learn how to write better, you have to read books.
Reading is great, it improves your knowledge of the world, subconsciously helps improve your writing, gives you more context when learning about new things, increases your vocabulary, and opens your mind.
However, reading fiction books is a very special type of reading and although it helps you do all the things that any kind of reading does, reading fiction has unique benefits of its own.
Fiction books are the product of someone’s imagination and in reading them you cultivate your own imagination and nurture your creativity because you are indulging in mental fantasies in different worlds where so much is possible.
As Albert Einstein said,
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be know and understand.”
A healthy imagination is vital for a life of happiness and success. It helps us think creatively about age old problems and come up with new solutions, find new ways to spend time with our loved ones and come up with ways to make the best out of a not-so-great situation.
We all love to watch movies and in a way, reading fiction is like watching a movie, except it’s all in your head. There’s something very delicious and magical about watching a great story unfold in your mind as you take in the words on paper or on your e-book reader.
It’s a very different type of magic from the one you experience when you watch great actors play out a story on a brilliantly directed set with amazing lighting and effects. It’s more raw and it touches you deeply because writing helps us see inside characters and become so much more attached to them and invested in their stories.
The ten books I have listed below are personal favourites that I have read and reread. Some are very popular and have been turned into movies you may have seen, and others are not so well known, but equally (if not more) electrifying and delicious reads.
All the books are great stories, some are better written than others and some will help your reading comprehension skills more than others. However, what they will ALL help you with is developing a love for good books and good stories, and ultimately that is what will change your grades, your learning experiences, and your life.
And that’s not an overstatement. Books will change your life. Guaranteed.
My mom bought me this book when I was 14 and I have read it multiple times. It always ignites my sense of adventure and a primal part of me responds to the idea of surviving in the wilderness all on your own. Here’s the summary of the book as it appears on Amazon:
“Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single-engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a tattered Windbreaker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present — and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart since his parent’s divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self pity, or despair — it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive.”
If you thought the movie was good, wait till you read the book. I was searching for a good series for my brother to read (he only reads series) and came upon The Hunger Games. The summary was so interesting that I ended up reading them too. Whether you read just the first book or the entire trilogy, you’ll find them very easy and fast reads with a fast moving and page turning plot. Here’s the summary of the book as it appears on Amazon:
“In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the other districts in line by forcing them to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight-to-the-death on live TV.
One boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and sixteen are selected by lottery to play. The winner brings riches and favor tohis or her district. But that is nothing compared to what the Capitol wins: one more year of fearful compliance with its rule. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her impoverished district in the Games.
But Katniss has been close to dead before — and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.”
Full disclosure, I’ve read every single book by Tamora Pierce. I am a die hard fan of her books and they have been such an incredible source of thrill, empowerment, and imagination in my life that I could not help but include a book by her in this list. This is the second book on the list with a female main character who is strong, independent, and ridiculously smart. Here is the summary as it appears on Amazon:
“Alianne is the teenage daughter of the famed Alanna, the first lady knight in Tortall. Young Aly follows in the quieter footsteps of her father, however, delighting in the art of spying. When she is captured and sold as a slave to an exiled royal family in the faraway Copper Islands, it is this skill that makes a difference in a world filled with political intrigue, murderous conspiracy, and warring gods.”
Many will have heard of this book since it was recently turned into a movie with Emma Watson playing one of the lead roles. This is a popular book that has been around for more than ten years now and many people have gone crazy over it for good reason. It’s very real and honest, a book about growing up in high school, the emotional ups and downs, first dates, and experimenting. It has touched many people, and I have a suspicion that it will continue to do so. Here’s the summary as it appears on Amazon:
“This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.”
5. The Giver
This is one of those brilliant books that actually turned up as required reading in one of my English class and I have to say, it was an excellent choice. Have you ever wondered what the world would be like without war and conflict? Where everyone was equal and everyone had a place in the community? I’m sure you have at some point. One brilliant author takes that idea and turns it into a whole new world that makes you as the reader realize the sheer beauty in our world..despite the wars, the conflicts, and the struggles. Here is the summary as it appears on Amazon:
“Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.”
This book is one of those fun and whimsical books that simply delight. They’re imaginative, take place in the real world, and explore some really fun times and stories. I think the summary of the book says it best, and here it is as seen on Amazon:
“Carmen got the jeans at a thrift shop. They didn’t look all that great; they were worn, dirty, and speckled with bleach. On the night before she and her friends part for the summer, Carmen decides to toss them. But Tibby says they’re great. She’d love to have them. Lena and Bridget also think they’re fabulous. Lena decides they should all try them on. Whoever they fit best will get them. Nobody knows why, but the pants fit everyone perfectly. Even Carmen (who never thinks she looks good in anything), thinks she looks good in the pants. Over a few bags of cheese puffs they decide to form a sisterhood, and take the vow of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants . . . the next morning, they say good-bye. And now the journey of the pants–and the most memorable summer of their lives–begins.”
Another book that was turned into a movie. This book genuinely taught me so much while having me glued to the pages, turning them as fast as I could read to find out what happened next. A mystery, a thriller, and super imaginative but based on some very real facts and ideas, Dan Brown, the author, really makes you devour the book. Here is the summary as seen on Amazon:
“While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum. Near the body, police have found a baffling cipher. While working to solve the enigmatic riddle, Langdon is stunned to discover it leads to a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci — clues visible for all to see — yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.
Langdon joins forces with a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, and learns the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion — an actual secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci, among others.
In a breathless race through Paris, London, and beyond, Langdon and Neveu match wits with a faceless powerbroker who seems to anticipate their every move. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle in time, the Priory’s ancient secret — and an explosive historical truth — will be lost forever.”
8. Little Women
This book is one of the most loved books of all time. It’s sweet, it’s simple, it’s real and makes you fall in love with the characters. Although the main characters are all women, this book appeals to both guys and girls. I know this because even my brother devoured this book and usually he says he can’t relate to female characters. Here is the summary as seen on Amazon:
“Lovely Meg, talented Jo, frail Beth, spoiled Amy: these are hard lessons of poverty and of growing up in New England during the Civil War. Through their dreams, plays, pranks, letters, illnesses, and courtships, women of all ages have become a part of this remarkable family and have felt the deep sadness when Meg leaves the circle of sisters to be married at the end of Part I. Part II, chronicles Meg’s joys and mishaps as a young wife and mother, Jo’s struggle to become a writer, Beth’s tragedy, and Amy’s artistic pursuits and unexpected romance.”
I first experienced this book as one of the stories my teacher read out loud to us, and admittedly, I heard and then read it in elementary school not high school. Yet I think this is a book that is very enjoyable and a great introduction to awesome books. It’s a riveting story about a young boy called Stanley Yelnats. Here’s the summary as seen on Amazon:
“Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnats. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the warden makes the boys “build character” by spending all day, every day, digging holes: five feet wide and five feet deep. It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.”
I’m sure you’ve heard of the book series Shopaholic, well this is a great romance written by the same author, Sophie Kinsella. It’s a light hearted read that explores the life of a workaholic who accidentally turns into a housekeeper but can’t cook, can’t clean, and in the process finds love. Here’s the summary as seen on Amazon:
“Workaholic attorney Samantha Sweeting has just done the unthinkable. She’s made a mistake so huge, it’ll wreck any chance of a partnership. Going into utter meltdown, she walks out of her London office, gets on a train, and ends up in the middle of nowhere. Asking for directions at a big, beautiful house, she’s mistaken for an interviewee and finds herself being offered a job as housekeeper. Her employers have no idea they’ve hired a lawyer—and Samantha has no idea how to work the oven. She can’t sew on a button, bake a potato, or get the #@%# ironing board to open. How she takes a deep breath and begins to cope—and finds love—is a story as delicious as the bread she learns to bake. But will her old life ever catch up with her? And if it does…will she want it back?”
So there you have it, ladies and gentleman. Among those ten books, there’s bound to be one or two that pique your interest and cajole you into picking up a book and giving it a good read.
I wish you all the best on your journey through the wonderful land of fiction books. That is one journey that everyone should take, because it will change your life, improve your marks, and have you wanting more.