Best Stand Alone Teen Novels (quick reads)

recommended by Willow Hunter

In this list I wanted to compile my favourite books that I have enjoyed as a teenager that aren’t part of a larger series. I particularly recommend this list for anyone who wants a quick easy read, perhaps to get them back into reading again if they haven’t read in a while, or just as a light read for pleasure. This list is particularly aimed at teens and features themes such as mental health, romance, family, LGBTQ+ and friendships/relationships.

  • 1

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    Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
    by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

    This is a brilliant and very heartwarming coming of age novel, that I enjoyed very much. It centres around a teenage boy, Ari and his best friend Dante. The book spans over a couple of years and focuses on the struggles of growing up as a boy, and the struggles of LGBTQ+ youth in the late 80s. I particularly enjoyed this book as I found I was easily transported into the world and lives of the characters, making it a very easy and fun read. I also found the novel very endearing and somewhat comforting as I find that coming to terms with your identity is something that almost every teenager faces problems with, and watching the characters go through things you can relate too acts as a form of solace to many. Overall I would definitely recommend this book to anyone seeking a very gripping but incredibly sweet read focusing on the struggles and confusions of teenagers.

  • 2

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    Looking for Alaska
    by `John Green

    In my opinion, having read quite a few of John Green's books this is one of the more superior ones. I read this book a couple of years back and still to this day remember what a great read it was, finding myself flying through it in a day. This book has many lovable characters, particularly Miles ("pudge"), Chip, Takumi, Lara, and of course Alaska herself. This book dabbles in many themes which I find would be appealing to read about for teenage audiences such as bullying, mental health (in particular depression and suicide), family and the strength of friendships and relationships. I would say this book fits the category of this list almost perfectly, and is a great read for anyone looking for something quick but significantly emotional. This book has also been adapted to a TV series on BBC iPlayer, definitely worth a watch once finished.

  • 3

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    Neverwhere
    by Neil Gaiman

    A little different to the other recommendations of this list but nevertheless still just as brilliant. Neverwhere is an urban fantasy and adventure novel, written by highly appraised author Neil Gaiman, who's books I have enjoyed lots of the years. Neverwhere is a brilliant, very gripping and fast paced, and has very well rounded and complex characters too, particularly Richard, who thought he was just a usual guy until things quickly took a turn for the more horrifyingly odd. Neverwhere is a book I would recommend to anyone, particularly teens who are interested in horror or urban fantasies, however would be able to be enjoyed by almost anyone I feel.

  • 4

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    More Than This
    by Patrick Ness

    In my experience many books by Patrick Ness are great however More Than This was a novel that I particularly enjoyed. Following the fate of Seth and his journey past life, the book combines dystopian fantasy with the normal struggles of teen life such as mental health and acceptance of LGBTQ+ youth in society. It is a great book for anyone interested in either young adults fiction or dystopian fiction as it blends them very well into a very captivating novel.

  • 5

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    Turtles All the Way Down
    by John Green

    Open your eye to the reality to many mental health disorders, in particular the experiences of a young girl, Aza, who struggles with OCD and Anxiety. This book can be both inspirational and tragic as we see how severe conditions affect a young teen girl in her day to day life. This book is very eye opening to many, particularly young audiences as it clears a lot of misconceptions about these disorders and gives a picture of how big of an impact these issues can have on someone's life. A great read for anyone interested in John Green's books, or just teen fiction in general.

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