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This time of year, many customers want to get the newest book in popular series for their kids. However, if the latest book in that series was released in the spring or summer, chances are that the kid has already read it and may even own it, if the tween or teen has his or her own pocket change.
Also, I like helping the kids upgrade. I like recommending new authors and series. I like giving them books that will challenge them. I am not saying one should only read classic literature or dire dramas. I like comedies and I often recommend lighthearted tales. I simply want to make sure that the kids are reading things of substance rather than only superficial stories, especially if they are impressionable. It's good to have a balance. I recommend tales of action, adventure, mystery and fantasy alongside stories which are contemporary, realistic, and dramatic, as well as those which are just plain fun.
Here are some recommendations for teens based on hot titles and popular series, with the "then" option being a similar title or series which I like better than the "if" option.
If you watch procedurals such as CSI, Rizzoli & Isles, or NCIS, then read Body Bags by Christopher Golden, the first of ten murder mysteries involving Jenna Blake, a college freshman who becomes a pathology assistant. The series is collectively known as Body of Evidence.
If you liked the romance in Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, then try Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb and its follow-up, Under the Light.
If you liked the shapeshifting wolves in Twilight, then try Prowlers by Christopher Golden, a series of four action-packed thrillers.
If you like Cirque du Freak, Twilight, True Blood, etc, and want something fang-tastic for ages 16+, then try The Shadow Saga by Christopher Golden. Please note that these books were written for adults, so they are dark, daring, and definitely not for young kids. My favorite book in the series is The Gathering Dark, the fourth book in the line.
If you like stories set in boarding school, then try Looking for Alaska by John Green. Then read Paper Towns, also by John Green, and As Simple as Snow by Gregory Galloway.
If you want something like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, then read The True Meaning of Cleavage by Mariah Fredericks, which examines the changes two best friends go through during their freshman year of high school, as well as the In the Cards trilogy by Mariah Fredericks, which revolves around three best friends in middle school.
If you like the Internet Girls (TTYL, etc) books by Lauren Myracle, then try Heart on My Sleeve by Ellen Wittlinger.
If you like All-American Girl by Meg Cabot, then try the Gallagher Girls books by Ally Carter, starting with I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You, and Popular Vote by Micol Ostow.
If you like The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, then try Dead on Town Line by Leslie Connor and A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb.
If you like Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, then try Losers by Matthue Roth.
If you like Choker by Elizabeth Woods, then try Twisted by R.L. Stine.
If you want additional recommendations, leave a comment below!
Similar booklists: If Then for Middle School and If Then for Elementary School