In the "Mad Libs: Summer Edition," teens would fill in descriptive blanks with the following words: vacation! freedom! camp! no school! And then they'd think of a not-so-happy word association: summer reading. Personally, I don't know an ex-teen who hasn't completely fallen in love with The Catcher in the Rye, 1984, or The Great Gatsby, but the whole "required reading" thing often puts a damper on the joy of reading. If your teens need a little push to get in the reading mood, have them check out these fun, absolutely non-required summer reads, especially geared toward teens.
The hottest trend in young adult books right now is dystopian novels. Here are a few of the most popular ones that your teens are sure to love.
The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games: Book 1 of this series kicks off the story of protagonist Katniss Everdeen. In the future country of Panem, the remains of what was North America, 12 districts are ruled by a corrupt capitol. To keep its iron grip on the districts, each year the capitol forces one girl and one boy from each district to compete in a televised fight to the death, called The Hunger Games. The games are part Gladiator, part America's Next Top Model, providing a harsh cultural criticism. In addition to giving them a read that they won't be able to put down, it'll also give teens something serious to think about.
Catching Fire: Book 2 of the series deals with the aftermath of Katniss's participation in the Hunger Games and the momentum of rebellion across Panem.
Mockingjay: Book 3 brings us to once-thought decimated District 13, the site of the organized rebellion against the Capitol.
Set to become a feature film in 2012, the casting news (including Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss and Lenny Kravitz as her stylist Cinna) has been one of the most talked-about movies for months.
Cassie Title is a freelance writer, avid book reader, and blogger who grew up in New Jersey.
What's your teen reading?