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Illustration: Two teens sit back-to-back, reading books. (Harriet Russell)

Teen Reads: Summer Books For You And Your BFF

by L. Lee Butler
Jun 7, 2012

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If there's one thing that teenagers of all stripes spend most of their energy on, it's friendship. Clinging to people who have become closer than family, navigating the breakups that are somehow more devastating than getting dumped by a boyfriend, and spending time that your parents and teachers would rather you spend on homework just talking. It's no wonder that friendship is such a rich vein for young adult authors to mine, and that YA literature is better at exploring it than any other genre.

No discussion of recent young adult literature is complete without mentioning John Green's latest best-seller, The Fault in Our Stars, but since it's already gotten so much praise, I wanted to introduce you to some books that may not have yet grabbed your attention. Below, we have five excellent books directly or indirectly centered on friendship, whether in the extremes of a dystopian future or the more mundane emotional extremes of high school.

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PG-13: Risky Reads: At 13, you crave the adult stuff — the drama, the relationships, the mind-blowing ideas — even if you're not ready for adulthood. PG-13 presents authors discussing the books that transformed and matured their teenage minds.

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