The best books on inspiring young adults to find their path in life

Who am I?

You might notice more than one theme. Beyond just being coming-of-age stories, all of these are adapted into movies. They inspired me to want to make my own story. I even went to film school. The movie dream hasn't happened yet. I just couldn’t deal with my social anxiety and the stress/pressure of filming. Years went by. The dream nearly died. Suddenly, a question turned into a spark. Maybe I didn’t have to be a filmmaker to tell my stories? I just wrote from the heart and aimed for the stars while the bonfire inside me grew.

I wrote...

Someone's Story

By B.A. Bellec,

Book cover of Someone's Story

What is my book about?

In his award-winning debut book, B.A. Bellec explodes with an endearing coming-of-age slow-burner by focusing on a group of weirdos that find and save each other from the dark depths of their minds. Someone’s Story is literally Someone’s story, as in a first-person narrative of a teenager that calls himself Someone. As he struggles to find a new footing in a new space, we encounter the many ups and downs of modern teenage life, the diculties that adjusting to adult feelings bring, and a few tear-jerking surprises along the way.

“B. A. Bellec has crafted a masterpiece of emotive and well-rounded young adult fiction.” - K.C. Finn – Multi-award-winning Author

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Why did I love this book?

Perks always will have a place in my heart. Stephen Chbosky made some against the grain choices with this one: his topics were controversial, it was released by MTV Books, and it is in epistolary (journal) format. What he did that I respect most is he held onto his book and eventually adapted it into a movie!

This coming-of-age story is one of the modern greats and was the piece of literature that inspired my debut novel! My main character Someone and Charlie aren’t so different…

By Stephen Chbosky,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked The Perks of Being a Wallflower as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A modern cult classic, a major motion picture and a timeless bestseller, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story.

Charlie is not the biggest geek in high school, but he's by no means popular.

Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie is attempting to navigate through the uncharted territory of high school. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and music - when all one requires to feel infinite is that…


By Stephen King,

Book cover of It

Why did I love this book?

While on the surface It may seem like it has very little in common with the other novels on my list, but what makes It so special is that outside all the scares and horror, there is a brilliant coming-of-age story. Pennywise will go down in history as one of the best villains ever crafted, but this monster is elevated because you care about the children as they interact with this menacing, terrifying, and evil presence.

For me, where this story takes on a whole new level in my life, It became the novel I used as inspiration while penning my second novel. This book will always be connected deep into my core.

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This tie-in edition will be available from 16 July


27 years later, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back...

Derry, Maine was just an ordinary town: familiar, well-ordered for the most part, a good place to live.

It was a group of children who saw- and felt- what made Derry so horribly different. In the storm drains, in the sewers, IT lurked, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each one's deepest dread. Sometimes…

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

By J.K. Rowling, Mary Grandpré (illustrator),

Book cover of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Why did I love this book?

I have a bad habit of reading books after the adaption is made. I watched the first three Harry Potter films, but I couldn’t wait. After the third movie, I saw the book for Goblet of Fire was already out and I grabbed it within days. For me, Goblet is the first experience I had reading Harry Potter and I loved it!

We have dragons and an awesome competition to move the plot, but we also have budding teenage emotions. Love. Death. Friendship. Fights. The menacing presence of Voldemort. Together everything combines to deliver a coming-of-age staple! Many of these themes show throughout Harry Potter, but Goblet of Fire will always be my favorite because I was a teenager, just like Harry. That personal experience and connection to the moments in my life are what make this special and better than the subsequent novels for me at least. This inspiration hits the pages of my debut novel and I have a few special chapters that reference this iconic series.

By J.K. Rowling, Mary Grandpré (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When the Quidditch World Cup is disrupted by Voldemort's rampaging supporters alongside the resurrection of the terrifying Dark Mark, it is obvious to Harry Potter that, far from weakening, Voldemort is getting stronger. Back at Hogwarts for his fourth year, Harry is astonished to be chosen by the Goblet of Fire to represent the school in the Triwizard Tournament. The competition is dangerous, the tasks terrifying, and true courage is no guarantee of survival - especially when the darkest forces are on the rise.

These adult editions with glorious jacket art by Andrew Davidson are now available in hardback for…

Book cover of The Fault in Our Stars

Why did I love this book?

I respect the heck out of John Green. His YouTube channel (Vlog Brothers) is awesome The Fault in our Stars hit hard! Why did I go for The Fault in our Stars? Well, I have a bias toward movies, and the movie for The Fault in our Stars is just better.

Funny, sad, raw, real.

Similar to my debut novel with the emotional punch, Fault was one of the projects I watched a few times as I edited my novel and it will always be linked to my book in my mind.

By John Green,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked The Fault in Our Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The beloved, #1 global bestseller by John Green, author of The Anthropocene Reviewed and Turtles All the Way Down

"John Green is one of the best writers alive." -E. Lockhart, #1 bestselling author of We Were Liars

"The greatest romance story of this decade." -Entertainment Weekly

#1 New York Times Bestseller * #1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller * #1 USA Today Bestseller * #1 International Bestseller

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters…

All the Bright Places

By Jennifer Niven,

Book cover of All the Bright Places

Why did I love this book?

Sticky notes!

I use a digital sticky note Kanban system to organize everything I do. I have a day job and I write novels, plus I have chores and something that resembles a social life (most of us authors keep to ourselves though). I write almost everything into a note because I am terrified I am going to forget something.

After decades, my system is refined, but even as a teenager I was always writing future-me notes and leaving them on my desk. All the Bright Places takes sticky notes to the next level and it connected with me because of my relationship with them. This is the newest property on the list, but it slides in right next to the others because of the range of emotions the story covers.

By Jennifer Niven,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked All the Bright Places as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a major film starring Elle Fanning and Justice Smith on Netflix.

A compelling and beautiful story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die.

Theodore Finch constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself, but each time something good stops him.

Violet Markey exists for the future, counting the days until she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief for her late sister.

When they meet on the ledge of a tower, what might have been their end turns into their beginning.

It's only with Violet that Finch can truly be…

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