The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This book follows a high school freshman, Charlie, as he tries to navigate relationships after the death of one of his friends and his resulting mental turbulence. He ends up befriending a group of seniors who assist him in acclimating to his new environment as well as his complicated family life. The story is told through a series of letters that are sent to anonymous “listener” that Charlie is told will understand him and gets into the nitty-gritty observations he makes throughout his day to day life.
Turtles All The Way Down, Papers Towns, and Looking for Alaska by John Green
John Green has become very well known in the past few years for his ability to capture the essence of awkward-teenage-romance. In all of these books, we have a shy protagonist who makes friends with some wild people their age and go on some crazy adventures together, until something unexpected happens, and the protagonist must take it upon themselves to step out of their comfort zone to fix it.
The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare
This list would not be complete without one of my favorite series, The Mortal Instruments. To put it simply, and as spoiler-free as possible, the books are about demon hunters that secretly protect our world from invisible monsters, called Shadowhunters. The entire six-book series is filled to the brim with creative quips between characters, which will keep you laughing and crying throughout.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
My favorite book of all time, this novel is filled with symbolism, while still being capable of enjoyment without analysis. Holden Caulfield is a teenage boy who is caught between being an adult and a child. The story takes place in the 1940s, but many of shenanigans that Holden finds himself involved in ae still relevant today. His abrasive attitude and contrastingly sensitive interior allows the reader to see how deep his character really is.
BONUS: Introverts and Extroverts
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Far beyond the typical “children’s book,” the Harry Potter series is an amazing story that everyone should read. The plot follows a young boy named Harry who must avenge his parents’ deaths and save the wizarding world, all while he goes through his adolescent years. This series has something for everyone, a coming of age story, some romance, friendship, adventure, hijinx, and some pretty epic battle scenes (which the movies do not do justice).