The Kids are Alright: Teen Picks for Teen Read Week

As part of our Feed Your Brain summer reading program this year, a group of book loving teens read books, wrote a short review and earned a reward to use at their local Half Price Books! Are you looking for a new read? Check out what our teen booklovers nationwide had to say about the best books they read this summer!

Harry Potter

This book is a must read for all teens. It was so whimsical and adventurous. I could not put it down. J.K Rowling is a literary genius. – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Riley H.) Continue reading

100 LGBTQ+ Books Every Teen Should Read

Let’s be honest, finding inclusive books can be tough, especially if you’re a young adult. Growing up is already difficult, but not seeing yourself or someone you care about represented in media or literature is bound to make matters worse. Fortunately, there’s been an increase in options for LGBTQ+ booklovers over the past few years. In honor of Pride Month, we’ve crafted a list of 100 books that feature LGBTQ+ characters living their lives in the supernatural, in love and out loud. Continue reading

Let’s Get Binge Reading!: #SummerBookBinge

At Half Price Books, true booklovers never take a break, even in the summer. While all the kids are feeding their brains, we’re sending teens on a  #SUMMERBOOKBINGE!

“What’s a book binge,” you ask?!

It’s only the most exciting summer teen reading program around!  Join HPB and our friends at Penguin Teen on our Feed Your Brain Summer #SUMMERBOOKBINGE. Read a favorite! Start a series! Write a review! Let’s make binge-reading a THING! One book is a success, but read two and we are officially making you part of this summer’s #SUMMERBOOKBINGE.

The Penguin Teen selections for the summer reading #SUMMERBOOKBINGE this year are from some of our favorite authors. So will you read just two? Or are you going to binge-read like the rest of us?


Srsly, everything he writes is pure gold, am I right? He rips into our hearts and has us feeling REAL feels. Have you read them all? Grab your sunshades, your beach towel and a tissue or two and read them again!


Continue reading

Teen Read Week: Final Chapters of Divergent and Legend trilogies

If you ask me how I feel about the final books of the Divergent and Legend trilogies coming out this fall, I will jump up and down with excitement and then break down into tears. Since 2011, young adult booklovers have been following the adventures of Tris and June as they fight battles, fall in love, and struggle to make their respective worlds better places. Now their journeys are coming to an end as the final books in each trilogy are released, and though I desperately want to read the books, I know I will miss the characters when the journey is over.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Release date: Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Main Characters: Tris & Four

Set within a dystopian version of Chicago, the Divergent Trilogy follows sixteen-year-old Tris Prior, who struggles to find herself within the accepted walls of the factions. But when traitors from two factions work together to seize control of their divided society, Tris discovers the world of the factionless and the reasons the factions were created.  This third book promises to answer all of the questions left unanswered in its predecessors. A movie based on her first book, Divergentis scheduled to be released March 2014.

Champion by Marie Lu

Release date: Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Main Characters: June & Day

This dystopian trilogy begins on the flooded coast of the former city of Los Angeles, where the Republic and the Colonies are at war. The Legend Trilogy follows two fifteen-year-olds, June and Day, who are pitted against each other by the Republic, and are used as pawns by the Patriots. In an interview with USA Today, Lu said that she hopes people will still like her after the ending, which makes me nervous about saying good-bye to these characters. Although there is talk about a movie version of Legend, production has not yet begun on the project.

(Sigh) Well, I guess there is nothing we can do after the last books come out but read each trilogy all over again.

You will be able to find Allegiant and Champion on their release dates at your local Half Price Books as part of our New Bestsellers Program.


Julie is Production Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You may follow her on Twitter at @auntjewey.

40 Books for Teens to Read Outside of School

This week is Teen Read Week, which is a week set aside to encourage teens to read for pleasure, not just for school.  Did you know that nearly two-thirds of employers consider reading comprehension a very important skill for high school graduates? Yet 38% of employers consider most high school graduates deficient in this basic skill. Why? Reading scores for 12th-graders have fallen significantly in the past decade, and while teens spend on average 2 or more hours a day watching television, they only spend seven minutes of their daily leisure time reading.  The declining reading comprehension skills will not only effect their ability to get a good job, but reading comprehension has also been tied with the willingness to participate in civic and cultural events.  But, what books will engage their minds outside of school and make them want to read?

Well, I polled our 3,000 bibliomaniacs and asked them, “What books did you like as a teen, and what books would you want to read if you were a teenager now?” So without further ado, here are 40 Books for Teens to Read Outside of School.

1) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, 2) Divergent by Veronica Roth, 3) Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, 4) Uglies by Scott Westerfield, 5) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, 6) Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce, 7) Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, 8) The Fault in our Stars by John Green, 9) The Crazy Horse Electric Game by Chris Crutcher, 10) Shade’s Children by Garth Nix, 11) Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen, 12) Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, 13) Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, 14) Knee Deep in Thunder by Shelia Moon, 15) The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley, 16) Unwind by Neal Shusterman, 17) I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak, 18) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie, 19) Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King, 20) Pure by Julianna Baggott, 21) Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, 22) Go Ask Alice by Anonymous, 23) Mister Monday by Garth Nix, 24) Fablehaven by Brandon Mull, 25) The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, 26) Going Bovine by Libba Bray, 27) Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison, 28) Battle Royale: The Novel by Koushun Takami, 29) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, 30) Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, 31) City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, 32) The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour, 33) Book Thief by Markus Zusak, 34) The Diviners by Libba Bray, 35) Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, 36) Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, 37) The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein, 38) City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau, 39) Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen, 40) Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black.

You know, several of these books have been nominated for the Young Adult Library Service Association, or YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten list at one time or another.  For more books for teens to read outside of school, check out the winners of this year’s YALSA’S Teens’ Top Ten, not to mention all the nominees.  And don’t forget to celebrate Teen Read Week by looking for these books and more at your local HPB.

Julie is Production Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You may follow her on Twitter at @auntjewey.

Countdown to Summer: 4 Fallen Angel Teen Fiction Series

Since we’ve already covered vampires in teen romance series, let’s visit the flip side: teen romances featuring fallen angels. But don’t be fooled. These fallen angels can be just as dangerous, mysterious and passionate as vampires.
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick starts with teenager Nora Grey being interested in anything but romance. Everything changes however, when a mysterious guy named Patch becomes her lab partner. Nora can sense that Patch is dangerous, but is still drawn to him in some inexplicable way. Nora finds herself in the middle of a war between the immortal and the fallen angels and discovers that she might not be as human as she once thought. The series continues with somewhat musical titles: Crescendo is the second book, Silence the third, and Finale the fourth and final book, which is expected to be published later this year.
In Fallen by Lauren Kate, Luce Price is a teenager at a very strict boarding school in Savannah, Georgia. One day, she meets a mysterious guy, Daniel, who is your typical bad boy. Unfortunately for Luce, Daniel wants nothing to do with her, but Luce just can’t quite give up. She is determined to find out what makes Daniel tick and finds out he’s a fallen angel who chose to side with neither God nor Satan at the beginning of time. The fourth book in the series, Rapture, is coming out in just a few short weeks!
Unearthly is a series by Cynthia Hand which features Clara Gardner, a teenager who has recently discovered she is part angel. Through her discovery, Clara learns she has superhuman abilities and has been put on Earth with a purpose. Unfortunately, she can’t quite figure out what that purpose is. While trying to figure it out, Clara falls for two different guys and faces a difficult choice. The second book in the series, Hallowed, was published earlier this year and the third book is expected to be published some time in 2013.
In The Fallen by Thomas E. Sniegoski, after turning 18, Aaron starts to hear voices (even the voice of his dog!) and thinks he’s going insane. He’s an orphan, so he doesn’t know anything about his family history, or even who he can trust. But, he soon learns the truth about who he really is: a Nephilim, or the son of a mortal and an angel. Aaron learns his fate is to redeem the fallen angels and send them back to Heaven. At first he resists, but eventually he gives in and goes on the journey of his life. Check out this series if you’re interested in fallen angel series from the male perspective.
Thanks for tuning in to our Countdown to Summer series of Teen Fiction recommendations! If you missed any of the previous series, (or maybe Fallen Angel Teen Romance isn’t quite your style), check these out: 4 Vampire Romance Teen Fiction Series, 4 Dystopian Young Adult Series, or 4 SciFi/Fantasy Young Adult Series.

— Kristen B.

Countdown to Summer: 4 Dystopian Young Adult Series

The Hunger Games trilogy has made way for a whole host of new dystopian teen fiction series to be published, much in the same way that Twilight did for paranormal romance. The dystopian series generally don’t have as much romance, but a lot more action and therefore tend to be more appealing to both boys and girls of all ages (yes, adults too!). Next time you’re in HPB, be on the lookout for some of these series for either you or your kids.
In the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth, 16-year-old Beatrice, a.k.a. Tris, discovers that she is not like the rest of the people in dystopian Chicago. Instead of being chosen for one of five factions – Candor (the honest), Erudite (the intelligent), Amity (the peaceful), Dauntless (the brave), and Abnegation (the selfless) – like the rest of the population, she is worthy of three: Erudite, Dauntless, and Abnegation. At the choosing ceremony, she chooses to be part of the Dauntless faction, while her brother chooses a rival. Tris then has to go through the Dauntless initiation process, where she discovers that her world isn’t as perfect as she once thought. Divergent makes way for the next book in the series, Insurgent, which was just published in May.
The beginning of The Maze Runner series, by James Dashner, starts with a boy named Thomas awakening in an elevator, remembering absolutely nothing but his first name. Once the doors open, he discovers that he is not alone. He is surrounded by other boys who were also dumped in an elevator with no memory. The very next day, something even more peculiar happens and a girl arrives. Every day they run through the maze, hoping to find the end so that they can escape this unknown place and discover who they really are and where they came from. if you didn’t get enough of your questions answered by the last novel The Death Cure, a prequel to the trilogy, The Kill Order, is scheduled for release in August. It is expected to shed some light on to how the world became such a dark and terrible place. Check out a sneak peek at the cover art and an excerpt from the book courtesy of USA Today.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver starts out in a dystopia U.S. where love has been banned. The government claims that love is a disease, or a “deliria” for which a surgical cure has been discovered. It is required that everyone receives this cure once they turn 18. Shortly before she is scheduled to have the operation, Lena falls in love with a man who has not had the cure. Because of this change in Lena, she decides not to have the procedure and to escape instead. Lena goes to live in “The Wilds,” where she encounters a whole new set of challenges. The next book in the trilogy, Pandemonium, was recently published, and the third book, Requiem is expected to be published in February 2013. There are also whispers of a “Delirium” movie adaptation.
The Legend series by Marie Lu, is the quintessential dystopian thriller for teens. Also set in a dystopian America,  a.k.a. The Republic, Legend features a rich and beautiful 15 year old girl named June, who is destined for the military, and Day, the country’s most wanted criminal. Day becomes a prime suspect for the murder of June’s brother, and they meet only to discover that they are not each other’s true enemies. The Republic is hiding secrets The next book in the series, Prodigy is expected to be published in January 2013.

Want some more adventure? Stay tuned for the next “Countdown to Summer” reading recommendations — 4 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Teen Fiction Series. And if you missed the last one, jump back to see 4 Vampire Romance Teen Fiction Series to try this summer.

— Kristen B.

P.S. Get rewarded for your extracurricular reading! Kids 14 and under can earn $5 HPB Back-to-School Bucks during the Feed Your Brain® Summer Reading Program. Pick up your reading log at your local HPB today to get started!

Countdown to Summer: 4 Vampire Romance Teen Fiction Series

Summer is so close, yet still so far away. It’s a great time to start looking for what books to get caught up in while most of your days are free. Or if you’re like me and are out of school, then what books you’ll be reading while dreaming of the beach.

All kinds of teen paranormal romance series have been flying off our shelves since the debut of Stephenie Meyer‘s Twilight. If you’re a fan of teen paranormal romance novels, be on the lookout for some of these titles next time you’re in your local HPB store.

The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith was originally published as a trilogy, but after an outstanding debut back in 1991 and pressure from fans, the series exploded from there, launching several spinoff series, including The Return, The Hunters, and Stefan’s Diaries. Throughout the series, we follow Elena, a teenager who is torn between her love for two different vampires, Stefan and Damon, who happen to be brothers. If the books don’t quench your thirst for vampires, check out the CW television series that is loosely based off the novels.
The Last Vampire is an eight-part vampire series by Christopher Pike, which has recently been re-done into omnibus edition entitled Thirst. The novels follow the life of a 5,000 year old vampire, Sita, who believes that she is the last vampire and enlists in a public high school, where she falls in love with a mortal. Sita discovers that she’s being stalked and needs to figure out who it is. It’s a little bit slower-paced than most teen vampire novels, but Pike is successful in debunking old vampire myths and stereotypes.
In The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, you’ll find a lot more than just vampires lurking in the shadows. Clary, a teenage girl, goes to a club with her friend Simon, where she meets a boy named Jace and then witnesses a murder. Clary is quickly pulled into a world she never knew existed… one filled with demons, vampires, and werewolves, oh my! Clary becomes a Shadowhunter, or a human that kills demons. This is one series that you’ll definitely want to start at the beginning with The City of Bones. Are you already a fan of these books? The fifth book in the series, The City of Lost Souls, was just published last week!
Last but not least, dive into the teen fiction series Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. Rose is a seventeen year old dhampir (a child of a vampire father and a human mother) who is in training at St. Vladimir’s Academy to become a guardian for her friend and Moroi Princess, Lissa. While learning how to defeat Strigoi (evil undead vampires), Rose falls in love with her instructor, Dimitri Belikov, while sharing a one-sided psychic bond with Lissa. There are only six books in the series, but if you don’t want the series to end, never fear. The spinoff series which starts with Bloodlines continues story from the point of view of Sydney Sage, a girl who helps out Rose in the Vampire Academy series.
Hungry for more? Next up in our “Countdown to Summer” — 4 Dystopian Young Adult Series, because let’s be honest: not everyone is a fan of vampires and romance.

— Kristen B.

P.S. Want to be rewarded for your extracurricular reading? Kids 14 and under can earn $5 HPB Back-to-School Bucks during the Feed Your Brain® Summer Reading Program. Check it out!