Here at Wauconda Area Library we value our teen patrons, and are eager to offer resources and services that are fun, informative, and relevant to their lives. Here you can find reading recommendations, see our ongoing programming, find volunteer opportunities and activities to get you involved with the library community, and more!
Looking for Your Next Read?
Here at Wauconda Area Library we love to help you find great books that will suit your interests. Whether you already love to read and have some favorite genres, books, or authors; or are having some trouble finding what gets you excited to dive into a new book, we are here to point you in the right direction.
On our Recommendations for Teens page you will find curated lists of books by collection and theme. Click on a book cover to see an item in our catalog, or select "view more" to see all of our recommendations, and mix and match our Audience, Category, and Tag filters to create your own custom reading list.
Fill out our "Book Picks" form for Teens to provide personalized reading recommendations from our library staff. To craft our list of suggested titles, we will ask you about some of your interests, preferred reading formats, books you've enjoyed in the past, books you haven't enjoyed, and more!
Staff Picks for YA & Teens
Ready Player One
At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.
It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.
Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?
"Marie Lu's dystopian novel is a Legend in the making."--USA Today
"Taut and exciting."--The Los Angeles TImes
"Legend doesn't merely survive the hype, it deserves it."
A New York Times bestseller!
5 Starred Reviews!
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.
Shadow and Bone
See the Grishaverse come to life on screen with Shadow and Bone, now a Netflix original series.
Enter the Grishaverse with Book One of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy by the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom.
Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold—a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed.
Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha, her country’s magical military elite—and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.
As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.
Welcome to Ravka . . . a world of science and superstition where nothing is what it seems.
A New York Times Bestseller
A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
An Indie Next List Book
The Lunar Chronicles: Cinder
A forbidden romance. A deadly plague. Earth's fate hinges on one girl . . . CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She's reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen - and a dangerous temptation. Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth's future. This is not the fairytale you remember. But it's one you won't forget.
Seventeen-year-old Bailey moves to California to live with her father and, perhaps, finally meet an online friend and fellow film buff, but soon finds herself attracted to an annoying co-worker.
Much like Lin-Manuel Miranda did in Hamilton, the New York Times best-selling author David Elliott turns a classic on its head in form and approach, updating the timeless story of Theseus and the Minotaur. A rough, rowdy, and darkly comedic young adult retelling in verse, which NPR called "beautifully clever," Bull will have readers reevaluating one of mythology's most infamous monsters.
SEE THE STORY OF THESEUS AND THE MINOTAUR
IN A WHOLE NEW LIGHT
Minos thought he could
Pull a fast one
God of the Sea!
But I'm the last one
On whom you
Should try such a thing.
The nerve of that guy.
The balls. The audacity.
I AM THE OCEAN!
I got capacity!
Depths! Darkness! Delphic power!
So his sweet little plan
Went big-time sour
And his wife had a son
Born with horns and a muzzle
Who ended up
In an underground puzzle.
What is it with you mortals?
You just can't seem to learn:
If you play with fire, babies,
You're gonna get burned.
The Upside of Unrequited
From the award-winning author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda comes a funny, authentic novel about sisterhood, love, and identity.
“Heart-fluttering, honest, and hilarious. I can’t stop hugging this book.” —Stephanie Perkins, New York Times bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss
"I have such a crush on this book! Not only is this one a must read, but it's a must re-read." —Julie Murphy, New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin’
Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.
Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly's totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie's new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she'll get her first kiss and she'll get her twin back.
There's only one problem: Molly's coworker, Reid. He's a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there's absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.
And don't miss Becky Albertalli's Leah on the Offbeat!
I Believe in a Thing Called Love
A funny young adult novel about a Korean-American girl who uses K-Drama techniques to snag the boyfriend of her dreams.
One of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2017
One of Seventeen.com's Best YA Books of 2017
"Hilarious." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Powerful messages of inclusion and acceptance." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Desi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and never had a B. But in her charmed school life, there's one thing missing—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a known disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation magnet.
When the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides it's time to tackle her flirting failures. She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has watched obsessively for years—in which the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos. All's fair in love and Korean dramas, right? But when the fun and games turn to feelings, Desi finds out that real-life love is about way more than just drama.
Maurene Goo's I Believe in a Thing Called Love is a fun, heartwarming story of falling in love—for real.
A Margaret Ferguson Book
Praise for I Believe in a Thing Called Love:
“Desi's implementation of measures such as ‘Be Caught in an Obviously Lopsided Love Triangle’ yields hilarious, at times unintended results, lending this teen rom-com a surprisingly thoughtful conclusion . . . [Goo's] funny, engaging narrative also delivers powerful messages of inclusion and acceptance.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“The art-centric romance that develops between Desi and Luca is rewarding to follow, as are their parental relationships, particularly that between Desi and her widowed Appa. Goo simultaneously honors and deconstructs romantic tropes, both in general and specific to K dramas, and does so using a wonderfully diverse cast.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“In the tradition of best-laid plans, Desi’s goes painfully awry in ways that elevate the story above the level of fluffy, cross-cultural rom-com. Friends and family are well crafted to inspire discussions about the comfort and complications they afford . . . Readers who crave believability with their fun and wit will be satisfied with the way the plan works out.” —VOYA
"This is the book I desperately wish I could have read when I was in high school. I love this book so much, and I can't wait to give it to my kids and every teen I know. Fun, snarky, flawed-but-great characters come alive on the pages and make you wish you could hang out with them every day. And a romance so sweet you find yourself rooting desperately for it all to work out. But possibly my absolute favorite part is that it has one of the best father/daughter relationship dynamics I've ever read in a YA novel. I fell in love with the relationships as well as the characters. Charming and awkward and hysterically funny, this is simply awesome!" —Ellen Oh, author of the Prophecy series and founder of We Need Diverse Books
"I Believe in a Thing Called Love is the perfect summer read—really, the perfect anytime read. I laughed and I swooned and I streamed way too many K dramas. Maurene Goo's fresh, funny writing had me hooked from the first chapter. I loved it!" —Morgan Matson, New York Times–bestselling author of The Unexpected Everything
"This is a hilarious and endearing romance full of zany Korean-drama fun. You'll fall in love even as you're falling into a pool!" —Melissa de la Cruz, #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel and Something In Between
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
"A brilliant, twisty thriller--I loved it!" --KAREN M. MCMANUS, bestselling author of One of Us is Lying
From the author of We Were Liars, which John Green called "utterly unforgettable," comes a mind-bending, New York Times bestselling thriller told in reverse.
"Compulsively readable." --Entertainment Weekly
"An addictive and shocking feminist thriller." --Lena Dunham
Imogen lives at the Playa Grande Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. She spends her days working out in the hotel gym and telling other guests how she was forced out of Stanford.
But Imogen isn't really Imogen. She's Jule. And she's on the run from something. Or someone. Which means . . . where is the real Imogen?
Rewind: Jule and Imogen are the closest of friends. Obsessed with each other, even. Imogen is an orphan, an heiress; she and Jule spend a summer together in a house on Martha's Vineyard, sharing secrets they'd never reveal to another soul.
But that was months ago. Where is Immie now? And why is Jule using her name?
"You will devour it." --Gayle Forman, bestselling author of If I Stay
"Fans of E. Lockhart's We Were Liars will love this . . . and definitely won't see the ending coming." --HelloGiggles.com
"Tangled secrets, diabolical lies and, ultimately, a mind-blowing outcome are crafted with the plotted precision we expect (and love!) from E. Lockhart." --Justine Magazine
"Moves at a breakneck speed." --Marie Claire
"As with E. Lockhart's previous novel, the best-selling "We Were Liars," [readers] will likely finish the last page and flip right back to the beginning to search for clues they missed." --Chicago Tribune
"Sharp, brilliantly plotted, and totally engrossing."--KAREN M. MCMANUS, New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying
"A crafty, dark, and disturbing story."--KATHLEEN GLASGOW, New York Times bestselling author of Girl In Pieces
"A little bit Riverdale and a little bit Veronica Mars."--RILEY SAGER, bestselling author of Final Girls
A Goodreads Best Young Adult Book of the Year Nominee
From the author of The Darkest Corners and Little Monsters comes an all-new edge-of-your-seat thriller set in upstate New York about an eerie sequence of seemingly unrelated events that leaves five cheerleaders dead.
There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.
First there was the car accident--two girls dead after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know his reasons. Monica's sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they'd lost.
That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it's not that easy. She just wants to forget.
Only, Monica's world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad's desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn't over. Some people in town know more than they're saying. And somehow, Monica is at the center of it all.
There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn't mean anyone else is safe.
More Praise for Kara Thomas:
"Gripping from start to finish . . . with twists that left me shocked."--VICTORIA AVEYARD, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Red Queen
"You'll be up all night tearing through the pages."--BUSTLE
"This deliciously deceptive thriller...is a must-have."--SLJ
Check, Please! Book 1: # Hockey
Eric Bittle may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur pâtissier, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. It is nothing like co-ed club hockey back in Georgia! First of all? There’s checking (anything that hinders the player with possession of the puck, ranging from a stick check all the way to a physical sweep). And then, there is Jack—his very attractive but moody captain.
A collection of the first half, freshmen and sophomore year, of the megapopular webcomic series of the same name, Check, Please!: #Hockey is the first book of a hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life.
This book includes updated art and a hilarious, curated selection of Bitty's beloved tweets.
When the California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, one teen is forced to make life and death decisions for her family in this harrowing story of survival from New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman.
The drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while now. Everyone’s lives have become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers.
Until the taps run dry.
Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation; neighbors and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive.
The Field Guide to the North American Teenager
A hilarious YA contemporary realistic novel about a witty Black French Canadian teen who moves to Austin, Texas, and experiences the joys, clichés, and awkward humiliations of the American high school experience—including falling in love. Perfect for fans of Nicola Yoon, When Dimple Met Rishi, and John Green.
Norris Kaplan is clever, cynical, and quite possibly too smart for his own good. A Black French Canadian, he knows from watching American sitcoms that those three things don’t bode well when you are moving to Austin, Texas.
Plunked into a new high school and sweating a ridiculous amount from the oppressive Texas heat, Norris finds himself cataloging everyone he meets: the Cheerleaders, the Jocks, the Loners, and even the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Making a ton of friends has never been a priority for him, and this way he can at least amuse himself until it’s time to go back to Canada, where he belongs.
Yet against all odds, those labels soon become actual people to Norris…like loner Liam, who makes it his mission to befriend Norris, or Madison the beta cheerleader, who is so nice that it has to be a trap. Not to mention Aarti the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who might, in fact, be a real love interest in the making.
But the night of the prom, Norris screws everything up royally. As he tries to pick up the pieces, he realizes it might be time to stop hiding behind his snarky opinions and start living his life—along with the people who have found their way into his heart.
* Printz Honor winner Donnelly offers up a stunningly focused story that rips into the heart of the familiar fairy tale. Isabelle [is] a shattered but not unredeemable girl with a warrior's heart. -- Booklist, starred review
An instant New York Times bestseller!Optioned for film by Lynette Howell Taylor, the producer of A Star is Born and Bruna Papandrea, producer of Big Little LiesA Seventeen Best of the YearLonglisted for the Carnegie MedalA YALSA pickA Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the YearIsabelle should be blissfully happy-she's about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isn't the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the prince's heart. She's the ugly stepsister who cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella's shoe . . . which is now filling with blood.Isabelle tried to fit in. She cut away pieces of herself in order to become pretty. Sweet. More like Cinderella. But that only made her mean, jealous, and hollow. Now she has a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: it takes more than heartache to break a girl.Evoking the darker, original version of the Cinderella story, Stepsister shows us that ugly is in the eye of the beholder, and uses Jennifer Donnelly's trademark wit and wisdom to send an overlooked character on a journey toward empowerment, redemption . . . and a new definition of beauty.
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