Books to keep teens reading during the summer holidays

Teen summer reads to keep your children reading during the holidays

Great young adult books to read during the summer holidays.  This list contains over 40 titles to keep your older children reading over the summer break. There’s a range of highly engaging and immersive mysteries, thrillers, romance novels, social media plotlines and contemporary fiction. This list features books by Abiola Bello, Simon James Green, Cynthia Murphy, Oskar Kroon, Meredith Adamo, E Lockhart, Angeline Boulley, Tess Sharpe, John Schu and more.

Books to keep teens reading during the summer holidays

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Great summer reads for teens – our recommendations

Every Time You Hear That Song by Jenna VorisEvery Time You Hear That Song by Jenna Voris.
Last Seen Online by Lauren JamesLast Seen Online by Lauren James.
The Love Dare by Abiola BelloThe Love Dare by Abiola Bello.

Work It, Lara Bloom by Dee Benson

Lara Bloom faces the challenge of balancing a school business competition with her football training in this funny, poignant and sharply written tween-to-teen drama told through diary entries. Touching on feminism, body image and identity, Work It, Lara Bloom is ideal for 11+ fans of Geek Girl, less confident teen readers, and those who enjoy the thrill of competition.

Work It, Lara Bloom by Dee Benson

HITS DIFFERENT. by TASHA. HUXLEY-JONES GHOURI (LIZZIEHits Different by Tasha Ghouri and Lizzie Huxley-Jones.
by Apocalypse Cow by O.R. Sorrel.
The Thing about Lemons by Tasha HarrisonThe Thing About Lemons by Tasha Harrison.

Last One To Die by Cynthia Murphy

Niamh, 16, arrives in London and looks forward to spending the summer there. But she quickly discovers that there have been a series of attacks on young women who look exactly like her. Caught between acting school and her new friend Tommy, she becomes involved in a disturbing mystery with ties to the past. Last One To Die’s blend of horror, suspense, and local mythology will keep teen readers wondering until the very end.

Last One To Die by Cynthia Murphy

Not Like Other Girls by Meredith AdamoNot Like Other Girls by Meredith Adamo.
The Boy Next Door by Jenny IrelandThe Boy Next Door by Jenny Ireland.
Castle of The Cursed by Romina GarberCastle of The Cursed by Romina Garber.

Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

Perry Firekeeper-Birch fights for justice and faces historical prejudice, rivalries and secrets in this blazing thriller from the world of Firekeeper’s Daughter. Finding a Native American ancestor’s remains in the university archive isn’t how she envisioned her summer internship. And she determined to take ‘Warrior Girl’ back to her homeland. Suitable for 14+ year-olds, this gripping narrative explores resilience, identity and activism. It’s also ideal to spark discussion in book clubs or debating societies about the ethical considerations relating to stolen artefacts, the rights of Indigenous people and taking the law into your own hands. Read our full review.

Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

Your Time Is Up by Sarah Naughton

Distinctive, compelling and unique, this gripping real-time thriller follows Zaina as she wrestles with concentration, emotion, truth and A Level maths. 14+-year-olds will feel compelled to learn more and more about Zaina’s complex web of secrets and lies which unravel with nailbiting and page-turning suspense. Exploring themes of deception, pressure, and loyalty, We think this engaging fast-paced thriller will be a sure-fire KS4 exam season hit.

Your Time Is Up by Sarah Naughton

Girls I've Been by Tess SharpeGirls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe.
The Girl in Question by Tess SharpeThe Girl in Question by Tess Sharpe.
The Maid and the Crocodile by Jordan IfuekoThe Maid and the Crocodile by Jordan Ifueko.

Sing If You Can’t Dance by Alexia Casale

When Ven’s plans for a great summer and a great life are thrown into jeopardy, nothing will stop her from pursuing her dreams. Exploring disability and resilience through artistic expression, Sing If You Can’t Dance is empowering, genuine and memorable in equal measure. Read our full review.

Sing If You Can't Dance by Alexia Casale

Four Eids and a Funeral by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé and Adiba Jaigirdar

Former friends Tiwa and Said reunite to save their Islamic Center from demolition and face personal challenges along the way. Tiwa appreciates the centre’s importance to the community, but Said has a secret reason. Their story, rich with cultural depth and family conflict, will appeal to 12+ year-olds. Highlighting themes of friendship, identity, and community resilience with a deftly light touch, this refreshingly original romance is bound to be a popular summer term read. Highly recommended.

Four Eids and a Funeral by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé and Adiba Jaigirdar

Emmy Star Is So Everything by Daniel TawseEmmy Star Is So Everything by Daniel Tawse.
Lover Birds by Leanne EganLover Birds by Leanne Egan.
The Exes by Anam IqbalThe Exes by Anam Iqbal.

The Virtue Season by L.M. Nathan

Friends to lovers, forced proximity and forbidden romance swirl together in this sharply written dystopian world where choice, freedom and women’s rights are curtailed. 18-year-old Manon Pawlak is set for a genetic matching process called The Virtue Season. But her best friend Agatha, marked by a scar due to seizures, faces ‘decommissioning’. The startling novel uniquely blends dystopian narratives with romance and social commentary. Read our full review.

The Virtue Season by L.M. Nathan

The Luis Ortega Survival Club by Sonora Reyes

Sonora Reyes explores the complexities of consent and identity in this unputdownable story. Ari, a selectively mute autistic girl, wrestles with her confidence, self-image, and vicious rumours after an encounter with the popular Luis. Deftly tackling pertinent issues of consent, predators, healing, and the value of real friendship, The Luis Ortega Survival Club is an original and valuable contemporary novel for teens to read and discuss. Read our full review.

The Luis Ortega Survival Club by Sonora Reyes

The Big Ask: A Life-Affirming Teen Rom-Com from Award-Winning Author Simon James Green by Simon James GreenThe Big Ask by Simon James Green.
Sleep Like Death by Kalynn BayronSleep Like Death by Kalynn Bayron.
Bad Influence by Tamsin WinterBad Influence by Tamsin Winter.

The Last Thing You’ll Hear by Jan Dunning

Jan Dunning presents this stylish thriller about sisters Wren and Lark, whose rivalry intensifies when they meet music producer Adam and DJ Spinner. Who will Wren decide to believe and how will it affect her sister Lark’s safety? 14+ year olds will be engrossed in themes of sibling rivalry, toxic relationships, and obsessive fandom. Exploring the impact of toxic masculinity, ambition and influence, we think The Last Thing You’ll Hear will be a hit with KS4 readers.

The Last Thing You'll Hear by Jan Dunning

Soulmates and Other Ways to Die by Melissa Welliver

Imagine that everyone has a perfect love match somewhere on the planet. But there’s a catch – if they die, you die too. This rollercoaster dystopian thriller for 14+ year-olds explores a world where gene mutation links individuals to soulmates, with deadly consequences. Control freak Zoe doesn’t want to die, so she sets out to find a cure for the genetic mutations when she finds out her match is the risk-taking Milo Spencer. Covering themes of science, romance and mortality this is a cracking summer read. Highly recommended. Read our full review.

Soulmates and Other Ways to Die by Melissa Welliver

Rhubarb Lemonade by Oskar KroonRhubarb Lemonade by Oskar Kroon.
Murder on a Summer Break by Kate WestonMurder on a Summer Break by Kate Weston.
This Summer's Secrets by Emily BarrThis Summer’s Secrets by Emily Barr.

Death At Morning House by Maureen Johnson

When Marlowe Wexler stumbles upon deadly secrets while working as a tour guide, she cannot imagine what awaits her in this compelling, deliciously paced, summer binge-read. Seeking redemption after an accident, Marlowe’s new job at Morning House, a mansion with a disturbing past, leads her into a web of danger. Expertly weaving dual timelines and atmospheric creepiness, Maureen Johnson delivers a winning YA thriller.

Death At Morning House by Maureen Johnson

We Were Liars by E Lockhart

Teens will be captivated by the enigmatic world of the Sinclair family, who spend summers on their private island. Through Cadence Sinclair’s perspective, we delve into family secrets, forbidden love, and a life-altering tragedy. This compelling story navigates memory, truth, and the profound impact of concealed truths. We Were Liars is the perfect binge-read with a savage twist.

We Were Liars by E Lockhart

Yours From the Tower by Sally NichollsYours From the Tower by Sally Nicholls.
Taylor Blake Is a Legend by Laura Jane WilliamsTaylor Blake Is a Legend by Laura Jane Williams.
The Girlfriend Act by Safa AhmedThe Girlfriend Act by Safa Ahmed.

Annie LeBlanc Is Not Dead Yet by Molly Morris

In Lennon, California, every decade, one person is brought back to life for a fleeting thirty days. Wilson Moss is determined to revive her former friend Annie, and unexpectedly she succeeds. Amidst the eerie backdrop of a conservative small town, Annie LeBlanc Is Not Dead Yet spins a captivating tale that explores a friendship triangle, tension and the supernatural. Morris skillfully blends mystery, drama, and heart into a captivating story.

Annie LeBlanc Is Not Dead Yet by Molly Morris

Where Sleeping Girls Lie by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

In Faridah Abike-Iyimide’s latest blockbuster YA mystery, Sade Hussein, a new boarding school student, uncovers dark secrets after her roommate vanishes. With a diverse cast and intricate plot, this book will appeal to teens who enjoy slow-burning, relentless and immersive thrillers. Suitable for teens aged 14+, it deftly navigates themes of trauma and trust. We think Where Sleeping Girls Lie will be a breakout summer hit. Read our full review.

Where Sleeping Girls Lie by Faridah Abike-Iyimide

The Love Interest by Helen ComerfordThe Love Interest by Helen Comerford.
Such Charming Liars by Karen M. McManusSuch Charming Liars by Karen M. McManus.
The Thread That Connects Us by Ayaan MohamudThe Thread That Connects Us by Ayaan Mohamud.

Officially Losing It by Rebecca Anderson

Rose struggles with her first attempt at intimacy with her boyfriend, Joel, leading to self-doubt a loss of confidence and relationship issues. But when she thinks about these challenges, she discovers that many others face similar struggles. Officially Losing It addresses all the difficulties of first relationships and sexual experiences and encourages open conversations about body image and relationships. 16+ year-old fans of Sex Education will love the memorable quotes and TikTokworthy moments.

Officially Losing It by Rebecca Anderson

All the Hidden Monsters by Amie Jordan

Seemingly ordinary girl Sage, who is also a werewolf, finds herself drawn into a murder investigation when her supernatural friend, Lucy, is killed. Can Sage use her unique abilities to unravel the mystery and impress the handsome investigator warlock Oren Rinallis? Blending human and magical worlds the engaging characters, strong chemistry, and seamless world-building make this mystery an immersive hit. We think KS4 fans of supernatural thrillers will eagerly anticipate the next instalment.

All the Hidden Monsters by Amie Jordan

Glasgow Boys by Margaret McDonaldGlasgow Boys by Margaret McDonald.
Louder Than Hunger by John SchuLouder Than Hunger by John Schu.
The Borrow a Boyfriend Club by Page PowarsThe Borrow a Boyfriend Club by Page Powars.


Click the buttons below to purchase all of the books in this YA and teens summer holiday reading book list, as well as class sets of any of these books and many more, from Bookshop.org UK. Or buy the 20 most popular titles from this list from Amazon – ideal for gifts or your classroom library.

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Summer holiday reading ideas for teens

  • Have a look at the School Reading List summer reading challenge, which includes lots of free resources, activities, games and ideas to encourage your teens to read widely over the summer break.
  • The National Library of New Zealand has a range of practical ideas and suggestions for parents to encourage their children to keep reading over the summer period.
  • Your Teen magazine offers parents and teachers useful tips to keep your kid’s nose in a book and encourage summer reading. It’s ideal advice for parents of teenagers.
  • Frugal Family’s blog includes budget-friendly suggestions for encouraging your family to read, including advice on technology, book availability, social media and making reading fun.

BISAC YAF000000 YOUNG ADULT FICTION | Thema YFB



About Tom Tolkien

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Tom Tolkien is a highly qualified (BA Hons, PGCE, QTS) children's literature expert and teacher with over 25 years of experience. He has led inset courses, developed curriculum materials, spoken at conferences, advised on longlisting for several international children's literature literature awards and written for educational publishers including contributing to a BETT award-nominated app. Social profiles: Twitter | Linkedin

This booklist was last updated on June 27th, 2024 and first published in 2024.