Some of these may be obvious, or even odd, but I was home schooled until I was fifteen and I was super awkward and very socially inept. The teens were a miserable time for me. Some of these books helped me make it through.
The Cooper Kids Series/The Oath
These books are kinda dark and dip into the "christian horror" genre (They don't call it that though).
I read the Oath when I was thirteen, had to sleep with the lights on at night for a while.
Shakespeare's complete works
Honestly, I didn't read the histories or sonnets. I made it a point to read as many plays as possible when I was thirteen. I can say it has changed the way I write and read.
Every girl thinks of herself as Josephine March. Wild, carefree, independent. I always knew Alcott based the character on herself. In real life, Alcott pumped out these children's books when all she really wanted to do was write gothic or thrillers. Guess which one made money? Guess which one people felt she was better at? It makes me sad.
I hated eating lunch in the cafeteria. I actually think I did it maybe once, and it was probably because I sat with a boyfriend (This was after I transferred from a private school to a public one). I started going to the library to read during lunchtime, and that's when I found this "little" gem. It had just started getting super nova famous. This was right before adults admitted to reading and loving it, so I felt a little odd reading a kid's book at fifteen. I never stopped.
Catcher in the Rye
Tragic loner who's misunderstood? Check. I think I read this in between HS and College. I never really understood why it was in the banned books club. As I've heard before: If you made a movie for highschoolers that was set in high school, and it was true to life, they wouldn't be allowed to go see it. I don't get it.
Read this in high school. It was the darkest book I had read up to that point (It's really not that bad-but home schooled-remember?) Strong heroine, magic cat, sexy boat boy. It was cool.
First Stephen King book I actually read cover to cover. I don't really read horror but this let me dip my toe in. Now I read him occasionally when I need a break from my favorite genres. He never disappoints.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Someone just did a review on this book and gave it two stars. She called the kids hipsters. I unfollowed them on Facebook. Hipsters didn't exist when I was in high school. Being gay wasn't as accepted as it is now. We were all testing the waters, and to do anything odd or be a little artsier than was accepted made you weird-not a hipster. Being weird and on the fringe has just now become popular in the mainstream (if barely). This book was written for those kids that were a little off in the nineties. It was a completely different time. Don't review a book out of its time line, it won't make any sense and you won't understand any of the points it's trying to make.
The Painted Bird
This book was read in my horror lit class in college (It was a super awesome class). This book, however, caused a lot of uncomfortable students. It takes a deep look, not at war, but what happens to the people on the outskirts of combat and some of the social atrocities people think they can commit when war is going on. It is super disturbing, and not for light or enjoyable reading. It's a good book for people who have no clue what war can bring. I think it opened up some people's eyes and made others close theirs a little tighter.
The Mistborn Series
Mistborn lead me into Fantasy with a death grip. I have some kind of pride that I jumped on the Sanderson bandwagon before he got super popular. This isn't my favorite of his, but it opened up a huge door to fantasy and science fiction for me, and I am forever grateful. (This also leads me to believe that I take his writing instruction as the end all be all. But, whatever.)