So, I’m an avid reader, obsessive even, because leaders read and readers lead. No, really it’s because I enjoy escaping reality for a little while. I started avidly reading at around age 9. This love quickly birthed a love for writing as well. Throughout my teenage years, books were my one solace. They seemed to get me, they directed me, they gave me hope and made me laugh. I got involved with the characters and their lives and literally owned them. So I decided, why not share the book series I loved from my teenage years. These books really shaped my outlook on life, were my closest friends and my advice panel. I think they are excellently written and short enough that one can be read in a day, or two if you’re slow. Most importantly, they teach valuable life lessons and tackle some of those hard questions teenagers ask and go through. And the best part, they do it from a Christian perspective without being preachy or judgy or sounding like a sermon. So if you’re a teenage girl, a young adult, a parent, have sisters or daughters or just want to delve into that teen world again…I would highly recommend the following book series: Amazon today. Amazon for less than 20USD!.
3. Diary of a Teenage Girl Series – Melody Carlson:This is one phenomenal series. Melody Carlson can really write about and for teenage girls. There are four mini-series based on 4 girls : Kim, Maya, Chloe and Caitlin. Kim is a new christian and writes her diaries as she struggles with finding her identity and growing in it. The books (4 in total) follow her as she receives Christ and the struggles in her new-found faith as she tries to write an advice column and deal with her home life. Maya(who is also 15) is a spoiled, seemingly perfect LA girl born to a divorced parents. She diarizes her inner emptiness, struggles and pain as she deals with insecurity, vanity and misery. Chloe is also a young christian who forms a band and is discovered. The diaries(4 of them) follow her as she discovers God’s grace as she tackles her new found faith and fame, relationships and life on the road. Caitlin is a 16 year old conservative christian who struggles with remaining morally upright and pure. Her diaries (5 of them) follow her as she makes a stand for purity, loses a great relationship, goes to college, matures in Christ and finally gets married. These series are great for those who love to follow a story through and through from a characters eyes. The different stories are all interrelated as you will come to see and they really touch your life. You’ll laugh with them, cry with them, agree with them and want to slap them in the face as you follow them through those crazy years. It’s a great investment and teaches wonderful life lessons. You can start at the very beginninng with book one of Caitlin or get the entire series two on Chloe.
4. Forbidden Doors series – Bill Myers:For all those thriller and mystery buffs, this series is for you. Bill writes so well about the occult and demonic possession. He tackles voodoo, ‘special’ powers, psychics and readings, Ouija boards, traditional potions, haunted houses, guardian angels and secret societies. There are 13 books in total and each book deals with a different topic but same message. The books center on Becca and her brother Scott who are missionary children that move back to the States with their mom after their father dies in an aircraft accident. It follows them as they learn their spiritual power in Christ and take charge of that authority. It can get a bit scary but that’s half the fun. So if you wanted a better alternative to Vampire Diaries, Buffy and all the other mystical/thriller series, here’s one that will give you goose bumps but still encourage and strengthen your faith. Start with book one, The Society, and take a journey into contenting with spiritual forces.
5. Degrees of Guilt/Betrayal – Melody Carlson, Dandi Daley Mackall, Sigmund Brouwer and Jeff Nesbit:So these two series get really deep into emotions. They both come in a trinity, written from different perspectives. The degrees of Betrayal looks at Mackenzie, Sierra and Ryan who end up in a serious car accident that leaves Sierra fighting for her life in a coma. It gets into high school betrayal, each book from the point of view of one of them and each story as seen from their eyes. Mackenzie is an adult teenager; focused, reliable, mature, Christian and nice but it was her senior year so why not try something new? Ryan is a cool jock, Asian, egotistical and had just gotten popular for who he was dating. Sierra is the ‘it’ girl, in fact she is THE girl, her life was great, she had great fashion, a perfect boyfriend, a perfect family and was all about making memories. The books are all written by different authors which really brings out the depth of each character.
Betrayal comes naturally- where you stand determines who’s to blame- but there’s only more than one side to the storyThe degrees of Guilt is a really, really hard series. It’s about the death of Sam, a great Christian kid who took drugs just that once at a party and ended up dead on the sofa (talk about mood killer) and the story follows three people around him that were to blame; Kyra -his twin sister- the girl who had it all together, Miranda – the girl he loved- who had a terrible home life and Tyrone- a friend- who was just messed up. They all have their own versions of the truth, then there is THE truth. These books really take a look on the more grim side of high school, especially in this age of do what feels good. It is about the reality check that we all need to have when we find ourselves going down a rabbit hole. I really love them because they view how each of our decisions can lead us down a path of no return. You can read Mackenzie’s story to begin the degrees of betrayal or start on degrees of guilt with Miranda’s story