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Top 5 books and movies for your teenage years

Stuck for something to read or watch? Look no further...

Written by Mia Sherry and posted in opinion

This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for please contact

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Our teenage years are possibly the hardest of them all - with one million different voices coming at you from all different directions, it’s great when one can cut through the noise and speak to you, and help you through your situation. So, below are five books and films to reassure you that everyone has gone through what you’re going through. (Trust me.)

Top 5 books to read

1. The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

This book is told through the eyes of Sutter Keely, sarcastic, witty and the guy you want at your party. Then he meets Aimee, a social disaster, and is determined to show her a good time. Sutter realises that he has the power to change her life forever- or ruin it. Tim Tharp effortlessly captures the inner workings of every 18 year old’s brain in this funny, philosophical, heavy and introspective novel.

2. The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Mikey’s town is frequently plagued with vampires, zombies, ghosts and the like, but all he wants to do is graduate and go to prom before his school gets blown up (again). A book exploring relationships, mental health and family bonds, this is the perfect book for those of us who find ourselves on the side-lines a lot of the time.

3. Aristotle and Dante Discover the secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alaire Sánez

This is an insanely beautiful book, perfectly documenting growing up, friendship, exploring your sexuality and dealing with everything life throws at us. Dante is fair skinned, he’s poetic, articulate and self-assured. Ari’s features are darker, he gets lost in his thoughts and suffers from self-doubt. Against all odds, they strike up a friendship that will teach them some of the most important truths of their life, and define the people they want to be.

4. The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

A lot of you may have already read this book, but I decided to add it in anyway in case you hadn’t. No doubt even if you haven’t you’ve heard of it- the main character, Charlie, writes to us with tales of high school, his new found friends Sam and Patrick, who show him the ways of embracing life. It’s a fantastic novel to read if you find yourself to be a bit of a wallflower.

5. Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider

If you’re tired of reading books with Augustus Waters wannabes, then this book holds the protagonist for you. A popular athlete fallen from grace, Ezra is now forced to spend time with the misfits of the school, where he discovers secret movie screenings, flash mobs, and Cassidy Thorpe- Intelligent and wonderfully weird. The book raises one main question- if you survive distaster the first time, what happens when it strikes again?

Top 5 Films to watch

1. The Breakfast Club

A cult classic, this film is set in morning detention, with five students who have nothing in common- a jock, a popular girl, a basket case, a nerd and a rebel. Throughout the film and the various adventures they partake in, the five of them bond together and find they have a lot more in common then they think.

2. The Duff

Easily one of the funniest teen comedies since Mean Girls, The Duff teaches us to own our imperfections, say ‘no’ to looking like everyone else, and ‘yes’ to embracing our own unique style. And with natural chemistry between the two mains, it’s hard not to fall for these two falling in love.

3. Adventureland

This movie is a heartfelt story about having to suck it up and absorb the hard knocks until you figure everything out. It stars Jesse Eisenberg as James, a recent college graduate, who has to forgo a trip to Europe and instead work in a theme park. Forget everything you thought you knew about Kristen Stewart and watch this theme park comedy featuring a lively Stewart as James’s love interest.

4. Dead Poets Society

Set in an all-boys boarding school that still follows ancient traditions, it stars Robin Williams as a new English teacher, who helps his students to learn to break out of their shells, pursue their dreams and seize the day.

5. Kings of Summer

This film portrays the summer of a boy on the verge of adulthood - and deeply frustrated by it. Deciding to run away and escape in a house he built in the woods, he and his two friends navigate the bonds of male friendship and the unexpected responsibilities of being independent.

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Published March 24th2016
Tags books film unwind
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