Recommending books to my 14-year-old cousin

I have an exciting blog today, that actually ties in with a video I made over on my booktube channel Travels in Fiction. You can give it a watch below, and I would love it if you headed over to my channel and subscribed, as I am very much still a booktube newbie!

I thought this video would also make a really interesting blog too. My 14-year-old cousin, Tilly, reached out to me and asked if I could make a video recommending books to her. Of course, I was more than happy to create a list of books I think she would enjoy, and so below, you can find the list of books I recommended for her! I think chatting about books and encouraging your friends and family to read is so lovely and such a rewarding thing to do.

Without further ado …


(Yes, I am mad at myself for not narrowing it down to 14.)

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Heartstopper is the story of two boys, Nick and Charlie, who become friends, and fall in love. It’s so pure and is a perfect way to enter the world of graphic novels, whilst reading a super cute and diverse story.

Alice Oseman’s art is honestly gorgeous, and alongside her excellent dialogue and adorable stories, Heartstopper is a winner. You can also read it for free online (as it started as a web comic). So there’s no excuse not to go and have a gander!

Every Day by David Levithan

Every Day is about ‘A’, someone who wakes up every day in a different body. They have set themselves specific rules to live by such as ‘don’t interfere with the life of the person you wake up in’. All of this is fine until they meet Rhiannon.

It’s just such a unique concept for a book (I mean, imagine waking up every day in a different body?), and it’s a really easy and thought-provoking read.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Wonder is about a boy called Auggie who was born with a facial deformity. He’s about to enter mainstream school for the first time, and he wants nothing more than to be treated normally.

I love Auggie as a narrator as he’s so funny and self aware, and it’s a really heartwarming novel. I would also highly recommending checking out the film which is such an excellent adaptation!

The Isobel Journal by Isobel Harrop

The Isobel Journal is a graphic novel/scrapbook about the life of Isobel Harrop. The pages are filled with illustrations and sketches that depict her life. It’s a really funny and quick read that depicts the life of an 18-year-old in the best possible way.

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

The Geography of You and Me is about Owen and Lucy, who happen to meet in a lift when New York experiences a blackout. It’s a really cute story about the two of them after this chance encounter, and what happens to them.

I think any of Jennifer E. Smith’s books are excellent for teenagers that like cheesy romcoms. I can’t deny that this is a cheesy book, but it’s feel good and an excellent starting point into the world of YA contemporary.

Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

This book focuses on Simon Spier, a 16-year-old guy who also happens to be gay. He isn’t out, and he finds comfort in chatting anonymously to a guy who signs his emails off as ‘Blue’.

This book keeps you turning the page as you want to find out who Blue is. It’s also a lovely book about coming to terms with your sexuality and is a really relatable and enjoyable read.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

What would you do if you knew you only had 24 hours to live? They Both Die at the end is about just that.

It focuses on my fave two boys, Mateo and Rufus. At the beginning of the book, they both receive a call from ‘Deathcast’ informing them they are going to die at the end of the day. It’s such an interesting concept for a book, and it really delivers. It’s also a really wholesome story that has interwoven plot points and just ugh. Yes, go read it.

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

If you want a book that you can completely absorb and finish in a day, then this is the one for you. It was also turned into an excellent film which you should all check out.

Everything Everything is the story of Maddy who has SCID, a rare immunodeficiency disorder. This essentially means she can’t leave the house: she is allergic to the world. However, one day she meets the boy next door through her bedroom window and … well… you’ll have to read the rest.

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Noughts and Crosses is a dystopian YA based in an alternate society where racism, as we know it, has been flipped on its head. Noughts and Crosses aren’t meant to mix – it tackles racism and prejudice extremely well, and in an accessible context for younger people. This is definitely one I’d like to re-read as I devoured this book (and series) when I was younger.

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

One of Us is Lying is a YA thriller which will definitely keep you on your toes. (I’m also psyched for the sequel, One of Us is Next, which is being published next year!)

The plot is simple. Five students enter detention, but only four make it out alive. They’re all suspects. The question is, who had the motive to kill? One of them has to be lying …

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

This is an absolute classic but I couldn’t not include it. I read The Fault in Our Stars when it came out in 2012 and it’s the book which really got me loving all things YA. It’s the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster who is living with Stage IV Thyroid cancer. It’s funny, tragic, witty, and everything in between. Definitely a must read for all.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I just had to include this one. It’s one I’ve read multiple times and absolutely devoured each and every time – it’s definitely a pre-teen fave.

Also, no offence to the cover, but it’s not exactly beautiful. However, look past the cover and trust me on this! It tells the story of Anna who moves to an American Boarding School in France and what happens when she meets a certain boy! It’s cheesy af, but it’s also just such a fun book to follow the characters along as they make dumb decisions!

The next three books are ones I’ve heard wonderful things about, but I haven’t read them personally. They’re all high up on my list to read though!

Tilly and the Book Wanderers (Pages & Co #1) by Anna James

This book sounds absolutely delightful – it’s definitely one of the most magical concepts I’ve ever come across. Tilly lives in a bookshop and one day, characters start appearing in the bookshop. With these characters, she then ventures into the worlds of the books, falling down plot holes and the like. It’s so whimsical, and clever and I cant wait to read it.

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake

This is a middle grade story about a girl who has just been displaced by a destructive tornado. In the midst of this life changing events, she also starts developing feelings for another girl. This book sounds so incredible, and honestly, the fact that middle grade books are starting to include queer stories makes my heart so happy.

You’re Crushing It by Lex Croucher

And last but not least, the final book I’ve chosen is You’re Crushing It by Lex Croucher. This book sounds witty and hilarious, all whilst actually dishing out some useful advice. Sometimes we all need reminding that it’s gonna be okay and we’re crushing it.

And that’s the list! There’s SO SO many more I could include. Frankly, it was hard to round it down to this amount. This list is pretty contemporary heavy, as I don’t tend to read a lot of fantasy. But if you have any recommendations in any genres that you think a teenager would enjoy, leave a comment below!

3 thoughts on “Recommending books to my 14-year-old cousin

  1. There are some great recommendations on here, and I’ll definitely be checking out the books I haven’t read based on those I have. Thanks for this and best of luck with Booktube, It’s really putting yourself out there, so I can imagine it’s a scary but exciting move!


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