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If you want an escape from your school’s summer reading list, our teen writers recommend these!

Oh My Goth By Gena Showalter
In this MTV-published book is a world where virtual reality becomes actual reality for Jade Leigh, a fiercely nonconformist goth girl, whose life is flipped upside-down when she wakes up to find that everyone who is popular has gone goth and everyone who is goth has become popular. I totally recommend this book for people who still don’t believe the “you never know a person until you take a walk in their shoes” philosophy. Trust me. This book will change your mind, and still keep you laughing. Oh My Goth, this book is good.
Destiny Jackson, 16, Mayfair HS (Lakewood)

Coming Up for Air by George Orwell

This book is about a man who led a fascinating and exciting life as a young boy and tries to go back to his roots to lead that same life. I recommend this book because I feel that many people, like the man in the book, try too hard to live an “exciting” life and forget to live at all. People shouldn’t live in the past, rather they should try to live each day as they want.
Jean Park, 16, Harvard-Westlake School

Birds of America by Lorrie Moore
This book contains 12 humorous, dark short stories—for example, one of the most entertaining stories is about a woman whose baby has cancer, which sounds depressing but the narrator makes a lot of funny commentary.  I recommend this book to anyone who likes black humor.
Lia Dun, 17, Marshall HS

Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
This heartwarming book is a true story about a man who surrounds himself with work and believes he is living a full life. When he reunites with an old professor he realizes that he is not living one of purpose or meaning. I recommend this book because I feel like many of us occupy ourselves with work that seems meaningful, but does not make us happy. This book helps set a distinction between living a life of happiness and purpose and a life of busywork.
Janie Lee, 16, Troy HS

Boy Meets Boy By David Levithan
So you’ve heard the standard romantic plot—boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. Well, get that out of your mind. In this new world where homosexuality and bisexuality are accepted, there’s a new plot—boy meets boy, boy loses boy, boy gets boy. The book focuses on a boy named Paul, who falls in love with a new boy at school named Noah. I recommend this book to all people who are open minded and love to laugh. It’s a cute romantic book for all to enjoy.
Destiny Jackson, 16, Mayfair HS

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
In this nonfiction book, the author writes about his childhood, when he had to go through Sierra Leone’s bloody civil war during the 1990s. This book has the power to move people’s hearts and it opens our eyes to the unspeakable atrocities kids in other parts of the world have to go through even to this day.
Elliot Kim, 16, Palos Verdes Peninsula HS