I think we’ve all seen enough teen movies to know that every high-school cafeteria is split into strict social districts, and the effects of stepping outside their boundaries can be…dramatic. So to keep your mealtimes nice and peaceful (well, as peaceful as a high school cafeteria can be), we’ve selected a few clique-approved book recommendations everyone at your lunch table should enjoy.
The Loners: Graceling, by Kristin Cashore
Katsa has a special talent, but it’s not exactly party-friendly: she’s been Graced with the ability to kill people. Understandably, her power makes it difficult for her to socialize, especially since her uncle (the king) uses her as his very own assassin. But when she meets Po, she starts learning more about herself—and friendship. Anyone who tends to prefer their own company will sympathize with Katsa’s gruffness, not to mention the stunning idea that you can happily be an introvert and still make a friend now and then. Bonus: lots of awesome fight scenes.
Then read: The Raven Boys, by Maggie Steifvater
The Nerds: Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein
If you tend to be on the smarter side, it can be painful to read books that…aren’t. Luckily, this book has two points going for it: brilliant characters and a sharp plot. When British spy “Verity” crash lands in Nazi-occupied France, she’s quickly captured and forced to tell all she knows about the British war efforts—starting with her best friend, ace pilot Maddie. It’s a fresh, deeply engrossing take on a well-trodden time period, and you have to admire the girls for their quick thinking and amazing friendship.
Then read: An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green
The Normals: I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith
Cassandra Mormain is just like you, oh, lovely normal one: she doesn’t know what to do with boys, can’t afford to buy the clothes she wants (or really, any clothes at all), has nonsensical conversations with her parental units, and isn’t sure whether she loves or hates her sister, Rose. Of course, she also happens to live in a castle that breaks down a little more each day, with a crazy novelist/ex-con for a father and a nudist for a stepmother. Still, Cassandra is refreshingly, relatably average—except for her sense of humor, which is actually pretty grand.
Then read: Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins
The Populars: We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart
Do you know what it’s like to be on top of the world? So does Cadence Sinclair, a wealthy teenager with a Kennedy-like family, who also happens to be the de-facto head of her mob of cousins, affectionately nicknamed “the Liars.” The problem? Cadence is suffering from mysterious migraines and can’t seem to remember important bits of last summer, when something happened that changed everything. For anyone who knows that having it all doesn’t make you happy, and that sometimes a polished front is just a cover, We Were Liars is perfect. (Warning: trust nothing.)
Then read: Firecracker, by David Iserson
The Jocks: Legend by Marie Lu
June is a 15-year-old in training to be an officer in the Republic’s military ranks. Day is a 15-year-old high-class criminal—who may or may not have murdered June’s brother. Once the two meet, they’re confronted with loads of secrets and fight scenes and near-death experiences. If you’re used to an action-packed race around a field or a court or Other Sport Thing, you’ll love the back-and-forth speed of Lu’s Legend…and you’ll probably wish you could go kick some Dystopian butt, too.
Then read: Game. Set. Match. by Jennifer Iacopelli
The Drama Club: Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
Are you a fan of DRAMA? Because Georgie has buckets full of it. And books. (Ten books in her series, to be exact.) Georgie’s just a regular British girl who seems to find herself in the craziest situations, most of them playing out in front of her crush/Sex God, Robbie. Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging has all the theatricality of your favorite play, plus cool British slang and a lot of laughs. You know, for the one or two nights out of the year you’re not living at rehearsals.
Then read: My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies, by Allen Zadoff
Which books are your lunch table buddies reading?