Underlined’s Must-Read Books for High Schoolers

Attention, all high school students! You’re probably familiar with a little thing we (and probably the teachers and other adults around you) like to call “required reading.” These are the books you’re assigned to read by your teachers, the books your school has deemed “must-reads” as you continue with your educational journey. You might discuss them as a class or in smaller reading groups, write essays about them, annotate them for credit, or perform any other number of assignments related to these high school must-reads.

Here at Underlined, we’ve got a few other must-read books for you to add to your high school reading experience. And we think you’re going to love each and every one of them.

Told in both verse and prose, the stories on our must-read list have everything from a teen having an existential crisis to a teen on a crusade to save her father and brother from the clutches of America’s criminal justice system, from a wealthy family with a big secret to an alternate world in which America has a royal family at its helm . . . and more. We know, we know, you’re kind of busy with all your other must-reads—but the YA books on our must-read list are truly worth making the extra time in your schedule. You won’t be sorry you did!

Did you enjoy this article on the best books for high schoolers? Find more book recs here, and get social with us @getunderlined!

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder

By Holly Jackson

THE MUST-READ MULTIMILLION BESTSELLING MYSTERY SERIES• Everyone is talking about A Good Girl's Guide to Murder! With shades of Serial and Making a Murderer this is the story about an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you'll never expect.

Everyone in Fairview knows the story.

Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed...

All the Bright Places Movie Tie-In Edition

All the Bright Places Movie Tie-In Edition

By Jennifer Niven

This New York Times bestselling love story about two teens who find each other while standing on the edge is now a Netflix film starring Elle Fanning and Justice Smith!

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might die. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana ...

American Royals

American Royals

By Katharine McGee

What if America had a royal family? In this New York Times bestselling series, there are two prizes to be won: the throne and the heart of a prince.

Power. Drama. Romance. The Crown. 
This is the story of the American Royals.


When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne.

As Pr...

Dear Martin

Dear Martin

By Nic Stone

"Powerful, wrenching.” –JOHN GREEN, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Turtles All the Way Down

"Raw and gripping." –JASON REYNOLDS, New York Times bestselling coauthor of All American Boys

"A must-read!” –ANGIE THOMAS, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U...

Instructions for Dancing

Instructions for Dancing

By Nicola Yoon

AN INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"A charming, wholehearted love story that's sure to make readers swoon."—Entertainment Weekly

"Nicola Yoon writes from the heart in this beautiful love story."—Good Morning America

“It’s like an emotional gut punch—so beautiful and also heart-wrenching."—US Weekly

In this romantic page-...

A Lesson in Vengeance

A Lesson in Vengeance

By Victoria Lee

A dark, twisty thriller about a centuries-old, ivy-covered boarding school haunted by its history of witchcraft and two girls dangerously close to digging up the past. The dangerous romance and atmospheric setting makes it a perfect read for fans of dark academia.

Felicity Morrow is back at the Dalloway School. Perched in the Catskill Mountains, the centuries-old, ivy-covered campus was home until the tragic death of her girlfriend....

One of Us Is Lying (TV Series Tie-In Edition)

One of Us Is Lying (TV Series Tie-In Edition)

By Karen M. McManus

All the secrets of the Bayview Four will be revealed in the TV series now streaming on Peacock!

THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY • BUZZFEED • POPCRUSH

“Pretty Little Liars meets The Breakfast Club” (Entertainment Weekly) in this addictive mystery about what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only ...

Pet

Pet

By Akwaeke Emezi

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • STONEWALL BOOK AWARD WINNER • ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE’S 100 BEST YA BOOKS OF ALL TIME

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by The New York Times • Time • Buzzfeed • NPRNew York Public Library • Publishers Weekly • School Library Journal

A genre-defying novel from the award-winning author NPR describes as &l...

Skin of the Sea

Skin of the Sea

By Natasha Bowen

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The must-read Black mermaid fantasy series that #1 NYT bestselling author Nicola Yoon calls “epic and original,” in which one mermaid takes on the gods themselves. Perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Beasts of Prey.

“Riveting.” —NPR
“Evocative.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Remarkable.&rdq...

Take Me With You When You Go

Take Me With You When You Go

By David Levithan, Jennifer Niven

From the New York Times bestselling authors of All the Bright Places and Every Day comes a story of hope, siblinghood, and finding your home in the people who matter the most.

Subject: You. Missing.

Ezra Ahern wakes up one day to find his older sister, Bea, gone. No note, no sign, nothing but an email address hidden somewhere only he would find it. Ezra never expected to be left behind with their...

The Dragon's Promise

The Dragon's Promise

By Elizabeth Lim

Coming 08.30.22

From the New York Times Bestselling author of Six Crimson Cranes comes the thrilling next adventure! A journey to the kingdom of dragons, a star-crossed love, and a cursed pearl with the power to mend the world or break it... Fans of Shadow and Bone will devour this soaring fantasy.

Princess Shiori made a deathbed promise to return the dragon's pearl to its rightful owner, but keeping that promise is more danger...

This Is My America

This Is My America

By Kim Johnson

"Incredible and searing." --Nic Stone, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin

The Hate U Give meets Just Mercy in this unflinching yet uplifting first novel that explores the racist injustices in the American justice system.


Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on dea...

Vinyl Moon

Vinyl Moon

By Mahogany L. Browne

A teen girl hiding the scars of a past relationship finds home and healing in the words of strong Black writers. A beautiful sophomore novel from a critically acclaimed author and poet that explores how words have the power to shape and uplift our world even in the midst of pain.

"A true embodiment of the term Black Girl Magic.” –Booklist
 
When Darius told Angel he loved her, she believed him. B...

We Were Liars

We Were Liars

By E. Lockhart

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. Don't miss the eagerly anticipated prequel, Family of Liars.

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.

The Year I Stopped Trying

The Year I Stopped Trying

By Katie Heaney

Booksmart meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower in this novel of overachieving, existential crises, growing up, and coming out, from the author of Girl Crushed and Never Have I Ever.

Mary is having an existential crisis. She's a good student, she never gets in trouble, and she is searching for the meaning of life. She always thought she'd find it in a perfect score on the SATs. But by junior year, Mary is...

Join the conversation

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
Post a comment
0 Likes 0 Comments
Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry

Become a Book Nerd

When you’re not reading books, read our newsletter.

Underlined