Books for Teenage Guys Who Don’t Like to Read

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As Seen On:
by Joel Ohman in Book Reviews

I get it. Not everyone likes to read. Sometimes, and especially even teenage boys. Even though I read 120 books last year, and I’m a guy—though decades removed from being a teenage reader—I understand that for some teenage guys, reading is a chore, just something to cross off the list to make their parent or teacher happy.


It doesn’t have to be that way.

Sometimes the best way to encourage a love of reading in a teenage boy is simply to try lots and lots of books until your “target” finds a topic or story they love and then that love for the story/topic morphs into a love for reading. Slowly, and then all at once.

Of course, I’m an author as well as a reader and so I have some insight into the kind of books young teenage boys like to read. I’ve written four young adult dystopian books, and safe to say that many young teenage readers have read through my Meritropolis trilogy and found the rip-roaring action and adventure just what they wanted.

MeritropolisBook #1 – Meritropolis (buy on Amazon)

Though, interesting fact, if you are not a teenager but an, ahem, more seasoned reader like myself, then you may just find yourself enjoying my books as well. Stats seem to indicate that though the YA genre is predicated on having a young adult protagonist, the average reader of YA fiction actually tends to be women ages 35 and older.

So, do I recommend my Meritropolis series of books to young teenage boys who are somewhat inclined to pass on the books and opt for more Fortnite instead? Yes, absolutely.

Here are just some of the reasons why your hesitant teenage reader might enjoy the books:

Action, Action, & More Action

I wouldn’t recommend starting your reluctant teenage reader on Middlemarch, nor on the latest literary fiction. Are there deeper themes of courage, justice, self dignity, and worth in my books? Absolutely. But, the key factor, and the deciding reason why teenage boys will keep turning page after page is simply this: stuff happens. And then more stuff happens, and it keeps happening. Page after page.

When you want to encourage your teenage boy to read then an exploration of finely tuned social niceties in Victorian England or a deeply introspective look at the nuances of the human psyche in everyday life or other some such pablum is not what the doctor ordered in this case. Should they, could they, would they hopefully graduate on to finding deep enjoyment in reading books where battles don’t play a key role in every plot? Yes, possibly, but let’s not look down on books with battles and epic struggles of good vs evil and finding courage in impossible seeming situations, because maybe, just maybe, we are all wired to respond to those kinds of stories, whether teenage boy or not. Maybe finding the best young adult book series is about finding a great book series, period.

Monsters, Creatures, & Things that Go Bump in the Night

The fear of the unknown is quite often much more terrifying than the most exquisitely detailed monster so let’s just say that all is not as it first appears in the city of Meritropolis…

Meritropolis Trilogy

Deeper Issues

What do I mean by deeper issues? Well, have you ever read a book with, yes, lots of action, but it all just seemed gratuitous? You had to constantly ask yourself, okay, that was a cool spinning-ax-kick-off-the-airplane-over-the-tower move, but why? To what end? Why is all of this happening? Well, give your teenage reader more credit, because even young readers pick up on when the action in a book is disconnected from a powerful storyline. In Meritropolis, there are deep philosophical issues and moral dilemmas that abound. All played out with plenty of spinning ax kicks, of course.

Remember that some of the best and most interesting books for teen boys are the books that they will actually read.

Click here to purchase the Meritropolis trilogy on Amazon.

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