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Books to steal from your kid

If you’re not reading young-adult novels, you should be — they’re smart, sharp, fast-paced reads

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The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Think Back to the Future meets The Social Network in this inventive novel, where two teenagers in 1996 learn (and manipulate) their fates via a mysterious website they stumble across called Facebook. Whether millennials will appreciate all the ’90s nostalgia (”Hey, Macarena!”) is unclear. But Mackler and Asher delve into the anxiety of facing an uncertain future. And that, of course, is timeless. B

Legend by Marie Lu
Legend, already optioned for the big screen, is the dystopian tale of two teens — one born into an elite family, the other a wanted criminal from a poor background — who must band together to survive. Lu’s tale rises above other similarly plotted novels through fine writing and excellent execution. Sequel, please! A-

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Another YA thriller, another possible future film, and it’s easy to see why: It stars an especially cinematic heroine, the beautiful and misunderstood Juliette, who just happens to possess X-Men-like abilities. But even though it’s a fast, engrossing read, Shatter Me‘s prose occasionally strays a bit into angsty teen-speak. B