Top Ten Tuesday

Ten YA Books That’ll Help Introverted Teens Feel Understood

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Hi everybody, and welcome to a new Top Ten Tuesday!

Today’s topic was about books for my younger self, and I actually did a similar topic a few months back so this time I needed to look for a new twist. And thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that the kind of books I really needed as a teenager, were books about introverts. When I was young, I didn’t really know that term, and I just thought I was very shy and felt like I needed to be more outgoing. Growing older, I learned that I was an introvert (though I’m also shy, but that’s something else) and learned that there was nothing wrong with that (though I could use some regular reminders still)

So when I think about books for my younger self, I think about books that would not only teach me about introversion, but would also make me feel normal and understood. And as such, I came up with a list of books that I feel would not only do that for my younger self, but could really help out all introverted kids and teens!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl is the story of Cath, who is a big fangirl of Simon Snow. When Cath and her twin sister Wren, the extroverted twin, start college, Wren decides she wants to do her own thing and not share a room with Cath. So Cath finds herself having to navigate this scary new place and experience by herself.

I loved Fangirl because I could totally relate to Cath. Starting college can be pretty scary, so I think Cath’s story could help a lot of introverted teens about to embark on this major life change.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

At seventeen, the introverted Molly has had plenty of crushes (including on Lin Manuel-Miranda, which is totally understandable right?), but never a boyfriend because she can’t handle the idea of rejection. But when her more extroverted sister gets a girlfriend and thus spends less time with Molly, and when she gets a fun new coworker, Molly finds herself challenging herself, and maybe her next crush won’t be so unrequited after all.

Just like with Cath and Fangirl, Molly felt like such a relatable introverted character.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Lara Jean is a huge romantic and has had many crushes but has never acted upon them. Instead, she has written a letter to every crush and instead of sending them, kept them safe in a box in her room. Until one day, the letters have been mailed and Lara Jean is forced to confront her former crushes.

This one has gotten very big since the Netflix adaptation (which is also so good) and I love it because it’s about time introverted homebodies like Lara Jean get the spotlight!

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Since You’ve Been Gone is about Emily, a major introvert who has an extroverted best friend, Sloane, who pulls her out of her shell. But one summer, Sloane disappears and only leaves behind a to-do list of tasks for Emily to complete. Emily commits to the tasks as a way of being closer to Sloane and finds herself having an unexpected summer.

Honestly, before reading I was a bit worried that this would be one of those books glorifying the extrovert ideal that would have Emily do a complete 180Β° by the end of the book. But it didn’t. Emily grows as a person, but never loses herself in the process. And I think it’s important for introverted teens to realize they are good the way they are and don’t have to turn into an extrovert to be happy. Which is what this book beautifully portrays.

Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts by Susan Cain

The only non-fiction in the list, but it’s a must. The world of introverts changed when Susan Cain first wrote her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. This was such an inspiring book that changed the way we see introverts and how introverts see themselves (it certainly did so for me).

But that was a book focused on adults and the workplace, and this book on the other hand, focuses on kids and teens. It tackles the challenges (and benefits!) of being an introvert in a kid’s world: school, extracurriculars, family, life and friendship. A real winner for introverted kids or parents of introverted kids.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a classic favorite when it comes to introverted main characters. Charlie’s story is an emotional coming-of-age story about an introvert caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Told in letters from Charlie to an unknown friend, it’s a roller coaster ride from start to finish.

Loveless by Alice Oseman

Loveless is about Georgia, an introverted girl who has never been in love, never kissed anyone and never even had a crush. When she starts college, she finds herself with an extroverted roommate and decides to embark on a plan to ‘find romance’.

Loveless is not only a read with amazing aro-ace rep, as it is about Georgia figuring out her sexuality, but also lovely introverted representation. I loved how Georgia was someone who just loved staying home and hanging out with a small selection of her best friends the most. And though she tries to step out of her comfort zone and follow in the footsteps of her extroverted roommate, eventually she stays true to herself and accepts that how she likes to spend her time is just fine.

Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

In the real world, Eliza is shy and doesn’t have any friends. But online, she’s the creator of a super popular webcomic. One day Wallace, major fanfiction writer to her webcomic, transfers to her school and befriends Eliza, thinking she’s just another fan.

Though this is also a story about mental health, I think many introverts will relate to Eliza and find support in the ode to online friendships that this book really is.

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

This is a story written for geeks. It takes place over the course of one convention and follows three friends. One is an extroverted vlogger, but another is an introverted girl who is on the autism spectrum and has anxiety. As such, she prefers to play it safe and not stand out much, until she hears about a fan contest for her favorite fandom.

Queens of Geek is an adorkable and inspirational look at fandom life, friendship, love and being happy with who you are. It’s the perfect pick-me-up book for introverts and extroverts alike.

A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

A Quiet Kind of Thunder is a story about Steffi, who has severe social anxiety and is a selective mute. But one day a new boy, Rhys, starts at her school. Rhys is deaf, and Steffi’s knowledge of sign language means she’s assigned to look after him. Through their friendship, Steffi finds her voice.

Though this story is about social anxiety and not so much introversion, I still think it’s an important read to learn the difference between shyness, introversion and social anxiety. It’s a difference everyone, including introverted kids, should know. Plus, it’s just an uplifting story about finding your voice.

Tell Me:
Do you love reading about introverted main characters? Any recommendations about great books for introverted kids?

Lindsey xoxo

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  1. Love your twist on this week’s topic! I wish I’d had Molly when I was a teenager, and I’ve heard so many good things about Eliza and Her Monsters.

    1. I love that we’re getting more and more introverted characters in books, so hopefully introverted teens nowadays will get some support from them πŸ™‚

  2. Great list! I feel like I had friend as a teenager, but I was definitely very shy and introverted. I think I would have related to some of these characters!

    1. Same! I only remember one member of The Baby-Sitters Club series being more shy and introverted like me, and I wish I had read more about characters like me as a kid πŸ™‚

  3. Cath from Fangirl is literally me. LOL

    1. Haha yeah, Cath is definitely one of the most relatable characters I’ve ever read πŸ™‚

  4. Yes to almost all of these! I haven’t read Queens of Geek yet, but I love books about introverts so I’m going to have to bump that one up on my TBR.

    1. Hope you’ll love Queens of Geek!

  5. Lauren Becker says:

    I love books with characters I can relate to. Fangirl is a favorite, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a BIG favorite. I used to re-read it every year.


    1. It’s definitely so important to be able to relate to characters!

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