High school for me wasn't the best of experiences and if you're anything like me than you also used books as an escape. The second I finished any work in class a library book was on top of my desk and I was no longer there. I probably spent more lunch periods in the library than in the actual cafeteria. Here is a throwback to some of my favorite books that I read in high school and if you haven't read them yet, I think now is the time to give them the shot they deserve.

1. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

This book is probably one of my favorites of all time. The movies were meh, so let's pretend they never existed, deal? Thomas's struggle is one all of us could relate to. He didn't belong and he was struggling just to survive in this messed up future. The story follows the journey of a teenager stuck inside a maze with a bunch of other teenage guys. They had been surviving for almost two years and every month they got a new kid to add to their group. The maze however was a dangerous place and at night the entrances to the maze closed and they were stuck in a center place called the Glade. Everything was normal until one day after Thomas arrived the last shipment ever arrived and it contained a girl, then everything started to collapse. This epic thriller will have you at the edge of your seat. I highly recommend this entire series.

2. Divergent by Veronica Roth

Similar to The Maze Runner, we don't talk about the movies. Ever. YA books make horrible movies. Shout out to Percy Jackson and Inkheart for the worst movie adaptations of the last decade, but I digress. This book also tells the tale of someone who just doesn't fit in and needs to make their own way, this time from the viewpoint of a female protagonist. In this dystopian world, children once they come of age are sorted into one of 5 houses based on the trait that defines them: Abnegation, Candor, Erudite, Amity, and Dauntless. Tris is special because she is defined by multiple of these traits making her divergent, but this makes her dangerous and she has to hide this fact as she is moved away from her family in abnegation and joins dauntless. If you enjoy tense moments mixed up with fiery passion and love, then this book is sure to re-ignite or ignite for first time the angst of teenage youth.

3. The Hunger Games

You all knew this one was coming. The biggest YA franchise of our time (or at least while we were in high school, Harry Potter isn't YA, it's for everyone). Maybe the only exception to YA movies being terrible, the first movie was good and the rest were decent so a major win for YA movies in general. This book however is a million times better than the movie could ever hope to be. I wish I could go back and read this again for the first time as we went through the heartache, indecision, life-threatening encounters, and life-changing moments that Katniss lived through and we through her. This story is again set in a dystopian future and the protagonist is a teenage girl who lives in the poorest district. Every year two tributes are chosen to represent their region in the Hunger Games, a battle royale fight to the death. She has to struggle in a system that is obviously rigged against her and fight back against the system that put her there. An electrifying read from start to finish, don't miss out on this one because you've seen the movies already. The books say so much more and are much more gratifying.

These are just three of the books that defined my high school reading experience. I have even gone back and read some of these in college and they are just as good now. Did I miss a super obvious one that you love? What was your favorite read from back in high school? I'd love to add something new to my reading list!