Guest Post–Top Ten Books Read as a Teen by Paula Morris

Paula Morris is the author of Ruined, and the recently released Dark Souls.  Paula dropped by the virtual offices to share her favorite reads when she was a teen.

Paula Morris’ Top Ten Books Read as a Teen

  1. Donna Parker: A Spring to Remember by Marcia Martin. I don’t know if this is my absolute favorite of the Donna Parker series, but it’s the first one I read. This series is set in the 50s/60s, and was already ‘old’ when I was reading it, but at the time I thought that everyone in America lived this way.

  2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Again, I’m not really sure if this is my favorite Austen novel, but when I read it – aged 15, maybe? – I fell in love with her work. Sometimes I’d like to be 15 again just so all of Jane Austen lay ahead of me …

  3. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. From the sublime to the ridiculous! This is the great American novel, I think. This satire about war is wickedly funny, surreal, and provocative. It’s set in World War II. I first read it when I was at high school in New Zealand.

  4. Laura’s Summer Ballet by Linda Blake. I think I re-read this book every summer, even though a) it was another ‘old’ book, set in England in the 1960s; b) it was about ballet, which I never studied and still don’t really get. Maybe I was smitten with Scott, the boy from the ‘senior school’ who’s embroiled in Laura’s adventures.

  5. The Princess of Celle by Jean Plaidy. Jean Plaidy was one of the many pseudonyms of a British novelist, Eleanor Hibbert, who sold more than a million books. I really loved historical fiction, and through Jean Plaidy’s novels learned about the Tudors, the French Revolution, the dangerous Catherine De Medici, the tragic Mary Queen of Scots, and so on. Lots of political intrigues, doomed romances, amazing palaces, executions – it’s all fantastic stuff!

  6. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. This is an unusual one for me, because it’s set in a post-apocalyptic future, and I’m not a huge fan of speculative fiction. But when I first read it, when I was about 13, I thought it was scary and brilliant.

  7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. It’s only now, when I’m writing ghost stories of my own, that I realize what an impact this novel made on me as a teenager. It’s about the obsessive, angry, jealous face of love, and what the wild isolation of a place can do to the people who live there.

  8. Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh. When I was 16, I was glued to the TV series of Brideshead Revisited, and read that novel and a number of others by Waugh immediately afterwards. I think that Vile Bodies was my favorite because it was so funny, and because it was set in the 20s – an era I’d love to visit.

  9. The Flame Trees of Thika by Elspeth Huxley. This was another inspired-by-TV-series read – a memoir of Huxley’s childhood on a coffee plantation in Kenya, very early in the twentieth century.

  10. “The Doll’s House” by Katherine Mansfield. This isn’t a novel: it’s a short story by the great New Zealand writer. It still makes me both happy and sad. Everyone should read Mansfield, and they should read lots of short stories, too.


You can learn more about Paula by visiting her website

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Thanks to {Teen} Book Scene for inviting me to participate in this blog tour