PWN teen writers share their favorite books, movies, TV shows, and more every Friday to inspire young writers. We believe that the best way to become a stronger writer is to immerse yourself in other storytelling forms.

This week, teen writer Koye Oputa shares three of her favorite reads.

Ask Again, Yes
By Mary Beth Keane

Ask Again,Yes is a thoughtful story about how love and forgiveness operate within the day-to-day life of two neighboring families in a suburban town. The painfully realistic relationships, dialogue, and emotions in this story are a testament to the author’s careful observation of the human mind and behavior. Four months after reading this book, my mind still runs through old scenes and catches new ideas, leaving me reeling with a rush of emotions and perspectives. As a coming-of-age story, as well as a domestic tale, the content of Ask Again,Yes  is deeply relatable across several ages ranging from teens to adults, and is certainly worth a read over the summer. 

We Are Okay
By Nina LaCour

We Are Okay enraptures its reader in a tender world of grief, love, and forgiveness. The book follows Marin, a first-year college student, as she spends her winter break alone, in an empty dorm, trying to escape the trauma she left behind in her California home. Although it’s an absolutely heart-wrenching book, LaCour’s careful, poetic word choice presents tragedy with such honesty and care that it allows a reader to feel fully immersed in a world of LaCour’s emotions while also feeling suspended by the love and warmth emanating from the book. I especially appreciated this story for its demonstration of how hope can exist in the most grim places. This is a book for those seeking to find hope in sad places or feel the healing of love and honesty.

By Savannah Brown

Graffiti is a poetry collection about how lovely and painful it feels to grow up. I most appreciate Brown’s powerful language, honesty, and dedication to producing the best work she possibly can for her readers. Graffiti is extremely popular among teens and has the power to wholly submerge the reader in a world of nostalgia, love, pain, and regret.