Teen Novels for Gamers

Cure for the Common Universe

Cure for the Common Universe by Christian McKay Heidicker
YA HEIDICKER, C.
Jaxon meets the girl of his dreams on the same day that his father ships him off to video game rehab. Now he must earn 1 million therapy points in a week, if he wants to be released from rehab in time for his date.

the Leveller book cover

The Leveller by Julia Durango
YA SF DURANGO, J.
Nixy Bauer, a sixteen-year-old self-made video-game bounty hunter, gets in over her head when she attempts to rescue a game developer’s son from a virtual trap.

GuyInRealLife

Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff
YA BREZENOFF, S.
The lives of two Minnesota teenagers are intertwined through the world of role-playing games.

DirtBikesDronesOtherWaysFly

Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly by Conrad Wesselhoeft
YA WEWWELHOEFT, C.
Seventeen year-old dirt-bike-riding daredevil Arlo Santiago catches the eye of the U.S. military with his first-place ranking on a video game featuring drone warfare, and must reconcile the work they want him to do with the emotional scars he has suffered following a violent death in his family.

Eye of Minds

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner
YA SF DASHNER, J.
Michael is a skilled internet gamer in a world of advanced technology. When a cyber-terrorist begins to threaten players, Michael is called upon to seek him and his secret’s out.

DontTurnAround

Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon
YA GAGNON, M.
After waking up on an operating table with no memory of how she got there, Noa must team up with computer hacker Peter to stop a corrupt corporation with a deadly secret.

readyplayerone

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
YA CLINE, E.
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the Oasis. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines – puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win – and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

Insignia

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid
YA SF KINCAID, S.
Tom, a fourteen-year-old genius at virtual reality games, is recruited by the United States Military to begin training at the Pentagon Spire as a Combatant in World War III, controlling the mechanized drones that do the actual fighting off-planet.

freetofall

Free to Fall by Lauren Miller
YA SF MILLER, L.
In a near-future world where everyone is controlled by their smartphones, sixteen-year-old Rory Vaughn suddenly begins listening to the voice within–which kids are taught to ignore–and discovers a terrible plot at the heart of the corporation that makes the devices.

Rush

Rush by Eve Silver
YA SF SILVER, E.
Rochester, New York, high schooler Miki Jones is pulled into a sort of a game in which she and other teens battle real-life aliens and the consequences of each battle could be deadly.

Coda

Coda by Emma Trevayne
YA SF TREVAYNE, E.
Ever since he was a young boy, music has coursed through the veins of eighteen-year-old Anthem — the Corp has certainly seen to that. By encoding music with addictive and mind-altering elements, the Corp holds control over all citizens, particularly conduits like Anthem, whose life energy feeds the main power in the Grid. Anthem finds hope and comfort in the twin siblings he cares for, even as he watches the life drain slowly and painfully from his father. Escape is found in his underground rock band, where music sounds free, clear, and unencoded deep in an abandoned basement. But when a band member dies suspiciously from a tracking overdose, Anthem knows that his time has suddenly become limited. Revolution all but sings in the air, and Anthem cannot help but answer the call with the chords of choice and free will. But will the girl he loves help or hinder him?

InRealLife

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang
YA GRAPH DOCTOROW
Immersing herself in an online role-playing game where she enjoys fantasy heroics, Anda confronts a difficult choice when she befriends a disadvantaged Chinese kid who works illegally to collect valuable objects and sell them to other players for real money.

SwordArtOnline

Sword Art Online: Progressive: 001 original story, Reki Kawahara; art, Kiseki Himura; character design, abec; translation, Stephen Paul
YA GRAPH KAWAHARA, R. V.1
An astute teen, Yuuki Asuna spends most of her time studying for her high school entrance exams. One day, she borrows her brother’s virtual reality game, ‘Sword Art Online,’ and finds herself trapped in its fantasy world. Soon, though, she learns the mechanics of the game, develops her swordplay technique and impresses a pro gamer who invites her to join the best players on the front lines. Is Asuna ready to swap her hard-earned education ethics for high-rank play in a virtual realm?