From The Beacon: Teens: Need to unwind? Try these books

Maybe, just maybe, they really are out to get you. The coach who is psychologically obsessed with getting you to do things his way and only his way. The teacher who gives you a sneering look every morning. The policeman at the intersection who made a point of staring at you and no other drivers during the red light. How can they not be out to get you? OK, maybe it's just in your mind. You just need to relax and read a good book. Something about the life of an average teenager where they know for a fact that the adults are out to get them -- a book that might just confirm every paranoid fear you have!

"The Last Thing I Remember" by Andrew Klavan: Charlie West has just woken up. But instead of being in his bed at home, the last place he remembers, he's in a cell. He's been beaten. He's shackled. He has no idea who has imprisoned him but he can hear them talking outside the cell. Talking and planning on how to kill him. Not a good situation in which to find yourself. Even if he can escape, where does he go when he's not sure where he is? He doesn't even know how or why he is where he is.

"The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan: Percy Jackson is a troubled kid. Or more precisely, the kid that trouble hangs around with. But as bad as he might think he has it, it's about to become a lot more complicated. His teacher's turned into a winged monster. His friend, it turns out, is a satyr. His mom's disintegrated. And he's running from a rather angry minotaur. How much worse can things get? This book is the first in Rick Riordan's "Percy Jackson" series.

"The Forest of Hands and Teeth" by Carrie Ryan: Mary's life is not going too well. Dad's a zombie; actually the term's "Unconsecrated." Mom just got bitten by Dad which will put her out the running for the "Mom of the Year" award shortly. The fence that protects Mary's village from the hordes of the Unconsecrated has been breached, which means Mary and her friends are just a few feet ahead of the undead. Have I mentioned her boyfriend problems? Who wouldn't run from a life like hers?

"Unwind" by Neal Shusterman: Imagine your parents no longer want you. What can they do? Throw you out in the street? Call Social Services? Connor's parents don't want him. However, the future society in which they live provides another option. Connor is to be "unwound." It's not murder, just another stage of your "being." Your body parts (or about 99 percent of them) will be harvested for those in need. A satisfactory solution, perhaps, for his parents -- but as for Connor? If he wants to remain whole, it's time to make tracks.

"Pretties" by Scott Westerfeld: Tally is pretty. Her life is perfect. And yet ... something is amiss. She can't quite put her finger on it. It involves a time when she wasn't so pretty; when she was actually ugly, when she was running from something. But why would she want to remember a time like that? Isn't she pretty now? What could be wrong with her life? Still the memories of running linger and finding the truth may put her on the run again. Pretties is the second book in Westerfeld's "Uglies" series.