Let’s be honest: Thanksgiving, while great, can be super stressful. It makes sense—when you’re surrounded by all kinds of people with all kinds of different thoughts and experiences, it’s easy for the conversation to get out of hand. Here is a list—complete with talking points!—of books you can actually talk about at Thanksgiving dinner to keep things light and fun.

The Perfect Books For Fun Thanksgiving Conversations

1. SLAY by Brittney Morris

Kiera Johnson is a teen game developer who has to go head-to-head with a real-life troll set on ruining her video game.

Talking points:

  • Who loves Marvel movies? Well, this video game is inspired by Black Panther.
  • Also, video games! What’s everyone’s favorite?
  • Also, if you could create a video game, what would it be?
  • This book is so cool because it showcases a totally awesome female STEM enthusiast, which is really inspiring.


2. Road Tripped by Pete Hautman

Stiggy has had it rough and desperately needs to get out of Minnesota. He starts driving the Great River Road, ponders life, and rocks out to his dad’s old iPod.

Talking points:

  • Stiggy is listening to his dad’s iPod, which leads to the question: What’s everyone’s ideal road trip playlist.
  • Also, what was the most epic trip everyone has been on?
  • Stiggy also gets into some hairy situations on this road trip. What’s everyone’s craziest road trip story?


3. Virtually Yours by Sarvenaz Tash

Mariam starts using a dating app that allows people to go on virtual dates. Things gets complicated when one of her matches is none other than her ex-boyfriend Caleb.

Talking points:

  • Would anyone ever consider going on a VR date? What might make it different than an IRL date?
  • The whole dating app headquarters—where Mariam goes to set up her profile—is actually kind of a really interesting place with funny characters.
  • Definitely a great opportunity to talk about the wonders virtual reality, which is becoming really popular.


4. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Lara Jean wrote a letter for every boy she had ever loved. Things get complicated when those letters, never meant to be seen by any of them, get sent.

Talking points:

  • Netflix movie alert! Has anyone seen the movie? Is anyone totally excited for the sequel? (Me. I am.)
  • She keeps her letters in a hatbox. A hatbox? I think we should all come up with better places to hide secret love letters.
  • Also, Lara Jean is a baker, which brings me to dessert. Where’s the pie!?


5. American Panda by Gloria Chao

Seventeen-year-old Mei is a freshman at MIT. (She skipped 4th grade.) She finds it difficult to fulfill her parents dreams of her becoming a doctor because of her hatred of germs. Also, she’s in love with the wrong guy. Complicated.

Talking points:

  • Can you imagine skipping a grade in school? Alternatively, if someone has, was it a big deal?
  • Things don’t go as planned for Mei, which is really relatable. Especially because things can turn out okay or even better because of it. It’s really heartwarming.
  • Mei doesn’t like biology. I don’t like math. What was everyone’s least favorite school subject?


6. Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi

Normally Pablo’s midnight shift at the bodega is pretty uneventful. But that all changes when Leanna Smart, an international pop-star, strolls in looking for a late night snack. When you meet the person you are meant to fall in love with at 5 am in Brooklyn, you don’t deny fate.

Talking points:

  • What celebrity do you wish you could go on a date with?
  • What would be your secret hashtag between you and a loved one?
  • What’s your favorite midnight snack. Speaking of food, can someone pass the stuffing?


7. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Clary always thought she was a regular girl, living in New York with her mom and spending time with her best friend, Simon. But that all changes when Clary finds out she is a Shadowhunter, a warrior dedicated to ridding the world of demons, and that a whole world of mythical creatures exists hidden in plain sight.

Talking points:

  • How would you handle discovering that vampires and werewolves are real?
  • Clary is an artist. Do you have any hidden talents?
  • When Calry meets Jace, the connection is almost immediate. Do you believe in love at first sight?


8. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Lina is spending the summer in Italy with her dad, but she’s not really in the mood for the sweeping landscapes of Tuscany. However, when Lina is given the journal that her mother kept while she lived in Italy, Lina decides to set out on a road trip to retrace her mother’s footsteps.

Talking points:

  • Lina goes to Italy, but if you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go?
  • Do you have a favorite ice cream or gelato flavor?
  • On her travels, Lina meets the very-charming, Ren. Do you have a sweet story about falling in love?


Looking for more things to discuss this thanksgiving? Why not check out these YA retellings of classics we all know and love!