My first attempt at reading the book failed because it scared the hell out of me. I picked it up because I had seen the tv adaptation and since someone I very much liked was in it (Jonathan Brandis) I had to read the book. Sadly I got half way through and after a week of sleepless nights I gave up. Such a shame since I begged my parents for the book for my birthday. It didn't help that my fearless younger sister would cackle saying she saw the clown staring in our bedroom window. I was old enough to know it wasn't true and to scoff at her but it didn't stop me from sleeping with the light on that night (if I had saw Friends round about then the book would most definitely have gone in the freezer). Six months later I tried again and succeeded. I was so proud of myself and I actually enjoyed it. It then got passed on to my mum and King became another author for us to share.
The result was many visits to the library to read the rest of the books. My mum would always read them after me and she then got my aunt to read them. For birthdays and Christmas I would usually get another King book. Pocket money was spent on them too until I amassed quite a collection which got passed round my family too. Unlike the journalist reading them didn't turn my home area into Derry in my mind (thankfully, I'm not sure I could have taken it) but I discovered that I was brave enough to read horror (although not brave enough to watch it). For a change I was recommending books to my mum and aunt which also felt good.
I then happily discovered that one of my friends was a huge fan too. We spent a lot of time talking about them. Our favourite thing to do was to list the books which crossed with each other. This habit of Kings always gave his books an extra edge of creepiness in my mind but I loved it too. I am sure we missed out on quite a few. I tried to re-read them all again years later and note done the crossovers but never finished the project.
I think that as a teenager they kept my mind opened. I was reading classics too. In fact I was reading just about anything I could get my hands on back then. If it was placed in front of my and I was told it was good I would read it. I only really came across book snobbery when I started working with them. I have even been accused of it myself because there are some authors and genres I just don't like. Most book snobs I know though wouldn't touch King or any genre. To me they are missing out as thanks to my teenage reading habits I discovered an author who might be popular but to me he did have merit. I thank king for teaching me not to dismiss someone based on where their books sit on a shelf or how many they have written.
So yes, I would recommend his books to teens. Just so long as they won't scare them to death.