I have a newfound love for YA books. I primarily read thrillers and mysteries with the odd classic thrown in. But after reading Truly Devious last year, I knew that I had to pick up more young adult books. I’d love to hear what your favourite YA reads are too!
I have compiled 10 of my favourite YA reads, so here are my top recommendations:
1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This had to be my number one recommendation and if you decide to read any of the books on this list, it has to be this one! Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give is just as powerful today as it was in 2017 when she wrote it. It draws attention to the actuality of systematic racism in America and the police brutality that is ingrained in it’s cultural frameworks. I have a review up for this on my blog, if you want to check it out, the link is here.
2. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
This novel is also a must read! It addresses some really important issues that are relevant now more than ever. Alongside The Hate U Give, this is an important read that you should add to your TBR. I was gripped from the first page to the last! We follow Sephy and Callum, the modern day Romeo and Juliet that focuses on race, familial tensions, society and the politics that underpin their intertwined lives.
3. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
Holly Jackson’s debut novel did not disappoint! I absolutely loved A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, particularly the use of mixed media which framed the book. The EPQ was nostalgic for me as I did one when I was in college too. This definitely solidified my love for the sub-genre of ‘YA Mystery’, and I am going to pick up some more soon! I have a review for it up on my blog, if you want to check it out! You can find the link here.
4. One of us is Lying by Karen McManus
This is another amazing ‘YA Mystery’ that you need to pick up if you haven’t already! I loved how each character kind of represented a different ‘trope’ and how McManus labelled them as ‘the brain’, ‘the beauty’, ‘the criminal’, ‘the athlete’ and ‘the outcast’. They all have a motive. They all have something to hide. And one of them is definitely lying. The second in the series is just as good as the first too!
5. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
I read Truly Devious last year and I absolutely loved it! The YA boarding school mystery gripped me from the first page and I read it really quickly as I just had to know what happened. This is the first in a trilogy, and I really want to finish it. I think I’ll need to re-read this one first though! The setting is so atmospheric and cosy and would make for a great winter read!
6. Divergent by Veronica Roth
Divergent was one of those books that I had on my TBR for the longest time. When I finally got round to it in July, I was shocked at how gripped I was. I enjoyed Tris’s character development and this is also reflected in the film adaptation too! I really liked how the dystopia is a social commentary and I go into more detail about it in my review. You can find it here!
7. Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
This is another book that I think is a must read (there’s a theme here haha!). I really enjoyed John Green’s raw and honest account of mental health and I think that everyone should read it. It is so interesting to see how other people view the world, and of course with John Green novels, there’s a little romance thrown in there too! I have a full review up on my blog here!
8. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
I picked this up after a conversation with my children’s literature tutor whilst at university in January and I was not disappointed! This is an almost psychological thriller/YA, and I was really intrigued. The characters themselves are all different which is one thing that I enjoy about YA and it all pieces together like a jigsaw when you reach the final third. If you’re looking for something relatively fast paced, this is my best recommendation!
9. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chboksy
For me, The Perks of Being A Wallflower is the epitome of a young adult novel. I read this a long time ago and it has really stuck with me! This is a classic bildungsroman, or coming of age novel that is not only relatable in many ways, but a joy to read. I loved the letters that frame the novel and feel like this adds to the emphatic tone.
10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
This is another YA dystopia that you should pick up if you are a fan of the genre. I read this for university and it was really interesting to analyse it from a literary point of view. It is packed with symbolism and imagery, which adds to the construction of a new world. This dystopia is fast paced, and I cannot wait to read Catching Fire!
I hope you have enjoyed reading my recommendations, have you read any of them? I would love to know what your top YA recommendations are in the comments!