Fortunately for us, we are now living in the Golden Age of Young Adult Fiction, as YA authors continue to push the genre in new and fascinating directions.

Young adult literature has emerged as a significant genre in its own right, providing role models for all of us and sparking vital discussions about personhood, gender, sexuality, and race.

A list of some of the finest YA literature for teenagers and adults follows. There’s a book for everyone, from classics to current romance, dystopia, and fantasy.

Best Young Adult Books

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, 1)

About the Book

“A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, 1)” written by Sarah J. Maas is an instant New York Times bestseller book.

This debut novel in a sensual and action-packed new series is difficult to put down and is perfect for lovers of Kristin Cashore and George R.R. Martin.

When Feyre, a nineteen-year-old huntress, kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like monster appears and demands vengeance.

Feyre is dragged to a dangerous magical country she only knows about from stories, where she finds that her kidnapper is Tamlin, a ruthless, immortal faerie who formerly controlled their world.

Her feelings for Tamlin evolve from cold animosity to a burning desire that burns through every lie and warning she’s been given about the beautiful, deadly world of the Fae as she spends more time on his estate.

But an old, cruel shadow is gathering over the fairy kingdoms, and Feyre must find a way to stop it or eternally doom Tamlin and his world.

Book Review

Simply stunning, the demand for a sequel will be deafening. The Throne of Glass series by Maas has been a huge success, and this new one is certain to follow in its footsteps.

Sarah J. Maas produces some of her greatest writing to date enthralling, captivating, and creative. The world-building is fantastic, as only Maas can do.

The story of Persephone, the legend of Tamlin, and elements from ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ ‘East o’ the Sun, West o’ the Moon,’ and the myth of Persephone are all flawlessly intertwined with subtle references.

Key Takeaways from the Book

The author’s usual combination of action, romance, and clever banter, as well as a hotter, edgier tone, will be found in this novel.

About the Author

Sarah J. Maas is the Throne of Glass, Court of Thorns and Roses, and Crescent City series’ #1 New York Times and globally bestselling author.

Book Details

You can purchase this book in Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook, and Hardback versions.

  • Author: Sarah J. Maas
  • Pages: 448 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: Teen & Young Adult Fantasy Romance, Teen & Young Adult Epic Fantasy, Teen & Young Adult Fantasy Action & Adventure.

2. All the Bright Places 

About the Book

“All the Bright Places” presented by Jennifer Niven is a New York Times bestselling love story about two teens who found each other while standing on the final destiny.

Theodore Finch is a death aficionado. Every day, he considers methods to commit himself, but he also seeks for and discovers something to keep him here, alive, and awake.

Violet Markey looks forward to the future, counting down the days until graduation when she will be able to flee her tiny Indiana town and the pain of her sister’s tragic death.

It’s unclear who rescues whom when Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the school’s bell tower, six stories above the earth. Finch will soon be able to be himself solely with Violet.

Violet can only forget about counting down the days and start experiencing them with Finch. However, as Violet’s world expands, Finch’s shrinks.

Book Review

This tragic love tale of Violet and Finch, two witty, delicate, and severely wounded high school students, is well worth reading. Niven is a gifted storyteller who never treats her characters or her audience with contempt.

Adult novelist Niven conjures a romance so fresh and hilarious in her YA debut.

As characters and readers confront the darkness, joy, and the possibilities and limits of love in the face of mental illness, the journey to, through, and past catastrophes are beautiful and devastating.

Despite the tough subjects, the writing in this heartbreaking story is flowing. The character of Finch, in particular, will stay in the thoughts of readers long after the last page has been turned.

Key Takeaways from the Book

The book becomes Violet’s narrative of survival and healing, with narration alternating between Finch and Violet, confirming the significance of loving truly, mourning openly, and carrying your light forward.

About the Author

Jennifer Niven is the author of All the Bright Places, a New York Times and worldwide bestseller, as well as Holding Up the Universe, a new YA book.

Book Details

This book is available in Paperback, Hardcover, Kindle, Audible versions.

  • Author: Jennifer Niven
  • Pages: 416 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: Teen & Young Adult Fiction about Depression & Mental Illness (Books), Teen & Young Adult Fiction about Death & Dying, Anxiety Disorders (Books)

3. All the Walls of Belfast

About the Book

“All the Walls of Belfast” contributed by Sarah Carlson published by Turner publisher is a modern-day Romeo and Juliet set in actual historical tension.

In Sarah Carlson’s compelling YA debut, The Carnival at Bray meets West Side Story; set in post-conflict Belfast (Northern Ireland), the story alternates between two adolescents, each attempting to understand their history and safeguard their future.

Fiona and Danny, both seventeen years old, must choose between their goals and the people they want to be. Fiona and Danny were both born at the same medical facility.

Fiona’s mother moved to the United States with her when she was two years old, but a forty-foot-high peace wall still separates her father’s Catholic area from Danny’s Protestant neighborhood fourteen years later.

Fiona and Danny meet by happenstance, and their shared love of the band Fading Stars, huge aspirations, and desire to flee their families binds them together.

Danny and Fiona must work together to overcome the consequences of their parents’ mistakes. However, one dreadful fact might ruin all they’ve built.

Book Review

Set against the background of Northern Ireland’s religious conflicts, Carlson’s debut contains individuals who have strong religious differences and history to overcome an appealing narrative full of sorrow, love, and resilience.

The narrative may be about two star-crossed lovers who live on opposite sides of the wall, but it’s not. It’s a look at the history and brutality that led to the construction of the wall, as well as the lives of these fictional individuals.

It’s not simply a love tale here. It’s a one-of-a-kind tale steeped in history and filled with self-discovery.

It was fascinating to see Fiona and Danny fall in love, but it was the evolution of the individual characters that kept me enthralled: Fiona’s rediscovery and study of her connections with her parents, and Danny’s battle with his culture clashing with his aspirations.

Key Takeaways from the Book

The classics are wonderful, but so many young people can relate to her character’s traumas, hardships, and ambitions.

About the Author

Sarah is a young adult novelist who focuses on modern themes that affect today’s kids. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her debut novel is All the Walls of Belfast.

Book Details

You can buy this book in Paperback, Hardcover, Kindle, Audible versions.

  • Author: Sarah Carlson
  • Pages: 240 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: Teen & Young Adult Literary Fiction, Teen & Young Adult Historical Romance, Children’s Books.

4. American Street

About the Book

“American Street” written by Ibi Zoboi is a New York Times Notable Book, A Time Magazine Best YA Book of All Time, Publishers Weekly Flying Start, Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, and so on.

Ibi Zoboi, a Pushcart Prize nominee, relies on her personal experience as a teenage Haitian immigrant in her remarkable debut novel, blending this lyrical study of America with magical realism and Vodou culture.

Fabiola Toussaint felt she’d finally found “Une belle vie” a lovely life on the intersection of American Street and Joy Road.

However, Fabiola’s mother is imprisoned by US immigration after they depart Port-au-Prince, Haiti, leaving Fabiola to negotiate with her noisy American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess, the grittiness of Detroit’s west side, and a surprise romance.

Just as she begins to feel at ease in this strange new environment, Fabiola is confronted with a perilous proposal, and she quickly learns that freedom comes with a price. Will she pay the price for the American dream if she’s caught at a fork in the road?

Book Review

Filling her pages with enchantment, compassion, sorrow, and hope, Zoboi constructs, deconstructs and reassembles an extraordinary tale. This novel will grow roots in the hearts of readers.

A stunning narrative about modern America that will serve as a mirror to some and a window to others, and it will leave an indelible impression on anybody who reads it.

“American Street” is ultimately a searing narrative of mankind, brimming with culture, charm, tenderness, and unashamed rawness.

This is a new generation’s “Manchild in the Promised Land,” and a stunning debut from Zoboi, who is unquestionably a powerhouse in the narrative.

Key Takeaways from the Book

Fans of Nicola Yoon and Jason Reynolds will love this vivid and dramatic coming-of-age narrative.

About the Author

Ibi Zoboi has a master’s degree in fine arts from Vermont College of Fine Arts. American Street was a nominee for the National Book Award and a New York Times Notable Book.

Book Details

You can get this book in Paperback, Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook formats.

  • Author: Ibi Zoboi
  • Pages: 352 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: Teen & Young Adult Fiction about Emigration & Immigration, Teen & Young Adult Parents Fiction, Teen & Young Adult Fiction about New Experiences.

5. An Ember in the Ashes

About the Book

“An Ember in the Ashes” written by Sabaa Tahir is one of Time Magazine’s 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time, Instant New York Times bestseller, Amazon’s Best Young Adult Book 2015, and so on.

Defiance is dealt with death under the Martial Empire. Those who refuse to pledge their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk losing their loved ones and all they hold dear.

Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother in this harsh environment inspired by ancient Rome. The family scrapes by in the Empire’s poor back alleys. They don’t stand up to the Empire.

They’ve seen what happens to those who break the law.
Laia is forced to choose a choice after her brother is jailed for treason.

She will risk her life to spy for rebels from within the Empire’s finest force in return for aid from rebels who vow to rescue her brother.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s best soldier but also it’s most reluctant. Elias simply wants to be free of the oppression he’s been taught to enforce. He and Laia will quickly discover that their fates are intertwined and that their decisions will alter the Empire’s fate.

Book Review

An Ember in the Ashes plunges readers into a world rife with violence and injustice, yet does it in plain prose that can be beautiful in its clarity. Ember is a good novel and one as bold as its characters because of its depth.

An Ember in the Ashes is a fast-paced, well-structured debut with twists and turns that will leave you wanting to know what happens next.

It’s addicting once you get caught up in the tale, and you won’t be able to put it down until you’ve figured out what happens to the people you’ve grown in love with over the course of the 400 pages or so.

The most creative world-building you’ve read all year, combined with a heart-pounding narrative of love and tragedy. You couldn’t put it down because it was so profoundly felt and emotional.

Key Takeaways from the Book

Danger and bloodshed, secrets and lies, strong characters and forbidden passion, and a touch of the supernatural abound in this epic tale set in the Martial Empire.

About the Author

Sabaa Tahir grew up in an eighteen-room hotel in the Mojave Desert of California. She spent her time there reading fantasy novels, plundering her brother’s comic book collection, and attempting to play guitar horribly.

Book Details

You can obtain this book in Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover versions.

  • Author: Sabaa Tahir
  • Pages: 480 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: Teen & Young Adult Survival Stories, Teen & Young Adult Science Fiction & Dystopian Romance, Teen & Young Adult Dystopian.

6. Anger Is a Gift: A Novel

About the Book

“Anger Is a Gift: A Novel” contributed by Mark Oshiro is a 31st Annual Lammy Finalist for LGBTQ Children’s / Young Adult category, Book Riot’s Best Books 2018, and so on.

Moss Jeffries is a thoughtful student, loving son, loyal friend and affectionate boyfriend, and ardent nerd, among other things.

But Moss still wishes he could be someone else someone who didn’t have panic attacks, whose father was still alive, and who hadn’t become a community’s rallying point because of one terrible night.

Above all, he wishes he didn’t feel so trapped. Moss and his pals at West Oakland High are subjected to a lack of finances and decaying facilities, as well as frequent intimidation by the resource officer stationed in their halls.

Even before the new restrictions, it appears that students are sometimes treated more like criminals. Something has to change, but who is going to listen to a group of teenagers?

When tensions reach a breaking point and tragedy strikes once more, Moss must choose between giving in to fear and hatred or realizing that fury can be a blessing.

Book Review

Anger is a Gift is a furious and revolutionary outburst. Mark Oshiro’s stunning and violent debut demonstrates that anybody can be a hero and that enormous change can be achieved when heroes work together.

A solid addition to the current wave of superb contemporary realistic works with a social justice subject. Fans of Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give will enjoy this.

This debut novel is a gripping, harrowingly realistic account of the prosecution of disadvantaged people, as well as an uncompromising investigation of bigotry’s long-term consequences.

Key Takeaways from the Book

Anger Is a Gift is the trade paperback edition of Mark Oshiro’s highly anticipated YA debut, which follows a kid from Oakland as he falls in love among the chaos of modern America.

About the Author

Mark Oshiro is the Hugo-nominated creator of the online Mark Does Stuff world (Mark Reads and Mark Watches), where he reviews books and television shows.

Book Details

This book can be obtained in Paperback, Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook versions.

  • Author: Mark Oshiro
  • Pages: 464 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: Teen & Young Adult Fiction about Prejudice & Racism, Teen & Young Adult LGBTQ + Romance, Teen & Young Adult Fiction about Death & Dying.

7. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

About the Book

“Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” written by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, a Printz Honor Book, is an honest explanation of identity that outlies lyrical truths about family and friendship.

Aristotle is a grumpy adolescent who has a sibling who is imprisoned. Dante is a know-it-all with a unique perspective on the world. They appear to have nothing in common until they meet at the pool.

However, when the loners begin to spend time together, they find that they share a rare friendship one that has the power to alter lives and last a lifetime.

Ari and Dante will learn the most essential facts about themselves and the sort of people they aspire to be via their relationship.

Book Review

The author’s ability for emotional writing that reveals the challenges inside relationships is supported by the meticulous pace and beautifully drawn characters.

In addition to developing love between two friends, Sáenz has written the bigger love narrative, since he is the story of loving oneself, of love between parents and children, and of love that forms communities.

Mostly a character-driven and relationship-driven story, written in careful and lyrical writing that deftly probes the lads’ inner lives.

Key Takeaways from the Book

A delicate, honest examination of identity and sexuality, as well as a powerful reminder that love should be open, free, and without shame, whether romantic or familial.

About the Author

Benjamin Alire Sáenz is a poet and novelist who writes for adults and teenagers. For his adult works, he was the first Hispanic to win the PEN/Faulkner Award, as well as the American Book Award.

Book Details

This book can be bought in Paperback, Kindle, Audible, Hardcover forms.

  • Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz
  • Pages: 384 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: Teen & Young Adult Fiction about Being a Teen, Teen & Young Adult LGBTQ + Fiction, Teen & Young Adult Friendship Fiction.

8. Autoboyography

About the Book

“Autoboyography” presented by Christina Lauren is a hopeful and moving love script, a sensitive and complex, coming-of-age novel from New York Times bestselling author.

Tanner Scott’s family moved from California to Utah three years ago, forcing the bisexual kid to come out of the closet for the time being.

Tanner wants to cruise through his final classes and clear out of Utah now that he just has one semester of high school left and no hurdles between him and out-of-state college freedom.

Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and taking Provo High’s famous Seminar where honor roll students tirelessly toil to produce a book in a semester if only to show Autumn how ridiculous the whole thing is.

Writing a book in four months appears to be an easy task. Four months is a long time. After all, it only takes a split second for him to see Sebastian Brother, the Mormon genius who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and is now the class’s tutor.

Tanner falls head over heels in love with him in less than a month.

Book Review

A well-balanced way to writing on the issue between sexuality and religious strictness. Members of the Mormon religion are depicted as complex persons with both strengths and flaws, rather than as one-dimensional villains.

In a difficult but ultimately uplifting story, it manages to handle the complexities of sexuality vs institutionalized religion. Lauren skillfully balances fury and compassion in her treatment of a difficult subject.

The adolescent characters are contemporary and accessible, and the narrative is emotionally compelling without turning gloomy. In conclusion, A clever take on the standard high school LGBTQ+ romance

Key Takeaways from the Book

Sebastian’s struggle with his sexuality in the backdrop of a suffocating Mormon upbringing is addressed compassionately in the book, but it’s also humorous and realistic. Tanner’s discovery of his voice will be exciting for readers.”

About the Author

Christina Lauren is the pen name of longtime writing partners and best friends Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings.

They are the New York Times and the USA TODAY bestselling authors of the Beautiful and Wild Seasons series, Autoboyography, Love and Other Words, Roomies, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, My Favorite Half-Night Stand, The Unhoneymooners.

Book Details

This book can be purchased in Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook, and Hardback versions.

  • Author: Christina Lauren
  • Pages: 416 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: Romance Fiction Writing Reference, Teen & Young Adult LGBTQ + Romance, Teen & Young Adult Fiction about Dating.

Final Verdict

So whether you’re looking for new favorites or just want to revisit old favorites, this master post has it all. Happy Reading!

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