Best Young Adult Novels, Part 1

October 1, 2018

Young-adult literature continues to enjoy a high point of popularity. The success of Harry Pottery, Twilight and The Hunger Games not only inspired a new generation of readers, but it also stimulated older readers. Characters have become part of our pop-culture discourse, and their books have won acclaim for many of the best writers to contribute to the genre. From recent books to the best of the 70s and 80s, start your YA novel reading list now with some of these favorites.

1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Junior decides to leave his Indian reservation school for an all-white school and faces tension.

2. All the Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven
An unlikely friendship grows into a roller coaster of a romance between two seemingly opposite students.

3. Angelfall, by Susan Ee
Six weeks after the apocalypse, a girl makes a deal with a broken, outcast angel.

4. Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson
This memoir shows what it was like to live through the 1960s and ’70s as a young black girl.

5. Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell
Sixteen-year-old misfits fall in love and faces issues of race and child abuse.

6. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
Jonas is named the Giver and isthe keeper of the community’s secrets and past.

7. I’ll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson
Twins Jude and Noah were once incredibly close, but by 16, they barely speak. Now they must return to each other.

8. The Immortal Rules, by Julie Kagawa
Allison becomes a vampire and joins a group of nomads searching for the cure for the disease that destroyed civilization.

9. The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson is the son of Poseidon and attends Camp Half Blood to prevent a war between the gods.

10. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
Follow four sisters whose family fortune is lost in the midst of the Civil War.

11. Red Rising, by Pierce Brown
Future society is divided by color-coded castes, with red as the lowest, and Darrow leads a fight against the ruling class.

12. Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi
Juliette is locked up for murder because her touch is fatal. But when the Reestablishment sets her free, she has to decide what to do with this gift and curse.

13. Since You’ve Been Gone, by Morgan Matson
When her missing best friend leaves an outrageous to-do list, Emily must cross off every item to find her friend.

14. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han
Lara Jean’s secret letters to her crushes have all been sent, and she must now see every past love, face to face.

15. Under the Never Sky, by Veronica Rossi
Aria is banished from the enclosed city Reverie, and when she meets another outsider named Perry, they work together for survival, uncovering corruption along the way.