The older I get, the more I love YA Fiction. Backwards, huh? When I was an ACTUAL young adult, I read all your standard YA books; Harry Potter, Twilight and the like but never felt the need to delve much further into the genre. But even now and again when I’d pick up a YA book (that wasn’t Twilight and didn’t contain vampires) I was floored by it.
Most of my all-time favourite books are YA. When I was a Young Adult, I would typically reach for Crime novels (I was a James Patterson fan girl!) and Thrillers. And whilst I do still love a good Thriller and there are some bloody fantastic Thriller writers whose work I won’t miss, my heart lies with Young Adult fiction.
I don’t think that you need to be a Young Adult in order to benefit from reading the genre. Yes, most of the main characters are young adults but that doesn’t make their stories and lessons any less important. YA is usually the genre that leaves me gasping for breath. That leaves me thinking and pondering and wondering – and that’s EXACTLY what I want my books to do!
Is there room for improvement with the diversity of the Young Adult books I read? Absolutely. In the grand scheme of things, despite the fact that I’m 29 years old now, I haven’t been reading YA for a particularly long time. So there’s definitely time and room for improvement in that regards.
But the thing I love about YA is the vast spectrum of stories and characters. I love the off-shoots of the genre, where you can get into YA Crime (like A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder) or YA Sci-Fi (like The Kingdom). But regardless of where the stories go, I always find meaning in the messages within them.
But all that being said, here are 9 YA books I love that you should add to your reading list this year!
The Quiet At the End of the World by Lauren James
I read this at the tail end of 2021 and I honestly haven’t stopped thinking about The Quiet at the End of the World since. I desperately need to get my hands on some more of Lauren James’ work because this book was outstanding and completely unlike anything I’ve read. The parallels (yet vast differences) between today’s world were amazing.
Wilder Girls by Rory Power
YA Horror and Dystopian are always right up my street so for that reason I kinda knew I’d love Wilder Girls. This was a seriously good read; beautiful prose and just the right amount of Horror within a story that’s very much about women, love and friendship. I found the ending a little abrupt but would still highly recommend.
Suicide Club by Rachel Heng
I’m sensing a bit of a theme here, aren’t you? YA Sci-Fi / Dystopian clearly takes the main stage here but I promise there are some other types of YA books in this list if this isn’t your thing! Suicide Club is borderline YA, I think. I would consider it YA but some don’t. Regardless, it’s just a really great book and worth reading.
The Cost of Knowing by Brittney Morris
I got the recommendation of The Cost of Knowing from Anika of Chapters of May (aka the best book blogger EVER) so I knew it was going to be good. This book was such a gripping read, covering important topics of love and family and prejudice in a magical realism genre. You’ll fly through this one!
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
They Both Die at the End is sort of similar to The Cost of Knowing in that it covers topics of love a death. This is a fantastic read; devastating, eye-opening, profound and utterly beautiful. Silvera approaches the topic of death in this book in a fascinating and raw way but one which will leave you celebrating life.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I’m really sad that I couldn’t get into Chbosky’s Imaginary Friend but The Perks of Being a Wallflower will always remain one of my favourite books and a beautiful YA novel to read if you want to get into the genre. I think I’ve read this book about 6 times and it always give me all the feels every single time!
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson-Walker
Right, The Age of Miracles is my ALL-TIME favourite book. I absolutely adore this novel, I’ve read it about 10 times and it hits just as hard every single time. A beautiful Sci-Fi YA coming of age novel that very much makes you think. Especially in the times we’re living in now, how humans find their way in extraordinary times.
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
McManus is very much establishing herself as a leading figure in the YA industry and One of Us Is Lying is still up there as one of the best YA mysteries on the market – even now being made in a drama series!
The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg
And finally, a YA book that I read a few years ago which made such a huge impression on me that I think I’ve featured this bloody book in EVERY book post I’ve done since. The Kingdom is part Disney Princess, part Humans and it’s an incredible read which is very much a genre-hybrid that lends to the argument of whether androids are sentient beings.
Have you read any of these books? Do you have any YA recommendations? Let me know in the comments!
Liked this post? You might also enjoy: