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!
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Hello Jenny! Thank you for sharing all these incredible books, your reviews on each has made me consider a handful for my Recommended Reading Lists. Which is perfect. I’ve needed more books to read this year! ^_^
Hope you find some great recommendations!
I’ve been meaning to explore different genres in my reading, to branch out of my usual SFF, so these are good. I’ve heard so much about One Of Us Is Lying, so I best get on it, if anything, to familiarise myself before I watch the Netflix series. Thanks for this post, Jenny!
Hope you enjoy! The series is next on my watch list 🙂
These all look amazing. I have wanted to read One of us is lying for a while. May need to take a break from reading Harry Potter is read this book. The other books look amazing I need to check them out. Thank you for sharing.
Yes definitely give that one a go!
I hated YA when I was a YA and although I wouldn’t say it was a primary genre of mine now, I definitely read more of it than I used to. I don’t know whether they’re improving or maybe I’m just getting better recommendations, but I feel like they have a lot more to them now. The Cost of Knowing sounds like a fantastic read, I need to take a look at that one!
I think they’re probably improving! When I was a YA, my limited knowledge of YA was John Green hahah. I love JG but there’s definitely better YA books out there!
I like the sound of they both die at the end, such a quirky title which grabbed my attention from your top photo!
It’s a very striking title and cover I agree!
I absolutely love YA books, it’s definitely one of my favourite genres. I’ve read and loved One Of Us Is Lying, They Both Die At The End and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I also have The Kingdom on my Kindle ready to read but I’m definitely going to check out your other recommendations.
Ah I hope you love The Kingdom as much as I did!
These all sound amazing, even though YA is not something I am really into – not as much as Cristina, at the very least! Wild Girls has peeked my interest a lot, so might be giving it a shot!
Wilder Girls is sooo good!
Yes!! All I read is YA pretty much. Love Perks of Being a Wallflower! If you like fantasy/HP, you should check out Keeper of the Lost Cities
Thanks for the recommendation!
I’m the same!! When I was a YA I hardly read any but now? Quite a lot of the books I’ve read recently have been YA. The Age Of Miracles was such a good read. x
Yeah same! I didn’t love it nowhere near as much when I was actually a YA haha!
This list is packed with books I have read, heard amazing things about, or have read stunning reviews about! Love that it has a few I have not heard of before and especially loving that you link each book directly to Goodreads! More book bloggers need to start doing that, as I often do not want to spend time trying to find the book on Goodreads myself.
Ya, I am lazy.
Thanks for sharing! 😂💝
You’re welcome! Hope you find some new great reads from this post 🙂
This is a fab collection of YA books, some I haven’t heard of before! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
They’re all great x
Thank for giving me more YA books to consider.
Can you believe that I’ve only heard about 4 or these, and out of those 4 I’ve only read 2!? I’m a huge fan of reading YA, but recently I’ve found myself not having the time to read as much as I used to! Hopefully I’ll free up some time soon. Great post 🙂 xx
Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com
Ah that’s a shame! Hope you can carve out some more time to read 🙂
I’ve never really been into YA books but a couple of the ones you’ve mentioned sound good.
They’re all great but obviously not everyone’s tastes!
I agree with everything you said about YA. Unfortunately, i’ve not been in a YA mood lately and hence have been going for Adult. i’ve read 4 books book in this list and haven’t heard of the rest but i’m sure they’re great too, will check them out when i’m in the mood!
We all go through those phases don’t we!
I haven’t heard any of these books before. I like the idea of reading YA and these books sound really interesting. I think anyone can read YA no matter what age you are. Thank you for sharing.
Lauren – http://www.bournemouthgirl.com
Absolutely – they’re beneficial stories for anyone, not just YA!
I’m not into YA novels. But Wilder Girls sounds cool. Thank you for sharing this list.
That’s a shame. Wilder Girls was great.
I read “One of us is Lying” recently and I will post a review soon. I also could not finish “Imaginary Friend” no matter how hard I tried. There are so many books on this list I want to try. I’m really enjoying the genre as well. Really great post!
Ugh I was the same with Imaginary Friend, such a shame!
What a amazing sounding collection! I’ve never heard of these before but it defiantly sounds like something I should get to know asap! Thank you so much for sharing lovely Xo
Elle – ellegracedeveson.com
They’re definitely some great recommendations!
What a fab sounding collection. I’ve not heard of any of these (eeek) but there’s so many that actually appeal to me. I’m with you on the backwards thing. I think the older I’ve gotten, the more I look for YA books. I’ve actually just finished reading Harry Potter again haha. I need something new now so thank you for sharing! X
If you love HP and fantasy and want a new series to fall in love with, the Keeper of the Lost Cities! ☺️
Ah cool! I’d quite like to reread Harry Potter too 🙂