Before you reach for your next binge or beach read, have you considered browsing a different section of the book store or library? Young Adult books aren’t just for teens; in fact, many adults love them, too. They typically offer a coming-of-age story that’s relatable, even when set in a fantastical world.
Some Young Adult stories feature a heroine discovering her power to save her world, while others are about how differences bind people together. These characters typically grow with us and stick with us in a way that many books don’t. Plus, the stories have a depth and richness that keep book lovers going back to the YA shelves over and over again, no matter how old you are.
So, set aside any bias you may have against reading ‘books for teens’ and turn a new page into worlds with plot twists, beautiful settings, thrilling conclusions and characters to love.
YA Books Adults Will Love, Too
Six of Crows | Available here
Be prepared for these characters to stay with you for longer than you thought. Six of Crows is a duology (which is a refreshing break from so many trilogies) and each part takes every character, and reader, on a journey that soon won’t be forgotten. This book feels like Gangs of New York meets a fantastical world of wizardry as the young criminal Kaz and his crew of misfits try to survive in any way they know how.
A Court of Thorns and Roses | Available here
When we talk about YA books feeling like they should have been categorized as adult books, this one may be the example. The trilogy from Sarah J. Maas begins as a twist on the classic Beauty and the Beast story but changes everything we know along the way. It takes us deep into the world of the Fae, pulling human Feyra into the mayhem and intrigue of the world that humans are not meant to be part of. Heads up: This book is beyond steamy and the romance gets even hotter as the series continues with each book.
The Hunger Games | Available here
It might be older, but if you haven’t stepped into the world of Katniss, Peeta, Gale and others from the districts of Panem, it’s time. Katniss is strong, determined and flawed and that’s probably why so many people loved her. Every character brings something new and different and just when you think you know what’s going to happen, everything changes. It’s also a trilogy (which seems very common in YA books lately) but the reads aren’t as long as others.
The Selection | Available here
Picture the Hunger Games meets The Bachelor and you’ll have a pretty good feel for The Selection series. The pacing is great, the plot keeps you guessing about whose side everyone is on (and makes you question right and wrong) and the story leaves you with a sense of hope. There’s enough action and political intrigue paired with the romance to keep this book (and series) entertaining from start to finish.
The Hate You Give | Available here
Now a major motion picture, The Hate You Give was a debut novel and quickly became one of the most talked about books of 2017. The book follows sixteen year old Starr Carter who witnesses the death of her black best friend by a cop, all while he was unarmed. What follows is Starr’s decisions to what to do and say as the only witness and how it will affect her family and community.
Love, Lies and Spies | Available here
Not every book has to have a magical, fantasy element to it. Instead, step back in time with the Cindy Anstey series of YA regency romance books. This has a Pride and Prejudice feel to it, mixed with a bit of action adventure as Juliana, a 19th-century lady, crosses paths with a War Office Spy. This book is a standalone, but there are others by the author set in the same period so you can keep going back in time, and falling back in love, with different characters every time you grab a new book.