Young adult, or YA, is a category of fiction that is one of the largest and most diverse categories for readers. These books are widely focused on teenagers, but there are also books in this category with characters are in their early to mid-20s. Despite the label, these books are widely enjoyed by adults of all ages, which accounts for the genre’s popularity.
Check out these popular novels for young adult readers:
Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia: In this popular YA novel, the first of a four-book series called The Caster Chronicles, readers meet a character named Lena Duchannes who lives with a power that’s been in her family for generations. She tries to fit in in her small Southern town despite her differences by hiding her powers. When she moves into an infamous plantation, she meets a resident named Ethan who has been having dreams about her.
Cinder, by Marissa Meyer: Cinder is the first novel in author Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles series. The story is a high-tech spin on Cinderella in which a teenage Cinder is a cyborg living with a stepmother and an ill stepsister. There are secrets in her past that she must discover as she meets Prince Kai and is threatened by the evil queen.
Delirium, by Lauren Oliver: In the alternate universe where Delirium takes place, the United States considers the emotion of love to be a disease that needs to be cured. The cure is administered on your 18 birthday. When protagonist Lena meets a boy before her birthday cure can happen, she must decide whether to avoid what she’s been told is a disease or attempt to avoid the cure.
If I Stay, by Gayle Forman: Seventeen-year-old Mia loves music. It’s her first love and one of the most important things in her life, until something unexpected happens that changes Mia forever. If I Stay is the first in a two-book series.
Paper Towns by John Green: For Quentin Jacobsen, the girl of his dreams isn’t who he thought she was. He soon discovers there are two sides to Margo Roth Spielgelman, and now, she’s missing and needs his help.
Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard: In the world of the Red Queen, people are divided by commoners called the Red and the Silver, who are the elite and have superhuman powers. When a 17-year-old Red named Mare discovers she, too, has powers, the Silver claim she’s one of their own and is meant to marry a prince. Mare has to help her people despite the dangers and her own emotions.
The Belles, by Dhonielle Clayton: In this debut novel by Dhonielle Clayton, which is set in New Orleans, beauty is controlled by a select group of people known as Belles. This story focuses on one specific Belle named Camille who wants to become the favorite Belle of the queen. Unfortunately, unexpected consequences result and everyone is put at risk.
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak: The Book Thief tells the story of a German girl and her foster parents during World War II. When she arrives at the home of her foster family, she discovers that they’re hiding a Jewish man. As the girl and the man develop a friendship, they discover a love of words, which prompts her to steal books that are at risk. The novel is narrated by Death.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: This story follows Charlie as he navigates high school. He is a wallflower who has a passion for reading and writing. Through the story, readers learn of his life as a wallflower in high school and some of the struggles and major tragedies that impact his life both inside and outside of school.
The Selection, by Kiera Cass: In a dystopian society, people are divided into castes. The prince decides to hold a competition called the Selection in which one hundred girls from the various castes have the opportunity to compete for his hand. America Singer discovers how extreme the competition is and how unexpected life in the castle can be. The Selection is the first book in a five-part series that has four spin-off novellas.