For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I’m picking out ten of my favourite young adult titles or series that I would gift to fellow YA readers. (Of course, if they’re anything like me, they will have read most of these already.)
You can argue over how to categorise this, as some would count Harry Potter and To Kill a Mockingbird, in which case I’d definitely recommend those. For me, though, these were the titles that came to mind:
Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
This series is one of my favourite bookish finds this year. Scrap that, it’s one of my favourite series ever. I had seen it talked about loads on Twitter, but I judged it by its covers as too young for me. I’m so glad I finally picked it up, because it is compelling, funny and the protagonist, Celaena, is easily one of my new favourite fictional characters. The storyline has progressed in ways I never saw coming, and in some ways I don’t like, but I still cannot wait for the sixth and final title next year.
Am I Normal Yet? and sequels by Holly Bourne
The Spinster Club trilogy was another of my favourites this year. These are brilliant young adult books – dealing with big issues like mental health, love and feminism in a completely accessible way. The trilogy is about a group of three friends, and each book focuses on a different one and a specific ‘big’ issue that they are facing. The voices are all slightly different, but all completely credible. These three remind me of my own friends.
Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
This is a must-read. I read it at least ten years ago now and it’s remained one of my favourite novels, even though it completely broke my heart. Callum, a pale-skinned nought, is friends with Sephy, a dark-skinned Cross. Life is going to start taking them in different directions, because Crosses are superior to noughts, and society says they should not be friends – or more.
Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver
In this dystopia, love is considered a disease, and it is cured with a brain surgery aged 18. Lena is looking forward to the cure, hoping that it will erase the memories of her mother – until she falls in love a few weeks before her 18th birthday.
Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth
In this dystopian society, everyone is separated into one of five factions as they leave school. Tris discovers she is well suited to three, which makes her Divergent – and dangerous. There are people in power who want to make sure that everybody conforms. I really enjoyed the first two, and while I wasn’t as big a fan of the third, I liked where the story went.
Queen of the Tearling trilogy by Erika Johansen
I am so excited for the final book’s release! This will be next week’s reading material. This fantasy/dystopia is about a young queen-in-training who has to take up her responsibilities in a broken kingdom. There are some brilliant characters and a somewhat mysterious plot. I’m still not sure where it’s going yet.
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Again, the lines between dystopia and fantasy blur in a world set hundreds of years after the human race has all but destroyed itself. Of those who survived, some have developed supernatural abilities and silver blood (Silvers), which leads them into a position of power over ordinary mortals (Reds). However, the power is about to shift once more. This is the first in a trilogy; the second, Glass Sword, is also available.
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
I was really pleased when Zoella picked this title for her book club because more people should read it! Amanda is the new girl in school, with a secret – at her last school, she was called Andrew. I found it a good insight into some of the issues transgender teens can face, and a great coming-of-age story.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I felt the pressure to include something by John Green in this list! There are some beautiful quotations in this book about two teenagers living with cancer.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
I read this a while ago but found it very moving at the time. A teenager with everything going for her – a great family, friends, boyfriend, a future at a top music school – is involved in a car accident. Stuck in limbo, she revisits some of her memories, knowing that if she ‘stays’ her life will be very different.
Have you read any of these? Most importantly, do you have more recommendations for me?