I’m not going to lie, I was definitely Team Edward back in the day. Recently, the young adult genre of fiction has seriously taken off since the success of series like Harry Potter and Twilight. Young adult isn’t only for teens (what really is a “young adult” anyway?), it’s for everyone. The only difference between young adult and regular adult fiction is that the young adult main characters are generally between 15-18 years old. I’m in my twenties, so these characters are obviously younger than me, but that doesn’t make me enjoy these reads any less! Here are a few of my must read recommendations.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Michelle Hodkin)
Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
This is the first book in the Mara Dyer series, and I honestly couldn’t put it down. It’s one of those books that seriously created a problem for my academic commitments. The narrator, Mara, is gloriously unreliable, and if you’re into that then this book is for you. I’m currently reading book two, and I have no idea where it’s going, which is the best thing ever.
A Great and Terrible Beauty (Libba Bray)
Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls’ academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique.
This is one of my favorite reads EVER. Seriously. The whole series is gripping, and the end will leave you crying for days. I read this years ago, but it’s still one of the best series I’ve read. Libba Bray creates a beautiful literary work which will make your life seem completely boring and sad in comparison. I’m surprised this trilogy hasn’t received the attention it deserves, though it does seem to have a growing following. If you’re a fan of Victorian fiction, definitely add this to your must read list! It’s like Pride and Prejudice meets a dark Hogwarts. The main character, Gemma, is flawed and wonderful, and there’s a love interest as well which will keep you reading way past your bed time!
Wither (Lauren DeStephano)
By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.
I am always down for dystopian reads! This one features a scientific spin on a disease the basically limits the lifespan of the younger generation. I loved this story so much I searched for an ebook so I could continue the series when I was traveling abroad. If you don’t mind graphic, at times horrifically gruesome reads, this is for you!
Paper Towns (John Green)
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery.
I read this story on Christmas day, and it was so engrossing I wasn’t the least bit interested in enjoying any of my other gifts, all I wanted to do was read this book! John Green is known for his young adult fiction skills, and this is no exception. I chose this John Green novel instead of Looking for Alaska (another favorite of mine) because I think the ending of this story is particularly powerful and important in today’s society. There’s also a new movie out based on this book, so that’s a bonus. I haven’t seen it yet, but if you have let me know what you think.
We Were Liars (E. Lockhart)
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
I read this book over the summer and I’m still internally crying. It’s a quick read, but it will wreck you in the most beautiful way. I’ve noticed that a lot of readers either love or hate this novel, but I am firmly in the love category. I literally can’t say anything else without giving something away. If you like mysteries and hysterically crying into your pillow, this is for you.
Divergent (Veronica Roth)
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue.
Another dystopian, because those are really in right now. If you enjoyed the movies, I definitely recommend the book series! It’s fantastic, and you’ll probably also bawl at the end. This series actually inspired my first tattoo, if you can believe that. Tris is my ultimate favorite main character because she’s possibly the most flawed of all, which makes her so real and relatable.
Life as we Knew It (Susan Beth Pheffer)
Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun?
This story was horrifying and engrossing at the same time. It’s a series, though the books could stand on their own because the second one follows a different family, and the final one involves the meeting of both families. I’ve always been more than a little interested in end-of-the-world disaster stories, and this one did not disappoint. If you like stories about struggle, growing up, and natural disasters, this is for you.
Harry Potter (J. K. Rowling)
Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever.
Do I really need to say anything? Reading these books should be a human requirement. If you’ve read them, let me know, so we can freak out about it together. Giveaway Because reading is awesome, I’ll be giving away two of the books I’ve listed of your choice! Enter below! (USA only)
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