Top Ten Tuesday – Young Adult Books I Adore

Today’s official prompt is Books From My Favourite Genre – back in March Six For Sunday included a prompt which was a ode to our favourite genre and I focused on crime fiction – you can find the post here.

So today instead I’m focusing on a target audience rather than a specific genre and talking about some of my very favourite young adult fiction from across the years!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme currently hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl


Young Adult Books I Adore

Young Adult is full of amazing stories, and you certainly don’t have to be a teenager to enjoy them. It would be impossible to pick ten absolute favourites so I’m talking about some fantastic stories from different genres within YA.

Young Adult Series From My Teens

I’m starting with some of the YA books I read and loved as a teenager – I’ve not read them since so who knows if they hold up but I loved them at the time!

The Fearless Series by Francine Pascal

Fearless introduces us to Gaia Moore, a girl born without the gene for fear. Gaia’s mother was murdered, and her father, Tom Moore, a famous covert antiterrorist mastermind, is in hiding. Now 17 years old, Gaia is living in New York City with Tom’s CIA friend, George, and his wife, Ella. Gaia is a prime target for terrorists and is in constant danger, but she is trained in all forms of combat so she can defend herself. Like Buffy and Xena, Gaia Moore is a force.

But she is also a high school student, trying to be like everyone else. As her friendships develop, we see that Gaia is in many ways a typical teen — when she’s not busy getting herself into and out of dangerous situations, righting wrongs, avenging hurts, and solving mysteries

I’ve spoken about this series before and how much I adored it as a teen. I have no idea how it holds up 15 years later, but I did love the fact Gaia was a force to be reckoned with and frequently took care of the boys around her.

The Making Out Series by Katherine Applegate

They’ve all grown up together on a tiny island. They think they know everything about one another. . .but they’re only just beginning to find out the truth,and it turns their world upside down. New couples are formed, friends become enemies, and secrets and unearthed. . .

This is another series I think I’ve mentioned before, and I remember borrowing them from the school library. The characters live on Chatham Island, a fictional small island off the coast of Maine. I remember it being very angsty and dealing with some fairly major issues, and I felt so grown up reading them.

A Magical World

I’ve never considered myself a huge fantasy fan but some recent YA releases have made me a firm convert!

The Everless Duology by Sara Holland

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

I absolutely adored this duology, the characters are wonderful and my only complaint was there wasn’t more to enjoy!

The Dark Gifts Trilogy by Vic James

In modern-day Britain, magic users control everything: wealth, politics, power—and you. If you’re not one of the ultimate one-percenters—the magical elite—you owe them ten years of service. Do those years when you’re old, and you’ll never get through them. Do them young, and you’ll never get over them.

This is the darkly decadent world of Gilded Cage. In its glittering milieu move the all-powerful Jardines and the everyday Hadleys. The families have only one thing in common: Each has three children. But their destinies entwine when one family enters the service of the other. They will all discover whether any magic is more powerful than the human spirit.

Have a quick ten years. . . .

This series is incredible – The characters will leave you questioning everything they do and it will leave you having felt all the emotions!

Thrilling YA

I’ve certainly noticed an increase in mystery and thriller novels for young adults over the past couple of years – maybe I just wasn’t looking in the right places before.

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little LiarsOne of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. 
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. 
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? 

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

I absolutely loved this book! I was a little worried about the sequel but now I’ve seen the blurb for One Of Us Is Next I’m really looking forward to it!

A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder by Holly Jackson

The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.

But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?

I’ve not read that much so far this year but this is certainly one of the best things I’ve read, and I cannot wait for whatever Holly writes next!

Upbeat Contemporary

Young adult is also filled with some wonderful upbeat contemporary fiction – books that will definitely leave you smiling!

Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt

Lexi Angelo has grown up helping her dad with his events business. She likes to stay behind the scenes, planning and organizing…until author Aidan Green – messy haired and annoyingly arrogant – arrives unannounced at the first event of the year. Then Lexi’s life is thrown into disarray.

In a flurry of late-night conversations, mixed messages and butterflies, Lexi discovers that some things can’t be planned. Things like falling in love…

I read this over the Easter weekend in 2017 and loved Lexi’s calendar, I was so invested in her relationship with Aidan and to this day I live in hope of finding out more about what happened after the last page!

Stargazing For Beginners by Jenny McLachlan

Science geek Meg is left to look after her little sister for ten days after her free-spirited mum leaves suddenly to follow up yet another of her Big Important Causes. But while Meg may understand how the universe was formed, baby Elsa is a complete mystery to her. 

And Mum’s disappearance has come at the worst time: Meg is desperate to win a competition to get the chance to visit NASA headquarters, but to do this she has to beat close rival Ed. Can Meg pull off this double life of caring for Elsa and following her own dreams? She’ll need a miracle of cosmic proportions…

Not only did this end up leaving me feeling all happy inside it also featured science! I adored it, I have Truly, Wildly, Deeply to read which focuses on another member of the Broken Biscuit Club but I would love to check back in on Meg and Ed.

The Big Issue Books

Young adult fiction recently has been fantastic at approaching some major current issues in a really accessible way.

Countless by Karen Gregory

When Hedda discovers she is pregnant, she doesn’t believe she could ever look after a baby. The numbers just don’t add up. She is young, and still in the grip of an eating disorder that controls every aspect of how she goes about her daily life. She’s even given her eating disorder a name – Nia. But as the days tick by, Hedda comes to a decision: she and Nia will call a truce, just until the baby is born. 17 weeks, 119 days, 357 meals. She can do it, if she takes it one day at a time… 

Heartbreaking and hopeful by turns, Karen Gregory’s debut novel is a story of love, heartache and human resilience. And how the things that matter most can’t be counted.

This book gave an account of Hedda’s struggle with anorexia and the battle between her eating disorder and her wanting to do the best thing for her baby. It was heartbreaking and realistic and I think all teens should read it.

The Exact Opposite Of Okay by Laura Steven

Izzy O’Neill is an aspiring comic, an impoverished orphan, and a Slut Extraordinaire. Or at least, that’s what the malicious website flying round the school says. Izzy can try all she wants to laugh it off – after all, her sex life, her terms – but when pictures emerge of her doing the dirty with a politician’s son, her life suddenly becomes the centre of a national scandal. Izzy’s never been ashamed of herself before, and she’s not going to start now. But keeping her head up will take everything she has…

This book is absolutely hilarious but it also deals with an incredibly current and important issue. It’s so accessible and another I think all teens should read.

By no means are these the only ten YA books I adore, the list would be far too long, but they are ten from across part of the YA spectrum that have really stuck with me. Which books would you pick? Let me know in the comments!

13 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – Young Adult Books I Adore

  1. Sammie @ The Writerly Way

    I’ve read exactly none of these books, but so many of them sound excellent. I love the title “A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.” I’ve heard really good things about One of Us is Lying, and I definitely need to read that one! Great picks.

    Here’s my TTT post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Sunday Post – 9th June 2019 – Sarah Withers Blogs

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