In the mood for some binge-reading? Let other worlds captivate you! Switch off your TV and phone with the following addictive Young Adult Novels assembled just for you by novum publishing!
Although YA fiction by such authors as S. E. Hinton or Judy Blume was originally aimed at teens, many of its readers were adults! The genre exploded with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter (1997, UK), Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight (2005, US) and Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games (2008, US), often addressing questions of identity, friendship and love but also discrimination and death. Today protagonists aren’t always male whites but also female, migrants, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Writing about marginalised communities and taboos can sadly come at a cost, though: authors have faced abuse, boycotts and even death threats. Sales in YA temporarily dropped both in the US and the UK but YA authors still continue to serve as public voices of social criticism.
Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi (2018)
Afrofuturism is an upcoming genre that might be defined as imagining a new and positive future in the arts and sciences for a black community. At its roots are African traditions and myths that inspire self-confident black leaders. In the footsteps of Octavia E. Butler and W.E.B Du Bois, or today also Nnedi Okorafor, Tomi Adeyemi’s debut novel Children of Blood and Bone came out in 2018. Set in a magical world, West Africa’s power struggles shine through all the way. Crossfire, the final volume of the Noughts and Crosses series by British writer Malorie Blackman features a society where the roles of black and white are switched. The Black Lives Matter Movement is at the heart of Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give, with her new novel On the Come Up in stores as well.
Someday, David Levithan (2012-2018, US)
American writer David Levithan has become famous with the fantasy romance Every Day (2012), its companion novel Another Day (2015) and the sequel Someday (2018). The story centres on “A”, who is born into a different body every day. Sometimes a girl, sometimes a boy, A falls in love and life becomes even more complicated.
Other LGBTQ authors to check out are Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda (made into the film “Love, Simon”), Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On or John Boyne’s My Brother’s Name is Jessica.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor (2011-2014, US)
Discover these special gems from the fantasy world of YA! Laini Taylor’s parallel worlds inhabited by monsters and angels in Daughter of Smoke and Bone will certainly leave you speechless. Karou lives in both the real and the magical world, amongst ancient creatures. The doors to the magical realm Elsewhere are closing and the art student must find out where she belongs, who she can trust and what she is willing to fight for. Another fantastic series has come to a grand finale: Ransom Riggs’ A Map of Days in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series is a mix of dark fantasy and horror literature. Other tips include Philip Pullman’s magnificent The Book of Dust, (2019, UK) or A Court of Thorns and Roses by #1 NY Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas (2015-2018, US) – also check outher Throne of Glass series.
Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi (2011-2018, US)
If you loved Huxley’s Brave New World or Lowry’s The Giver, there is an abundance of YA novels for you to choose from. Dystopian novels feature a future world or society that is undesirable and unsettling. Tahereh Mafi’s series starts off with Shatter Me about a girl whose touch is lethal and a government who wants to use her as a weapon. We promise you haven’t read a novel like this one yet! Also try Mari Lu’s Legend trilogy or Lauren Oliver’s Delirium, Pandemonium and Requiem.
Aurora Rising, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (2019, UK)
These two great Australian voices worked together to write an intergalactic space opera. The story about a cocky heroine saving the galaxy takes place in 2380 and is full of action, futuristic technology and love. The crossover Aurora Rising has been a hit both in the US and the UK, soon to be a TV show! In the world of science fiction, we also recommend reading British Philip Reeve. You might know his steampunk film Mortal Engines or the Railhead trilogy. Last but not least, check out Karen Lord’s The Best of All Possible Worlds about hope and survival in an alien society, for which Lord has been compared to Octavia Butler or Ursula LeGuin.
YA fiction has come a long way since its beginnings and had to fight its way to the top, today even being read more by adults than teens. Let yourself be enchanted, shocked and mesmerised by this compelling and authentic genre!
What are your YA novel recommendations? We’d love to hear the titles that keep you up at night!
Keep writing, keep typing!