Young adult books (also known as YA books) are typically meant for high school students, as the genre suggests. The main characters in YA novels tend to be in high school, or of a similar age, and the stories sometimes revolve around their lives in school while navigating academics, friendships, and the teenage life. Even though the genre is geared towards a younger crowd, there are still some YA books for readers who have moved past high school to read and enjoy, regardless of age!
Here’s a list of YA books you NEED to read this month before summer ends.:
1. “I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson”
“I’ll Give You the Sun” is a moving story about twins, Noah and Jude, as they grow up and grow apart. Though they were inseparable, events transpired causing the twins to drift apart. Set over a number of years, Noah and Jude take turns narrating and showing the reader their point of view. It’s not until the end of the book that all the pieces come together, and the reader finally understands the whole picture. The tale of these twins is told so beautifully and tantalizingly that readers will keep turning page after page! This award-winning YA novel about family, growth, and the truth is a must-read for every reader this summer!
2. “A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab”
The first novel in a trilogy, “A Darker Shade of Magic” puts a brilliant spin on the idea of multiple worlds. In this series, there are four parallel London’s: a Red, Grey, White, and Black London. Only a few select people have the ability to travel between the different London’s, one of them being Kell, the main character, from Red London. The entire series follows Kell as he makes enemies and friends from different London’s and is forced to confront a deadly force that could cause the downfall of all the different colors.
This series has been categorized as both YA and Adult Fantasy. However, all three books are sure to be an entertaining read for readers of all ages!
3. “Warcross” Series by Marie Lu
“Warcross”, the first novel in a duology, is a YA science fiction fantasy about the fictional game, “Warcross,” that takes over the world. It becomes more than just a game for this world. For many of them, it’s become a lifestyle. Teenage hacker Emika Chen is struggling to provide for herself when she decides to hack the game illegally on a whim. Certain that she will be caught and arrested, Emika instead receives an offer from the game’s creator, the billionaire Hideo Tanaka. He wants Emika to go undercover into the game to expose a security problem.
Both this book and its sequel, “Wildcard,” have surprising twists and turns that pit our favorite characters against each other. It’s a thrilling novel that toes the line between reality and game, opening itself up to an audience of all ages.
4. “Salt to the Sea” by Ruta Sepetys
This historical fiction YA novel documents the little-known sinking of the ship Wilhelm Gustloff, the worst maritime tragedy in history. Although the characters and story are fictional, the sinking is a true event that few people are aware of. By bringing light to this tragedy through a fictional story, the author is able to educate the reader while also providing an entertaining, albeit tragic, story.
Told through four vastly different perspectives, “Salt to the Sea” is a beautiful and fast-paced tale of survival. The chapters are relatively short, and readers will keep thumbing through until they finish the novel!
5. “The Sun is Also a Star” by Nicola Yoon
This standalone YA contemporary novel tackles real-life themes such as racial prejudices while still keeping the sweet, fluffy bits that make a good YA novel. Natasha is the no-nonsense protagonist who doesn’t believe in fate or destiny. She relies on facts and numbers and science. But the fact of the matter is that her family is about to be deported to Jamaica in 12 hours, and there’s nothing she can do about it. Then out of nowhere, she meets Daniel by complete chance and spends her last hours in New York with him. He makes her question her unwavering disbelief of fate and destiny.
An endearing story with darker themes embedded within, “The Sun is Also a Star” is perfect for a young and an adult audience. It’s a story about how the smallest things can change our world and is a must-read for all audiences!
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Hopefully, one of these YA novels have piqued your interest and have motivated you to pick one of them up! What’s your favorite YA book? Let us know in the comments!