Best Young Adult Books

The contemporary society is awash with social media sites that have taken the world by a storm. What of book reading culture? It is there, and to keep up with time, ebooks have also been incorporated, but traditional book publishing is still important. Books have long been great resources to scholars and other readers.

Best young adult books that resonate with their evolving interests and pop culture have been invented since 1967 when two seminal novels were published, that is, The Contender by Robert Lipsyte and The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. Currently, young adult literature is being read by all segments of society including adults. Below are some examples:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

With this book, an activist mindset is bound to be created. Starr Carter is a 16-year old girl who is curious about vivid class differences between the poor neighbourhoods and the affluent, mostly white school, in which case, she is involved in both. She witnesses fatal shootings of black people and decides to find her voice before starting activism. This is because she was torn between saving her life by not saying that she witnessed Khalil’s shooting and struggling for justice. This riveting novel is a must-read.

The Outsider by S. E. Hinton

Pioneering spirits have always been amazing, and what if it comes from another young adult? S. E. Hinton is a testament that any young adult can do great things. He wrote and got this book published in his teenage years. This is a timeless book featuring a kid named Ponyboy Curtis with his gang and a rival gang which ostracised other kids like Ponyboy because of a lower class.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Characters that are consonant with book readers will appeal to them. However, this book’s themes also resonate with older readers as symbolism abound. Although it predates the use of the term “young adults”, it suits this genre. It is very great classic like this.

A group of pre-adolescent kids gets stranded on an uninhabited island. They try different means of surviving initially collaborating well. With time, they disregarded reality with disastrous consequences. It is a gripping read worth reading by anyone.

Sweet Valley High by Francine Pascal

The Sweet Valley High series has various novels all worth reading. These 181 books written over a twenty year period features two beautiful identical twins: Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield. Starting with routine high school drama, different scenarios spiral to some genre-hopping and wild directions. This is one of the best young adult books since anyone who reads them will most likely reread.

Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

A title always encompasses what a story entails, albeit by hinting. A 17-year old Anna doubles up as a scoundrel, and outlaw found drifting through space. When she was saved as a child, she had an android called Do9. Her glitching android was the only remaining illegal metal, but Anna was determined to fix it.

She decides to find and steal a lost ship’s coordinates that will be useful in her attempts. However, another boy beats her to her prize. Afterward, they both get into trouble when the entire kingdom looks for them, and they become fugitives.

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

As one of the best young adult books, grit and determination of a protagonist: Jane McKeene is evident. When she was born, the dead had not started walking the battlefields of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg until two days later. This changed America since it derailed the war between different states.

This new nation presents new challenges; for all to survive, a few must work. Certain children will have to learn to put down these dead after attending combat schools. This is according to Native and Negro Reeducation Act. However, Jane studies to be an Attendant. After studying, she intends to go back home in Kentucky, but families start disappearing in Kentucky presenting a different struggle against some powerful enemies.

A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole

Inspired by her parents, Octavia intends to become a prominent whitecoat, a great scientist studying Falvo’s natural wonders. However, the Council of N’Terra protects their secrets of various exotic plants and animals, but when it allows students inside their labs after changing rules, Octavia is overjoyed but not for long.

The Council’s new leader with some extremist views is influencing others to adopt his views. Later, Octavia witnesses a native of Falov attacked at night and realizes that there is a secret hidden that might result in war. She seeks the help of Rondo and Alma in a collision course to discover various secrets. This is a thrilling sci-fi/ fantasy bound to excite readers out to get a glimpse on science and fiction.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

In this book, the association is a dominant theme, and socialization of Madeline Whittier is erred right from the beginning. She has never gone outside her home. Things change when Olly moves in near their house because Olly is interested in talking to her. Will Madeline leave her comfort zone and venture into a new realm (love) with Olly? To break out of the shell and go for love are major events encompassing this book.

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

World wars got us counting I, II… The third never came and hopefully, never again shall we experience such. Now, an imagined world war III features in this book and Daisy is sent away during that war. She lives with her aunt and cousins in Britain. Her homesickness fades but their idyllic new life is short lived because as this war escalates, her cousins are left to take care of themselves.

Nyxia Uprising by Scott Reintgen

For geography enthusiasts, this is a must-read. It is expected to be published in April 2019 as one of the Nyxia Triad series. It concerns deep-space events where Imago, Emmet and his friends try to challenge Babel to prevent Eden’s moons’ collision and the planet’s destruction. To do this, they intend to control the Earth-bound ships.


Best young adult books abound, and they are aimed at benefitting the young and also other interested readers. With various contemporary issues incorporated in some of these books, every reader will get his/her desired book while the historical enthusiasts will have additional benefits from earlier books. However, all the books are timeless because of their all-time themes that apply to the present life.

Editor’s Note: My name is Alexia Walker, I am a blogger and work as an editor. I have a Master’s Degree in literature and love both reading and writing about books and literary topics. I also help students with their literary assignments – articles, essays and summmaries of books, my works you can see at freebooksummary website.

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