10 Young Adult Fiction Books for the Excited Teen in You

Young adult fiction is a genre that has incorporated some of the most loved literary works released in recent years. The characters in young adult novels are adored by readers of all ages, which means that young adult fiction is no longer read solely by teenagers. Here are 10 of the best young adult fiction books to read.

10. If I Stay, by Gayle Forman

First Published: 2009
What It’s About:

The protagonist of this story is 17-year-old Mia Hall. On a snowy morning, Mia’s father, mother and younger brother Teddy go for a drive. Unfortunately, it has been snowing heavily and Mia’s father is unable to control the car he is driving. This results in a car crash that proves to be life-changing for Mia as she finds herself making the toughest decision of her life.

Why You Should Read It:

Read it to know about the heart-wrenching decision that Mia makes. In the aftermath of the crash, Mia lay comatose in the ICU,waiting to die. In this condition, she has an out-of-body experience where she can see those around her. The reader is taken through Mia’s life in a series of flashbacks as she reflects on her family and friends. Read the book for its emotional depth as Mia grapples with her new life and possible death.

Best Quote:

“I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard.”

9. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’engle

First Published: 1963

What It’s About:

Young Meg Murry lives with her parents, her younger twin brothers, and another younger brother who also happens to be a mind-reading child prodigy. When Meg was little, her scientist father mysteriously went missing after working on a project shrouded in mystery called Tesseract. After Meg’s neighbor casually mentions the existence of the Tesseract, Meg sets out to find her father along with the neighbor. The two embark on a journey through space and time.

Why You Should Read It:

This book brought to the forefront, the battle between good and evil in a sci-fi setting, and because the author herself was a writer for a major church in New York, the book has some Christian themes, such as the fight between darkness and light. The book was also one of the first in the sci-fi genre to have a female lead. Read it if you are looking for an adventure that’s out of this world. In 2016, Hillary Clinton’s daughter Chelsea mentioned that as a child, this book influenced her greatly.

Best Quote:

“Believing takes practice.”

8. The Maze Runner, by James Dashner

First Published: 2009

What It’s About:

Thomas wakes up in a metal box in a lift that opens in a strange land called the Glade, which is surrounded by a mile-high wall of concrete. On the other side of the wall, lies a maze, which is a labyrinth of concrete walls covered in Ivy. The maze is home to monsters that are made of metal and flesh, and have the ability to change shape. Thomas meets the handful of other boys that live in the Glade and learns that they are trying to stay alive by solving the maze’s puzzle. This can only be done by running through it as fast as possible in a bid to find an exit. However, everything changes when a girl arrives at the Glade and the walls of the maze are opened permanently. With no more supplies left and time running out, the Gladers need to find a way out and fast.

Why You Should Read It:

This is a fast-paced novel set in a dystopian future with several twists and turns in the plot that will keep you guessing till

the end.

Best Quote:

“If you ain’t scared… you ain’t human.”

7. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

First Published: 1954

What It’s About:

After their plane crashes on a remote island, a small group of schoolboys are left stranded on their own. They must find a way to survive, and struggle to find a way to exist in their group that doesn’t have any fixed rules or boundaries. The book examines the concepts of politics, social constructs as well as the role of morality. As far as coming-of-age novels are concerned, the Lord of the Flies is on the most brutal end of the spectrum and has often been compared to Catcher in the Rye.

Why You Should Read It:

Have you ever wondered how people would become in the absence of social constructs as they struggle to survive in a society without rules? This book will bring you as close to the answer as possible. The book also deals with the topic of racism and shows how all races are, more or less, the same. Desperate times call for desperate measures, regardless of age and socioeconomic standing, as this book proves.

Best Quote:

“Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.”

6. Dumplin’, by Julie Murphy

First Published: 2015

What It’s About:

Dumplin’ centers around Willowdean (or Will) Dickson, who goes by the nickname Dumplin’ because of her weight. She is not stick-thin and loves her body the way it is. When Will starts working at the local fast food restaurant, she meets the handsome athlete, Bo. While she isn’t surprised to find that she has a crush on Bo, she is certainly astonished when he reciprocates her affections. Unfortunately, this blossoming romance causes Will to start doubting herself. To prove to herself that she is just as worthy of a crown as the thin girls, Will enters the Miss Clover City beauty pageant.

Why You Should Read It:

This is a heartwarming tale of finding yourself in a world that keeps telling you to change. Today, we are constantly faced with impossible standards of beauty plastered all over magazines and billboards. In Dumplin’, the reader will find a voice that resonates with anyone who has ever doubted how beautiful they are.

Best Quote:

“I think maybe it’s the things we don’t want to talk about that are the things people most want to hear.”

5. Dorothy Must Die, by Danielle Page

First Published: 2014

What It’s About:

This is a reimagining of the classic tale, Wizard of Oz and its heroine Dorothy. Amy Gumm has been recruited to go back to the Land of Oz and rescue it from the now-power-hungry Dorothy. Everything has changed in Oz and it is revealed that the so-called wicked witches actually mean well, while the “good” witches are not as they seem. The yellow brick road is crumbling and it’s up to Amy who has been recruited by the ‘Revolutionary Order of the Wicked’ to fight the evil Dorothy.

Why You Should Read It:

The Wizard of Oz is a classic tale. Whether you have seen the movie starring Judy Garland or read the original book by Frank Baum, most people are familiar with the magical adventures of Dorothy from Kansas. Amy Gumm comes from a single-parent home and her life is in complete contrast to Dorothy. This reimagining of the entire scenario and how Amy plans to destroy the now-evil Dorothy makes for a thrilling adventure.

Best Quote:

“I didn’t know what was worse: to have your shot and screw it up, or to never have had a shot in the first place.”

4. Delirium, by Lauren Oliver

First Published: 2011

What It’s About:

The first part of a trilogy, Delirium follows a young Lena Haloway who dares to fall in love in a society where it is viewed as a disease. It is set in the dystopian future in Portland, one of the places where civilization is concentrated after havingescaped severe bombings from many years ago. The government teaches everyone that love is a disease and a surgical procedure is mandatory for citizens over the age of 18 tocure them of it or amordeliria nervosa. However, a few months before her procedure, Lena meets and falls in love with Alex. She must now decide whether to stay or escape.

Why You Should Read It:

The author was inspired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, whose books are about either love or death. Oliver decided to write about love, but with a twist. With equal parts of science-fiction and romance, Delirium is a story that will pull on your heartstrings.

Best Quote:

“You can’t be happy unless you’re unhappy sometimes.”

3. Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld

First Published: 2005

What It’s About:

Tally is excited about turning sixteen in a few weeks, but not for the reasons you may think. When she turns sixteen, she will join other sixteen-year-olds who undergo cosmetic surgery, which will transform her from being hideously-ugly into a

conventionally pretty girl. Once transformed, she will be sent into a high-tech paradise where her only job will be to have fun. Unfortunately, Tally’s friend Shay doesn’t want to undergo the mandatory procedure and runs away. Now it’s up to Tally to find and bring her friend to the authorities or risk never becoming pretty.

Why You Should Read It:

The story studies how we value beauty and how much importance is placed on outward appearances, a concept which will certainly resonate with every reader. Read this if you enjoy sci-fi thrillers set in the dystopian future with characters who challenge societal norms.

Best Quote:

“What you do, the way you think, makes you beautiful.”

2. Looking for Alaska, by John Green

First Published: 2005

What It’s About:

Miles Halter leads a bland, uneventful existence in Florida. Inspired by the last words of the famous poet François Rabelais and in search of adventure, Miles leaves his home and heads to Alabama to enroll in a boarding school. He makes a group of friends, among which is Alaska Young, a beautiful, rash and emotionally-unstable girl. Miles starts to fall in love with Alaska and the group of friends makes Miles’ life anything but boring.

Why You Should Read It:

John Green has written several successful young adult novels, including The Fault in Our Stars. With Looking for Alaska, we can see how his journey as an author began as this is his first novel. It tugs at your heartstrings, making you think about love, friendship and ultimately, the meaning of life.

Best Quote:

“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”

1. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

First Published: 2005

What It’s About:

The story is set in Germany during the time of World War II, where a ten-year-old girl named Liesel Meminger steals books and distributes them in the Jewish community, all of whom are living under constant fear of the Nazis. Liesel lives with her foster parents, and her foster father teaches her how to read and write. This sparks Liesel’s journey of becoming a book thief and even writing her own stories to share with those suffering around her.

Why You Should Read It:

The story is a moving one and shows just how powerful words can be. The story is also interesting in the way that death itself is a character and speaks of his increasing tiredness from having to take away souls and being ‘haunted by humans.’ Read this book to experience the nightmare that was the Holocaust, from a hopeful young girl’s perspective.

Best Quote:

“The only thing worse than a boy who hates you: a boy that loves you.”

Conclusion

Young adult fiction is not always aimed at only adolescents and teenagers. Adults usually find that the stories and adventures resonate with the hidden teenager inside them as the message in these books are universal. These ten young adult books may be written with a teenage audience in mind, but will be loved by readers of all age groups.

Keeping sharing simple