Young adult fiction, or YA, is a genre that has gotten very popular over the past couple of years, one of the biggest reason being Hollywood’s involvement. Unfortunately, with Hollywood’s TV and big-screen adaptations of YA literature comes a sudden influx of the same story written at least three times over by authors not necessarily caring about anything except making a profit. That being said, I feel there is a need to shine a light on YA books that don’t get nearly enough credit for their originality, substance, humor and/or charm. Here are five YA books for the YA fan:
- “Highly Illogical Behavior” by John Corey Whaley (2016)
John Corey Whaley may have very well written my favorite book of 2016. Anxiety and mental illness is such a difficult topic to get right, but Whaley writes it perfectly. A story of friendship, love, tragedy, and the need for human connection, “Highly Illogical Behavior” is a must read.
- “Throne of Glass” by Sarah J. Maas (2012)
After spending a year in a slave camp, the most notorious assassin in the land gets offered the opportunity to win back her freedom and become the King’s Champion. If that’s not enough to hook you, there’s magic, phenomenal characters, intense twists and turns, and four more books (book four comes out Sept. 6) plus a set of novellas.
- “Uglies” by Scott Westerfeld (2005)
“Uglies” is a sci-fi dystopian novel in which at age 16 everyone gets an operation that turns them ‘Pretty.’ When Tally, who can’t wait for her operation, meets Shay, who doesn’t want her operation, Tally begins to question everything she’s ever known. “Uglies” was the first book and series to make me love reading and I think it still holds up 11 years after its initial publication.
- “Kill The Boy Band” by Goldy Moldavsky (2016)
Goldy Moldavsky offers a dark and exaggerated take on fandom and celebrity culture in what may be the funniest book I’ve read all year. I feel it’s best to go into “Kill The Boy Band” without knowing much (there is a mystery element to the plot), so you’ll just have to trust me on this one and check it out if you haven’t.
- “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell (2013)
During my first year of college, “Fangirl” was the book I went to more times than I could count. While I’m sure this is one of the YA books that has become a staple for most, I have to include it on the off chance that someone may have never heard of it. At its core, “Fangirl” is a coming-of-age story that will make you laugh, cry, and appreciate the power of a good book.