Best Young Adult Fiction

The market for young adult books has been exploding over the last two decades. Countless authors have been writing books designed to appeal to the growing maturity of readers who range from eleven years old to teens. Young adult books are also called middle-grade books, tween or teen books.

Best Young Adult Series

Many of the most compelling young adult books are series. Divergent tells the story of post-apocalyptic society organised into factions, Percy Jackson is about the adventures of a pre-teen demigod and Twilight focuses on love between teen vampires. Other popular series include:

Harry Potter
Hunger Games
The Cronus Chronicles

Young Adult Novels

In addition to many great young adult series, there are also many standalone young adult novels. The Giver by Lois Lowry is about a perfect society with no pain, where a young boy is chosen to learn about true pain from an older man. The Perks of Being a Wallflower shows how a shy boy manges in high school. The Fault in Our Stars is about teenage love blossoming in a teen cancer support group.

Trends in Young Adult Literature

As young adult literature has gotten increasingly popular, the books have stayed true to many central themes. These include young love, finding a sense of belonging in the world and navigating intense emotions. Recently, those classic themes have been finding a home among the fantastical context of vampires, post-apocalyptic societies and Greek deities.

Making a Young Adult Book Popular

There are a variety of factors that propel a young adult book to fame, but some of the most important features include the following:

A teen protagonist
Diverse characters that many people can relate to
Dialogue that feels real to teens
A focus on issues that affect teens like school, drugs, pregnancy, relationships or common fears

Many of the books that have been the most popular among young adults, teens and tweens are very fast paced with lots of action. But many of them take a more contemplative approach, mirroring the style of two of the earliest young adult classics: Forever by Judy Blume and Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.