Young Adult Books: The Top 20 List

Best Young Adult Books


Young Adult Books: Must Read Books for You

Young adult books aren’t just for the young – many of the best young adult books transcend age. In this list of the best young adult books, we have assembled some classic young adult books, as well as some up and coming books.

Regardless of your age, check out the books in this list – who knows you may just find your new favorite book! Also, our list of the best mystery books will be able to provide you with some great thrillers.


Top 20 Young Adult Books:





Meritropolis – Joel Ohman (link)

Centered on a strong protagonist, Meritropolis blends action, fantasy, and a moral message seamlessly. A self-proclaimed Hunger Games meets The Village; this newcomer book is a definite must-read. This is book 1 of a 3 book series, so make sure that you have plenty of time because once you start you won’t be able to stop till the series is finished.



The Alchemist


The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho (link)

With more than 23 million copies sold, The Alchemist is a modern classic. Part metaphysical, part adventure, The Alchemist is a magical story about following your dreams. You will get completely caught up in the story of a boy who starts out shepherding sheep and ends up discovering what the world is about.




The Giver


The Giver – Lois Lowry (link)

Recently made into a movie, The Giver is a classic dystopian book. Detailing a boy’s escape from conformity, The Giver paints a vivid picture of what the world would be like without choices. The 1994 Newbery Medal winner, this book is considered one of the most influential novels of our time.




Harry Potter Set


Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling (link)

You may have already seen the movies, but if you haven’t also read the books you are missing out on so much! Expertly written, the Harry Potter series is appealing to both young and old readers. No list of the best young adult books would be complete without J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter masterpieces.






Hatchet – Gary Paulsen (link)

A Newberry Honor book, Hatchet follows 13-year old Brian’s 54 days of survival in the remote Canadian wilderness following a deathly plane crash. Armed with only a hatchet, Brian’s story of survival and self-discovery has captivated readers for decades. It is sure to captivate you as you quickly turn from page to page to get the rest of the story.




To Kill a Mockingbird


To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (link)

Set in the Deep South of the 1930s, To Kill a Mockingbird examines hard subjects like race and class poignantly and honestly. A classic in its own right, To Kill a Mockingbird was the recipient of the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for literature and fiction.




The Hobbit


The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien (link)

A fascinating prelude to the famous Lord of the Rings series, The Hobbit showcases Tolkien’s masterful storytelling. With just the right mixture of adventure, suspense, and humor, The Hobbit is a must read that will be hard to put down once you get started.




Never Never


Never Never – Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher (link)

Fresh off the press, Never Never is a short YA that is off the beaten path. Blending romance and mystery, Never Never is perhaps better suited for older readers due to its romance component, but regardless of age, the first book of the series is sure to leave you eager for more.




The Hunger Games Trilogy


The Hunger Games Trilogy – Suzanne Collins (link)

Inventive and page-turning, The Hunger Games trilogy is a worldwide favorite. With this trilogy, Collins details a grim dystopian world full of heartbreak and heroics. For a truly compelling read, this trilogy is not to be missed.






Eragon – Christopher Paolini (link)

The first book in the Inheritance series, Eragon is a New York Times bestseller. A classic action and fantasy book, a poor farm boy realizes his destiny as a Dragon Rider and commences a magical and adventurous journey.







Divergent – Veronica Roth (link)

The Divergent series is going to focus on a young girl named Tris. She is discovering that she is different from everyone else, and in a “perfect society” where you must conform to one of the five factions; Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent), being different can get you into trouble.




The Fault in Our Stars


The Fault in Our Stars – John Green (link)

This book is sure to pluck on your heartstrings as it tells the story of two cancer patients who fall in love. With both life and death being ever present in their minds, their relationship does not fall under the status quo. The Fault in Our Stars has sold millions of copies and is a bestseller in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and others.




A Wrinkle in Time


A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle (link)

A Wrinkle in Time is the first book of five in Time Quintet series. This science fiction book series will keep you on the edge of your seat as you quickly turn from page to page to get the rest of the story. Whether it is saving the world from nuclear attack or traveling back in time 3,000 years, Meg Murry and her companions will keep you engaged in the unfolding story.




Maze Runner


Maze Runner – James Dashner (link)

This story is going to follow Thomas and his companions as they try to escape, “The Maze” and figure out what is going on and who put them there. The journey is fast paced and will keep you guessing as twists and turns continue. Followed up by four more books in this series that are just as gripping as the first, this series by James Dashner is a must read.




An Ember in the Ashes


An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir (link)

If you resist the Empire, you die. Laia and her family are only looking to get by and are not looking for trouble. However, when her brother is arrested for treason, she must turn to a group of rebels for help. In return though, she must be willing to spy for them as she attends the Empire’s greatest military academy.




The Perks of Being a Wallflower


The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky (link)

Growing up is not always easy. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is going to take on the, “sometimes heartbreaking, often hysterical, and always honest look at high school in all its glory.” You will be able to follow Charlie as he learns to navigate high school and everything else that growing up entails.




The Book Thief


The Book Thief – Markus Zusak (link)

Taking place in 1939 Nazi Germany, The Book Thief is a compelling story about a girl that steals to survive. One day though she encounters a library of books. She begins to share these books with neighbors during the bomb raids and even the Jewish man hidden in her basement.




Lord of the Flies


Lord of the Flies – William Golding (link)

Coming to a crash landing on an uncharted island a group of boys finds themselves all alone. What seems at first to be a freedom for them, quickly turns into a survival scenario. The Lord of the Flies will keep you engaged throughout. You will want to get to the next page as quickly as you can to see what will happen next.





Bridge to Terabithia


Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson (link)

Jess Aarons and Leslie Burke (the new girl in school) quickly become great friends and spend every day behind Leslie’s house playing in the woods. Together they invent a land called Terabithia. One day though while Jess isn’t there, Leslie goes to Terabithia without him and disaster strikes. It will take everything Jess has to overcome the tragedy that occurs.




City of Bones


City of Bones – Cassandra Clare (link)

The first book in the series titled The Mortal Instruments, the City of Bones is about an undercover world where Shadowhunters must keep evil at bay. The shadowhunters guard against the demons and other dark forces that would threaten our world. When Clary finds herself suddenly in this hidden world, she must learn to adapt quickly.



Best Young Adult Books Conclusion

A great book can instantly transport you into faraway worlds. You will feel like you are one of the characters right in the middle of the story.

With this list of the best young adult books, we wanted to provide a list of books that all fell into the, “can’t wait to turn the page” category. So start at the top of the list and work your way down. We promise that you will not be disappointed.

Comment below if you have a favorite book that we missed in this list. We would love to hear about any of the books on this list too.


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  1. Coralee April 30, 2015

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