Many people have been reading young adult books for a long time now, and it’s not hard to figure out why. YA books often talk about things like sexuality, coming of age, friendship, race, and LGBTQ+, which were taboo to talk about a few decades ago. So not only are young people reading these books to learn more about the most confusing years of their lives, but adults are also enjoying the very relatable content. There is no shame in being an adult who likes YA books; there are some great books out there! So, on the World…
Many people have been reading young adult books for a long time now, and it’s not hard to figure out why. YA books often talk about things like sexuality, coming of age, friendship, race, and LGBTQ+, which were taboo to talk about a few decades ago. So not only are young people reading these books to learn more about the most confusing years of their lives, but adults are also enjoying the very relatable content. There is no shame in being an adult who likes YA books; there are some great books out there! So on World Book Day, let’s look at some of the best books in this genre. Here are some YA books that everyone, from teenagers to adults, should read. Happy World Book Day!
No, I can’t. To start off a list of young adult books, you can’t leave out the book that took the 2000s by storm. Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight was a huge hit. It became a New York Times bestseller and sparked a wave of vampire obsession in young people. For people who don’t know, Twilight is about a 17-year-old named Bella Swan who moves to live with her father in Forks, Washington. During her time at the school, she gets to know a handsome student named Edward Cullen, who is also an old vampire. The first book is full of danger and romance, setting the stage for their love story. In 2008, Twilight had its first movie. This was a big moment in both book culture and pop culture. It doesn’t matter if you were a fan of the movies or if you were a fan of the books. 2008 was simple. So, which team is it?
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
I didn’t read The Perks of Being a Wallflower until I was in college. Adults can read Young Adult books at any time. Stephen Chbosky’s novel will make you forget that you’re reading a book that’s supposed to be for kids at times. You can break down Chbosky’s words in college (or your living room, too) because they are mature and have lessons for you to learn. As he starts high school, Charlie is having a hard time making friends and being “normal.” This is a coming-of-age story about him. As Charlie and his friends move on to adulthood, they have to face the trauma from their pasts. As a 1999 book, this one has never been more relevant than it is now. It talks about LGBTQ+ identity, drugs, mental health, and sexual assault. Netflix now has the 2012 film adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which is great for quarantine.
The Hate U Give
That’s what people say when a bride is getting married. Old and new? It’s okay to have a list of books and movies that we’ve all loved since we were little, but you also need to add some new classics. This is a shoutout to my fellow 90’s kids! A new face or two won’t hurt anyone. It may have been a while since The Hate U Give came out in 2017, but this new book is making a lot of noise. Thomas’ novel is new because she doesn’t make huge universes to help people get away from the problems in the world. Instead, she’s using a magnifying glass to look at them. In The Hate U Give, Starr sees her friend, Khalil, killed by the police. Starr is an African-American girl who has to choose between her life at her private school, where most of the students are white, and her life at home, where she can be herself. She has to make a decision as she fights for justice for Khalil. Stand out or blend in? Starr’s story isn’t unique, but it is very common. This country’s service and movements like Black Lives Matter have a racial tone.
The Fault in Our Stars
Let’s get our tissues ready and start reading John Green’s masterpiece, The Fault in Our Stars, right now. As a YA book, it is one of the best ever. It’s so good that it was made into a movie in 2014. I saw the movie with my high school friends and we both cried (definitely bonded for life after that). Afterwards, I bought the book and fell even more in love. In The Fault in Our Stars, a girl named Hazel is fighting thyroid cancer and wants to live a “normal” life. She goes to a cancer support group to meet people who understand what she’s going through. It’s there that she meets a boy named Augustus, who has his own health problems, and they start a friendship. Love stories like Augustus and Hazel have never been seen in Hollywood, and Green’s book is nothing short of an all-time favorite, too.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is not only a great YA book, but it’s also a great book in general. Sherman Alexie should be a household name like Stephenie Meyer or J. K. Rowling, just like J. K. Rowling. As a follow-up to great books like Maus and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian also uses illustrations and humor to talk about not only the protagonist’s problems but also those that are affecting the world as a whole. Even though the protagonist’s name is Junior, a lot of Junior’s problems are based on Sherman’s real-life problems. An Indian boy who lives on the Spokane Indian Reservation is the subject of the story. He wants to be a cartoonist, but he has a lot of medical problems. Junior is bullied a lot, but he wants to get a good education, so he goes to an all-white school in a nearby town. It’s hard for him because he’ll be seen as a traitor by his people and there are a lot of things that could go wrong. This book deserves all the praise.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
So now that you’ve read this list of the best young adult books, don’t think I didn’t honor the wizard who made this genre what it is. I can’t even imagine what the YA genre would look like if the boy who lived wasn’t there. Even though Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was written by J. K. Rowling in 1997, it was technically a book for kids. As the series went on and Harry got older, more mature themes were added. He and Hermione were no longer little kids running from trolls. They were teenagers trying to figure out who they are and what they can do. My opinion is that the fifth book not only captures Harry and the rest of the group’s new phase in the best way possible, but it also marks the start of the series moving from children’s books to YA books. On that note, I’ll give 10 points to Gryffindor for that.
Pop culture hasn’t been able to forget about YA books. Hollywood can’t get enough of turning the most popular books into big movies and shows that people love to watch on Netflix. If you haven’t read any YA classics before, let’s do that on World Book Day. In this genre, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re young or old at heart, there’s a story for everyone. Happy reading, everyone!