Young Adult, or YA as it’s more commonly referred to, is a genre of book that kind of broaches the gap between Children’s and Adult Literature. It’s a minefield of magnificence but if you’re looking to get into the genre and you haven’t a clue where to start don’t worry; I’ve got your back!
I’m not an expert – who can be when the amount of books in this genre per year seems to be on the rise every second? Still, it’s a passion of mine and I wanted to give you the low down on what’s good so you can dip your toe in before cannonballing in at the deep end.
So, without further ado, here are the Top Five YA books to get you started:
1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
There is a film but don’t chicken out; Read. This. Book. ‘Perks’ will throw you into the life of a teenage boy who is a little bit shy and odd. He meets a group of friends who open his eyes to the world in a heartbreaking way. It’s also funny and cute and will make you long for adventure.
2. Everybody Sees the Ants
The story of a young boy who lives in the shadow of his grandfather who never came home from the Vietnam War; sounds strange and it is. This book has the ability to drag you into the mind of Lucky Linderman, a kid who is just trying to get by in spite of his parents. He escapes into fantasy through his dreams and learns some pretty thought provoking stuff along the way.
3. 13 Little Blue Envelopes
Just in case you thought I was leaning towards the boys POV, here is a story of a girl who takes off across the world following the clues her dead aunt has left for her. It’s a journey of self discovery and it’s funny! It will make you long for a bit of adventure and mystery.
For the young girl in this story her mind is her own worst enemy. Every night her memory gets wiped and she starts each day with a blank slate. Her only way to keep track is by writing in a diary and relying on her mother and friends to remind her who she is. When she meets a boy her world is flipped upside down. Filled with twists and turns that would make any sci-fi writer proud the plot will take you on a journey, a mystery and come through with a revelation that will make it all worthwhile.
5. Looking for Alaska
There’s no YA list without a book by John Green. All of his books are a great way into the genre but I’ve picked Looking for Alaska because I love a good boarding school setting. High School hi-jinx and bittersweet friendships aside this book is funny, thought provoking and will leave a lasting mark on you. The relationships are realistic in their reminiscence of youth; you’ll find no problem getting pulled into this world and feeling those pangs of first love, it’s getting over it once the last page is read that’s the problem.
There are many more books I could recommend but I think these will get you started and you’ll find your own way from here.