Authors who write about marginalised communities are facing abuse, boycotts and even death threats. What is cancel culture doing to young adult fiction? Sat 15 Jun E arlier this month, the author and screenwriter Gareth Roberts announced that his story was being removed from a forthcoming Doctor Who anthology. He was insulted on Twitter for his appearance and his sexuality.
There are many storu to explain this, including the idea that YA has become overloaded with social justice themes — although this En la para razones triunfar vida hardly a problem for Adult book hand story Hate Stoty Givea huge blockbuster by Habd Thomas, which concerns the shooting of a Adult book hand story teenager by a white police officer. But that whole "hero" portion of "anti" hero is starting to disappear, as the power goes to her head and she goes further and further down the darkest path. And then we are off on another gritty, dangerous adventure with Elias and Laia, who are now fleeing with an entire kingdom on their trail, including Elias' BFF Helene, trying to find Laia's revolutionary brother. Now, Dylan is sent to a group for teenager who self harm, where he meets Jamie, a transgender young woman. Though the book earned plenty of praise, not every critic was charmed.
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Young adult literature, or YA, has been having a moment for years now, since the rise of series like Divergent , and standalone books like The Fault in Our Stars.
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It seems many years there's one huge stand-out book that outshines the rest, whether in mass popularity or critical acclaim or for the true unicorn, both! This year, however, we had so many outstanding young adult novels that it's incredibly hard to pick a best young adult book of So, we didn't. Instead we picked 30 stand-out books that if you haven't yet read, you totally need to.
Johnston, A. There are series continuations, stand-alones, and the beginnings of what we know will be the next huge set of books we need. In these stories we're sent to 16th-century England, the underworld, literally across space and time, Prohibition-era Oregon, back to Ketterdam, the time of Dracula, and our never-so-simple everyday modern life. There are fantasies, science fiction stories, magical realism, brutally honest true-to-life contemporaries, historical fiction tales, and everything in between.
What they all do have in common is that these 30 books are going to sweep you up into their pages and stay with you for a long time. You've never read a book quite like this one, and I mean that in the best way.
It's an unconventional, magical realism love story that will wrap you up in its yarn. Miel and Sam have been BFF since she literally spilled out of a water tower when they were children. Miel grows flowers out of her wrist but she crushes and drowns them so the Bonner girls, who everyone knows can enchant any man to fall in love, don't steal them, and Sam holds his own secrets. The two, as you do, fall for each other, but don't expect pages of will-they-won't-they.
The story is lush, sexy, and ethereal, making you feel like you've been enraptured by some old fairy tale that, strangely, feels completely modern at the same time. Click Here To Buy. What if the Nine-Day Queen was never executed for treason? Well, if Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows' imaginations dictated, it would be a super-funny, high fantastical romp through history. In The Serpent King , Jeff Zentner brings to life an impoverished Southern small town named after a member of the Ku Klux Klan and the outsiders who live there without shying away harsh realities.
Though the story drives its way to a brutal act of violence, what shines is the power of friendship through it all. Dill is the son of an incarcerated extremist preacher who is bullied because of his family. Travis is a kind soul who feels desperately out of place in his hometown, and Lydia dreams of traveling to New York to have a career in fashion. Nicola Yoon proved she wasn't anything close to a one-hit wonder after last year's incredible Everything, Everything with this year's The Sun Is Also a Star.
It's the worst time for Natasha to fall in love. The realist knows that her family is about to be deported back to Jamaica in less than a day, and no wild dreams can save them. Daniel also hides his dreamy, poetic spirit, instead being the hard-working dutiful student so he can get into Yale.
Despite seemingly having all the trappings of romances we've read and seen before, Yoon tells a moving, fresh story that will make your heart hopeful. Alison Umminger drops some serious truths about what it's like growing up female in America with her debut novel.
American Girls centers on lost teenage girl Anna who runs away from home to follow the glam dream of living with her sister in California. But along the way, while doing film research to pay for a flight back home, she finds herself identifying with the infamous "Lost Girls" of L.
It's the kind of novel that sticks in your head and won't go away. So, to fight against her fate, she attempts a spell to rid herself of her powers — except it fails, and instead her entire family disappears. In a dark Alice in Wonderland-type journey, Alex must now travel to an underworld, known as Los Lagos, to bring them back.
In the aftermath of a rape, E. Johnston tells a story that reads like the best possible scenario to come out of the horrific crime — and as such, it becomes a lesson in fighting rape culture that we all need. Hermione Winters is popular; she's the captain of her beloved cheerleading squad. On her cheerleading retreat, she is drugged, raped, and left on a rock in the middle of the lake. Hermione is, of course, traumatized and angry and sad. Unlike so many women, she goes to the police where she finds champions of support, who hold nothing back when searching for her rapist.
Her school supports her, her parents believe her, and her best friend is a pillar of understanding. The Girl from Everywhere is a stand-out in a year that loved a good time-travel story. Nix has spent her life time traveling through places both real and fantastical they are only bound by whether the location has a map, so basically Middle Earth is totes available aboard her father's pirate ship. But, unbeknownst to his daughter, Nix's father is aiming to find one exact place and time: Honolulu , when his wife died giving birth to Nix.
Of course, changing this moment of history would literally wipe Nix herself off the map, and so our heroine is forced to confront where she belongs in this wide-reaching world. Heidi Heilig's twist of including mythical and legendary places to her lush time-traveling family adventure story is a game-changer, allowing for a collision of ancient stories and real-life history in a way that separates the novel from the rest.
Henry believes that aliens have continually abducted him since he was younger, but it was the last abduction that really rattled him. The aliens, he believes, warned him the world was going to end in days, but they gave Henry the power to stop it by pushing a big red button. But, why would he want to save the world? He's losing his grandmother to Alzheimer's, his mother is checked out, his boyfriend committed suicide, and he alternates being bullied by and having sex with the jock at school.
Bottom line: The world doesn't seem all that worth saving. That is until he meets the charismatic artist Diego Vera and the two start a relationship. Don't expect any easy "the world is wonderful now" fixes though. You can always count on YA innovator A.
King to drop something totally unique and thought-provoking , but she may have outdone even herself on this one. Teenage Sarah thinks she's having an existential crisis. Maybe that would explain why, despite knowing and being told she's a brilliant artist, she can't draw for crap. And maybe it would explain why she keeps running into herself, six versions of herself to be exact, all across Philadelphia. And finally it would explain why all those version of herself, past and future, seem to be concerned for Sarah's well-being.
Come on, you know A. King thinks outside everyone else's box. It's a book about family dysfunction, trauma, and violence unlike you've ever. You probably know all about the notorious Summer of Sam, the summer blackouts plagued the city, arson attacks seemed regular news, and a serial killer was on the loose. But you haven't heard about the Summer of Sam like Medina tells it.
Nora Lopez is 17 and these major issues are like background noise to her daily life problems — like trying to keep her family together. Reading Medina's story will transport you to hazy days of an NYC summer. John Corey Whaley is one of YA's A-Listers, and he proves yet again why he belongs there with Highly Illogical Behavior , a funny, heartfelt story that aims to crush the stigma of mental illness.
Solomon suffers from agoraphobia and hasn't left his house in three years. If you thought your horoscope was bad, the young princess Maya was born with the prophecy that she would marry "death and destruction. Little does Maya know that her fate is being thrown into the balance when she is taken by Amar to his homeland: Akaran.
There, she rules alongside him in an underworld-type place with plenty of hidden secrets. Chokshi blends a Cupid-Psyche loose interpretation with Hindu mythology to tell a family and sometimes romance story that feel lush and alive. Amanda Hardy transferred schools her senior year partly in an effort to conceal her secret: She recently transitioned from male to female.
It's an illuminating look into one young woman's experiences, but there's something nearly everyone coming of age or struggling with their identify can take from it. Not only is If I Was Your Girl a captivating story, it's a huge win for the important ownvoices movement.
Author Meredith Russo based this story of a trans young woman on her own personal experiences, and the cover model Kira Conley is a trans woman herself. Leigh Bardugo is a master of fantasy world- and character-building , so clearly we're all thrilled she followed up Six of Crows with a superb sequel Crooked Kingdom.
Kaz and his crew pick up where they left off, having just pulled off a near-impossible heist and been double-crossed as one of their own was kidnapped, but their struggles aren't over. Now, a war is coming to Ketterdam as people from all over the world travel to the dark streets to find the secrets of the dangerous drug jurda parem.
Dare I say that Crooked Kingdom may even be better gasp! Joanna Gordon is proudly out already, but when her popular evangelical preacher moves them from tolerant Atlanta to a conservative small town he asks her to deny herself and present as straight. The story wraps up questions of faith, family, and identity in a totally sweet and compassionate love story that feels utterly authentic.
I mean, duh: Maggie Stiefvater's insanely popular Raven Cycle needs no introduction, and its final installment The Raven King was practically the definition of bittersweet. While we finally got another book and wrapped our questions, characters, and stories, ugh that means the series is over now. However, Stiefvater stuck the landing. All along we've known that Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death, and now we get to see if the prediction will come to fruition for the love-denying woman.
My lips are sealed! Go read! You go, Julie Berry! Dolssa has been branded a heretic after claiming that God is her lover, and escaping execution, she is rescued by matchmaker Botille, who hides Dolssa in her tavern.
But before long, the wrath of the entire Church bears down on them both and they can't stay hidden for long. I could not wait to get my grabby hands on Sabaa Tahir's follow-up to my favorite book of , An Ember in the Ashes , and it did not disappoint. Tahir gracefully pulls us back into the story and gives enough details to remind us what's going on without seeming stilted or distracting.
And then we are off on another gritty, dangerous adventure with Elias and Laia, who are now fleeing with an entire kingdom on their trail, including Elias' BFF Helene, trying to find Laia's revolutionary brother. Tahir again masterfully captivates readers , so we're doing the kind of reading where our hands are trying to turn the pages and see what comes next before our eyes can catch up.
Asking For It asks us to confront all of the rape survivor and rape story stereotypes that are perpetuated across our media and culture, and Louise O'Neill isn't afraid to stare those notions right in the face. Still, she was and no one ever is "asking for it. O'Neill has already made herself known as a powerful force in modern feminist literature.
This isn't the whiny Hamlet you read in high school English. Her African-American father Hank is struck and killed by a drunk driver, but when his killer is set free from jail, he seeks out Hanalee to warn her: He alleges he didn't harm her father, instead Hanalee's stepfather was behind the murder, slowing poisoning Hank.
First Bi Experience He has an experience in an adult book store. That night I had just dined at a Mexican restaurant near city- center, and was driving home, wishing for some kind of interesting diversion. The hard way. My wife and I get thrown out of an adult bookstore. Explore New Story. Gloryhole Fun Three sucks and two fucks.
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The 37 best young adult books we ever read - Business Insider
Young adult literature, or YA, has been having a moment for years now, since the rise of series like Divergent , and standalone books like The Fault in Our Stars. They can help teenagers to work through tough situations, such as coming out or grief. And above all, they can be entertaining. There is plenty that appeals to adults as well; after all, we were all teenagers once so can relate to the characters in YA.
The young adult literature scene is filled with excellently written, poetic, beautiful novels full of depth. As Amelie revisits all the places where she cried over Reese in public, she begins to realise the relationship was not as wonderful as she first thought. It follows Anna, who moves to a new town with her mum following a scandal at her old school. As Anna is drawn to the story of Maggie, a local girl accused of witchcraft centuries earlier, she begins to realise her own story has terrifying parallels.
Tapping into discussions around the treatment of women on social media, and the way in which the behaviour of girls and boys is differently judged, this is a must-read. Bea is growing up in s England and has desires to go to university and make something of herself, but her parents only want her to marry someone rich so she can keep the crumbling family estate alive. This follows Diana, Princess of the Amazons, as a teenager desperate to prove herself to her fellow Amazons.
When Diana spots a human girl, Alia, in danger off the coast of Themyscira, she rescues her unaware that Alia is a Warbringer. The pair soon find themselves on the run, trying to escape forces that want to possess Alia and use her to bring about the destruction of the world. Told she was not beautiful, and forced to stop doing the things she loved — horseriding and fencing — so as not to put off any marriage prospects, Isabelle turned into a bully.
This excellent novel has a lot of say about our image-obsessed culture and Western beauty standards, plus the damaging effects that these have on young women. Before YA was a thing, there was Junk by Melvin Burgess, a book passed around by teenagers like it was contraband.
The novel follows a group of teenagers, including Tar and Gemma, who are in the grip of a heroin addiction. Malorie Blackman is, hands down, a YA legend who continues to write excellent books for young people.
Sephy is a Cross, dark-skinned and beautiful and living a life of privilege and power. Callum is a Nought, pale-skinned and poor. The pair have been friends since childhood, but know that love is out of the question in a world where Noughts and Crosses are bitter enemies. When Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of a childhood friend, who is unarmed, by police, she must decide who she is and if she can speak up about what has happened.
In the world of the books society is housed in 13 districts, which get poorer the further away from the Capitol they get. Every year, the Capitol holds the Hunger Games, in which two Tributes from each of the districts is thrust into a reality TV show where they fight to the death. When Katniss Everdeen takes the place of her sister as a Tribute, she begins a revolution that could bring down the government.
Addictive and full of thrills, this is a brilliant series. The book is the story of Holden Caulfield, a disaffected teenager who has just been expelled from another school. Rainbow Rowell has a knack for putting on the page exactly the things you felt as a teenager, and still sometimes feel as an adult. Fangirl is the story of twins Cath and Wren who have done everything, including writing fanfiction , together.
When they go to university, Wren is keen to break out, explore new things and make friends, while Cath wants to take shelter in her room and keep interacting with people to the internet. This story about being brave will resonate for any adult who is ever uncertain about trying new things. Maggie Stiefvater writes fiction that often takes inspiration from myths and legends.
This standalone novel is set in a town which every year holds the Scorpio Races - a race in which people race wild water horses. Lyrical and magical, this is a beautiful novel.
Five students go into detention, but only four leave alive. When outsider Simon, the creator of a notorious gossip app, dies in detention, there are only four suspect: academic Bronwyn, sporty Cooper, bad boy Nate and prom queen Addy. Simon knew secrets about all of them, but who decided murder was the only way to stop him? This debut novel is a rom-com and a great book about girls in STEM.
At a summer camp before her first year at college, Dimple wants to focus on becoming a web developer, but she keeps getting distracted by hopeless romantic Rishi Patel. Cute is the perfect word to sum up this heartwarming novel. The Lie Tree follows Faith, who discovers a tree which grows healthy and bears fruit if you whisper a lie to it.
The fruit of that tree, if eaten, will deliver a truth to the person who consumes it, but only at the expense of the lie being believed.
An evocative and sophisticated book that will really make you think. But her fiction is accessible and moving, regardless of form. Her newest book is Toffee , about runaway Allison, who hides in a shed of what she thinks is an abandoned house. Desperate for a place to stay and used to hiding who she really is, Allison becomes Toffee, but as she grows closer to Marla she begins to ask herself what home and family really is.
Four teenagers, 24 hours, one council estate. In this novel about gentrification, police corruption and the power of friendship , Nikesh Shukla has created a pacy, at times heart-stopping read.
To take back her confidence, Willowdeen enters the Miss Clover City beauty pageant, along with several other unlikely candidates, to show that she deserves to be up there as much as anyone else. This is a fun and touching read about loving yourself and your body. Arthur, in New York for the summer, believes in showstopping romances.
Ben, a New Yorker through and through, has fallen out of love with love after a break-up. A chance encounter at a post office brings the boys together, but will the universe keep getting in the way of them getting together? Funny, realistic and with a perfect ending, this will have you hooked. Skip to content.
The clue is in the name - YA is for both teenagers and adults. You may also like. Here are 25 YA novels we love as adults, and think you will too. Buy here. The Burning by Laura Bates. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly.
Junk by Melvin Burgess. Buy book. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. Internment by Samira Ahmed. Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge. Toffee by Sarah Crossan. Run, Riot by Nikesh Shukla. Clean by Juno Dawson. Images: Supplied by publishers.