The Best Young Adult Books of 2023

Adolescence is a whirlwind, and so are these top 10 young adult titles of 2023, which are dizzyingly exciting and powerful. Packed with both action and moments of reflection, they’ll stop your heart and make you laugh out loud, maybe even at the same time.

Lesa Cline-Ransome powerfully chronicles the events that lead to a fictitious lynching in For Lamb, which expertly balances brutality and sensitivity.

In the seven intersecting stories that compose Greymist Fair, author Francesca Zappia nods at fairy-tale conventions before subverting and exceeding them.

Bestselling author Becky Albertalli’s latest novel offers a gentle, hilarious and authentic look at figuring out who you are on your own timeline.

In this story of a girl who questions her parents’ Black separatist utopian community, author Ibi Zoboi strikes a delicate balance with weighty themes.

In her fifth book starring teen sleuth Stevie Bell, Maureen Johnson both employs and subverts the hallmarks of classical English country house mysteries.

Only This Beautiful Moment transmutes the rallying cry of “we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it” into even more beautiful poetry that will change lives.

By David Bowles, Illustrated by Amanda Mijangos

Weaving history and fiction together, David Bowles fashions a rich story of political intrigue, ferocious battles, beautiful landscapes and the enduring hope of humanity.

The Space Between Here & Now is an intriguing mix of fantasy and realism that lures readers in with the promise of magic and keeps them engaged with emotionally resonant themes.

This fantasy novel ventures into the darkest aspects of human emotions to pose a difficult but necessary question: What does it mean to truly heal and be healed?

Firekeeper’s Daughter author Angeline Boulley returns to Sugar Island with a thriller that urges readers to consider: Who owns the past?

Previous Best YA lists

Recent starred YA

A stunning representation of not only pain and conflict, but also the joy that is still able to make its way through, Our Beautiful Darkness is sure to leave readers considering, appreciating and reflecting on the world around them.

With its unique multigenerational approach, Age 16 expertly tackles perceptions of weight, self-worth and parental conflict.

Andi Porretta’s debut graphic novel, Ready or Not, dances on the edge between youth and adulthood. Its characters are vibrant and fun, but they’re also facing a lot of change—which lets the story explore the joy, pain and chaos of growing up.

A horrifyingly honest tale, Lockjaw will keep you guessing with its creative storytelling, while its full-bodied characters will keep you reading as they band together to kill the monster haunting their town.

In her extraordinary fifth novel, Icarus, K. Ancrum performs a confident high-wire act, balancing the weighty manifestations of connection, desire and contradiction.