We can’t get enough of blockbuster adaptations including Love Simon, “His Dark Materials” and Let It Snow. They’re incredible narrative experiences that have put some of the best YA stories on all readers’ radars. But why stop there? Here are 12 more YA books readers 18 or 80 will love.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
If you love: Anne Rice, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and anything that goes bump in the night.
Rich in imagery and told in Black’s standout, signature prose, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a memorable literary feast with fangs.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
If you love: Harry Potter, Comic-Con and all things fannish.
Rowell creates an incredibly relatable protagonist in Cath, a college freshman with tremendous inner strength who comes to the aid of her family without a second thought and who finds her confidence with a pen in her hand.
How to Love by Katie Cotugno
If you love: Lady Bird, the New York Times’ “Modern Love” column and the way Jordan Catalano leaned against his locker that one time.
Cotugno’s novel is a story of first love, true love and the quick decisions that can change lives forever. Readers will find themselves taken back to their own first loves and wondering what might have been.
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
If you love: Kurt Vonnegut, the films of Jordan Peele, “Stranger Things” and any other media in which corn fields wave menacingly.
The end of the world is coming, and it will start in the small town of Ealing, Iowa, thanks to the muck-up of two best friends. Revealing any more details about the plot twists of this edgy, darkly funny work of magical realism would spoil the fun.
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
If you love: The Night Circus, Now You See Me and would definitely choose The Phantom over Raoul any day.
Caraval is full of sensory delights, from glittering castles to carousels made of rose petals to edible silver bells, but darkness lurks beneath its shimmery surface.
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
If you love: “Dickinson," The Favourite, anything described as a “romp.”
On a grand tour across the Continent that becomes an unexpected journey of self-discovery, Henry "Monty" Montague, his best friend Percy and his sister Felicity all get far more than they bargained for.
Conversion by Katherine Howe
If you love: “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” Megan Abbott’s The Fever, all things dark and witchy.
A mysterious illness is striking girls at a prestigious prep school in this suspenseful tale with more than a glimmer of magic.
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
If you love: Spike Jonze’s adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are, The Flaming Lips, opening books of poetry to random pages and reading whatever you land on.
Twins who were as close as siblings could possibly be are driven apart after only one of them is accepted to a prestigious school. As the stories of “before” and “after” their rupture intertwine, the reader is drawn into the complex drama of the sibling relationship.
The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
If you love: The film Black Swan, Sarah Polley's “Alias Grace” adaptation, knowing you’re alone in a dark room but not exactly feeling like you’re alone.
Unexplained phenomena, dark back stories, bloody flashbacks, creepy characters and a shocking denouement are enough to keep the sinister suspense going in this story of two girls who find their lives inextricably linked through the common denominator of Aurora Hills Secure Juvenile Detention Center.
Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
If you love: Memento, Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley novels, Vanity Fair (the novel, not the magazine).
Lockhart’s deftly plotted and fast-paced narrative told in reverse-chronological order lacks clear-cut heroines and antagonists and follows a chilling trajectory.
Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit
If you love: All the Light We Cannot See, Ken Burns’ “The War, ”all things World War II.
At the beginning of the German invasion of Poland during World War II, a young girl survives through an unexpected friendship with a man who can speak to birds. Gavit’s debut novel doesn’t avoid the hard topics as it lays bare the devastating effects of war.
The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater
If you love: Longform investigative journalism, NPR’s “Serial,” Just Mercy.
No simple morality tale and far more than a legal thriller, The 57 Bus is a genre-bending book that reveals the tangled complexities of gender, race, crime and justice in modern-day America.