10 Young Adult Novels You Must Read

Do you read? Are you one of those who, if found a book, would not sit still unless you finish it? Because if you are, this article is for you.

Listed below are 10 Young Adult novels that you must read, before you start anything else. You won’t be disappointed, we promise.

10. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Routine, order and predictability shelter him from the messy, wider world. Then, at fifteen, Christopher’s carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbour’s dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is one of the freshest debuts in years: a comedy, a heart breaker, a mystery story, a novel of exceptional literary merit that is great fun to read.

9. To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird is primarily a novel about growing up under extraordinary circumstances in the 1930s in the Southern United States. The story covers a span of three years, during which the main characters undergo significant changes. Scout Finch lives with her brother Jem and their father Atticus in the fictitious town of Maycomb, Alabama. Maycomb is a small, close-knit town, and every family has its social station depending on where they live, who their parents are, and how long their ancestors have lived in Maycomb.

A widower, Atticus raises his children by himself, with the help of kindly neighbours and a black housekeeper named Calpurnia. Scout and Jem almost instinctively understand the complexities and machinations of their neighbourhood and town. The only neighbour who puzzles them is the mysterious Arthur Radley, nicknamed Boo, who never comes outside. When Dill, another neighbour’s nephew, starts spending summers in Maycomb, the three children begin an obsessive quest to lure Boo outside.

A must read.

8. It’s Kind of a Funny Story

The novel follows 15-year-old Craig: he is depressed and suicidal. He attends a prestigious school which he spent months and months studying and working towards however, since the day of his welcome letter, he’s never been happy. The school is just stress and grades, he’s struggling to keep his head above water and admits himself into the mental health ward. The synopsis sounds cringey, teenagery maybe even predictable but it’s not. The title sums it up perfectly: ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ because it is.

Anyone dealing with any kind of mental illness needs to read this. Heck, anyone who knows anyone or knew someone who had a mental illness or saw someone with one on TV or in a movie or even just walked past someone who looked glum, needs to read this.

7. Wonder

August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

“This unforgettable story, told from different points of view, has the power to change the way people think.”

6. Looking For Alaska

Looking for Alaska is about Florida high-school student Miles Halter and his foray into what he calls “the great perhaps,” a reference to Francois Rabelais’s dying words (dying words being the one thing Miles is interested in). Miles leaves his bland middle-class high school and journeys to Culver Creek, an elite boarding school in Alabama. Before Culver Creek, Miles’s life was boring. No real pain or pleasure seeped into his days; no friends or enemies or challenges of any kind. Culver Creek throws him into a different world, one with all that he lacked before. His first real friend is Chip, his brilliant white-trash roommate also known as “the Colonel.” Chip heads up the gang of kids that Miles falls in with, the most stunning and hypnotic of these is the gorgeous, sharp, troubled, sweet Alaska Young.

“What sings and soars in this gorgeously told tale is Green’s mastery of language and the sweet, rough edges of Pudge’s voice. Girls will cry and boys will find love, lust, loss and longing in Alaska’s vanilla-and-cigarettes scent.”

5. Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park is the story of two outsiders who fall in love, but if you think you’ve heard this story before, think again. Their romance happens in the wrong place at the wrong time, but together, Eleanor and Park are anything but wrong. Just like Shakespeare’s unlucky Romeo and Juliet, our heroes are destined to be torn apart, but along the way they share something incredible.

But don’t cry. Eleanor & Park manages to be snarky, hilarious, incredibly real, and in the end, hopeful.

Well, okay, you can cry a little bit.

4. The Fault in Our Stars

Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

“A novel of life and death and the people caught in between, The Fault in Our Stars is John Green at his best. You laugh, you cry, and then you come back for more.”

3. The Catcher in the Rye

In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield recounts the days following his expulsion from Pencey Prep, a private school. After a fight with his roommate, Stradlater, Holden leaves school two days early to explore New York before returning home, interacting with teachers, prostitutes, nuns, an old girlfriend, and his sister along the way.

The Catcher in the Rye illustrates a teenager’s dramatic struggle against death and growing up.

2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is narrated by Charlie, the ‘wallflower’, in a series of letters that he writes to a stranger, beginning the night before he starts his freshman year of high school in 1991. These letters catalogue Charlie’s attempts to “participate”, as he wanders wide eyed through a series of house parties and Rocky Horror Picture Show productions with his new, older friends. Along the way, Chbosky intelligently explores stock YA themes such as mental health, substance abuse and sexuality, whilst simultaneously reminding the reader about how exciting it is to be young and idealistic.

You cannot miss this.

1. All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven is a heartbreaking book about mental illness and its powerful effects on the person suffering from it, and the people around them. Finch and Violet meet on top of the bell tower at school. They both consider jumping off, but save one another from doing so. Finch is suicidal while Violet suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“There has never been a book like this.”


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