I love YA. I love that it explores the nooks and crannies of adolescence. I love that it’s even better written then when I was a YA. I love that I can read it quickly. Here are my top YA books I read this year, divided into two categories: A Top 10 (plus honorable mentions) of YA books that have romance as the main (or a large part of their) plot. I also include A Top 5 (plus honorable mentions) of YA books that do not concern themselves with romance.
As before, links will send you to the Goodreads page for the book, with all the information you will need to find the book.
Top 10 YA With Romance
(I should note that I like the romance part a lot, so some might quibble with me as to whether some of these stories are actually concerned with romance.)
Maybe you want to catch up with the Artful Dodger? Terry Pratchett has a delightful bit of historical fiction for you.
Eleanor & Park
Both of the title characters don’t fit into their worlds in different ways. They find each other through a love of books and music and their connection helps one support the other. An incredible story by my new favorite author.
The same person who wrote Eleanor & Park also gives us Cath, the incredibly awkward college freshman who is a master at writing fan fiction. So. Funny. And also sweet and dramatic.
If I Stay / Where She Went
The first of this two-book series is gripping and incredible and I think you should just read it, instead of reading a synopsis. It will be that much better, trust me. The second book is also quite good. This is by my other new favorite author.
Just One Day / Just One Year
Man, sometimes a book just catches you and it becomes difficult to go to bed on time, or fix dinner or even go to work, because all you want to do is read. Just One Day was that book for me. And Just One Year was nearly as consuming.
Love and Other Perishable Items
It wasn’t quite as consuming as Just One Day, but nearly so. Having worked in a grocery store, I loved that perspective, and the twin unrequited loves the two leads felt were well written.
Rafe is gay and out of the closet and fine with it. But when he decides to attend a boarding school for his junior year of high school, he decides not mention to anyone that he is gay. Very interesting setup.
Out of the Easy
What’s a daughter of a French Quarter prostitute to do with her life? That’s the question in this grand bit of historical fiction, set in the 1950s.
Sam’s dad drags him to a beach house on an island for the summer and said island is populated with a ton of incredibly beautiful girls, who all seem to be very interested in Sam. The rest of the book doesn’t go the way you are thinking it will.
The Infinite Moment of Us
True confession: This is one of my favorites because it’s very explicit in its description of sex, and what comes before sex. However, that said, I like the way the characters experience sex and what comes before it.
Top 5 YA No Romance
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock
Leonard has plans to murder a classmate and kill himself. Not at all as horrifying as it sounds.
One Came Home
Aside from the title, which I hate, I loved everything about this book which has a little bit of everything in a not-overwhelming way.
Kinda mystery, kinda adventure. Good bicycle book.
The Different Girl
The kind of book that will probably stick with me for a very long time.
The Thing About Luck
Tragically funny in that way that books can be sometimes.