Five Favorite Genres: Young Adult Edition

YA books, or books for teens, isn’t a genre. YA is a category, with many moods and genres that fall under that umbrella term. The core notion is that the books are for teens and about teens, but yes, there are still lots of adults who love them as well. Here are some of my personal favorites in a multitude of genres: Contemporary, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, and Horror. - Krista Hutley, Teen Librarian

Contemporary

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother's religion and her own relationship to the world.

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Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother's pushiness and her father's lack of interest tell her they're the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn't know the passengers inside, but they're the only people who won't judge her when she asks them her most personal questions . . . like what it means that she's falling in love with a girl.

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The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

When Norris, a Black French Canadian, starts his junior year at an Austin, Texas, high school, he views his fellow students as clichés from "a bad 90s teen movie."

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Boy 21 by Matthew Quick

Finley, an unnaturally quiet boy who is the only white player on his high school's varsity basketball team, lives in a dismal Pennsylvania town that is ruled by the Irish mob, and when his coach asks him to mentor a troubled African American student who has transferred there from an elite private school in California, he finds that they have a lot in common in spite of their apparent differences.

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. 

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Science Fiction and Fantasy

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Seventeen-year-old Zélie, her older brother Tzain, and rogue princess Amari fight to restore magic to the land and activate a new generation of magi in this West African-inspired fantasy.

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

“Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction--if they don't kill each other first"-- Provided by publisher.

E-Book

 

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule. To commemorate their Great Victory, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s Ball in Tokyo. Yael, a former death camp prisoner, has witnessed too much suffering, and the five wolves tattooed on her arm are a constant reminder of the loved ones she lost. The resistance has given Yael one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. 

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Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh

Teens Sully, Hunter, Dom, and Mandy team up in a race against unscrupulous billionaire CEO Alex Holliday to locate a collectible sphere, which may have a very steep price.

E-Book

 

Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

When a brutal revolution opens dragonrider classes to everyone, two orphans from very different backgrounds become rising stars in a new regime that is challenged by violent survivors of the former government.

E-Book

 

Mystery

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson descendants, Charlotte and Jamie, students at a Connecticut boarding school, team up to solve a murder mystery.

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Spin by Lamar Giles

When DJ ParSec (Paris Secord), rising star of the local music scene, is found dead over her turntables, the two girls who found her, Kya (her pre-fame best friend) and Fuse (her current chief groupie) are torn between grief for Paris and hatred for each other--but when the lack of obvious suspects stalls the investigation, and the police seem to lose interest, despite pressure from social media and ParSec's loyal fans, the two girls unite, determined to find out who murdered their friend.

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Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

When Stevie Bell, an amateur detective, begins her first year at a famous private school in Vermont, she sets a plan to solve the cold case involving the kidnapping of the founder's wife and daughter shortly after the school opened.

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White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig

Rufus Holt gets a call from his sister April, begging for help. He and ex-boyfriend Sebastian find her, drenched in blood and holding a knife beside the dead body of her boyfriend. April swears she didn't kill Fox. Rufus knows her too well to believe she's telling him the whole truth, but April has something he needs. Her price is his help. Now, with no one to trust but the boy he wants to hate yet can't stop loving, Rufus has one night to clear his sister's name...or die trying.

E-Book

 

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Sadie's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated Colorado town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. When Mattie is found dead, and the police investigation is botched, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice. She hits the road following a few meager clues. When West McCray, a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America, hears Sadie's story, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late. -- adapted from jacket

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Romance

Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles

High school junior Del Rainey unwittingly joins a Purity Pledge class at church, hoping to get closer to his long-term crush, Kiera.

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You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Liz Lighty has always done her best to avoid the spotlight in her small, wealthy, and prom-obsessed midwestern high school, after all, her family is black and rather poor, especially since her mother died; instead she has concentrated on her grades and her musical ability in the hopes that it will win her a scholarship to elite Pennington College and their famous orchestra where she plans to study medicine--but when that scholarship falls through she is forced to turn to her school's scholarship for prom king and queen, which plunges her into the gauntlet of social media which she hates and leads her to discoveries about her own identity and the value of true friendships.

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue by Mackenzie Lee

Vowing to make his yearlong escapade across Europe his last hurrah before taking over the family estate, Henry "Monty" Montague and his best friend Percy find themselves in the middle of a dangerous manhunt involving pirates and highwaymen.

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American Royals by Katharine McGee

In an alternate America, princesses Beatrice and Samantha Washington and the two girls wooing their brother, Prince Jeffrey, become embroiled in high drama in the most glorious court in the world.

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Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

When Anna's romance-novelist father sends her to an elite American boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school, she reluctantly goes, and meets an amazing boy who becomes her best friend, in spite of the fact that they both want something more.

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Horror

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

Not every gift is a blessing. Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite. But they don't laugh. Melanie is a very special girl. Emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end, the girl with all the gifts is the most powerful and affecting thriller you will read this year.

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The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco

Okiku is a lonely soul. She has wandered the world for centuries, freeing the spirits of the murdered-dead. Once a victim herself, she now takes the lives of killers with the vengeance they're due. But releasing innocent ghosts from their ethereal tethers does not bring Okiku peace. Still she drifts on. Such is her existence, until she meets Tark. Evil writhes beneath the moody teen's skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. While his neighbors fear him, Okiku knows the boy is not a monster. Tark needs to be freed from the malevolence that clings to him. There's just one problem: if the demon dies, so does its host.

E-Book

 

Rotters by Daniel Kraus

Sixteen-year-old Joey's life takes a very strange turn when his mother's tragic death forces him to move from Chicago to rural Iowa with the father he has never known, and who is the town pariah, although no one imagines the macabre way in which his father earns a living.

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Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Who are the Sawkill Girls? Marion: The newbie. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she's sure she'll never find. Zoey: The pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she's broken--or maybe everyone else is. Val: The queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives; a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies. Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs."--From publisher website.

E-Book

 

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

“Hawaii-born Makani Young's new life in Nebraska is thrown into chaos when a serial killer begins to target her fellow high school students"-- Provided by publisher.

E-Book

 

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