The 10 Best Young Adult Books

video play icon

This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in March of 2018. Written for young adults, but also well suited for readers in their 20s, 30s, and beyond, these books are filled with thrilling, funny, and relatable coming-of-age tales. We've included novels that occupy various genres, from fantasy and science-fiction to drama and romance. Some are centered around adventures and falling in love, while others tackle tough issues like disease, depression, and war. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. The Book Thief

2. Harry Potter Box Set

3. The Divergent Series

Editor's Notes

April 06, 2020:

There are truly countless books for adolescents that could be called outstanding, to the point that it’s difficult to narrow it down to just 10. However, we worked to create a list of standouts that are tried and true, and most -- if not all -- of these are also enjoyed by many an adult. In today’s update, we added in the Divergent Series box set, which includes all three from the series as well as a companion volume that serves as a prequel and is told from the viewpoint of the character Tobias. The story, which spawned three popular films, centers around protagonist Tris Prior, as she decides to switch factions in a dangerous dystopian society where it is strictly forbidden. Tris and Tobias decide they must fight in the looming war to save their loved ones and countless others.

We also added in The Fault in Our Stars, which contains a heavy storyline regarding a 16-year-old girl with terminal cancer. She meets a boy in a very similar situation, and the two of them decide to embark on a mission to find the author of their favorite book, which has ended unfinished. In many ways, they're dealing with usual teen issues, as they’re also forced to face their own mortality. It replaces Extraordinary Means on our list, which is also about adolescents in hospitals with dire illnesses, but for some readers, the characters are not as relatable and the plot is a bit more predictable. We also removed The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a bestseller published in the 1990s that developed its own cult-like following, to make room for a newer selection.

We were sure to keep the Harry Potter Box Set and the Hunger Games Trilogy on the list. Both sets are great for any reader who appreciates a page-turning, multi-book series with strong and relatable characters. The Book Thief, set in Nazi Germany, has garnered more than 20,000 glowing reviews and, although it’s another heavy storyline, proves very rewarding and is popular among many adults of all ages. For books that will keep you on the edge of your seat – some of which are suitable for adolescents – check out our lists of best thriller books and best mystery books.

Special Honors

Michael Vey: Battle of the Ampere This author-signed novel is one of a series about a 14-year-old boy who is known as the kid with Tourette’s syndrome, yet in truth he has special electric powers. He comes to find out there are other kids like him, and together, they set out to determine how they came to have their abilities. Along the way, they encounter a group determined to use them to control the world.

4. Looking for Alaska

5. The Hate U Give

6. Hunger Games Trilogy

7. The Fault in Our Stars

8. Ready Player One

9. Girl in Pieces

10. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Karen Bennett
Last updated by Karen Bennett

Karen Bennett lives in Chicago with her family, and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found practicing yoga or cheering on her kids at soccer games. She holds a master’s degree in journalism and a bachelor’s in English, and her writing has been published in various local newspapers, as well as “The Cheat Sheet,” “Illinois Legal Times,” and “USA Today.” She has also written search engine news page headlines and worked as a product manager for a digital marketing company. Her expertise is in literature, nonfiction, textbooks, home products, kids' games and toys, hardware, teaching accessories, and art materials.

Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For more information on our rankings, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.