The Best YA Books of 2018 (So Far)

Posted by Marie on July 30, 2018
This year, the YA world said hello to fierce newcomers like Zélie Adebola and bid adieu to beloved favorites like Lada Dracul. With 2018 more than halfway over, we decided to take a look back at the genre's best and brightest (so far).

To create this list, we focused on books that were published from January to July and included the titles that have been added the most to Goodreads members' shelves. And to make sure we were serving up the cream of the YA crop, we only listed books with at least a four-star average rating. This is why A Court of Frost and Starlight, War Storm, and The Fates Divide did not make the cut.

How many of these top-rated titles have you read? Don't forget to add your favorites to your Want to Read shelf!


Hot New Series
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Epic Sequels
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Must-Read Standalones
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Which titles are you most excited to read? Let us know in the comments!

Check out complete coverage of YA Week:
31 Adaptations that Prove Hollywood Loves YA
45 Hidden Gems for YA Superfans
The Most Anticipated YA Books

Comments Showing 1-30 of 30 (30 new)

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message 4: by Gray (new)

Gray Cox So glad to see Thunderhead and A Thousand Perfect Notes on here!!


message 5: by icatchdreams (new)

icatchdreams This is a good list. I'm glad they compiled this. I found a few new reads to add to my TBR list. Nice Try Jane Sinner sounds really interesting.


message 6: by Rain (new)

Rain I'M SO GLAD A Thousand Perfect Notes IS HERE. I LOVE THAT BOOK SO MUCH AND C.G. Drews IS A VERY AMAZING PERSON.


message 7: by Leo (new)

Leo ((( Silver O. Smith - "Recording all three networks and PBS." "All three. Wow." "And PBS." ))) wrote: "THUNDERHEAD!!!!"

THUNDERHEAD!!! Loved that book.


message 8: by Dustin (new)

Dustin Agreed!! Children of Blood and Bone surpassed every expectation long ago, and I still have a couple hundred pages to go!!!


message 9: by Trevor (new)

Trevor Looking forward to reading I Was Born For This; it's gotten so many positive reviews I decided to purchase it in my latest Book Depository haul. I feel Leah on the Offbeat has many mixed reviews, but I definitely loved it more than Simon. Was not expecting to enjoy Starry Eyes or Nice Try, Jane Sinner as much as I did, they both became strong 4* reads. Jane Sinner is hilarious & I don't think there's much humor in YA (especially contemporaries) anymore so I highly recommend that one if you're looking for a fun read.


message 10: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Stoolfire I've read 5 of these and most of the rest on my tbr!


message 11: by K8 (new)

K8 Loved Dread Nation, still need to check out Children of Blood and Bone and Trail of Lightning, need to catch up on The Conqueror's Saga, Ember in the Ashes and the Charlotte Holmes series. The Arc of a Scythes series looks excellent too! While I liked Leah on the Offbeat well enough, in terms of fat queer girls, I enjoyed The Summer of Jordi Perez sooo much more.

In terms of standalones I'm definitely interested in Girl Made of Stars and I Was Born For This, and tentatively interested Sky in the Deep and The Bird and the Blade. But To Kill a Kingdom was TERRIBLE. Hardly anything actually happens, the trajectory is predictable, the banter is annoying, the secondary characters are pointless and shallow, and I keep seeing praise for the prose despite some serious flaws.


message 12: by Katsuro (new)

Katsuro Ricksand I loved the ethical discussions in Obsidio. AIDAN's utilitarianism versus Kady's absolutism was fascinating. The best YA book I've read all year.


♛Abby • thecourtofreading I’ve read some of these, but it’s great to see that the books on my to-read list are on here!


message 14: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Marie I have to say Children of Blood and Bone was so poorly written! It had so much potential and I was as excited as anyone but the characters lacked depth and conviction, the world-building was very poor and the plot seemed very formulaic. Was sadly disappointing :(


message 15: by Inês (new)


message 16: by Celia (last edited Aug 01, 2018 03:56PM) (new)

Celia Buell I'm surprised A Court of Frost and Starlight isn't here. It certainly hasn't been Maas's best in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, but it definitely is popular.


message 17: by Tara (new)

Tara lol It physically pains me to see Leah on the Offbeat on the same list as Thunderhead.. >_>


message 18: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I've read Children of Blood and Bone and it was amazing :)


message 19: by Rhonda (new)

Rhonda Several of these are on my TBR, but I highly recommend The Poet X. It absolutely blew me away.


message 20: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Haskin Celia wrote: "I'm surprised A Court of Frost and Starlight isn't here. It certainly hasn't been Maas's best in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, but it definitely is popular."

It states in the intro that the book was not included due to amount of stars.


Natali (livebreaththeread) ((( Silver O. Smith - "Recording all three networks and PBS." "All three. Wow." "And PBS." ))) wrote: "THUNDERHEAD!!!!" WOOOHOO CAN I GET A HOYAAAAA


message 22: by Deb (new)

Deb I am so glad someone else was disappointed in Children of Blood and Bone. There were glaring anachronisms and other such. After such a build-up, I was sadly disappointed.


message 23: by Briony (new)

Briony Can confirm that 'I Was Born For This' by Alice Oseman is AMAZING, best book I've read so far this year!! :)


message 24: by Kate (new)

Kate Buchanan Just finished Violet Blood from The Cure Academy series. This book was so good, definately a MUST read :)


message 25: by dezzy (new)

dezzy I'm currently reading I Was Born for This, and I'm enjoying it SO MUCH!! It's such an amazing and relatable book.


message 26: by hana (new)

hana I just finish The Complete Pendomus Chronicles Trilogy Books 1-3 of the Pendomus Chronicles Dystopian Scifi Boxed Set Series by Carissa Andrews The Complete Pendomus Chronicles Trilogy: Books 1-3 of the Pendomus Chronicles Dystopian Scifi Boxed Set Series by Carissa Andrews, and loving it. I wonder why it wasn't on the list.


message 27: by Care (last edited Aug 12, 2018 08:31AM) (new)

Care Kelley Gotta admit....I didn't especially care for Dumplin’


message 28: by Kirsten (last edited Aug 07, 2018 02:13PM) (new)

Kirsten Usman How about Judge Birdie #1: The Case Of The Disappearing Amur Leopard. The Case Of The Disappearing Amur Leopard (Judge Birdie) (Volume 1) by Kirsten UsmanThe Case Of The Disappearing Amur Leopard


message 30: by Anne (last edited Aug 08, 2018 09:37AM) (new)

Anne Braithwaite Land Mammals and Sea Creatures by Jen Neale is a great read. A very thought provoking novel by a first time Canadian novelist. I strongly suggest adding this novel to your reading list.


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