Our Readers' Favorite YA Books of the Last Decade

Posted by Marie on October 8, 2018


The 2018 Goodreads Choice Awards is presented by Audible.

From Katniss Everdeen to Starr Carter, the last decade of YA heroes and heroines has captured the hearts of readers of all ages. Their willingness to take a stand, whether it’s in a dystopian regime or a divided community, not only makes these young teens admirable, but unforgettable.

With the 10th annual Goodreads Choice Awards just around the corner, we decided to round up the last ten years of “chosen ones” from the Young Adult Fiction and Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction categories. How many of these have you read? Don’t forget to add your favorites to your Want to Read shelf!



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Nights are the only time Auden can escape the ugliness of her parents’ divorce. Enter Eli, a fellow insomniac who’s running away from problems of his own as he becomes her tour guide to the nocturnal side of town.

Winner: Best Young Adult Fiction (2009)



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Katniss barely survived winning the Hunger Games, but the Capitol isn’t done with her yet. Her victory has fueled a growing unrest throughout all 12 districts, and it will be up to her to either stop the fire…or keep it burning.

Winner: Best Young Adult Fiction and All-Time Favorite (2009)



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“Cupid Day” should have been the perfect celebration of valentines and roses for popular high school senior Samantha Kingston. Then she dies in a terrible accident, only to wake up the next morning and relive the same day over again.

Winner: Best Young Adult Fiction (2010)



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The revolution is drawing to a close, and its success hinges on Katniss' willingness to be a political pawn no matter what the personal cost. Can she put aside her anger and distrust to change the future of Panem forever?

Winner: Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2010) and Favorite Book of 2010



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The sequel to the bestselling novel If I Stay takes place three years after Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever. When an encounter in New York brings them together once more, they take a chance to revisit the past and open their hearts.

Winner: Best Young Adult Fiction (2011)



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Every year, those who come of age must choose one of the Five Factions that make up their seemingly perfect society. It’s an initiation that changes everyone—Tris Prior, most of all. Her choice will determine not only her status, but also her survival.

Winner: Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2011) and Favorite Book of 2011



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Hazel already knows how her story will end. Her terminal illness has defined everything in her life, including its final chapter. At this point, she’s not expecting any miracles…until a gorgeous plot twist in the form of Augustus Waters joins her support group.

Winner: Best Young Adult Fiction (2012)



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Tris may have chosen her faction, but now she must choose sides in the coming war. The unspeakable horrors of her initiation day have led her to a dangerous crossroads, one where she could lose herself and everyone she loves.

Winner: Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2012) and Best Goodreads Author (2012)



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They say you never forget your first love. Over the course of a school year, two misfits named Eleanor and Park will learn just what it takes to give someone their heart and what it takes to keep a promise.

Winner: Best Young Adult Fiction (2013)



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Society as Tris knows it has been shattered. Now she’s offered a chance to explore the world beyond the boundaries of factions. But will the path forward be more dangerous than the one she’s leaving behind?

Winner: Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Ficiton (2013)



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Among a group of four friends, no one knows who’s telling a lie and no one knows who’s telling the truth. In their world, it’s best to keep your enemies close and your secrets even closer.

Winner: Best Young Adult Fiction (2014)



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In the final book of the Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends face the greatest evil yet: her own brother. With the fate of the world at stake, the Shadowhunters must journey deep into the demon realms, from where no human has ever returned.

Winner: Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2014)



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Theodore and Violet both want to escape their suffering. When they meet on the ledge of the school’s bell tower, it’s unclear who saves whom. All they know is that when they’re together, they can stop counting the days and start living them.

Winner: Best Young Adult Fiction (2015)



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As the rightful Queen of Terrasen, all Celaena wants is to regain everything that’s been taken from her—including her kingdom. To do this, she’ll have to confront the demons of her past and the demons of the court that destroyed her people.

Winner: Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2015)



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Thousands of refugees flee East Prussia as World War II draws to a close. Here the lives of Joana, Emilia, and Florian intertwine as they board the Wilhelm Gustoff. Just as freedom is within their grasp, tragedy changes their course and alters their destiny.

Winner: Best Young Adult Fiction (2016)



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Feyre may have survived Amarantha’s cruelties, but the scars run deep. Though she may have the powers of a High Fae, her heart remains human. Against her expectations, it’s the fearsome ruler of the Night Court who offers to make use of her gifts.

Winner: Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2016)



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Starr Carter belongs to two worlds: her poor neighborhood and the suburban prep school she attends. Her worlds violently clash when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer.

Winner: Best Young Adult Fiction (2017)



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A dangerous king threatens to bring all of Prythian to its knees. The only thing standing in his way is Feyre and the Night Court. Together they must rally the other High Lords to their cause to save both humans and faeries alike.

Winner: Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2017)






Which YA Goodreads Choice Award winners have you read? Let us know in the comments!

Don't forget that the first round of voting for the 2018 Goodreads Choice Awards begins on October 30!

Check out more recent blogs:

Discover These Hot New YA Series
Laini Taylor Reveals the Allure of Forbidden Love
The Ultimate Fall Reading List for YA Book Fans

Comments Showing 1-48 of 48 (48 new)

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message 1: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen M. How about THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE?
Awesome book that my book club just read and passed on to a second book club in the area who also loved it.


message 2: by Joan (new)

Joan One of my favorites plus it’s sequel.


message 3: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen M. Haven’t read sequel yet but several friends have and enjoyed it as well.


message 4: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Baker Wow, I've read 14 of these and the rest are on my TBR, except for the Sarah Dessen book. Somehow I overlooked that one. Great list!


message 5: by Jo (new)

Jo Loved Hate You Give, insightful, devastating & hopeful


message 6: by Rosie (new)

Rosie Cairns I'm really surprised by how many of these I've read. Although it makes sense I guess, I am a big YA fan. The only ones I've never heard of are Before I Fall and Along for the Ride. I must remember to read where she went!

I have to say I'm surprised that Cinder isn't on there, although I guess that was never quite as mainstream popular as something like the Hunger Games.


message 7: by Nitya (new)

Nitya Along for the Ride and The Hunger Games trilogy! Eleanor & Park shouldn’t be on this list though because of its creepy fetishizing and racism


message 8: by Sejal (new)

Sejal Shah-myers I just re-read Eleanor and Park and loved it all over again. Asian woman I didn't find it fetishizing or racist.


anya🧜‍♀️🧚‍♀️ (luna lovegood ftw) I’ve read 8. I love The Hate U Give, Queen of Shadows, and The Hunger Games!!


message 10: by Kaitlyn (new)

Kaitlyn Love Sarah J. Maas books, my absolute favorites.


message 11: by Emily (new)

Emily Schacht Strange the dreamer and red rising should be on there, but all the rest I agree with!


message 12: by Bent (new)

Bent Mathiesen Eleanor and Park and The Fault In Our Stars boih good books I can recomend. By the way, I resent the genres name. I'm 70 for goodness sake!


message 13: by Bent (new)

Bent Mathiesen Furthermore I also love Neil Gaiman and John Greens books I found those before I realized they were called YA!


message 14: by Lekeisha (new)

Lekeisha The Booknerd I've read 12 of these!


message 15: by Cate (new)

Cate That's true, but I love Cinder and it is pretty popular.

Also, I thought that some Morgan Matson books, like Amy and Roger's Epic Detour should have made it on.


message 16: by Francesca (new)

Francesca Peel What I find odd is that many of these books were published years ago. After all, we not talking the best book ever! Love many of these but think we need to be looking at more recent publications.


message 17: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Title of list tells you that these are books from the last decade, so yes, some of them were published 10 years ago!


message 18: by Katie (new)

Katie Cashman OMG you need to nominate “Beautiful Creatures”, the book has my full attention and it just is wow, wow factor. If any book deserves this award it is “Beautiful Creatures”.


message 19: by Sophie_The_Jedi_Knight (last edited Oct 10, 2018 07:01AM) (new)

Sophie_The_Jedi_Knight I've read 13 and the rest are on my TBR!


message 20: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Kathleen wrote: "How about THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE?
Awesome book that my book club just read and passed on to a second book club in the area who also loved it."


I think a lot of people consider that book to be a middle grade selection rather than a YA selection. But it is a really good book, I definitely agree with you there.


message 21: by Ziggy (new)

Ziggy Nixon Out of curiousity, how does one vote on such a list? I find the books here applaudable sure, but very slanted in terms of preference. I would have thought the amazing 'Gone' series by Michael Grant would have gotten a mention as well as the 'Steelheart' books by Brandon Sanderson.


message 22: by Beth (new)

Beth Francesca wrote: "What I find odd is that many of these books were published years ago. After all, we not talking the best book ever! Love many of these but think we need to be looking at more recent publications." Around mid-November, Goodreads will have users vote on their favorites from the current year. This post was "books from the last decade"


message 23: by Payal (new)

Payal Bent wrote: "Eleanor and Park and The Fault In Our Stars boih good books I can recomend. By the way, I resent the genres name. I'm 70 for goodness sake!"

Yeah and because of the name of this genre (which isn't a genre per se, just a recommended min. age), the books here get a bad rap. I wish they would change it to 'suitable for YA' or 'YA+'. Some these books are spectacular, like the "The Hate U Give".


message 24: by Maddie (new)

Maddie The divergent series is one of the best series I've read.


message 25: by Nouha (new)

Nouha we were liars is sooo overrated


message 26: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Ziggy wrote: "Out of curiousity, how does one vote on such a list? I find the books here applaudable sure, but very slanted in terms of preference. I would have thought the amazing 'Gone' series by Michael Grant..."
I believe these are winners of their Goodreads Choice Awards which they put out every year.


message 27: by Kaitlynn (new)

Kaitlynn Skolnick What about Girl Made of Stars or Thirteen Reasons Why? Just recently read both of them, and they were really good. I agree of SJM books and Shadowhunter novels. They were AWESOME!! Also agree on The Hate U Give. I can't wait until the movie comes out!


message 28: by Dawn (new)

Dawn 10


message 29: by JPT (new)

JPT Kathleen wrote: "How about THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE?
Awesome book that my book club just read and passed on to a second book club in the area who also loved it."


Absolutely! I listened to both books on audio and Jayne Entwhistle did a fabulous job narrating.


message 30: by Kira (new)

Kira Brighton Kathleen wrote: "How about THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE?
Awesome book that my book club just read and passed on to a second book club in the area who also loved it."


That's middle grade (MG), not YA. :)


message 31: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Looking at this list and the one for the lower age bracket I'm wondering if it's time to start excluding sequels from the vote. 7 of 10 listed are from series and are bound to get more votes. They are highly promoted upon release, also more people read them because they read the others. Or given the prevalence of series at YA level add another YA category for best series (for sequels but not first books).


message 32: by Dusty (new)

Dusty I agree with the comment about sequels and series. And I'd like to nominate Daughter of Smoke and Bone - when there's a series list!


message 33: by Brooke (new)

Brooke Mobley LOVED that series! Could read it again and AGAIN!


message 34: by Truebluedah ♪ (new)

Truebluedah ♪ I’m disappointed that fangirl is not on here but Eleanor and park is... I felt like fangirl was much better.


message 35: by Truebluedah ♪ (new)

Truebluedah ♪ Nouha wrote: "we were liars is sooo overrated"

🤭🤔Interesting that you think that. I can see why you might think that. (I felt it was a little overhyped) but I enjoyed it! 🙃


message 36: by Lesly (new)

Lesly Jo wrote: "Loved Hate You Give, insightful, devastating & hopeful"

A book I will recommend to you is Dear Martin by Nic Stone. It is wonderful! I loved it so much more than The Hate You Give. In my opinion it is written a lot better than The Hate You Give. I didn't like that book, however I respect those who did. Give Dear Martin a try, I think you will love it!! :)


message 37: by Shannon (new)

Shannon OConnor All The Bright Places is a beautifully sad, well executed story that every middle/high school student should be required to read! Great anti-bullying/mental health message to all!


message 38: by Manlio (new)

Manlio hi boiz


message 39: by Jessica (new)

Jessica S. Kathleen wrote: "How about THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE?
Awesome book that my book club just read and passed on to a second book club in the area who also loved it."


Love that book too but technically it's MG not YA!


message 40: by Elise (new)

Elise Kathleen wrote: "How about THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE?
Awesome book that my book club just read and passed on to a second book club in the area who also loved it."


That's a good one but it's definitely middle grade, not YA.


message 41: by Johanna (new)

Johanna Mooney What about The Power (Naomi Alderman), definitely Red Rising, The Fifth Season, The Queen of Tearling, Iluminea, Finnikin of the Rock, I guess I like the YA Fantasy side more


message 42: by Sarah (new)

Sarah London I’ve read eleven of them, starring Katniss, Tris, Hazel, Violet, Aelin, Feyre, and Starr.


message 43: by Reina (new)

Reina The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue should be on this list. Even though it's not as popular as these ones, it's still equally good.


message 44: by Natasha (new)

Natasha OMG yesssss I have read and love over half of these books and most of the others are on my Want-To-Read list! I'm a huge YA fan, it's my lifeeeee


message 45: by Natasha (new)

Natasha And I would die without Sarah J. Maas in my life... I can't believe Throne of Glass is over 😢😢 even if Kingdom of Ash was heaven itself and a fitting conclusion to this incredible journey...


message 46: by Rossana (new)

Rossana 7 and counting... So many great memories and awesome hangovers 😂😂😂


message 47: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Coleman We were liars is a must read. Love so many on this list! One author is missing though..where is Jamie McGuire at?


message 48: by Emma (new)

Emma Harper Rosie wrote: "I'm really surprised by how many of these I've read. Although it makes sense I guess, I am a big YA fan. The only ones I've never heard of are Before I Fall and Along for the Ride. I must remember ..."

Cinder definitely should’ve been in this list. I loved the list they put together and have read almost all the books and thought they were amaicng but Cinder outrules them all. The Lunar Chronicles definitely should’ve Kadence the list. They are amazing YA fiction.


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