The Top 40 Young Adult Books of 2021 (So Far)

Posted by Sharon on June 7, 2021

Oh hey, we're nearly halfway through 2021! We can't really believe it either...

Traditionally, this is the time when the Goodreads editorial team takes a deep dive into our data to see which books published in the U.S. during the first six months of the year have been most popular, highly anticipated, and highly rated among our collective 125 million members. For the curious, we measure popularity by how often a book is added to readers' Want to Read shelves while also filtering out books that fall below a 3.5 star–average rating (at the time this article was written).

Below, you'll find the YA books published so far in 2021 that have been huge hits with Goodreads members. Scroll over the covers to learn more about each book, and be sure to add the books that pique your interest to your Want to Read shelf!

Which of these books have you read and enjoyed? Which ones are you looking forward to picking up? Let's talk books in the comments!

Check out more recent articles:
YA Readers' Most Anticipated Books for June
33 Can't-Wait Works of YA Speculative Fiction for Summer
YA Debut Is an Ojibwe Murder Mystery Ten Years in the Making

Comments Showing 1-17 of 17 (17 new)

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message 1: by Doris (last edited Jun 08, 2021 07:23AM) (new)

Doris Fisher Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly needs to be listed, tho it’s middle grade, all ages would love it!

message 2: by Samantha (new)

Samantha Gross Cribbin While I agree that it is a wonderful book and I completely loved it, Song for a Whale was not published in 2021.

message 3: by Ashley (last edited Jun 08, 2021 12:22PM) (new)

Ashley Look at this list! So many awesome titles!

Jimin'sRamenNoodles (Jinlo) I'd add Bias to the list also. She's a debut author that is gaining ratings pretty quickly, because Korean Popculture (K-pop) is taking off pretty quickly all around the world. People seem to really love this K-pop book in particular.
Bias by Lucy Gold

message 5: by Beth S (new)

Beth S The Adventure is Now should be on the list!! Such a fantastic read!

message 6: by TMR (new)

TMR What an awesome list.

message 7: by Shanice (new)

Shanice Ace of Spades is my 2021 YA favorite!!!

message 8: by Gabriella (new)

Gabriella Stead Rule Of Wolves was definitely my favourite release of 2021 so far.

message 9: by Tristan (new)

Tristan Prather Jay's Gay Agenda by Jason June MUST be on here.

message 11: by Bookzoomflash (new)

Bookzoomflash SCARLETT LOST IN THE FIVE LANDS by Rajendra Sarilla should be on the list. Focus on books from other countries too..why? Because I am not from usa, but i read books published in usa. To return the favour, you should read books published outside of usa.

message 12: by Veronica (new)

Veronica I like this list!!! Though A Prophecy of Dawn would be a wonderful addition. I enjoyed that book so much! Sigh...

message 13: by Anulekshmi (new)

Anulekshmi Even the covers themselves are so pretty,it could all be my wallpaper

message 14: by Meels (new)

Meels I was a bit disappointed with Winterkeep Winterkeep (Graceling Realm, #4) by Kristin Cashore . This series was a bit hit or miss for me, I guess. I absolutely LOVED Graceling, then found Fire to be rather strange and disjointed it didn't really fit in the timeline, being a far prequel to Graceling. Then I really loved Bitterblue, but found Winterkeep lacking. The premise was just a bit silly. When a monarch's emissaries disappear, the monarch does not go THEMSELVES to another continent to investigate...

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1) by Kristin Cashore 5*
Fire (Graceling Realm, #2) by Kristin Cashore 3*
Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3) by Kristin Cashore 5*
Winterkeep (Graceling Realm, #4) by Kristin Cashore 3*

message 15: by Meels (new)

Meels Question, I haven't been able to bring myself to read A Vow So Bold and Deadly (Cursebreakers, #3) by Brigid Kemmerer A Vow So Bold and Deadly, because I didn't like A Heart So Fierce and at all. I LOVED A Curse So Dark and Lonely, but in book two, they made (literally every one) all of the characters unlikable. I didn't really care by the end of it if they all died in a massive, globally devastating, fiery asteroid impact. Did. Not. Care.

So, to anyone who maybe wasn't crazy about A Heart So Fierce and Broken, did you find A Vow So Bold and Deadly worth the read? Because, I own it. Without some encouragement, I definitely won't be reading it though.

Lindsey The Librarian Last Night at the Telegraph Club was SO GOOD. It was beautiful and poignant. It didn't read like a YA novel at all which may or not be appealing to readers.

I thought it was such a unique look into various identities and was well-researched in a way that I believe was representative of each community.

message 17: by Marti (new)

Marti Dolata Bookzoomflash wrote: "SCARLETT LOST IN THE FIVE LANDS by Rajendra Sarilla should be on the list. Focus on books from other countries too..why? Because I am not from usa, but i read books published in usa. To return the ..."

Published in USA 2020.

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