YA Before It Was Cool - Pre-2000 Books For YA Readers

The rise of the "young adult" categorization used by publishers and booksellers has created a strange sort of mixed genre encompassing fantasy, sci-fi, general contemporary fiction, "issues" books and more, with an evolving, shared set of tropes and cliches. The modern conception of YA fiction draws on older fiction, but it can be difficult for old fogies like me to know what to recommend to people looking for something resembling their favourite YA fiction. This list will hopefully bring together a collection of books published before 2000 which might appeal to fans of modern YA fiction.

There are no hard and fast criteria for inclusion of this list, but it should generally consist of books with teenage characters, coming-of-age themes and/or other general features associated with YA and exclude things you wouldn't recommend for a young teenager. It definitely isn't necessary for a book in this list to tick all the boxes of the increasingly parodied cliches of less imaginative modern YA.
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3.91 avg rating — 229,128 ratings
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3.81 avg rating — 7,318 ratings
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4.30 avg rating — 965,588 ratings
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3.87 avg rating — 36,318 ratings
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4.23 avg rating — 8,693 ratings
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3.81 avg rating — 1,193 ratings
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6

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4.17 avg rating — 157,604 ratings
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6

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4.12 avg rating — 90,911 ratings
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11

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4.24 avg rating — 431 ratings
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11

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3.78 avg rating — 6,463 ratings
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11

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3.90 avg rating — 52,780 ratings
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14

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3.96 avg rating — 11,752 ratings
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14

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4.03 avg rating — 336,160 ratings
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14

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3.87 avg rating — 10,330 ratings
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14

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4.04 avg rating — 11,755 ratings
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18

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3.96 avg rating — 640 ratings
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18

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3.97 avg rating — 296,486 ratings
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18

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3.84 avg rating — 12,075 ratings
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18

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3.54 avg rating — 870 ratings
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22

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3.81 avg rating — 336 ratings
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22

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3.96 avg rating — 202,017 ratings
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22

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3.76 avg rating — 21,223 ratings
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22

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3.65 avg rating — 9,201 ratings
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26

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3.97 avg rating — 1,531 ratings
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26

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4.03 avg rating — 188,852 ratings
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26

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3.58 avg rating — 6,461 ratings
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26

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3.96 avg rating — 1,092,771 ratings
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30

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3.64 avg rating — 12,517 ratings
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30

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4.09 avg rating — 350,318 ratings
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30

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3.66 avg rating — 6,277 ratings
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33

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 5,702 ratings
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33

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3.55 avg rating — 13,335 ratings
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35

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4.05 avg rating — 6,334 ratings
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36

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3.93 avg rating — 10,499 ratings
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37

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3.73 avg rating — 4,788 ratings
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38

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 63,537 ratings
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39

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4.25 avg rating — 42,538 ratings
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40

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4.27 avg rating — 37,224 ratings
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41

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3.58 avg rating — 339 ratings
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42

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3.41 avg rating — 56 ratings
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42 books · 9 voters · list created November 23rd, 2016 by Keith (votes) .
2 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Keith 3579 books
90 friends
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Lewis 1634 books
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Aimee 1311 books
19 friends
Iris 3818 books
2 friends

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