Young Adult Fiction for Adults discussion

Recommendations > Great Young Adult Finds

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message 1: by Jaime (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:03PM) (new)

Jaime | 41 comments Mod
I am a huge fan of Tamora Pierce. She mostly writes for female protagonists. Her books are fantasy novels, but there is no offensive language, I wouldn't call it graphic violence but her characters do battle with swords and magic and no sex (at least non that I remember). Otherwise, the Dark Materials by Philip Pullman was amazing. I also enjoy Monica Furlong's novels.

message 2: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:04PM) (new)

Rindis Some older authors that you may want to look into for "forgotten authors" columns:

Joseph Altsheller wrote several fairly nice YA historical novel series nearly a century ago. I've only read the first, second, and fourth books of his Civil War series; and the last book of a frontiersman series (I believe The Border Watch, thought it was the French and Indian war though), and an earlier book in the series that I don't remember.

As I recall, they're all reasonably solid boy's-adventure stories with decent history and characters that have to stand on their own two feet.

Robert Bowen wrote a similar (though far more pulp) "Dave Dawson" series on World War II, while the war was still going on (15 volumes from 1941-46). Not nearly as historically redeeming, but with fun action and an interesting 'during the fighting' viewpoint.

More current - I've just started reading a Tamora Pierce novel. So far so good. ^_^

Diane Duane's Young Wizard's series is great contemporary Fantasy with SF underpinnings. Kind of a 'geek's Harry Potter', (the main character is a bookworm, and is hiding from bullies at the beginning of the first novel) the various books stand on their own, and are one of my favorite series.

message 3: by J-Lynn Van Pelt (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:05PM) (new)

J-Lynn Van Pelt | 27 comments Jaime,
I am in agreement about how great Tamora Pierce's books are, but they do have sex in them. In the Alanna Quartet, Alanna gets a birth control amulet because she and Jonathan become intimate when they are living in the desert in tents. In Protector of the Small, I don't remember Kell having sex, but the knight she is assigned to is. I think Pierce handles the scenes very respectfully and the books are incredibly empowering for women. But, I didn't wan't people to have the worng idea. I would check out some of her new series, I can't remember anything in those.

message 4: by Renee (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:05PM) (new)

Renee | 4 comments Concur with the comment on Diane Duane and the Young Wizard series. I just found then and devoured them! The first book is good and they just get better. Book 2 (Deep Wizardry) is my favorite and definitely stands on its own. Enjoy!!

message 5: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:08PM) (new)

Rindis Books 2 and 3 seem to be the best, and which one is your favorite probably depends on how big a geek you are. Being a pretty big geek, High Wizardry (book 3) was my favorite. ^_^

By the way, what magazine are you doing reviews for? It'd be nice to see what you've already covered.

message 6: by Joseph (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:19PM) (new)

Joseph Daly | 3 comments Hi Hollie,

I just released my first book series for young readers called

Strange Town Volume One: The Woods Behind Trevor Malone's House

It's available on and I've posted a free sample of the book on my Goodreads Author's profile page.

Although I'm completely bias, If you looking for a fun and easy book to read/review check it out.



message 7: by Jeannie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:24PM) (new)

Jeannie | 1 comments The Book Thief by, Markus Zusak

This title will mostly likely make my "favorite of the year" pick. It is a young adult novel.....extremely good !

message 8: by Alexandra (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:24PM) (new)

Alexandra I loved The Book Thief.

I just finished Airborn by Kenneth Oppel and thought it was great.

message 9: by Jess (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:26PM) (new)

Jess | 6 comments Am reading The Book Thief right now, almost done. Will probably finish up tonight. Then I move on to the Gantos bio, Hole in my Life, I think. Book is downstairs.

message 10: by Alexandra (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:26PM) (new)

Alexandra Just FYI Hollie, there is some language in The Book Thief, although it's appropriate for the characters, and (if I remember correctly) it's pretty mild by today's standards.

message 11: by Alexandra (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:28PM) (new)

Alexandra Welcome :)

message 12: by Brian (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:34PM) (new)

Brian | 2 comments You might like to look at one of my books, Jacob's Ladder (published by Candlewick in the US, Orchard in the UK.) Diane was kind enough to give it five stars. It's a fantasy book that boys enjoy and I like to think it's got an original premise as well as a very strong ending.

message 13: by Alexandra (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:38PM) (new)

Alexandra I just finished Midnighters #1: The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld. I really liked it. I'll be reading the next book in the series.

message 14: by Brian (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:41PM) (new)

Brian | 2 comments I've just finished Before I Die by Jenny Downham. It's a wonderful book about a teenage girl who is dying of leukaemia and it's just been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, the UK's most prestigious children's book award. Jenny Downham writes with great immediacty and intensity, her use of language and her control of detail is both instictive and masterful. However, it's not for those who think YA books should not deal frankly with issues such as sex and drugs.

message 15: by Amy (new)

Amy (ldtchr) | 6 comments I read CHICKEN BOY by Frances O'Roark Dowell a few years ago and loved it. I don't remember if there was language in it or not, but it was a good story about family dysfunction and how some kids can make it work.

message 16: by Grace (new)

Grace | 16 comments The Mennyms, by Sylvia Waugh is also a good series. Though I admit I haven't gotten around to reading the last one yet (there are five) but that was really because I couldn't find it.

They're a children's/YA series about a family of life size ragdolls, there is no bad language or inappropriate themes what so ever. I really liked them and the last book is on my to read shelf.

message 17: by Kim (new)

Kim (kmdoubleday) I'm surprised it took me so long to find this group!
I recommend Francesca Lia Block, she has the Weetzie Bat series but also has some great stand alones
Also, Sonya Sones. She has a great voice and does well with genre.
The Artemis Fowl series... good fantasy
Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl books...
Lemme think more on this... and I'll definitely check out some that were mentioned here. THANKS!

message 18: by Valerie (new)

Valerie I just read and really enjoyed The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick. It's a YA graphic novel, and it just won the Randolph Caldecott Medal for best illustrations. (It also has a wonderful storyline.)

These are a little older (in terms of release date, not reader age), but I also really liked Inkspell and Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.

And I second Kim's recommendation of Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl books.

Thanks for the great recommendations, everyone!

message 19: by Veronica (last edited Feb 17, 2008 09:14AM) (new)

Veronica (v_a_b) So many books that I love have been posted here! Tamora Pierce's novels, the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli(just finished reading this), Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, The Book Theif by Markus Zusak, Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling...

But I would also like to add The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke, Hoot by Carl Hiassain(not sure on the spelling of his name), Daughter of Venice by Donna Jo Napoli, The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgen Burnett, The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Abosolutly Normal Chaos by Sharon Chreech, Odder Than Ever by Bruce Coville, anything by sharon chreech(including Chasing Redbird and the Wanderer), The Pig Scrolls by Paul Shipton, and The City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende.

message 20: by Linda (new)

Linda If you like Avi and Tamora Pierce, but you're looking for something a little more mature and realistic, try Star-Crossed (Knopf;2006)by Linda Collison (herself). The New York Public Library chose Star-Crossed to be among the "Books for the Teen Age -- 2007"

Star-Crossed comes out in paperback this August, and I'm working on Books II and III of the Star-Crossed Trilogy.

message 21: by Terry (new)

Terry Reschke (terryreschke) | 2 comments You could check out my new teen mystery called (The Attic Above).

message 22: by Jen (new)

Jen | 3 comments I second (and third and fouth) a lot of these suggestions (I just finished Inkspell and can't wait for the last book to come out!), and will add Clive Barker's The Thief of Always and Abarat books. The color illustrations he does for the books in the Abarat series are phenomenal.

message 23: by Rora (new)

Rora I agree, The Thief of Always and the Abarat books are excellent.

The most recent YA fantasy book I read was Corbenic by Catherine Fisher. I thought it was a good read, I liked the version of the legend of the Holy Grail.

message 24: by Josie (new)

Josie (maid_marian) | 41 comments So Hollie, I don't know if you still need recommendations, but I have a lot and can't wait to share them with you!
'Sorcery and Cecelia or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot' by Patricia C Wrede and Caroline Stevermer is a light and fun, romantic novel made up of letters the two main characters send each other. It's set in the Regency Era, but magic exists...kind of a cross between Jane Austen and Harry Potter.
'I Capture the Castle' by Dodie Smith, is a great, honest novel written in diary form. Beware: it doesn't have a brick-wall, happy ending!
'The Sherwood Ring' by Elizabeth Marie Pope, is really original, witty, with three romances on the go at once. It also gets a bit of the history of the War of Independence in there, as retold by the 'ghosts' who talk to the protagonist, Peggy.
'Goose Girl' by Shannon Hale is a great re-telling of the fairy tale - actually, check out anything by Shannon Hale!
'The Thief', 'The Queen of Attolia' and 'The King of Attolia' all by Megan Whalen Turner, is a fantastic series set in a world similar to Ancient Greece (my favourites, I love these!)
Also try 'The Only Alien on the Planet' by Kristen D Randall, and (almost forgot) 'Crown Duel' by Sherwood Smith (another fantasy with a feisty female heroine)....and something I read the other day which was cute and funny, 'Princess Ben' by Catherine Gilbert Murdock...and (I really should stop), for a series for younger teens, (boys and girls), check out 'Rowan of Rin' by Emily Rodda, there's about four or five books in it. I really hope you see this, now I've gone all out!

message 25: by Brandon (new)

Brandon | 1 comments If you are looking for clean, young adult fiction, the Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander is one of the best.

Also, if you like Tamora Pierce, Shannon Hale has been publishing some books that have some similarities with the Circle of Magic series by Pierce.

Beauty, by Robin McKinley, was also a very good book. It is her version of Beauty and the Beast.

message 26: by Lisa (new)

Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa) (letsread) | 22 comments I aagree with with Brandon, all of those books are great. I have read the first book in the "Last Apprentice" books by Joseph Delaney. I thought it was very good. I have the rest of the series and need to read those. The "Faerie Path" books by Frewin Jones are great. I like the "Fablehaven" series by Brandon Mull. If you haven't read the "Ranger's Apprentice" series by John Flanagan, you should definitely check them out. They are some of my favorites. Nancy Farmer's "The Sea of Trolls" and the "Land of the Silver Apples" are great. "Ever" by Gail Carson Levine......

There are just too many really great books out there to list them all.

message 27: by Kristie (new)

Kristie (spedkristie) Hey all, I just joined but a friend from another group recommended to me the Gemma Doyle Trilogy. I've finished the first 2 and love them

A Great and Terrible Beauty
Rebel Angels
The Sweet and Far Thing

all by Libba Bray

message 28: by Carmen (new)

Carmen (carmentheblue) | 10 comments Oh i completely agree- i was enchanted by the Gemma Doyle Trilogy!

message 29: by Marianne (new)

Marianne | 4 comments Have you looked at the Orson Scott Card books, like "Ender's Game? He is an amazing author using lots of action. There is some violence, but always with a strong moral message. He addresses issues such as racism and bullying in a science fiction format.

message 30: by Llama (new)

Llama Castillo | 8 comments ooh, I love Libby Bray! I saw The Sweet and Far Thing in the book store but then the next time i was there they were all gone. I have to go get it, its the only one I don't have yet.

And Ender's Game is also on my list to get. I loved his book Enchantment

I really love Patricia A. McKillip and have almost all of her books and also Robin McKinley. Sherwood Smith is another fave!

There are a lot more but most of them have already been promoted by others on here.

message 31: by rebecca j (new)

rebecca j (technophobe) | 15 comments Scott Westerfeld has some pretty great series, Anthony Horowitz has the Alex Rider series, The Children of the Lamp series by Kerr, Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements, How to Disappear Completely and never be Found by Sara Nickerson, The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell, The Bagthorpe series by Helen Cresswell, The dragon series by Chris D'Lacey, the series by Peck that starts with The Ghost Belonged to Me, and Garth Nix's series. I also loved the Sister Grimm series, but can't remember who wrote them.

message 32: by Emily (new)

Emily (ejfalke) The Invention of Huge Cabret is brilliant.

Does anyone know anything about the Artemis Fowl series? Is it a worthwhile read?

message 33: by Jenna (new)

Jenna (jennieb) The Artemis Fowl series is a lot of fun. I haven't read the latest, which came out sometime this year, but I've read through 'The Lost Colony'. I like them enough to keep copies on the shelf - my criteria for whether a book is good these days, is whether I'll read it again - so I'd definitely recommend them. They're fantasy, though, so you have to enjoy elves and fairies and such to get the full benefit.

message 34: by Lisa (new)

Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa) (letsread) | 22 comments The Artemis Fowl books are a fun read. The best part of them is the leprechaun Holly Short.

message 35: by Dramasister (new)

Dramasister | 4 comments Artemis Fowl is so much fun but would beg to differ with Lisa. Holly is a bad A but I honestly prefer Butler or Foaley. I haven't read them in a while so I probably butchered the spelling. I think it was genius of him to write a character who is a butler whose name is Butler. I just picture him as mister clean in Armani. You might also enjoy the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Johnathan Stroud. Kind of a darker more sinister Harry Potter.

message 36: by Emily (new)

Emily (ejfalke) Thanks! I love fantasy, so I'll give them a try.

message 37: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 22 comments More favorites:

The Endless Steppe - Esther Hautzig
You Are the Rain by R. Rozanne Knudson
The Ghost NExt Door - Wylly Folk St. John
Fog Magic - ???
The Secret of the Seven Crows by Wylly Folk St. John
All the Lois Duncan books - particularly Down a Dark Hall

message 38: by Jarris1 (new)

Jarris1 | 2 comments favorate fantasy reads
1. all of the dragonlance books
2. all of the inheritance cycle

message 39: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Some good, fairly-recent YA novels:

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
(characters from books are "read" into our world! very poetic writing style)

Larklight (and it's sequel is pretty good, too) by Philip Reeve
(space-pirates and space colonies of Victorian England!? What could be more fun!?)

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
(such a sweet, lovely, old-fashioned feel to this one, even though it's modern; four sisters kind of "Little Women"-esque but they're younger)

"The Invention of Hugo Cabret" (as posted earlier)

message 40: by Ann (new)

Ann | 48 comments I second all of Kathryn's recommendations completely! Those would be my top, top picks, too!

For runner-ups:

I haven't read the entire series yet, but I was pretty impressed with "Magyk" by Angie Sage. It wasn't the best fantasy book I've read, but it was pretty fun and cute, and even though it was pretty predictable, there were some interesting twists.

"The Mysterious Benedict Society" by Trenton Lee Stewart was good, too. I LOVED the beginning, but the second half of the book I wasn't as impressed with. There's a sequel out now, which I'm very curious to read!:)

Hope this helps:)

message 41: by Jules (new)

Jules | 8 comments So, has anyone read CITY OF BONES and CITY OF ASHES? Really great books I HIGHLY recommend.

I would also like to recommend 4 books by the mother/daughter writing team of PC Cast & Kristin Cast. The books are MARKED, BETRAYED, CHOSEN, and UNTAMED will be out next week. They're about a vampire finishing school. Not comedy, though.

I also have loved BAD KITTY and KITTY, KITTY by Michele Jaffe.

message 42: by Krista (new)

Krista (findyourshimmy) Jules - I'm so with you! I loved City of Bones (need to read Ashes yet) and the House of Night novels by the Casts.


I just picked up three YA novels:
- Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
- The Devouring by Simon Holt
- Wake by Lisa McMann

message 43: by Jules (new)

Jules | 8 comments I loved WAKE a lot, too. I can't wait for FADE to come out.

message 44: by katayoun (new)

katayoun Masoodi (katayounm) | 2 comments i quite love all of Josie's suggestions, i would also suggest two other authors, megan whalen turner and her trology of "the thief", "the queen of attolia", "the king of attolia" which i think are perfect and then also sharon shinn i loved her "summers at castle auburn" and her books "the shape-changer's wife", "the safe-keeper's secret" and "the truth-teller's tale are also very nice.

message 45: by Josie (new)

Josie (maid_marian) | 41 comments Thanks, Katayoun! And you wouldn't believe it, but I just finished reading 'Summer's at Castle Auburn' yesterday for the first time, and I also really loved it. I'll definitely check out Sharon Shinn's other books!
More recommendations for this thread: 'Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman?' by Eleanor Updale is really original, set in Victorian London, about a thief who tries to become a gentleman by having two very different aliases. There are also three other books after it, but I haven't read them yet to know what they're like.
Juliet Marillier has recently written two books for young adults, 'Wildwood Dancing' and its sequel, 'Cybele's Secret',which are quite good. (Her Sevenwaters Trilogy is amazing, but not young adult.)

message 46: by Josie (new)

Josie (maid_marian) | 41 comments And I'll reiterate that Megan Whalen-Turner's 'The Thief', 'The Queen of Attolia' and 'The King of Attolia', are so, so good.
Really. Read them!

message 47: by Jules (new)

Jules | 8 comments I know!! We're stuck waiting until March 24!! At least in the meantime we have the TWILIGHT movie. Not the same as a good book, though.

message 48: by katayoun (new)

katayoun Masoodi (katayounm) | 2 comments defintely looking into 'Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman?', and then making a couple of suggestions. diana wynne jones, almost all her books are great and some are perfect, archer's good, dogsbody and dark lord of derkholm are three of my favorites.

message 49: by Debbie (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:52AM) (new)

Debbie | 31 comments I just found this group and have to agree. I loved Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series and can't wait for the next one.

I enjoyed Marked by PC Cast but loved the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. I can't wait for the next one due out in August.

Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz wasn't bad although I haven't read the entire series yet.

Loved Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series and just picked up Peeps.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card is one of my all time favorite books.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is another great one.

message 50: by Mary JL (last edited Feb 01, 2009 07:13PM) (new)

Mary JL (maryjl) | 43 comments I just joined your group--hi everyone. I read YA books fequently, thought not exclusivley. My favorite types of YA are science fiction, fantasy and historical.

Some recommendations:

The Pit Dragon Trilogy---Dragon's Blood; Heart's Blood and A Sending of Dragons by Jane Yolen.

Duaghters of Eve--Lois Duncan (very suspenseful thriller)

Citizen of the Galaxy---Robert Heinlein (all of Heinlein's juveniles are quite good.

Back with more late! Oh, and just this month, I have discovered Tamora Pierce for the first time!!!

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