Not Just For Kids

Young Adult Novels

When I was a teenager, I took trips to the bookstore and library to walk the stacks. I would revel in the fact I had my own section. I loved searching the shelves and picking out the perfect book I hoped would transport me another place. If I was lucky, it might inspire me to think outside of my norm. For years, young adult novels have only been for teens. Looking back, I could never have dreamt that my parents or any adult would want to read what I was reading.

However, in 1997 a little book called HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE changed everything. I doubt she could have known, but by gifting us all with Harry’s wizarding world, J.K. Rowling unlocked the door to many more magical lands, young characters discovering themselves, and compelling tales for all.

Now an adult myself, I can’t help but gravitate to the young adult novels being published today.  The lines have been blurred and there is no shame in one-clicking a book with the first category marked as “Teen”. It took a tremendous amount of list making, thought, and coffee, but I have put together my current top 10 YA novels which adults and teenagers alike can obsess over.

Top 10 Young Adult Novels for All Ages


CARAVAL & LEGENDARY by Stephanie Garber have quickly become my favorites. The magic, the deception, and raw emotions filling these pages will captivate and bring you into a world you never thought possible. I dare you to tempt the fates and jump into these amazing books.


NEVERNIGHT by Jay Kristoff s dark and gritty tale filled with assassins, magic, and the thirst for revenge. Even though this book is more of a heavier and bloody tale, the reader will enjoy some lighter moments through the snark and witty banter between the characters. If you become as engrossed in this book as I did, don’t worry, book two, GODSGRAVE, is out. However, we will have to wait until September 2019 for the third book in the series…sigh…


HEARTLESS by Marissa Meyer ( is a fabulously quirky and addictive read. It pulls the reader all down the rabbit hole again as she breathes new life into a world that we all thought we knew so well. Anyone who loves the classic tale of ALICE IN WONDERLAND will no doubt enjoy this book.


NEVERWORLD WAKE by Marisha Pessl is a story pushes the boundaries of reality and friendship. The book hauntingly plays with character as the reader gets entwined in the secrets and lies of these five friends.


GEEKERELLA by Ashley Poston is a fun, amusing, and geeky in the best way possible. In a unique take on the classic tale of Cinderella, Ashley Poston gives us all a modern day reimagining filled with humor, heart, and all the cosplay one could possibly want. Her writing effortlessly incorporates modern culture all the while staying true to the original fairy tale. With positively delightful, sarcastic, and charming characters, there is no way that you will not enjoy this book.


LIFELIK3 by Jay Kristoff is a crazy ride perfect for fans of science fiction novels with a lot of tech in them. The author never ceases to amaze at his ability to weave together a story with heart, a bit of humor, action, and a massive twist at the end.


THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi delivers a tale that is so deeply rooted in mythology and filled with luscious imagery that the reader can only be enchanted and spellbound by this story. This is the perfect read for someone looking for a book centering around myths and lore.


LADY MIDNIGHT by Cassandra Clare is the first book in the Dark Artifices trilogy. This is a perfect read for those who know about the Shadowhunter world, but may not have read the books in the authors previous books. Let’s face it. Anyone who is interested in complex stories, characters you will invest in, and a world in which angels, demons, and a mix of the two exist, Clare’s books are the place to be.


ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by Jennifer Niven a truly unique and powerfully dark book that should be read by teens as well as their parents. This book, to me, is essentially ageless. It is a story that is honest, real, and at many times difficult to describe. I applaud her for writing something that was not afraid to go there. Jennifer gave a voice to the “freak” that walks the halls and showed that there is more to a person than the label.