A while ago my bookstagram friend Vijitha @d_three_broomsticks tagged me in her post wherein she talked about how sometimes readers struggle from going to one genre to the other. Like suppose you love reading fantasy but you want to try out science fiction for a change. Where do you start? Do you start with the most famous books or the thinnest books? What if you really hate that book and it ends up turning you against the whole genre?
I sat there looking at my phone and thinking oh my gosh this is so true! For myself I’m still struggling a bit to get into sci-fi and non-ficton genre since I didn’t have any guidance and had to read some meh books before I got to the good ones. But more on that later.
Vijitha then asked us to give suggestions for books from the genre we are most familiar with so that readers new to that genre could get some help on which books to start off with. This is such an amazing idea and that is exactly what inspired this blog post! What’s even more exciting is that she will be organizing all the blog posts and instagram posts regarding this topic so that anyone an access them. Isn’t she the best?
So I chose to do a blog post on Young Adult books since I’ve been reading books in this genre for years now and I am a ’young adult’ duh
So here are 11(because I screamed and cried but wasn’t able to narrow the list down to 10) books that you should start off with if you’re entering the YA genre.
Also, please make a note that these are my recommendations so they’re naturally books that in my opinion were fantastic. Opinions vary so you may not like these books but they are definitely a ‘safer option’ than randomly picking up any YA book. I also tried listing books that most of the community loves on a whole.
For Science Fiction Fans
Cinder: #1 Lunar Chronicles
The Lunar Chronicles is a fantastic and gripping series with the first book starring Cinder, who is a mechanic and cyborg living with her step mother and step sisters. When an incurable plague breaks out and takes Cinder’s sister in it’s grip she along with her robot friend Iko sets off to find a cure and also falls in love with the royal prince Kai. She also needs to uncover her past in time to set everything right.
Doesn’t it sound intriguing? I love the fast pace and developed characters as well as the varying dynamics between them. The plotline is very interesting too and Iko is the most adorable robot ever, I 100% stan her.
For Non-Fiction Fans
The Hate U Give
This book is widely acclaimed and winner of so many awards that if I start listing them we could be here all day. Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
This book talks about why black lives matter and how black people keep being suppressed in every community. They’re tired of it and now they speak up. Now Starr needs to speak up. But when she is scared of ruining her crafted image and is literally fighting for her life will she be able to take the right decisions?
This book talks about so many topics that are of utmost importance in our real life that I feel people who read non-fiction will be able to greatly connect with it.
For Contemporary Fans
Oh my god this book will turn your insides to jelly. It’s about a girl named Cath who is a huge reader and lives to write fan-fiction about this cute gay couple called Snowbaz. She’s taking a huge step in her life – college. What with her social anxiety, reluctance to change and the fact that she is drifting away from her completely opposite twin sister Wren it takes all her will power to survive. There is romance brewing around the corner along with betrayal and heart-break and rejection of her fanfiction writing. Cath definitely has a lot on her plate. But despite all this Fangirl ends up being a really cute book which teaches you a lot about family, opening up, experimenting and controlling your fears before they eat you up.
Holes: #1 Holes
Holes is such a simple yet intriguing story about a boy names Stanley Yelnats with rotten luck who lands up in a boy’s detention center where he has to dig up holes for ‘character building’. It isn’t long before Stanley realizes that the objective of the holes is far from character building. They’re looking for a treasure and one that has a direct connection to his great great grandfather.
It’s a lovely book about unexpected friendships and a mystery that keeps you turning the pages. Infact it might even hold a certain allure for mystery fans.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. They both have a chance meeting and become friends but maybe a little more than that?
It’s a brilliantly crafted, slightly angsty book and there are probably some trigger warnings that you should look up before you get into it.
I read this book a long time ago and I’m probably due for a re-read but yeah if you like angst and contemporary and LGBT books then this is the one!
For Dystopian Fans
The Maze Runner: #1 The Maze Runner
Thomas wakes up with absolutely no memories except his name in a strange place called the Glade where their survival rests on the shoulders of some teenage boys, the only occupants. Thomas is just getting the hang of things and getting used to the gigantic and unsolvable maze that surrounds their world when a girl shows up. The first girl ever.
This is such a great book, my heart was thudding as I turned each page. It would be a great fit for thriller and mystery fans as well what with the different things the characters keep unraveling in every chapter. I love Newt and Minho hands up the most adorable and snarky characters and of course we have Chuck, lemme just squish him in a hug. Everyone is trying to get out of this Glade where they are trapped in but maybe the outside world is scarier? Scratch that, it’s definitely more terrifying.
The Hunger Games: #1 The Hunger Games
This his hands down my favorite dystopian novel ever. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic North America which is divided into districts, ruled by the Capitol. The districts must yield a tribute each for the annual Hunger Games- a matter of life and death where the tributes go on killing and hanging on the edge of survival until just one winner is left.
The story follows Katniss, who volunteered in place of her little sister and finds herself sucked into a dangerous and deadly world where she must kill to survive. And what are the chances of finding love amidst it all?
My favorite part is the arena where they fight and how it adapts to kill the participants. What? The ways they end up dead is interesting.
I swear I’m not sadistic.
For Romance Fans
The Selection: #1 The Selection
35 girls are selected for the competition of their lifetime as they compete to win the heart of a Prince and the position of future Queen. America, the female lead doesn’t want any part in it because she’s already in love with someone else. But without much choice she finds herself in the palace with full expectations of getting kicked out as soon as possible. Romance, treachery and snarkyness ensues as the Prince tries to make his choice. Also muthere might be a slight threat by violent rebel attackers.
Maxon is the sweetest guy ever and I love the pettiness and friendships that evolve amongst the girls. Overall it’s a light book and pretty easy to get into.
For Fantasy and Paranormal Fans
The Clockwork Angel: #1 The Infernal Devices
This book is about how Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters- a huge cast of varying characters from the ever so sassy Will, the haughty Jessamine, the muddle-head Henry, kind and level headed Charlotte and of course the ever so sweet and charming Jem. Set in the Victorian times this book has a good amount of humor as the characters are pitted against each other as well as an air of mystery that surrounds them. Also featuring my favorite warlock Magnus Bane and a sightly annoying love triangle.
It’s okay the characters make this book totally worth it!
For Mythology and Historical Fiction Fans
The Lightning Thief: #1 Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Oh my god if you haven’t read this series yet you haven’t lived life. This is the best series I have ever read! It follows a 12 year old boy named Percy whose mom disappears and he founds himself thrown into a world of Greek myths where all the stories are true. And Percy is a demigod: half god, half human. Now he must go on a quest with his satyr friend Grover and fr-enemy Annabeth to find and return Zeus’ stolen weapon before the Winter Solstice. And maybe on the way Percy can find his mother too?
Let’s just say that Percy is the sass god, Grover is loyal and hilarious and Annabeth is the sharpest girl ever who definitely knows how to keep Grover and Percy on their toes. This book packs a great deal of action while educating you about Greek mythology. Trust me, you are NOT going to regret this book.
For Action, Thriller and Mystery Fans
Stormbreaker: #1 Alex Rider
Alex Rider is a teenager who is dealing with his Uncle’s death when he realizes that his life was a huge secret that he had never told Alex about. Within days he’s gone from schoolboy to super-spy. After being forcibly recruited into the M16 he goes under some harsh training to embark on his first mission. If he’s not careful it may be is last.
This book is fast paced and fun as you see Alex ingeniously jump from one obstacle to another as he plays for his life. It’s filled with action and danger and a thriller mystery.
And that’s a wrap! These are the books I absolutely adore and I found them to be perfect when I started reading YA so hopefully these will be perfect for you too!
YA is a huge genre with such a wide variety of books that you never know where to start and go about from there. Even if you don’t find any of these books to be good for you please don’t stop and keep exploring! 🙂
So what do you think about these books? If you’ve read any of them come and fangirl with me in the comments! And if you have any more recommendations be sure to drop them down for the newbies 🙂 Which genre are you trying to get started with?