Top Ten Tuesday: (Books in YA) March 11, 2014

Top Ten All Time Favorite Books in Young Adult Literature

For this topic, I made rules for myself to ensure a diverse list.  Really, the top 7 would be Harry Potter books, and then we’d round out the house with John Green.  But that’s not really in the spirit of these sort of things- so I only allowed myself one book per author and series.  That being said… any of these authors or series could be and should be read in their entirety (for most of them I have or am in the process of doing so) because they are all awesome.

  1. Looking for Alaska by John Green.  A poignant portrait of youthful indiscretion, and the consequences of impending adulthood.  The book sincerely examines friendship, romance, growing up, and the after effects of all of these.
  2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter Book 4) by J.K. Rowling.  Harry Potter should be required reading for all middle and young adults.   I chose to specifically list Goblet because it is the turning point in the series, where Harry and Voldemort really engage in the epic narrative, and the characters reach a point in their development where there is true opportunities to engage a reader with social, political, and moral issues, not just action.
  3. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.  A haunting exploration of the human mind, and hive culture at the heart of High School, this book is a great introduction to harder hitting literature as it discusses sexual assault, bullying, and other real world horrors.  The movie is also very good.
  4. Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden.  A group of teen-aged friends heads out to camp at a beautiful spot called “Hell” and return home to find their country has been invaded.  Living and fighting as a small Resistance, these teens struggle to define themselves and their values in an age of war.  While they are instantly forced to grow up, they must come to terms with life and death, as citizens, friends and individuals.
  5. Catching Fire (Hunger Games Book 2) by Suzanne Collins.  With the world of Hunger Games well established, Catching Fire is able to explore the socio-political nature of the dictatorial world, and allows the characters to manipulate this new society they find themselves in.  It is my favorite Hunger Games book.
  6. Shade’s Children by Garth Nix.  A novel of dystopian nature, where children are left to fend for themselves after a horrible unknown has taken apart society as we know it.  Less focused on the romance and glamour of societies collapse this book is squarely in the action adventure knitty gritty reality camp.
  7. Divergent by Veronica Roth.  Another dystopian exploration of a young woman, this novel does a grand job of exploring more adult themes, including choosing one’s future, and the consequences of functioning outside the norm- while not specifically discouraging (or encouraging) young rebels.  It’s great for those who perhaps encounter things they don’t like, but aren’t ready to raise a voice about it.
  8. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.   Falling into the “it” crowd can change everything… and this novel examines how popular or desired isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.  Revealing some of the truth behind the perfect posse’s facade, Chbosky enlightens outsiders about what it means to be an insider.
  9. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.  A child prodigy must balance the various traits he finds in himself to be the best student he can.  Ender recognizes what he could become, and actively strives for what is right instead of what is easy.  What is most interesting is the build up this internal conflict creates as he progresses in his schooling, and ultimately in the series.
  10. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson.  An adventure story of epic follow the clues treasure hunt, where the whole point is to lose your self, and find out who you really are.  I read this book at just the right moment in my life, and it has followed me ever since.

What are your top ten favorites in YA?  Do you think I’m wrong?  Or did I just add to your reading list?


This regular feature here at A MaeDay Life is a part of The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday’s.  This week’s theme was “Top Ten All Time Favorite Books in X Genre(you pick the genre!)”



  1. Good list. I don’t read YA as much as I should, but enjoy a good one from time to time. Harry Potter is definitely near or at the top of the list. Divergent — as per the movie — also promises to be interesting. Writing related, I like anything that’s good (however subjective). I enjoyed visiting your blog.
    Silvia @

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