Top Ten Tuesday – April 12, 2016: Top Books for Hesitant YA Readers


April 12, 2016

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic was Top Ten Books Every X Person Should Read

I love giving book recommendations! They’re always something I take very seriously and I try to make recommendations based on what I know the person already likes as well as a general feel of a book and not just the content. I’ve made quite a few “guides” for the blog so far including recs for sci-fi and fantasy lovers and fans of male POVs as well as ideas for what to read after specific books like Divergent and The Fault In Our Stars.

I do think that young adult books are reaching a really wide audience lately — probably more than it ever has with so many movie adaptations appealing to many age ranges as well — but there are still many readers who are hesitant to get into YA books simply because they’re marked as teen books. While they do focus on teenaged characters, there’s so much more to learn and experience with each book and many of the issues or lessons are quite timeless.

Today I’m recommending some great young adult novels for those hesitant to pick up a YA book. Sometimes all it takes is that one book to get you hooked — I know it happened to me!


ya books for adults

    • Series? Book one in a trilogy
    • Genres? Fantasy crossing over into the real world and back
    • Why read it? Laini Taylor is a beautiful writer. Her books are very lyrical and flowing and easily sweep the reader away. If you’re into fantasy that delves into other worlds, this is a great series to pick up!
    • Links to learn more: Goodreads | Amazon
    • Series? Nope
    • Genres? Contemporary romance perfectly blended with sci-fi (parallel universes/time travel)
    • Why read it? I just loved this book. It had such a unique feel and I absolutely adored how the parallel universe/time travel aspect collided with a love story. It was so realistic and magical all at the same time. It’s been compared to The Time Traveler’s Wife but I wouldn’t say the feel is the same at all. Really just the concept.
    • Links to learn more: Goodreads | Amazon
  • NIL by Lynne Matson
    • Series? Book one of three. (Companion novels with different main characters but continue on a plot)
    • Genres? Sci-fi
    • Why read it? The NIL series reminds me so much of LOST! Characters end up on a deserted island in the middle of nowhere, strange things start to happen, patterns turning up — it’s a lot of fun and great for a binge read! I read each one as they came out and I wish I had been able to read them back-to-back-to-back!
    • Links to learn more: Goodreads | Amazon
  • GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers
    • Series? Book one of three. (Companion novels following an overarcing plot. Each book features a different girl as the main character but all appear in each novel.)
    • Genres? Historical fiction + mythology/fantasy mix
    • Why read it? I’m not even a historical fiction person and I just loved this entire series. The writing is great and the romances are excellent! A very mature series.
    • Links to learn more: Goodreads | Amazon
  • THE WINNER’S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski
    • Series? Book one of three
    • Genres? Non-magic fantasy
    • Why read it? It’s a very cool series that incorporates a fantasy world but doesn’t include magic. The romance is to die for (it really might kill your soul a bit) and the writing is absolutely gorgeous! I thought each book in the series got better and better.
    • Links to learn more: Goodreads | Amazon
    • Series? Book one of three
    • Genres? Fantasy, young adult/new adult crossover
    • Why read it? I LOVE Sarah J. Maas’ books but I would actually start non-YA readers off with her second published series, A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES, instead of THRONE OF GLASS. ACOTAR (for short) incorporates some fairy tale adaptations, most notably Beauty and the Beast, and delves into the world of the fae. It’s charming, exciting, sexy, and instantly hooked me. I was actually worried because I haven’t often read books about fae but this was so easy to fall into. If you love the writing here, I’d send you straight over to THRONE OF GLASS which also reflects the same tone and strong heroine. I feel like book one in the THRONE OF GLASS series isn’t as strong of an opener as ACOTAR so that’s why I’d send readers here first.
    • Links to learn more: Goodreads | Amazon
  • ILLUMINAE by Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
    • Series? Book one of three (companion novels with connecting plots)
    • Genres? Science-Fiction
    • Why read it? Aside from just being a good and exciting book, ILLUMINAE is written entirely in documents. From transcripts to emails to logs, ILLUMINAE covers the saga of its two main characters in the most unique format I’ve ever read. There’s so much more than just letters and emails and each page is creatively crafted. If you’re curious, you can easily do a quick search and I’m sure fans have many, many photos of the awesome pages for you to take a peek!
    • Links to learn more: Goodreads | Amazon
  • I’LL MEET YOU THERE by Heather Demetrios
    • Series? No
    • Genres? Contemporary/Realistic Fiction
    • Why read it? This book is just great overall but I really appreciated the portrayal of PTSD and life after returning home from war. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to connect to military themes since I don’t have that personal connection in my life but the story was so easy to jump into and understand and I connected with the characters so much.
    • Links to learn more: Goodreads | Amazon
  • THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater
    • Series? Yes, book one of four
    • Genres? A little bit of everything. Mythology, paranormal, fantasy, magical realism, love story, friendships
    • Why read it? This series has stolen my heart. There’s a little crossover of magic and/or paranormal into the lives of these characters and the mysteries are amazing to uncover. The romances are done so well because of the amazing friendships they’re founded on. And the friendships are so all-encompassing and wonderful. I can’t say enough good about this series and it is truly unlike anything I’ve ever read.
    • Links to learn more: Goodreads | Amazon
    • Series? Yes, book one of three (maybe four?)
    • Genres? Contemporary/Realistic Fiction
    • Why read it? This is one of the lesser-known books that stand among my favorites but I push it so hard. The protagonist (Rose) is only a freshman when the series starts but each book covers a different year of high school for her. Freshman-Rose is surprisingly mature which I was happy for because I was afraid it would read too young! She deals with a lot, most notably her father’s death while serving overseas, and the whole series just really captures a realistic picture of grief, friendship, family, romance, and life in general.
    • Links to learn more: Goodreads | Amazon
  • WHEN WE COLLIDED by Emery Lord
    • Series? No
    • Genres? Realistic Fiction with some romance
    • Why read it? Emery Lord gives readers a realistic portrayal of a main character with bipolar disorder and another main character with a family who is dealing with grief. The two worlds collided and Vivi and Jonah help each other through these hard times. What they experience together is amazing and I love their story. It’s a great book to discuss and learn about mental health and one that shouldn’t be missed!
    • Links to learn more: Goodreads | Amazon
  • DANGEROUS GIRLS by Abigail Haas
    • Series? No
    • Genres? Thriller
    • Why read it? If you were at all hooked by the Amanda Knox story and trial, DANGEROUS GIRLS is the book for you. Main character Anna is accused of murdering her best friend while on spring break in Aruba and the story follows Anna as she’s held in the Aruban prison and fights to defend herself. The story was just fascinating and I read the book in a single day because I couldn’t put it down! It was a book where I really didn’t know how it would end!
    • Links to learn more: Goodreads | Amazon


There are also a few authors who primarily write adult books who have crossed over into YA and vice-versa. Here are a few of my favorites from them!


Which of these would you recommend to reluctant YA readers?
If you’re looking to try YA for the first time, which one looks the most appealing?? Hope you find a gem!

Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

Recently Read

Dead Moon
The Fold
Instant Karma
American Girl
The Recovery Agent
The Harbor
One of Us Is Dead
The Last Thing He Told Me
Hook, Line, and Sinker
It Happened One Summer
The Good Lie

Brittany S.’s favorite books »

7 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – April 12, 2016: Top Books for Hesitant YA Readers

  1. tiare

    Great list! I have also recommended The Raven Boys and Daughter of Smoke & Bone to many people, teen or adult, YA reader or not (yet).

  2. Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books

    I have Daughter of Smoke and Bone on my Kindle and it is on my TBR for this month (or maybe next month . . . we’ll see). I absolutely loved the books on here that I have read, like The love that split the world, I’ll meet you there and A Court of Thorn and Roses. And Illuminae is still one of the best books I have read this year. AMAZING!! Great list.

  3. Katrina @ Bookish Things

    I absolutely loved NIL. I need to catch up on that one. Laini Taylor has such beautiful writing. And I can’t wait for the last Raven Boys book. I’m sad it’s almost over, but I love those characters. Awesome list! I have Illuminae, but need to read it soon. I’ve heard amazing things.

  4. Mel @ Reviews In A Pinch

    I love your list this week. It’s sad that there’s a negative stigma associated with read YA as an adult. With some books I feel like I probably get more out of it as an adult than I would’ve if I’d read it as a teenager. I definitely agree on quite a few of these (basically the ones I’ve read).

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: