No matter what faction you’re in, there’s one thing YA lovers can agree on.
Veronica Roth’s debut novel Divergent was named the No. 1 novel for teens in an online vote held by American Library Association from Aug. 15 to Sept. 15. Other books to make the top ten included John Green’s The Fault of Our Stars, Marie Lu’s Legend and Sarah Dessen’s What Happened to Goodbye.
Divergent is a good read, but if you’re like me, you’ve probably already read it and many of the other books on this list. So I’ve taken the time to compile my own list of favorite teen-oriented books. A lot of them are recent, a few are older, but they’re all stellar novels and a great springboard for more amazing books. Check out 10 other teen reads that I recommend after the jump!
1. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion: R is a zombie different from the rest. Sure, he loves to eat people and he’s a sucker for a good brain, but R longs for more. When he meets Julie, he finds himself feeling things he’s never felt before. The problem? He ate Julie’s boyfriend. Together R and Julie have the ability change the world. But will they be allowed to? If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead and love a good romance, then this one’s for you.
2. Tempest by Julie Cross: Jackson is a time traveler. When his girlfriend Holly is shot to death, Jackson jumps farther than he’s ever done before — from 2009 to 2007 — and he can’t jump back. Stuck in 2007, he meets a younger living and breathing Holly. As Jackson tries desperately to return to 2009 to save his girlfriend from being killed, he finds himself falling for the 2007 version all over again. But then the men who shot Holly catch up to him in 2007 and Jackson must go on the run from these “Enemies of Time” who will stop at nothing to recruit him — or kill him.
3. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead: Don’t let the stupid title fool you. No summary can do this book series justice, but here goes: Rose is a dhampir, a half human, half vampire bodyguard for her best friend Lissa. Lissa’s a Moroi princess, the last of her family. The two have been on the run from the private school St. Vladimir’s, but when they’re dragged back against their wills, they find themselves in more danger than ever before. Okay, even that summary sounds stupid. Still, if you’re a fan of vampires in any capacity, you have to read this. The series gets better with each book — there are six — and there’s even a spinoff series (Bloodlines). Book 3 is a game-changer, but it’s Book 4 that’s truly a YA masterpiece.
4. The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen: Sage is one of four orphans chosen for a dangerous task. One of them will impersonate the king’s long-lost son in order to claim the throne and quell the kingdom’s unrest. All is not as it seems in this twisty book — and to say anything more would ruin the plot.
5. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers: Ismae seeks shelter with the convent of St. Mortain after escaping a brutal marriage. There, she learns the terrifying truth about her origins. As one of the daughters of Death, Ismae has been blessed with dangerous gifts. The sisters train her in the art of killing and send her on a mission to the heart of the courts of Brittany where she must face off against the deadliest threat of all: the one to her heart. If you can get past Ismae’s initial journey to the convent, which drags a little, then prepare to enjoy LaFevers’ tasty court intrigue and one badass heroine.
NEXT: A supervolcano destroys the planet, a girl teams up with a dragon to get her revenge and a parasite could make you a cannibal.
6. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: Alina Starkov is pathetic. But after her ship is attacked by flesh-eaters in the middle of the Shadow Fold, a chasm of total darkness dividing the land of Ravka, Alina discovers she has a rare power that may hold the key to saving her country. She’s taken away to court, where she’s trained as a Grisha, one of the gifted magical elite led by the Darkling. And yet, despite all the glitz and glitter of her new world, something is not right… Do you often find yourself rooting for the bad guy? (Cough, Damon Salvatore, cough, cough.) Then give this a try.
7. Ashfall by Mike Mullin: The scariest apocalypse is the one you know, right? 15-year-old Alex is just enjoying a quiet night at home when the supervolcano under Yellowstone erupts. As his hometown is plunged into darkness and utter chaos, Alex sets out through the ash to reunite with his family 140 miles away. But the world is a dangerous place in the wake of this natural disaster and people can’t be trusted. It’s The Hunger Games meets Dante’s Peak in this action-packed novel.
8. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi: Here’s another book for those of you who like the bad guys. Juliette has a
gift curse: her touch is fatal. As a teenager, she’s locked up to protect people against her dangerous ability. But the Reestablishment has plans for her whether she likes it or not, and they release her from her prison to put her touch to depraved use. Think Rogue in X-Men.
9. Dragon’s Bait by Vivian Vande Velde: 15-year-old Alys is accused of witchcraft and left out as a sacrifice to a local dragon. Instead of eating her, however, the dragon sets her free and together they plot the perfect vengeance against those who betrayed her. It’s the medieval Revenge, minus the smarmy sidekick, but plus dragons! (Hot dragons — and we don’t mean in the fire-breathing way.)
10. Peeps by Scott Westerfeld: Cal Thomson is a 19-year-old carrier for a vampire parasite — making him parasite-positive or “peep.” Cal’s one of the lucky ones — he doesn’t have the full-blown disease, which turns the infected into raving cannibals. Instead, he works with an underground New York City bureau known as the Night Watch (no, not the one from Game of Thrones) to track down the afflicted. But when a greater evil threatens Manhattan, Cal learns that the vampires might be the only hope for mankind.
Got any other recommendations? Add them below!