Whether your teen has already finished their school reading list or you’re trying to persuade them to pick up a book and dive into the wonderful world of reading, the best young adult books of 2023 will whet their appetite.
Our favorite young adult books aren’t just entertaining, though they certainly are. They show teens, tweens, and young adults something they can relate to in their own lives because we all know that feeling seen is an important part of self-acceptance. Perhaps it’s a heartwarming LGBTQ+ romance plot, teens dealing with mental or physical illness, family problems, bullying, or racial discrimination. But we also enjoy YA books with a touch of magic or a spine-chilling thriller for the teen who can’t get enough horror movies.
Best Young Adult Books 2023
Young adult books are a popular genre that appeals to readers between the ages of 12 and 18. They provide stories and characters that are relevant to the experiences and struggles of adolescence. Young adult literature ranges from coming-of-age stories to fantasy and science fiction, as well as romance and drama.
One of the reasons young adult books are so popular is that they frequently deal with universal themes that appeal to readers of all ages. For example, friendship, identity, self-discovery, and first love are common themes in young adult literature, making it accessible and relevant to readers of all ages.
Young adult books have gained a wider audience in recent years as a result of the success of adaptations such as The Hunger Games and the Twilight series, which have been turned into blockbuster films. These adaptations have helped to raise awareness of the young adult genre and demonstrate that these books are suitable for anyone who enjoys a good story, not just teenagers.
Characters are another reason why young adult books are so popular. Characters in young adult books are frequently relatable and well-developed, allowing readers to connect with them. These characters are frequently on the verge of adulthood, attempting to navigate the ups and downs of growing up.
Finally, young adult books provide a wide range of stories and characters that are relatable, thought-provoking, and entertaining to read. Whether you’re a teen or not, young adult books will leave an impression on you.
Read on to learn more about the best young adult books to read in 2023:
Salaam, With Love by Sara Sharaf Beg
Dua’s trip to New York City does not include being crammed into a Queens house with her cousins. But here she is, celebrating Ramadan with the extended family she hasn’t seen in years.
Dua struggles to find her place in the conservative family and connect with her distant, soon-to-be-married cousin, Mahnoor. And, as if fasting all day wasn’t exhausting enough, she has to fight her hormones whenever she sees Hassan, the cute drummer in a Muslim band who always appears at the most inconvenient times.
Dua is surprised to discover that she’s learning a lot more than she bargained for about her faith, relationships, her place in the world—and cute drummers…
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Lawless Spaces by Corey Ann Haydu
Mimi and her mother have never had an easy connection. Mimi has been left to handle the challenging world of turning sixteen on her own since her mother has been behaving more reclusive lately than normal. She doesn’t anticipate her mother’s suggestion that she start journaling, like every woman in her family before her. She claims that it is a custom.
But Mimi turns to poetry as a means of expressing the difficulties of being a woman, the suffering caused by cyberbullying, and the novelties of dating. And it’s all happening in the background of a sexual assault case that is dominating the news and seems to worry her mother in particular.
Mimi searches through the discovered writings of her grandmother, great-grandmother, and others as she tries to understand her place in the world. She immerses herself in each of their lives, discovering their tragic pasts and inspiring spirits. Mimi begins to carve her own path as she gets to know each of these women better. But Mimi doesn’t understand the unbreakable ties of family and the tenacious spirit of womanhood until her mother’s story is revealed.
No Filter and Other Lies by Crystal Maldonado
In reality, “Max” is 17-year-old Kat Sanchez, a reserved and sardonic Bakersfield, California resident. She doesn’t have a dazzling existence; instead, she has awful home parties, a terrible school year, and unpleasant situations with her best friend Hari’s unrequited love.
Even though Kat’s life is far from ideal, she succeeds in her role as Max by giving advice, sharing gorgeous pictures, connecting with followers, and even making a true friend (or more?—
Is Kat into girls? In a stunning Elena, a Fat follower. But as Elena and “Max” draw closer, Kat feels increasing pressure to maintain her mask. After a lifetime of obscurity (including ice-cold disdain from her parents), “Max” is the first time people have listened to what Kat says. Can she really give that up?
However, Kat’s entire real and made-up world collapses around her when one of her postings becomes viral and reaches out to the girl from whom she has been taking images. Can she break free from the deception she’s created without endangering the ones she loves?
This second book by Crystal Maldonado, the author of the bestselling Fat Chance, Charlie Vega, which won the New England Book Award, is an intelligent, provocative, at times humorous, and raw novel. No Filter and Other Lies is a masterfully crafted, profoundly sympathetic, and voice-rich novel that effectively tackles FOMO, first loves, monogamous relationships, fraying family ties, racial exclusion on social media, LGBT awakenings, and learning to live with—and love—yourself.
The New Girl by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Lia Setiawan has never quite seemed to belong. And even though she’s never felt more out of place, she’s determined to make it work after winning a full ride to the exclusive Draycott Academy on a track scholarship.
However, she sees a girl being dragged away by university security on her first day there. She is unsure of what she has gotten herself into because her new classmates and teachers don’t seem to be bothered.
She is unsure of who she can trust as she unearths the mysteries of Draycott, complete with a dishonest teacher, a golden guy who isn’t who he appears, and a blackmailer seeking to get her expelled.
Especially when the dangers posed to her turn fatal.
You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen
Sabriya had her entire summer color-coded in splendor, but following a terrorist strike close to her house, those preparations are abandoned. Sabriya turns to her online journal for solace as Islamophobia increases, and the terrorist is thought to be a Muslim. You Truly Assumed was never intended to be anything more than an outlet, but as Muslim kids from all over the country swarm to it in search of comfort and a feeling of community, the blog becomes extremely popular.
Zakat and Farah, two other teenagers who soon join Bri in the running You Truly Assumed, immediately develop a close bond. But as the blog’s readership increases, so come the negative feedback and offensive comments. Their friendship is put to the test as they must decide whether to shut down the blog and forfeit everything they’ve worked for after one of them receives threats, which sparks the investigation to find out who is responsible. Or take a position and put everything on the line to be heard.
Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf
Najwa Bakri enters her first Scrabble game after the passing of her best friend with the goal of getting better and moving on with her life. The decision to enter the same competition where said best buddy Trina Low passed away might not have been the wisest one. Najwa appears to be attempting to change, but she isn’t quite ready to let go of Trina just yet.
However, not all of the other rivals can be compared. The crown is vacant now that Trina, the Scrabble Queen herself, has passed away, and her pals are vying to take its place. All is fair in love and Scrabble, but when Trina’s previously inactive Instagram account begins to post again with mysterious messages implying that perhaps Trina’s death wasn’t as simple as everyone assumed, something is off. And perhaps there was a competitor who played a role.
It’s up to Najwa to figure out who is behind these enigmatic tweets as secrets emerge and her friends’ true selves are exposed—not just to preserve Trina’s legacy but also to preserve herself.
See You Yesterday by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Barrett Bloom is hoping that going to college will be a new beginning after a turbulent high school career. But on September 21st, when classes start, everything goes awry. She is made fun of by the physics teacher who knows everything, she fumbles over her interview with the student newspaper, and that evening at a party, she unintentionally sets a frat on fire. She runs out in a panic and wakes up in the common area after realizing her roommate had locked her out of their dorm.
Barrett is confused to discover herself back in her dorm room bed the following morning when she no longer smells like ashes and crushed dreams. Today is September 21. Again. She also finds out she’s not alone because Miles, the Physics 101 classmate, has also been confined for a long time.
She agrees to collaborate with Miles to find a solution after her attempts to alter her timeline are unsuccessful. They soon begin having crazy, romantic adventures and examining the university’s shadowy interior. The universe’s largest unsolved mystery confronts them as they fall in love: what will happen to their relationship if they survive tomorrow?
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
The seductive, exciting Sweet Evil series by Wendy Higgins will appeal to Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series readers.
What if certain teenagers’ survival depended on their ability to be negative role models? For sons and daughters of fallen angels, this is their reality.
Anna Whitt, a sweet-natured Southern girl, was born with a sixth sense that allowed her to perceive and feel other people’s emotions. Although Anna, the quintessential virtuous girl, is aware of a fight within herself and an irrational urge toward danger, she has always had the benefit of her angel side to counterbalance the darkness inside. She doesn’t learn about her deadly heritage until she is sixteen years old and meets the seductive Kaidan Rowe, at which point her resolve is put to the test. Your father forewarned you about this boy. If only Anna had been forewarned.
Will Anna embrace her halo or her horns when she must accept her fate?
In conclusion, young adult books provide a wide range of stories and characters that are relatable, thought-provoking, and enjoyable to read. The genre has grown in popularity in recent years, and its universal themes, relatable characters, and exciting stories continue to captivate readers. According to the reviews on our blog, there are many best young adult books to choose from. There’s a young adult book out there for everyone, whether you want a coming-of-age story, a fantasy adventure, or a heartwarming romance. So, why not pick up one of these highly recommended books and discover for yourself why young adult literature remains one of the most popular genres?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a young adult (YA) book?
YA books are stories written for and marketed to a reader demographic typically ranging from 12-18 years old.
What themes are common in YA books?
Common themes include coming of age, identity, relationships, and societal issues.
Are YA books only for teenagers?
No, YA books can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.
What makes a YA book different from other genres?
YA books often feature adolescent characters navigating challenges and self-discovery during their teenage years and are written with a more straightforward and accessible language compared to other genres.
Are YA books limited to a certain format (e.g., fiction, non-fiction)?
YA books can come in various formats, including fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, science fiction, and more.