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Top 10 Best Young Adult Books

From coming-of-age tales to heart-pounding dystopian thrillers, check out the list below for the best YA books. Filled with adventure, romance, peril and poignancy, they're sure to keep readers engrossed...

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1. The Lie Tree

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Frances Hardinge

Winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award 2015, this powerful novel stars Faith, whose curiosity is piqued when she stumbles upon her disgraced father's journals and the disorderly scribbles and theories within. Amongst the notes, she finds tales of a strange tree which can uncover a truth if it is told a lie. On her quest to locate the tree, she finds herself in deep trouble, and quickly realises these lies could shatter the truths her world has been built around...


2. The Hunger Games

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Suzanne Collins

This world-famous trilogy follows 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen and her adrenaline-fuelled adventures. The post-apocalyptic nation of Panem consists of twelve 'districts', most of them oppressed and gloomy places. But Katniss has the chance to change everything once she ends up participating in the brutal 'Hunger Games' - a televised fight to the death between a group of teenagers. Be taken in by the intense action and gritty atmosphere of this riveting saga.


3. The Mortal Instruments

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Cassandra Clare

This dark series follows the adventures of Clary Fray, who, on her 18th birthday, discovers that she is a 'Shadowhunter', a person born with angelic blood who must protect humans from demons. Alongside the enigmatic and attractive Shadowhunter Jace and her geeky but dependable friend Simon, she finds herself in a dangerous world of faeries, vampires, warlocks and werewolves, and embarks on an epic quest filled with peril, romance, conflict and self-discovery.


4. To Kill a Mockingbird

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Harper Lee

This inspiring and engrossing story is told from the perspective of six-year-old Scout, a little girl who lives in the American Deep South. Her father, lawyer Atticus Finch, is determined to defend a black man wrongly accused of raping a white woman. Animosity and prejudice against Scout's family inevitably follow, and Scout comes to truly comprehend the magnitude of the injustice present in her own hometown. Powerful and thought-provoking, this classic is simply a must-read.


5. The Fault in Our Stars

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John Green

Full of poignant observations about life, love, death and illness, this book follows Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters, two young cancer sufferers who meet at a cancer support group. The two develop a friendship that 'slowly, and then all at once' becomes love, peaking with an eventful trip to Amsterdam together. Both heart-breaking and humorous, this beautiful tale will make you laugh, cry, reflect and ruminate. 

6. Noughts and Crosses

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Malorie Blackman

This thought-provoking young adult book is set in an alternate historical timeline where being black puts you in the Cross ruling class. But, when Sephy, a Cross, and Callum, a Nought, develop a bond that goes beyond their childhood friendship, can they find a way to overcome the race and class boundaries and be with one another? This is the first in Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses series and is a must-read for teen and adults alike. 

7. Every Day

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David Levithan

This original and gripping tale features A, who wakes up in a different body every day, completely unpredictably. He knows not to interfere or get too attached. However, when he wakes up in Justin's body and meets Justin's girlfriend Rhiannon, everything changes, because he knows he's finally found the person he wants to spend eternity with. Witty and honest, this novel will open readers' eyes to a new perspective on life.


8. All the Bright Places

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Jennifer Niven

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and is constantly coming up with ways he might kill himself. Violet lives for the future, counting the days until graduation when she can escape her Indiana hometown. What will happen when this unlikely pair meets on the ledge of the bell tower at school - and how far will Violet go to save the boy she comes to love? This gripping book is soon to be adapted for the big screen, so be sure to read it before it comes out.


9. His Dark Materials

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Philip Pullman

Featuring three books - Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass - this thrilling fantasy trilogy follows Lyra and her 'daemon', the animal embodiment of her inner self. Travel with Lyra to amazing fantastical settings, through snowy hills, to an otherworldly city, and even to the Land of the Dead, on all sorts of daring and dangerous quests.


10. Everything, Everything

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Nicola Yoon

Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. In fact, she has never left the house in all of her seventeen years. But when Olly moves in next door and wants to talk to her, tiny holes start to appear in the protective bubble her mother has built around her. But will Maddie dare to step outside of her comfort zone? Enthralling and heart-breaking, this novel reveals what happens when we want to break out of our shell, and the lengths we'll go to for love.


Can't get enough of the best young adult books? (We know the feeling!) Check out our entire range of the best young adult books.

Top Must-Read Books for Young Adults

  • The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  • Every Day by David Levithan
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon