Book Recommendations – Young Adult

I love reading the Young Adult genre. Sure, it’s aimed at people younger than me but so many of them are written in such a way that people of all ages can enjoy them. They’re stories of characters who are just coming out from under the umbrella of their parents and learning not only who they are as a person but their place in the world. They struggle deeply, love fiercely and aren’t afraid to take a risk. Over and over, I find myself lost in their world, albeit the real one or a fantasy one of the author’s making. 

So, without further ado, here are my top twelve (because I couldn’t really stop at ten!) current favourite books/series/authors in the Young Adult genre. Click on the covers for more details.

The Gifting (series) – K E Ganshert

The Gifting (Gifting, #1)

“If science is right, then I am crazy. And crazy is dangerous.”

I love this series. I know, I rave about it over and over. But it’s for a good reason, promise. They’re amazingly written, easy to read, totally captivating and are a really confronting reminder (hidden in a super sweet romance) of the unseen war daily going on around us and how powerful prayer really is. Okay, now I want to read them again…

River of Time (series) – Lisa T Bergen

Waterfall (River of Time, #1)

What do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?

TIme travel, archaeology, romance, handsome knights and strong female leads – what’s not to love? These five books are written from the point of view of two teenaged sisters who accidentally fall back in time while exploring their parents’ archaeological site, and end up in medieval Italy. So beautifully written it feels like you’ve been tugged back in time along with them.

Jenny B Jones (author)

There You'll Find Me

There You’ll Find Me (pictured) is my favorite of Jenny’s young adult books but she’s written lots and all of them are incredible. These are contemporary and deal with very real issues – family breakdowns, grief, eating disorders, faith crises, gritty relationships – but in a way that’s just really beautiful and really shows the hugeness of God’s grace. Warning though, I cry every time I read There You’ll Find Me. I laugh too, through lots of really funny scenes, but yeah, bring tissues.

Melanie Dickerson (author)

The Warrior Maiden (Hagenheim, #9)

Melanie Dickerson has written heaps of books in the young adult genre (although these are totally for all ages!). Her fairytale retellings are so vividly beautiful, my favorites being The Warrior Maiden (Mulan), The Healer’s Apprentice (Sleeping Beauty) and The Merchant’s Daughter (Beauty and the Beast). If you love fairytales, the medieval time period, action stories, romance or retellings, you’ll love these.

Robin Jones Gunn (author)

Coming Attractions (Katie Weldon, #3)

What can I say about Robin Jones Gunn except that she’s truly amazing and one of my biggest inspirations. Oh yeah, and she writes great books for teens 🙂 I started reading her Christy Miller series as a young teen and grew up with the characters – following them through high school (Christy Miller series books 1-12, Sierra Jensen series books 1-12), college (Christy and Todd: The College Years, Katie Weldon series), marriage (Christy and Todd: The Married Years), kids (Christy and Todd: The Baby Years) and beyond (The Havenmakers series). There are a couple of spin off series too, in case all those weren’t enough.

At least twice I’ve told someone I have a friend who does ___etc , only to realise it was actually a character from one of Robin’s books. Oops. What can I say. They’re just so real!

Krista McGee (author)

Right Where I Belong

Easy reads, beautiful characters, real issues, sweet romances.

First Date, Right Where I Belong and Starring Me are my favorites of Krista’s (although she’s also written a sci-fi series for YA which was fascinating). If you’re looking for subtle Christianity, don’t go for these but if you’re wanting to be stretched and challenged in your faith, these are great! I love the spiritual conversations speckled throughout these.

Chronicles of Narnia – C S Lewis

The Chronicles of Narnia (Chronicles of Narnia, #1-7)

Journeys to the end of the world, fantastic creatures, and epic battles between good and evil…

Hard to go past Narnia for incredible storytelling and a world I find myself pulled into time and time again. I once read this whole series in one week. I think it took about a month following to find my way back to reality. Recommended for all ages 🙂

The Ravenwood Saga (series) – Morgan L Busse

Mark of the Raven (The Ravenwood Saga, #1)

Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood—and to a powerful ability. But it comes with a dark secret. Is she willing to pay the price for the path she chooses?

I’ve only read the first of this trilogy so far but I absolutely loved it. Incredible storytelling, powerful characters and a fantasy world I was immediately pulled into. Can’t wait to read the rest!

Umblemished (series) – Sara Ella

Unblemished (Unblemished #1)

Eliyana has always recoiled from her own reflection in the mirror. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world existed where her blemish could become her strength? And that was only the beginning…

Epic is the word which comes to mind thinking about this trilogy. One of those ones you get pulled into and struggle to find your way out of – in a good way. Warning: from the second book onwards, there are a LOT of details and storylines to keep track of. Liked it the first time, pretty sure I’ll love it even more the second.

The Selection (series) – Kiera Cass

The Selection (The Selection, #1)

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare.

Dystopian world meets Biblical Esther in the Bachelor show of a lifetime as a prince tries to narrow down his choice of a bride from thirty-five potentials, in a challenge just as much political as it is romantic. I loved this series – the romance/s, the characters, the storyline, the ‘moments’. I’m not usually a fan of love triangles but I really enjoyed this one.

Divergent – Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

Tris has a secret, one that could kill her if anyone finds out. But it might also be the one thing that can save everyone she loves.

Another dystopian trilogy, another strong female lead with the power to save the world – at her expense – and the choice of what to do with it. This is a trilogy but while I love the first book (Divergent – pictured) and read it over and over, I didn’t like the others quite as much (or the ending at all, sorry!). But yeah, love the first book!

Heart of a Royal – Hannah Currie

Heart of a Royal (Daughters of Peverell #1)

She was never meant to be a princess forever.

I know, this is mine. But honestly, I love this story. I long ago lost count of the number of times I’ve read it but still, every time, I get caught up in Kenna’s story. Twice, that I can remember off the top of my head, I’ve been late for something because I lost track of the time while reading it. Oops. They say write what you’d want to read and that’s what Kenna is. A story I love. And one I hope you’ll love it too 🙂

So there you have it, my current favourite Young Adult books. How about you? What would you add to the list? What amazing YA books have I totally missed? Any recommendations for me? I’d love to hear them!

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