10 Best Adolescent Young Adult Books Telling Stories of Love and Growth 1
Embark on a roller coaster ride of emotions and discovery with our curated list of ten quintessential adolescent young adult novels. Here we have a bouquet of tales beautifully laced with the fragility and intensity of first love and the insurmountable power of growth. Written by some of the torchbearers in the world of young adult literature, each novel in this collection is a masterstroke of storytelling.
These books dig into the very core of adolescent experience, capturing the romantically-charged, zesty yet tumultuous teenage years. Diving deep into a whirlpool of blooming love, heartbreaks, friendships, and the tryst to find oneself, these narratives will resonate with quote-hungry, love-struck teenagers, as well as adults with a bit of nostalgia and a love for beautifully layered storytelling. Characters are painted with such vibrancy and rawness that they live beyond the pages, making readers see a piece of themselves in these stories.
Each novel mirrors the true essence of young love and the corresponding emotional growth. Delight in these tales of teen angst and love that bloom amidst episodes of self-discovery and maturation. Experience the heart tugs and chuckles as you open each book and immerse yourself in these poignant tales that are as real as they are gripping. Let's dive in, shall we?
『We Are Okay』
Nina LaCour's award-winning, achingly beautiful novel is now available in paperback! –Includes a new foreword by Nicola Yoon, #1 bestselling author of The Sun is Also a Star and Everything, Everything– Winner of the Michael L. Printz Award “Short, poetic and gorgeously written.” –The New York Times Book Review “A beautiful, devastating piece of art." –Bookpage You go through life thinking there’s so much you need. . . . Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother. Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart. An intimate whisper that packs an indelible punch, We Are Okay is Nina LaCour at her finest. This gorgeously crafted and achingly honest portrayal of grief will leave you urgent to reach across any distance to reconnect with the people you love. Praise for We Are Okay “Nina LaCour treats her emotions so beautifully and with such empathy.” —Bustle ★ “Exquisite.” —Kirkus ★ “LaCour paints a captivating depiction of loss, bewilderment, and emotional paralysis . . . raw and beautiful.” —Booklist ★ “Beautifully crafted . . . . A quietly moving, potent novel.” —SLJ ★ “A moving portrait of a girl struggling to rebound after everything she’s known has been thrown into disarray.” —Publishers Weekly ★"Bittersweet and hopeful . . . poetic and skillfully crafted." —Shelf Awareness “So lonely and beautiful that I could hardly breathe. This is a perfect book.” —Stephanie Perkins, bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss “As beautiful as the best memories, as sad as the best songs, as hopeful as your best dreams.” —Siobhan Vivian, bestselling author of The Last Boy and Girl in the World “You can feel every peak and valley of Marin’s emotional journey on your skin, in your gut. Beautifully written, heartfelt, and deeply real.” —Adi Alsaid, author of Never Always Sometimes and Let’s Get Lost
|Release Date||Feb 26, 2019|
『Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe』
Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.
|Author||Benjamin Alire Sáenz|
|Publisher||Simon and Schuster|
|Release Date||Jan 01, 2012|
『I Wish You All the Best』
Perfect for fans of Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli, Mason Deaver's stunning debut will rip your heart out before showing you how to heal from tragedy and celebrate life in the process.
|Release Date||May 14, 2019|
For fans of Love, Simon and I Wish You All the Best, a funny, honest, messy, completely relatable story of a girl who realizes that love can be found in many ways that don't involve sex or romance. From the marvelous author of Heartstopper comes an exceptional YA novel about discovering that it's okay if you don't have sexual or romantic feelings for anyone . . . since there are plenty of other ways to find love and connection. This is the funny, honest, messy, completely relatable story of Georgia, who doesn't understand why she can't crush and kiss and make out like her friends do. She's surrounded by the narrative that dating + sex = love. It's not until she gets to college that she discovers the A range of the LGBTQIA+ spectrum -- coming to understand herself as asexual/aromantic. Disrupting the narrative that she's been told since birth isn't easy -- there are many mistakes along the way to inviting people into a newly found articulation of an always-known part of your identity. But Georgia's determined to get her life right, with the help of (and despite the major drama of) her friends.
|Release Date||Mar 01, 2022|
『I'll Give You the Sun』
A New York Times bestseller • One of Time Magazine’s 100 Best YA Books of All Time • Winner of the Michael L. Printz Award • A Stonewall Honor Book The radiant, award-winning story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, Becky Albertalli, and Adam Silvera "Dazzling."—The New York Times Book Review "A blazing prismatic explosion of color."—Entertainment Weekly "Powerful and well-crafted . . . Stunning." —Time Magazine “We were all heading for each other on a collision course, no matter what. Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story.” At first, Jude and her twin brother are NoahandJude; inseparable. Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude wears red-red lipstick, cliff-dives, and does all the talking for both of them. Years later, they are barely speaking. Something has happened to change the twins in different yet equally devastating ways . . . but then Jude meets an intriguing, irresistible boy and a mysterious new mentor. The early years are Noah’s to tell; the later years are Jude’s. But they each have only half the story, and if they can only find their way back to one another, they’ll have a chance to remake their world. From the acclaimed author of The Sky Is Everywhere, this exhilarating novel will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.
|Release Date||Oct 27, 2015|
#1 New York Times bestselling author! In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life-and she's really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it's what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. Cath's sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can't let go. She doesn't want to. Now that they're going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn't want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She's got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone. For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind? A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2013 A New York Times Best Seller!
|Publisher||St. Martin's Griffin|
|Release Date||Sep 10, 2013|
『More Happy Than Not』
After enduring his father's suicide, his own suicide attempt, broken friendships, and more in the Bronx projects, Aaron Soto, sixteen, is already considering the Leteo Institute's memory-alteration procedure when his new friendship with Thomas turns to unrequited love.
|Release Date||Jan 01, 2015|
『The Serpent King』
Named to ten BEST OF THE YEAR lists and selected as a William C. Morris Award Winner,The Serpent King is the critically acclaimed, much-beloved story of three teens who find themselves--and each other--while on the cusp of graduating from high school with hopes of leaving their small-town behind. Perfect for fans of John Green's Turtles All the Way Down. "Move over, John Green; Zentner is coming for you." —The New York Public Library “Will fill the infinite space that was left in your chest after you finished The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” —BookRiot.com Dill isn't the most popular kid at his rural Tennessee high school. After his father fell from grace in a public scandal that reverberated throughout their small town, Dill became a target. Fortunately, his two fellow misfits and best friends, Travis and Lydia, have his back. But as they begin their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. His only escapes are music and his secret feelings for Lydia--neither of which he is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, he must cope with another ending--one that will rock his life to the core. Debut novelist Jeff Zentner provides an unblinking and at times comic view of the hard realities of growing up in the Bible belt, and an intimate look at the struggles to find one’s true self in the wreckage of the past. “A story about friendship, family and forgiveness, it’s as funny and witty as it is utterly heartbreaking.” —PasteMagazine.com “A brutally honest portrayal of teen life . . . [and] a love letter to the South from a man who really understands it.” —Mashable.com “I adored all three of these characters and the way they talked to and loved one another.”—New York Times
|Release Date||Jun 06, 2017|
『The Falling in Love Montage』
Seventeen-year-old Saoirse has finished with exams and is facing a long hot summer before uni. She plans to party, get drunk, watch horror movies and forget all her troubles by kissing girls. Ever since the breakupocalypse with her ex Hannah, she's been alone and angry, dealing with the hole left in her family by her sick mother's absence. Worse, Dad drops a bombshell: he's remarrying at the end of the summer. Enter the scene: Ruby, who might just be the prettiest girl Saoirse's ever seen. A romcom fan and a believer in true love, Ruby challenges cynical Saoirse to try a summer romance with the serious parts left out, just like in the movies. But what happens when the falling in love montage ends?
|Release Date||Jun 01, 2020|
『The Perks of Being a Wallflower』
Read the cult-favorite coming of age story that takes a sometimes heartbreaking, often hysterical, and always honest look at high school in all its glory. Now a major motion picture starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a funny, touching, and haunting modern classic. The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky, Perks follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up. A years-long #1 New York Times bestseller, an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults and Best Book for Reluctant Readers, and with millions of copies in print, this novel for teen readers (or “wallflowers” of more-advanced age) will make you laugh, cry, and perhaps feel nostalgic for those moments when you, too, tiptoed onto the dance floor of life.
|Release Date||Feb 01, 1999|
And so friends, there you have it. Each one of these ten young adult novels hits the sweet spot perfectly, speaking to the very heart of adolescence - the struggles, the joy, the poignant moments of finding and losing love, and the inevitable journey of personal growth. These stories will transport you; make you laugh, cry, swoon, and maybe even yell a little at the pages in outrage or sheer frustration. They speak the language of the heart, and they do it with such elegance, subtlety, and even with a shot of wholesome humor. Each piece of literature mentioned uniquely captures the essence of the young adult phase - the coming-of-age excursions, the exploration of love in its varying forms, and the relentless tussle with identity and self-discovery. Regardless of whether you're an actual YA, or just a young adult at heart, these books offer up riveting dynamics and tug at the heartstrings, leaving a lasting impression. Now, isn't that what a bloody good book supposed to do? So, get comfy in your favorite reading nook, prepare a steaming cup of Joe or tea, leave the world behind, and lose yourself in these awe-inspiring pages. Trust me, you won't regret it!
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