Young adult fiction abbreviated as YA or young adult novel is not a genre; it’s an established age grouping criteria based on demographics more than anything else. So basically, it can include anything. From magical schools in castles to funny cancer books to alternate universes and coming of age. The targeted audience is generally under eighteen but statistics show that 55% of the Teen adult fiction novels are read by people above the age of eighteen. Some general characteristics if Young Adult Fiction books include: The protagonists should be a teenager, it’s rarely an adult. They are more than often written in First person narrative which makes them crispier and sharper. The average young adult novel is 70,000 words or more but it can be shorter too if it leans towards the literary side. These books contain subtle hints to the problems the young often face: Bullying, tests, parents, emotional instabilities etc. The young protagonist sometimes speaks like an adult. With intelligence and wit that comes with maturity but then hey, teenagers can be intelligent and witty. Though the category of Young Adult Fiction has become so loved by the critics that even some of the classics have been accepted into this category. The bottom line is a good story is a good story no matter what age group it addresses. Here are top ten Young Adult Fiction Novels.
10. Speak-Laurie Halse Anderson
“When people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time.”
Speak, written by Laurie Halse Anderson, is a heart touching and at the same time hear wrenching young adult novel about Melinda Sordino’s life as a freshmen. The whole school is against her because she called the police at one of the parties the year before. She completely shuts herself off from her peers and unable to speak to anyone about what really happened at the party she struggles through her freshmen year and is the target of hate-talk as well. Speak is the story of how she gets through all the troubles and is finally able to “speak up”.
9. Matilda-Roald Dahl
The story at its best is a children’s tale, but it has found a place in hearts of all ages especially teenagers struggling with parent problems and school issues. To put it simply, it’s Roald Dahl at his best. Matilda is a little genius who has taught herself to read by the age of three and by the age of four has read all the books in the children’s library. She is completely oblivious to her talents and it’s only after meeting one of the teachers in school she discovers how different she is from everyone else. Struggling through a slightly twisted principal and parents who are ignorant of just about everything, she finally finds her peace with Miss Honey. Giving a message to the grown-ups it also provides a much needed lesson to the children: you can do it!
8. Perks of being a wallflower-Stephen Chobsky
Perks of being a wallflower is written with sheer simplicity and brilliance. Charlie, a typical wallflower, has been through some tough times in his life but gradually finds his space and friends in high school. We come to know more about him and his life through letters that he is writing to an anonymous person. It’s the story of his firsts. First bestfriends, first kiss, first love, first homecoming and how through all of it he is still struggling with things in his head which eventually makes him end up in the hospital but this time with a change, he realized he needs to move out of his head and participate in life rather than watch it fly past him.
7. The Fault in our stars-John Green
“That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.” A story of kids suffering from cancer and their journey through hopes and despair as they fight their own battles against it. Fault in our stars is about pain and loss and how we all keep going on in life anyway. With John Green’s bouts of witty humor speaking through the characters it’s a must read in this category. John Green has been awarded the Michael L.Printz Award for one of his other novels, Looking for Alaska which is as touching as The Fault in Our Stars. To quote from the book.
6. The Book Thief-Markus Zusak
The book thief is one of those books which stay with you even when the last page of the book has been turned. You will come back to it again and again and always find something more enthralling than before making the world that it presents an interesting part of your own. You might think what else can be said about this period in History that hasn’t been said before, but Markus Zusak has changed the angle through which we are looking at this period making it a challenging and enlightening read.
5. His Dark Materials Trilogy-Philip Pullman
Can anyone imagine a book which has elements of metaphysics, cosmology, theology, philosophy, history and science put together? Well Philip Pullman has managed to put it all together in His Dark Materials Trilogy. The protagonist is an 11 year old Lyra working her way through her destiny without being conscious of the same. Thus from its inception Phillip Pullman presents before us the biggest joke in nature; fate. In the beginning you will ask what is there that hasn’t been said about religion and religious autocracy that these books will tell us, but its only in the third book of the series that we realize the confluence of metaphysics and a climax no one can anticipate.
4. The catcher in the rye-J.D. Salinger
J.D Salinger has often been hailed for the establishing of the category of Young Adult Fiction with his classic The Catcher in the Rye. The emotional instabilities of coming of age, the notions of right and wrong and the forming opinions and judgments about everything around you and most importantly standing by what you believe in. Holden Caulfield, the protagonist has conjured a sort of fandom to his point of view. So much so that Mark David Chapman held for alleged killing of John Lennon quoted Holden Caulfield as his role model and marked The catcher in the rye as his statement.
3. Hunger games-Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games” Trilogy by Suzanne Collins is one of the most popular works in this category. Set in a dystopian world where teenagers killing other teenagers is a source of pleasure to the Capitol’s inhabitants it bears an uncanny similarity to our world and where we are heading. The protagonist Katniss is placed in situations of torture and every kind of imaginable horror. It’s pretty evident why it has struck a chord with so many across the globe; love, poverty, anguish and many more themes along with loads of action makes it a quick and easy read but insightful at the same time.
2. To Kill a Mocking bird-Harper Lee
To kill a Mocking bird is the only book Harper Lee has ever written because she felt she had said whatever she had to with it. And the book itself is quite a masterpiece. It has been hailed by readers and critics for its fluent and almost life-like narrative and incorporation of themes much bigger for the understanding of its protagonists who openly dismiss the belief that children don’t know better.
1. Harry Potter series-J.K Rowling
J.K Rowling has produced a literary work which will be appreciated for decades to come, appealing all age groups and readers across continents. Although not meant for any specific age group, harry potter has found a special place with the teenagers below 18 thus making it an essential and most outstanding book on this list. Not only the Potter generation of these teenagers but a majority of people above the age of 18 will continue to wait for their own admission envelope in the post.