Alright, so I have a soft spot in my heart for Young Adult / New Adult novels. I think you’d be lying if you said you didn’t love them too. I also have a tough time figuring out if a book is Young Adult or New Adult — can someone please help me out with that one?
ANYWAY. This year I’ve read quite a handful of swoon-worthy YA / NA books and I’m here to share with you my favorites, and ones that you should most certainly add to your Want-To-Read list!
New Adult + Young Adult Novels You Should Read
It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
This book was so emotionally charged and dealt with a topic that is rarely written in a realistic tone, I’m talking about domestic abuse. Plot: Lily’s father was a violent man who physically and emotionally beat his wife, Lily’s mother. Even though her father never laid a finger on Lily, Lily was horrified that her mother refused to leave him. How could she let a man do this to her? The evening of her fathers funeral, Lily meets Rile. They begin dating. It’s a whirlwind romance. Things are going swimmingly, Rile is the perfect dream-man Lily’s been waiting for, until one night in a fit of rage, Rile hits her…
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
I’m late to the party on this one, but oh how incredibly glad I am that I showed up. It’s a beautiful coming of age story. Set in 1964 South Carolina, we meet Lily (yep, another Lily…) and the only mother she’s ever known, her black housekeeper, Rosaleen. Lily’s mother died when she was only a baby, left in the care of her feisty and sassy housekeeper, and her nasty, cold-hearted daddy. Based on a set of unfortunate circumstances, Rosaleen and Lily go off on a quest to dig up Lily’s mother’s past. They stumble upon a sister of bee keepers and figure out the truth.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
ALL OF THE FEELS. Holy moly. If this doesn’t bring you back to your first love, I don’t know what will. It was so sweet and moving and just… be prepared to cry, that’s all. Eleanor is new in town, she doesn’t fit in for a lot of reasons. Park is half-Asian and does the best he can to blend into small town Omaha in 1986. Two misfits. One unexpected love story.
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
I’m not going to say much other than what’s on the GR site, which sums it up perfectly: The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.
Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
This was such a sweet a touching story. Today is the first day of Jessie’s junior year. She’s starting at a brand new prep school in Los Angeles. Her father moved her halfway across the country against her will from Chicago. Her father met a woman online and eloped, barely two years since Jessie’s mothers death. Jessie isn’t in the best place… until she begins receiving anonymous emails from one of her classmates. Over the next few months, they develop an intimate relationship — though Jessie still has no idea who her closest friend is. Are some things better left a mystery?
Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
OK, confession. The only reason I picked this book up was because the main characters name is Dara. THAT NEVER HAPPENS! To my pleasant surprise, it was actually a great book! Two sisters, Nick & Dara, are inseparable, until one night they get into a terrible car accident. Nick & Dara become estranged, barely speaking to each other, and it’s slowly ruining everything. A few months later, on Dara’s birthday, she disappears without a trace… The ending had a twist that I definitely didn’t see coming, it left me with chills.
Also — did anyone else pick up on the fact / find it slightly off putting that Keegan Peele’s character on Friends from College felt degraded to be labeled as a YA author? What was that about?!