WSPN’s Selena Liu shares some of her favorite young adult fiction books. (Credit: Selena Liu)
WSPN’s Selena Liu shares some of her favorite young adult fiction books.

Credit: Selena Liu

Top five young adult book recommendations

December 12, 2022

Have you recently found yourself with free time to spend on hobbies that you wouldn’t normally be able to do? If you love reading and want some good book recommendations, you’re in luck, because I’ve gathered a list of five of my favorite books, which are highly-rated young adult fictions that are relatively easy reads. These enthralling books have extremely captivating plots and also bring awareness to important issues.

1.“In 27 Days,” by Alison Gervais

“In 27 Days” follows the life of 16-year-old Hadley Jamison, an only child who lives an upper-class lifestyle in New York with her parents. She has everything a teenager could want: money, a good education at her fancy prep school and a supportive circle of friends. However, one day, she finds out that one of her classmates, Archer Morales, has committed suicide. Although she doesn’t know him well, she can’t help but feel guilty. She wonders if she could’ve done anything to prevent the tragedy. When she decides to attend his funeral, a mysterious man named Death approaches her and offers her a dangerous opportunity to go back in time and prevent Archer from committing suicide. Reluctantly, Hadley accepts the offer and begins to realize the dark reality of Archer’s life that led him to his decision. As she begins to question everything she knows, she also begins to realize that her “perfect” life is actually far from perfect.

This remains one of my all-time favorite books because it brings awareness to the prevalence of different issues among teenagers today. These issues range from suicide to problems in family relationships. Even with some of the overarching dark themes in the novel, there are many lighthearted moments throughout the story as the main character navigates her teenage life with specks of romance.

2. “An Amish Buggy Ride,” by Sarah Price

“An Amish Buggy Ride” follows the life of Kate Zook, a young adult in her twenties, who is the eldest daughter in her strict, traditional family. Most of the time, she closely abides to the rules, but she isn’t afraid to stand up for what is right. However, when she accidentally plays a major role in a tragic accident that tears apart her family, she wrongfully carries the guilt on her shoulders. As a result, Kate begins to withdraw from her life and activities as a young Amish woman, which includes various farm chores and church outings. One day, everything changes for Kate when a young man takes a liking to her. As she slowly begins to repair herself, she also helps repair the huge holes in her family. The entire story pulls at your heartstrings, and you are sure to be in tears by the time you reach the end.

This is another one of my all-time favorite books because, although in many ways, it is a “typical romance book,” it’s so much more than that. The author obviously did her research while writing it, as I learned so much about the Amish community through the details that Price skillfully weaved in with the romance plot.

3. “It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover

“It Ends with Us” is the first book in a series by Hoover. These books follow the life of Lily Bloom, with the pages flashing between her childhood and her young adulthood. Lily grew up in an abusive household, where she both saw and had first-hand experience with her father’s abuse. Throughout her traumatic childhood, she leaned on Atlas Corrigan, a homeless teenage boy who also dealt with domestic violence. As she grows older and begins new romantic relationships, she is determined to end her cycle of abuse and find her way back to her first love, even with her involvement in abusive relationships.

I loved this book and this series because it really opened my eyes to the actuality of domestic violence in our society. Every day, people who might seem “normal” on the outside are capable of inflicting pain on their partner behind closed doors. These classic romance books went viral on TikTok, and the author, Colleen Hoover, has produced many other romance novels that have done very well.

4. “The Selection” series, by Keira Cass

Referred to by many as the “classic romance series,” this six-book series is set in a dystopian future in a country called Illéa, where there’s a monarchy and a rigid caste system. The book based its caste system on numbers, with the “ones” at the top, considered the monarchy, and the “eights” are the homeless and undesirables. America Singer, the main character, and the rest of her family are fives, so they are poor artists and musicians. There is immense pressure on America to marry an upper caste man to improve the condition of her family. Characters refer to “The Selection” as a competition organized by the monarchy to help the prince find a wife. 35 girls from Illéa, no matter their caste, have the opportunity to travel to the castle to fall in love with the prince. America is absolutely devastated when they select her because she is attached to  her childhood love, who is from a lower caste than her. However, out of thought for her family, America agrees to travel to the castle, where she plans to get herself kicked out in the first round. As she gets to know the prince, however, her feelings begin to change, and she finds herself in a difficult love triangle with the prince of the country and the man in her heart.

This series is my comfort series. The characters are so well-written, and the plot is so elaborate. No matter how many times I reread this series, Cass will never fail to take my emotions for a roller coaster ride.

5.“Where the Crawdads Sing,” by Delia Owens

“Where the Crawdads Sing” follows the tragic life of a young girl named Kya. Abandoned by her parents and siblings, Kya grows up alone in her family’s home in the marshes of North Carolina. Her entire life is flipped upside down when someone discovers a body in her town, and the town folk pins her as the main suspect. However, her talent for drawing and her love for the marsh allows her to survive as the townspeople belittle her. She later falls in love with a boy while exploring the marsh. As romantic partners go in and out of her life, Kya struggles to keep herself afloat and escape from the domestic abuse that once plagued her household while also making a name for herself.

You’ve likely heard this title somewhere, as it has become a classic American novel. It was also recently adapted into a movie. I added this book to my favorite books list because it pushed my reading boundaries. Author Owens artfully weaves together aspects of romance, murder and mystery together into a novel that keeps you at the edge of your seat.

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