Top Ten Tuesday: YA Books for Non-YA Readers

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and features a new top ten list each week.

This week’s topic is Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To Someone Who Doesn’t Read _______(choose any topic you like). I’ve chosen Young Adult (or Teen) Lit as my subject. These are the books that I think raise the bar for the genre and any child or adult alike should read them at least once. Who knows, any one of these titles may create new fans of YA lit!

The Top Ten Books I’d Recommend to Someone Who Doesn’t Read Young Adult (or Teen) Literature:

  1. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. “Technically” this book has been classified as strictly “sci-fi” and not YA lit (look at me, I’m cheating already) BUT it is a story involving a 6 year old boy (at the start) who grows up to become a young adult as the book develops. It reads like sci-fi meets YA dystopian lit. So in my opinion, it counts. After reading this one, one could easily move on to The Hunger Games or any other contemporary dystopian and see the similarities. Ender’s Game remains as one of my top reads of all  time.
  2. The Tiger’s Curse Series by Colleen Houck. I may be biased (hey, these are my opinions), but I believe that as far as adventure series go, the Tiger series tops the chart. You have many elements of fiction combined within these pages: adventure, exotic places, romance, fantastical creatures, romance, magic, history, and did I say romance? (With hot tiger princes, no less…) There’s something for everyone, both women and men alike. I say forget telling people about the Twilight series, introduce them to the Tiger series instead. Three out of five planned books in the series have been released to-date.
  3. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. This book is a fantastic example of beautiful writing combined with a nice setting and well developed characters. Set in the dark and mystical city of Prague, the book starts off at a slow pace, but ramps up with every turn of the page. Fans of fantasy, the arts and romance would certainly find something to like about this one. Daughter of Smoke & Bone is the first in a planned trilogy.
  4. Graceling by Kristin Cashore. Read from the point of view of a female assassin/killer, you still manage to fall in love with the lead character and want to root her on along the way. Beautifully written and set in a magically mesmerizing world, Graceling is recommended for all fans of fantasy or mystery. Also recommended is the companion book, Fire and the upcoming release, Bitterblue.
  5. Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown. I was lucky enough to just recently discover this book, thanks to NetGalley. You can read my review here and discover why I love it so much. It’s a great intro to YA paranormal romance (and MERMAID) books that have a MALE as the lead. And the character development in this one is top notch.
  6. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? These are the questions asked as you open the pages of the contemporary fiction novel, Before I Fall. But in this story, the lead character, Samantha, must live her “one day” over and over a’ la Groundhog Day. I recommend this read to anyone who has ever questioned the maturity level of YA reads. Lauren Oliver is also known for her other novels, Delirium, and the soon-to-be-released, Pandemonium.
  7. Shine by Lauren Myracle. This is another prime example of a YA novel that is mature enough to entice even the oldest of readers. I agree with the book blurb that says:  “Against a backdrop of poverty, clannishness, drugs, and intolerance, Myracle has crafted a harrowing coming-of-age tale couched in a deeply intelligent mystery. Smart, fearless, and compassionate, this is an unforgettable work from a beloved author.”
  8. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I have only just begun this one, but I can already tell that it will be groundbreaking in terms of being an influential YA read. This book with make you examine your life if you were dying, and think about those you would leave behind.
  9. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab. A child’s nightmare come to life. This book reads like a classic fairy tale, with all the horror, mystery and romance. I recommend this book to fans of witch stories, fairy tales or anyone who appreciates a well-developed romance.
  10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. And when I say The Hunger Games, I mean book one. Not book two, not book three, NOT the series – just book one. For whatever reason the last two books, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, never held up to the standards of book one. Even with that being said, this one is outstanding enough to deserve to be read by bookies of all ages.
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About Jenna (Does Books)

Working momma of a little pink princess and reader of all things YA. I'm an artist, writer and avid reader who swears that she's having a hard time letting go of the childish things... Let me read your latest YA book and let's see if it makes the grade!

Posted on January 17, 2012, in Top Ten Tuesday and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I have so far read the first of The Tigers Curse series and of course, LOVED IT. I have also read Before I Fall and enjoyed it as well. The Hunger Games, first book as you’ve pointed out, is fantastic, The second was good but i did not enjoy it quite as much. Still have to read the third. I am anxious to read The Fault In Our Stars after reading the first chapter on Amazon. And lastly, I will add Ender’s Game to my list of must-reads after hearing you talk about it. Sounds great! Thanks for posting this list!

  2. I’ve read most of these and also think they perfect for reluctant YA readers. The Fault in Our Stars is so great! I’m so speechless about it I don’t know how I’ll write a review. Before I Fall and Shine are also excellent. I want to read Ender’s Game soon and you make the Tiger’s Curse series sound awfully good.
    Thanks for the recs!

    • Thanks Lucy. 🙂 You might want to check out the audiobooks for the Tiger’s Curse series. They are very well done and read by Annika Boras.

  3. Wonderful list. I love YA and have either already read or their on my TBR list. I agree completely!

    Here’s my TT: http://amandalynsbooks.blogspot.com/2012/01/top-ten-tuesdays-books-id-recommend-to.html

  4. I’m so glad you mentioned the Tigers Curse series I absolutely love those books (mostly because of Ren) and they don’t get talked about enough. And I loved Before I Fall, The Near Witch and of course The Hunger Games (but Catching Fire was my favorite I blame Peeta for that) and I really need to read The Daughter of Smoke and Bone I’ve heard it’s amazing.

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