My Ongoing List Of Favorite YA Books

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I think the last post, for now, in my series of personal favorites and recommendations is my favorite YA books of all time!

Some of these are in my favorite books of all time list but this one will have a lot more. I think I’ll be including middle-grade books in this list too right now, if there are any.

I read quite a bit of YA so I feel like this list might be a little long, but we’ll see! It’s a mix of genres but will probably be a lot of YA thrillers and YA contemporary-ish things.

  • If you want to listen to some of these, consider trying Audible! You can get your first month free (one free book) plus tons of others they have for free.  Get that Audible deal here.
  • If you’re on more of a budget, try Scribd!  You can get your first month free there. You can read books and listen to audiobooks. It is unlimited (especially the reading) but if you listen to tons of new audiobooks you may be restricted after a few. I don’t listen to enough to confirm this, but I do use Scribd myself and like it a lot. Sign up for Scribd here!
  • Shop my collection of bookish goodies on Etsy! These aren’t my shop items, but other shops I’ve curated into a book-themed collection. Shop my Etsy bookish goodies here!
  • If you want to read more on your Kindle but don’t want to buy books, Kindle Unlimited is a wonderful option. It’s $9.99 a month but if you read a lot and like to read more than just new releases, it could be worth it. Get Kindle Unlimited here!
  • Get $5 off of $25 from BookOutlet! This is a great place to find new books for pretty cheap. They also have sales quite a bit, so keep an eye out for those. I tend to check here for books I want if they’re more expensive other places. They don’t have everything but they do have a lot. Shop BookOutlet here!
  • Thrift Books has become my go-to when I’m looking for a book and want it cheap. It’s great if you like buying used books. With this you can get a free book after spending $30!
  • Shop my book lists here! You can find every book list I have on Bookshop.org (except my monthly round-ups) and I add everything I can but they occasionally won’t have some. I do occasionally add extras though. If any lists are empty, they’ll be filled in shortly! Shop my bookshop.org book lists here.
  • Shopping internationally? Check out Book Depository!

It Came from the Sky

This is the true account of the time aliens invaded Lansburg, Pennsylvania and the chaos that followed. Except there were no aliens and Gideon Hofstadt knows why. Because one of his science experiments got out of control and his brother blamed extraterrestrials. Things got out of hand from there and the hoax flourishes.

The Testing

The Seven Stages of War have left most of the planet a charred wasteland. The elite students of the university are in charge of renewing it and are chosen through The Testing.

Malencia Vale is honored to be chosen for it and eager to prove her worthiness as a student and future leader. But on the night she leaves, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies – trust no one.

The Rule of One

In a near-future United States, a one-child policy is heavily enforced. Everyone follows the Rule of One but Ava and Mira Goodwin slipped through and secretly live as identical twins.

They’ve lived as one for eighteen years but now their worst nightmare is coming true: they’ve been exposed and have to fight for their lives.

Legend

The former United States is now the Republic, a nation always at war with it’s neighbors. June is a prodigy born into an elite family in one of the wealthiest districts. Day was born into the slums and is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motivations aren’t what they seem.

They have no reason to cross paths, at least until the day June’s brother Metias is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect.

Life As We Knew It

Shock and awe turn to fear not long after the moon is hit by an asteroid and knocked closer to Earth. Miranda, her mother, and her two brothers do their best to prepare before they retreat to the unexpected safe haven of the sunroom where they weather the storms and say goodbye to life as they knew it.

Boy 21

Basketball has always been Finley’s escape from Bellmonyt, his hometown run by the Irish mob, drugs, violence, and racially charged rivalries. He takes care of his disabled grandfather at home and is called “White Rabbit” at school since he’s the only white boy on the basketball team. His dream has always been to somehow get out with his girlfriend Erin.

Russ’s life has been turned upside down by tragedy when they move into the neighborhood. Away from everyone he knows, he now only answers to Boy21, his former jersey number, and has an unusual obsession with outer space. In their final year of high school together, Boy21 may be the answer they both needed.

The Wood

Winter didn’t want to be the guardian of the wood but she has no choice when her dad vanishes. She has to protect the travelers who accidentally slip through the portals.

The wood is poisoned though and soon the trees are bubbling inky black. Creatures that live there are becoming bolder and torturing lost travelers. With the help of Henry, a young man from eighteenth-century England who knows a little too much about the wood, Winter must find the truth and hopefully those they’ve lost.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Pippa Fitz-Amobi’s senior capstone project starts out as an examination of the Andie Bell murder case but quickly turns into a full investigation with the supposed murderers brother who wants to help clear his brother, Sal’s, name.

Things start out innocent enough but quickly go downhill when someone in Fairview decides they don’t want her digging anymore. Now their lives are in danger but they’re determined to get to the bottom of everything.

Sadie

Sadie’s life growing up in a small town, raising her little sister Mattie, hasn’t been easy, but she’s trying her best. But after Mattie is found dead and the investigation is botched, she hits the road determined to bring her sister justice.

West McCray is a radio personality who overhears Sadie’s story in a gas station while working on a story about forgotten towns in America. He becomes obsessed and starts a podcast and tracks Sadie’s journey to try and figure out what happened to her before it’s too late.

Love and Gelato

Lina’s mother is dying and all she wants is for Lina to get to know her father.  In Italy.  But Lina is only sixteen and she really doesn’t want to go.  However, she goes and is given a journal her mother wrote when she lived in Italy. 

Lina meets her charming neighbor, Ren, and they follow her mother’s footsteps around Tuscany and Florence uncovering more than she ever knew about her parents while learning about herself.

The Okay Witch

Moth loves all things witchy but is about to learn they’re not like they are in the movies. When some bullies try to ruin her Halloween, something strange happens. It turns out Moth’s family is at the center of some witchy drama that’s been in Founders Bluff for centuries.

Ruthless

Ruth Carver is ambitious, tough, and ruthless, so when she wakes up in a truck bed with a concussion, she will do whatever it takes to get away. 

When the blindfold comes off in a rotting cabin deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, she comes face to face with the man who thinks he needs to teach her a lesson, just like the six girls before.  Ruth escapes into the wilderness, but her captor is hot on her trail and that is when the real battle begins and she has to decide how far she’ll go to survive.

Ghost Boys

Jerome is just twelve years old and is shot when a police officer mistakes a toy gun for a real one. As a ghost he observes his family, the trial, and the devastation that has been unleashed on them and the community.

Soon he meets another ghost: Emmett Till, a boy from a different time but similar circumstances who helps Jerome process what’s happened. He also meets Sarah, the police officer’s daughter, who struggles with her father’s actions.

Snapdragon

Rumor has it, Snap’s town has a witch. But Jacks is just a weird old lady that sells roadkill online.

Snap needs a favor from her and starts helping with the strange work when she realizes she may have real magic.

Mooncakes

Nova is a teen witch that works at her grandmother’s bookshop, loaning out spell books and investigating supernatural occurrences in their town.

One night she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods and comes across her childhood friend, Tam, battling a demon in the woods as a werewolf.

Together, they take on the dark forces, rekindling their latent feelings.

Illuminae

Kady thought breaking up with her boyfriend, Ezra, would be the hardest thing she did today but then her planet was invaded and it only got worse. Two mega-corporations are fighting over their inconsequential planet at the edge of the universe and they need to evacuate.

There is a plague and a killer AI and the only person who can help is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

How to Hang a Witch

Samantha Mather and her stepmother recently moved to Salem, Massachusetts where they aren’t exactly welcomed with open arms thanks to their last name and its unfortunate connection to the witch trials.

She becomes the target of a group of girls called The Descendants, yes of the other side of the witch trials. As if that weren’t enough, she also encounters a ghost.

A cute but angry ghost. Soon they discover that Sam is at the center of a centuries-old curse and now she has to find a way to get along with the ghost and The Descendants to help break that curse before it’s too late. I just read this and I loved it! If you want a witchy book that takes place in Salem, this is a great choice.

The Witch Boy

Aster is 13 and part of a magical family where girls are raised to be witches and boys shapeshifters, but Aster wants to be a witch and still hasn’t shifted.

The other boys are being threatened by a mysterious danger and Aster knows he can help – as a witch. His new, non-magical friend Charlie will help give him the confidence to practice his new skills and truly be himself.

Paper Girls

Four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls in Cleveland, Ohio uncover the most important story of all time the morning after Halloween in 1988.

An Enchantment of Ravens

 Isobel is the best painter in Whimsy and makes a living painting portraits of a dangerous set of clients: fair folk. These immortal creatures can’t do any craft without crumbling to dust, but they crave human craft and make deals of enchantments in exchange.

When she receives her first royal Patron, the Autumn Prince Rook, she makes a mistake and paints human sorrow in his eyes. He returns, furious, and whisks her away for trial, but along the way they run into attacks on every side.

As they depend on each other so much, they begin to develop feelings for each other, maybe even love, though that is forbidden by the fair folks ruthless laws and could render both of their lives over.

Pretty Little Liars

Everyone has something to hide, especially Aria, Spencer, Hanna, and Emily after their friend Ali disappeared, but now someone is threatening to expose them in all the worst ways.

The Lying Game

Someone killed Sutton Mercer and now her long lost twin sister, Emma, is desperate to know what happened. But the only way to know that is to take her place. Can she keep up the charade even though her murderer is watching?

Truly Devious

Albert Ellingham opened Ellingham Academy in Vermont to make learning a game. The school is full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. When the school opened, though, his wife and daughter were kidnapped and all that was left behind was a riddle signed “Truly, devious” becoming one of the greatest unsolved crimes in American history.

Stevie Bell is about to start her first year at Ellingham Academy and has made it her goal to solve the cold case. Strange things are going on and it turns out that truly devious has made a comeback and gotten away with murder.

The Cheerleaders

First, two girls were killed in a car accident, then two were murdered by their neighbor, and the fifth committed suicide. After this, the Sunnybrook cheer squad was disbanded.

Five years later, the students and staff want to remember the cheerleaders, but not Monica. She just wants to forget, but when she finds mysterious letters in her stepfather’s desk along with her dead sister’s cell phone, she has to get to the bottom of what really happened five years ago.

That Weekend

When Claire wakes up alone and covered in blood on a hiking trail with no memory of the last forty-eight hours, the perfect prom weekend getaway is over.

Everyone wants answers, especially Claire, since her two best friends are now missing. She remembers Friday night, but that’s it.

She knows the answers are somewhere in her memory. She knows everyone has their secrets, including her missing friends. She also knows she’s probably not going to like what she remembers.

Since You’ve Been Gone

Sloane is the reason Emily’s life became 100% more interesting, but right before what is supposed to be the best summer ever, Sloane just disappears only leaving behind a to-do list.

On it are thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks Emily would never do, but what if they could bring her best friend back?

Now she has an unexpected summer with the help of Frank Porter to check things off her list and who knows what she’ll find.

The Mall

It’s 1991 and Cassie is psyched to spend the summer working at the mall before going off to college with her boyfriend in NYC in the fall.

The Plan is higher education and happily ever after. The reality is not quite that.

Have you read any of these? Which ones? What are your favorite YA books?

Author: Megan Johnson

I'm Megan, a cheesehead at heart currently residing in the Sunshine State. You can probably find me reading, watching Forensic Files, or both.

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