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I’ve Been Reading YA Fiction Novels—Here’s Why You Should Too

written by TIERRA HARRIS

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Graphics by: Anna Wissler
Graphics by: Anna Wissler

There’s nothing that I love more than curling up with a good book, particularly during the winter months. The snow decorating the trees, the warm drinks, and a million-and-one candles being lit set a mood that is ideal for any avid book reader. And the best part? You can stay in all day. Like many, though, finding the perfect book can sometimes feel impossible.

But rather than rereading some of my top shelvers this past winter, I put my foot down. No more blowing dust off an old favorite; it was time for a change. So I began book hunting. Throughout the past few months, I’ve scoured bookstore after bookstore, top lists for the year, and my friends’ book collections to diversify my options with Young Adult titles. It was an unforgettable experience that ended in lots of “no”s but also some amazing gems!

To save you some time, I’ve compiled some of my favorites so you don’t have to.

Here are some of the best YA Fiction novels you should read ASAP.

all our hidden gifts book
Caroline O'Donoghue
All Our Hidden Gfts

From a beautiful romance to a witchy mystery, this novel is everything I crave as a reader. All Our Hidden Gifts follows a mischievous yet lonely Maeve and her newfound talent in tarot reading. Her overnight infatuation leads to popularity she never expected. But when she gives a reading to Lily, her ex-best friend, and pulls an unsettling card, it's up to Maeve and her tight-knit group of friends to figure out what happened.

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cinder book
Marissa Meyer

This dystopian take on our most beloved character is nothing like you'd expect. Second-class citizen Cinder is a cyborg. Haunted by her stepmother and stepsister's illness, she balances duty, loyalty, newfound love, and freedom—and they're just the beginning of her story.

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every day by david levithan
David Levithan
Every Day

This fictional love story is a tearjerker, so beware! In this book, main character A wakes up in a different body each morning. A's made peace with it and has made sure to always go by one rule: Never get attached—that is, until they meet Rhiannon. Now, the rules no longer apply.

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the witch haven
Sasha Peyton Smith
The Witch Haven

I've always been a huge lover of magic, witches, and mayhem. Sasha Peyton Smith does all that and more. The Witch Haven's spellbinding story follows Frances Hallowell, set in 1900s New York City. After mysteriously killing a man and ending up in a school for witches, she must make difficult decisions between her past and future.

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one last stop book
Casey McQuiston
One Last Stop

Casey McQuiston's LGBTQ+ romance novels weren't just necessary—they were the fresh perspective that every reader craved for in YA fiction. One Last Stop focuses on cynical August who moves to New York, the perfect place to prove that life is nothing like the movies. But when she meets dazzling, fun-loving, and mysterious Jane Su, everything changes. The only issue? She's been displaced from the punk-rock realm of the 1970s.

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ya books
Lynne Ewing
Daughters of the Moon Book One: Goddess of the Night

The beginning of the 13-book series is the perfect introduction to a beautiful, well-crafted fictional rollercoaster. Set in modern day, the Daughters of the Moon series focuses on Vanessa, Catty, Serena, and Jimena. With their amazing abilities, their job to protect the world from evil is made more difficult with boys and high school drama.

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Jackie Fraser
The Bookshop of Second Chances

Wit, humor, and charm are at the forefront of this novel, and the journey is truly inspiring. In The Bookshop of Second Chances, Thea Mottram loses her job and her husband (to a close friend, ouch) within one month. She soon inherits a home and book collection from a distant uncle and decides to make the move. She soon learns that her new life may be just as complicated as her old one.

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when we were strangers
Alex Richards
When We Were Strangers

This mold of mystery and betrayal is the ultimate guide of breaking down grief in our darkest moments. When We Were Strangers follows Evie Parker, a young girl dealing with the recent death of her father. After finding out about his mistress and her pregnancy, Evie turns to photography to manage her feelings of pain and wonder. She's faced with a choice to help the mistress and unravels the truth.

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payback's a witch
Lana Harper
Payback's a Witch

Payback's A Witch is a perfect concoction of magic, romance, and adventure. The exiled Emmy Harlow is a witch who has lived a "normal" life in Chicago ever since leaving Thistle Grove. When she comes home for a spell-casting tournament, her friendships lead her on a mission to do one thing: get revenge on Gareth Blackmoore.

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once upon a broken heart
Stephanie Garber
Once Upon A Broken Heart

I'm a sucker for a mystical love story, especially when curses and mayhem are part of it. Evangeline Fox has been a romantic for as long as she can remember—until the love of her life falls in love with someone else. To stop the wedding, she makes a deal with the mysterious Prince of Hearts, only to learn that nothing is really what it seems.

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The Loneliest Girl in The Universe
Lauren James
The Loneliest Girl in The Universe

Snippets of sci-fi, romance, and a powerful protagonist create a story with an amazing twist. Romy Silvers knows space more than anyone. The daughter of two deceased astronauts and living your entire life in space can do that, but the feelings of loneliness are inevitable. When another ship will be joining her, she learns that there may be worse feelings than feeling alone.

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anatomy: a love story
Dana Schwartz
Anatomy: A Love Story

This period piece is a beautiful love story + a horror story + a murder mystery. Hazel Sinnet aspires to be a surgeon more than a wife. Once she meets Jack, though, they work together to solve the problems nobody dares to listen to. As they challenge Edinburgh, they unlock secrets of the society they never expected.

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