My Favorite YA Books!

Hello everybody! I felt the need to create this blog post because I get asked about my favorite titles pretty often and I really want to share these with you in case you're not already familiar. I'd say my taste is quite varied in general, though in YA, I mostly seem to go for contemporaries! A few of these were added to this list this year, actually, and I just want to point out that is such a big deal. I don't add books to 'favorites' lists easily.

Let me know if you like any of these books - I would love to know! If you do and have recommendations for similar or related titles, I'd also love those!

ALL SPOILER FREE!
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

When I tell you this book has my heart, I'm not exaggerating. I know for a lot of people this isn't the top of their John Green appreciation pile. I just so loved Colin and I had a really deep understanding of him. Obviously not calling myself a genius or prodigy like Colin, but I really understood how he felt about succeeding and achieving his potential and the insecurities and anxieties related to that. I really also liked the dynamics Colin was comfortable with and those he was presented with on his journey. Again, I understand a lot of people didn't find Colin to be quite relatable as a narrator but I am so thankful for him because I do think back to this book a lot.

Paper Towns by John Green

Where does one even start with Paper Towns? First, I will never get over it being set in Orlando. Since I was a little kid, I've always gone to Orlando often. I love Orlando! That aside, though, the story means a lot to me. The actual plot of finding Margo is really compelling, sure, but I was so much more interested in the dynamic of these best friends and their personalities and interactions. I'll never forget taking away the message that your friends are your friends for a reason - that is, we have differences and those differences make us into the people we are so we shouldn't try to change them or even want them to change. That is such a valuable message for young people who might struggle with the reality of their friends making decisions they don't understand or agree with. (Obviously if your friends are making dangerous decisions, this is not what I mean, just a disclaimer! Haha)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Oh, Rainbow Rowell, how you changed my life! This book. I read it in college and it was so perfect. It was cozy and warm and had the perfect focus on the anxieties of college and dating and friendships and it made things so relatable and understandable. I've seen so many people gush about how much they related to Cath - how magical is that? I'll forever cherish this book.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Simon Snow is precious. I love Simon and Baz and this book so much. SO. MUCH. It's an extension of sorts of the Fangirl universe. Sort of. You'll have to read Fangirl first (you don't have to but I'd really recommend it!) and then you'll understand. I don't want to write too much here and spoil anything but it's basically magical and fun and romantic and Penelope is all of us bookworms. I DID NOT WANT THIS BOOK TO END. I still would love a sequel, actually. If I didn't have such an overwhelming TBR right now, I'd actually love to reread this during my upcoming vacation. It's pure bliss and such a fun escape.

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

SO MANY GREAT THINGS. The most important thing I'm going to point out - Sophie Kinsella's portrayals of anxiety and panic are really good. Audrey has a very extreme case, so it's not exactly super triggering, at least I didn't think. Instead, it was just nice representation. Still, if you're triggered by anxiety in fiction, be aware of this. I just loved Audrey so much and her family was actually like a British version of mine. It was hilarious. You'll have to approach it from the proper mindset regarding anxiety and treatment and all of those sorts of things, but it's really fantastic.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Becky Albertalli is a rare sort of human in that she's so kind and inspiring and talented. How was she able to tap into Simon so well?! Simon felt so relatable and parts of his inner dialogue were actual thoughts I have had. I could not get over how well-written he and his friends were. It's not easy to achieve this level of grounded realism in YA contemporary fiction without seeming like you're trying too hard. There's pop culture, romance, friendship, family life and the stresses of growing up and becoming your true self. I wholly appreciate this book and look forward to the film so much.

True Letters From a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan

A really good book for LGTBQ teens, I think! I loved that this book dealt with serious themes but also felt light enough to consume as a teen. It helps with understanding other perspectives and tackles things like being selfish or unaware, which are important. This book really made an impact on me for its messages.

The Improbably Theory of Ana + Zak by Brian Katcher

If you've ever been to a con, you'll probably love this book. It follows two protagonists and has everything from cosplay to pop culture to romance and also does actually focus on things like anxiety, stress and figuring out who you are. I will never stop loving this book.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

A very new addition. I'm still finishing reading this series, but I love the characters so much. I daresay if you have two sisters, like I do, you'll probably really enjoy the relationships between the sisters. Also the romance aspect is so fun and it'll take you back to all those first crush feelings. The humor is really great and I think it's rare that I laugh as much as I did during this book.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

This book took me by surprise! I don't really usually go for magical realism or supernatural books very often and didn't expect to really love this as much as I did. To be fair, I have not finished this series, but the characters really have stuck with me and I genuinely did not want this book to end. I actually feel like I'm putting off finishing the series because I will be so upset when it ends. Do you ever get like that with a book or series?! Adam Parrish. That's all.

Thank you for reading! Let me know what your favorite YA books are! Do we have any in common?!

xx Robby

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