YA Book Lists: "Young Adult-ish"
"Books written for adults that teens will love too

[Printable book list]

Max Barry / FIC BARRY
Lexicon
Emily Ruff belongs to a secretive, influential organization whose "poets" can break down individuals by psychographic markers in order to take control of their thoughts. Then she makes a catastrophic mistake and falls in love with Wil Jamieson who holds the key to a secret war between rival factions of "poets."

Jo Ann Beard / FIC BEARD
In Zanesville
Jo is a late bloomer. She is used to flying under the radar — a sidekick, a third wheel, a marching band drop-out, a disastrous babysitter, the kind of girl whose eureka moment is the discovery that "fudge" can't be said with an English accent. Luckily, she has a best friend, a similarly undiscovered girl with whom she shares the everyday adventures of a 1970s American girlhood … until everything changes.

Alden Bell / FIC BELL
The Reapers Are the Angels
Zombies have infested a fallen America. A young girl named Temple is on the run. Haunted by her past and pursued by a killer, Temple is surrounded by death and danger, hoping to be set free.

Aimee Bender / FIC BENDER
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein bites into her mother's homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother's emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose.

Peter Bognanni / FIC BOGNANNI
The House of Tomorrow
Sebastian Prendergast lives in a geodesic dome with his eccentric grandmother, who homeschooled him in the teachings of futurist philosopher R. Buckminster Fuller. But when his grandmother has a stroke, Sebastian is forced to leave the dome and make his own way in town.

Carol Rifka Brunt / FIC BRUNT
Tell the Wolves I'm Home
There's only one person who has ever truly understood June Elbus, and that's her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June's world is turned upside down.

Wesley Chu / SF CHU
Lives of Tao
When out-of-shape IT technician Roen woke up and started hearing voices in his head, he naturally assumed he was losing it. He wasn't. He now has a passenger in his brain: an ancient alien life-form called Tao, whose race crash-landed on Earth before the first fish crawled out of the oceans. Now split into two opposing faction,s the aliens have been in a state of civil war for centuries and his head is stuck in the middle.

Ernest Cline / FIC CLINE
Ready Player One
It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of 10,000 planets.

Emma Donoghue / FIC DONOGHUE
Room
To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits. His mother knows the dangerous truth, and will do anything to free them.

Louise Erdrich / FIC ERDRICH
The Round House
When his mother, a tribal enrollment specialist living on a reservation in North Dakota, slips into an abyss of depression after being brutally attacked, 14-year-old Joe Coutz sets out with his three friends to find the person that destroyed his family.

Gavin Extence / FIC EXTENCE
The Universe Versus Alex Woods
Alex Woods was struck by a meteorite when he was 10 years old, leaving scars that marked him for an extraordinary life. The son of a fortune teller, bookish, and an easy target for bullies, he hasn't had the most conventional childhood. So when, aged 17, Alex is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the passenger seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he's fairly sure he's done the right thing.

Helen Grant / FIC GRANT
The Vanishing of Katharina Linden
It isn't 10-year-old Pia's fault that her grandmother dies in a freak accident. But tell that to the classmates who shun her. The only one who still wants to be her friend is StinkStefan, the most unpopular child in school. But then something else captures the community's attention: the vanishing of Katharina Linden. Before everything is over Pia will be drawn deep into the mystery and danger.

Steve Hamilton / MYS HAMILTON
The Lock Artist
Marked by tragedy, traumatized at the age of eight, Michael, now 18, is no ordinary young man. Besides not uttering a single word in 10 years, he discovers the one thing he can somehow do better than anyone else. Whether it's a locked door without a key, a padlock with no combination, or even an 800-pound safe, he can open them all.

Tupelo Hassman / FIC HASSMAN
Girlchild
Obsessively following the edicts of the Girl Scouts Handbook in spite of her lack of a troop, young Rory longs to escape the Reno trailer park where she lives with her bartender mother.

Lucy Knisley B KNISLEY
Relish
Lucy Knisley loves food. The daughter of a chef and a gourmet, this talented young cartoonist comes by her obsession honestly. In her forthright, thoughtful, and funny memoir, Lucy traces key episodes in her life thus far, framed by what she was eating at the time and lessons learned about food, cooking, and life.

Jean Kwok / FIC KWOK
Girl in Translation
When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life — like the staggering degree of her poverty, the weight of her family's future resting on her shoulders, or her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition — Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles.

Roland Merullo / FIC MERULLO
The Talk-Funny Girl
Raised by parents so intentionally isolated that they speak their own hybrid dialect, abused youth Marjorie witnesses her parents' submission to a sadistic cult leader before she is rescued by another abuse survivor who teaches her stoneworking skills.

Erin Morgenstern / FIC MORGENST
The Night Circus
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. Behind the scenes there is a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.

Lisa O'Donnell / FIC ODONNELL
The Death of Bees
Trying to keep the death of their parents a secret, Marnie and her little sister Nelly are on their own until several residents in Glasgow's Hazelhurst housing estate suspect that something is not right.

Caroline Preston / FIC PRESTON
The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures
Through a kaleidoscopic array of vintage postcards, letters, magazine ads, ticket stubs, catalog pages, fabric swatches, candy wrappers, fashion spreads, menus, and more, we meet and follow Frankie on her journey in search of success and love.

John Searles / FIC SEARLES
Help for the Haunted
Struggling with the loss of her parents, who helped haunted souls find peace, Sylvie Mason pursues the mystery, moving closer to the truth of what happened that night as she comes to terms with her family's past.

Maria Semple / FIC SEMPLE
Where'd You Go, Bernadette?
When her notorious, hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled, and agoraphobic mother goes missing, teenage Bee begins a trip that takes her to the ends of the earth to find her.

Robin Sloan / FIC SLOAN
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
After a layoff during the Great Recession sidelines his tech career, Clay Jannon takes a job at the titular bookstore in San Francisco, and soon realizes that the establishment is a facade for a strange secret.

Mark Slouka / FIC SLOUKA
Brewster
Still reeling from the death of his older brother, a 16-year-old track star befriends a street-fighting rebel and together they search for redemption amidst the social changes of 1968.

Daniel H. Wilson / SF WILSON
Robopocalypse: A Novel
In the near future, at a moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will unite and turn against us. When the Robot War ignites, humankind will be both decimated and, possibly, for the first time in history, united.

David Zimmerman / FIC ZIMMERMA
Caring is Creepy
Suspecting that her overworked nurse mother has been enmeshed in a boyfriend's petty criminal schemes, 15-year-old Lynn Marie engages in online flirtations and hides a troubled AWOL soldier in the storage space of her home.