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Customer Discussions > Young Adult forum

Suggestions for YA that will appeal to 'Old Adults' too

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Showing 1-25 of 94 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 25, 2012, 5:43:24 PM PDT
Clueless says:
I enjoy a good story but am far from the usual YA demographic. Any suggestions for contemporary fantasy, paranormal or dystopian book? For example I enjoyed Hunger Games, Divergent, The Iron Fey series, etc. Things like the Uglies (which I had high hopes for) and Blue Bloods I didn't care for.

Posted on Apr 25, 2012, 7:14:59 PM PDT
- GRACELING by Kristin Cashore
- THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgernsten (not really YA)

I also rec these books by Robin McKinley, although they are high fantasy not contemp fantasy:

All of these books feature mature writing, exciting characters, and lots of imagination. :)

Posted on Apr 25, 2012, 8:11:21 PM PDT
S Nicole says:
I just read a fantastic YA book, but it hardly qualifies as one due to the very adult situations/crises that the young heroine found herself in. It's called Grave Mercy (His Fair Assasin - book 1) by Robin LaFevers. It's a historical fantasy, and I absolutely loved it. I highly recommend it, it's very well written with an intricate plot and story telling.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012, 6:00:00 AM PDT
S. Reading says:
not contemp fantasy but in case you are interested:
The King's Bastard (King Rolen's Kin, Book One)- not YA but amazing series that appeal to YA fans
Crown Duel (Crown Duel / Court Duel)- Or anything by Sherwood Smith
The Agency 1: A Spy in the House
Bewitching Season (Leland Sisters, Book 1)

In regards to Contemp I would suggest Cassandra Clare: The Mortal Instrument Series (Mortal Instruments). I personally didn't care too much for them but they are extremely popular right now. I believe this is the next twilight/ hunger games and they are already making a movie out of them.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012, 9:00:33 AM PDT
Nannie says:
The Celestial Clockwork
YA fiction fantasy, with witty references to keep the interest of adults...(clean) read the reviews at the link

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012, 7:10:04 PM PDT
Agnes says:
Since you seem to like urban fantasy, I'd steer you toward L.J. Smith. The only thing of hers that I recommend is The Forbidden Game: The Hunter; The Chase; The Kill. This is the omnibus edition, which contains all three books in the series (and I am fairly certain that there have only been two omnibus editions released; this is the newer one).

When Lightning Strikes (1-800-Where-R-You) by Meg Cabot - This one has an interesting concept (and falls more into the contemporary/paranormal categories). The main character turns down a ride from the neighborhood bad boy and ends up getting struck by lightning on her walk home. She doesn't escape unscathed, and the lightning strike leaves her with an odd ability. She can find anyone just by looking at a picture.

And, I have to say, one of the best YA dystopians I have read (technically, I think it's classified as a kid's book because of its short length, but I consider it too mature) is a book by William Sleator called House of Stairs. Unlike the books you listed (and the previous books I mentioned do have this), this one does not have a romance, but it is a disturbing and insightful read on human nature. I enjoyed it.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012, 8:23:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2012, 8:23:14 PM PDT
Kasia S. says:
Agnes, I can't agree more on L.J Smith, I loved The Forbidden Games which I read as a teenager, recently I lend them to my coworker who's 25 now and she also adored the novels as we both like to read various things ( my favorite is horror but Ya is close behind) , another good YA blast from the past is The Last Vampire series by Christopher Pike, I can't wait to re-read them. After looking at your profile I see that you're a fan of the Terminator movie, same here, I will have to go through your reviews and add things to my wishlist as we have similar taste, I all ready got a used copy of House of Stairs thanks to your comment, what a find! It makes me think that now I want to read Brain Lumley's The House of Doors lol :)

Posted on Apr 27, 2012, 6:30:53 AM PDT
Clueless says:
Thanks for the suggestions - I have Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Graceling sitting on my "to-read-soon" pile. Have read the mortal instruments as well. I have the first book of the other Clare series but haven't read that one yet either. Just ordered the L.J Smith one thanks to the recommendation as well.

When it comes to YA the thing that separates the ones I enjoy from the so-so books often seems to be how obvious the moral of the story is (if is that type anyway). If the author hits you over the head with it (which is understandable given the target audience) I find that a bit annoying. Anyway keep the recs coming.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2012, 8:01:11 AM PDT
Kribu says:
I know what you mean about the too obvious morality - although I have to say that I did enjoy Uglies (even though it's one of the worst offenders in that sense).

I'm in my mid-thirties and have been reading a lot of YA books lately as well; I started a thread here in this forum asking for recs last year and this got me quite a lot of recs. If you're interested, it's this thread here - perhaps you'll find something of interest, too:


Of things I've read and enjoyed more recently, which haven't been mentioned here yet, I'd suggest perhaps Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series (not particularly deep, but I rather liked it - more than some other YA vampire series anyway), Susan Ee's Angelfall if you have a Kindle (self-published and cheap, but definitely the best self-published book I've read so far), Ann Aguirre's Enclave.

Oh, and the best dystopian YA book I've read - Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (although it's a lot more on the literary fiction side than most YA, and not a happy, fluffy book by any means).

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2012, 8:36:09 AM PDT
Clueless says:
Also - now that I've just glanced at your original post on the other thread - please keep reading The Hollows - it takes a few to get completely hooked but they are very good - Harrison does a great job keeping the characters developing.

Posted on Apr 27, 2012, 10:49:29 AM PDT
Kris L. says:
Lauren DeStefano's Wither is quite good - pretty classic dystopian. Marie Lu's Legend would also be a good one to look at. I strongly second Graceling as well - it's brilliant. Lauren Oliver's Delirium would be another to check out.

Anything by Patrick Ness - The Knife of Never Letting Go is the start of a quasi-dystopian series. A Monster Calls is harder to classify, but sort of fantasy/fairy tale, maybe a little closer to middle grade? All of his writing is absolutely gorgeous and there's a lot of emphasis on the ambiguity of right and wrong - similar to Hunger Games.

It's a little different from the ones you listed, but Maggie Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races is amazing - she has a very lyrical writing style that's beautiful to read.

I recommend the blog Forever Young Adult as well - it's a group of adults who read and review YA books - they dig up some books I never would have found, but ended up really enjoying.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2012, 10:57:45 AM PDT
I believe Angelfall is now out in print

Posted on Apr 27, 2012, 11:28:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 27, 2012, 1:23:19 PM PDT
I really liked Tamora Pierce's books. The protector of the small series starting with First Test: Book 1 of the Protector of the Small Quartet was a well written story with a very likable character Kel, a strong hero, with real personality faults and we get to see her grow into a strong, young woman. The Imortal series which starts with Wild Magic (The Immortals, Book 1) does a fantastic job of weaving magic into a world in a believable way, and the first book in the series shows us a young woman (Daine) growing and discovering who she really is. I also want to put in a pitch for Once A Hero by Elizabeth Moon, This is another story of a young military officer discovering who she is, and deals well with the tension between her true inner self and the expectations of every one around her branch of the military. The story also deals well with the tension between growing up in a rural conservative culture and being thrust into a more cosmopolitan culture with loose morals and social relations which are not often based on respect.

To Play the Lady is a great book. I want to call this out, because while most self published stuff is crap, this novel is well written, with a good story and fun characters. It may be targeted at a slightly younger audience than YA. (The main character repeats jokes with sexual inuendo but does not understand the inuendo herself. the main character is a 12 year old). I liked the story, I liked the friendships the heroine forms and I found her journey of self discovery believable.

Meg Cabbot deserves more than a nod here as well. I really liked her novel Airhead #1: Airhead. Avoiding spoilers it is a story of a teenage girl who knows exactly who she is and who has to re-learn a new role to meet the expectations of others. Really well written, with a good mix of true friends, clueless friends who want to help but don't understand, frenemies, and a mix of caring and explotive adults. I also liked her series Mediator series ( under the pen name Jenny Carol) Shadowland (The Mediator, Book 1) is the first book in this series, and the stories remain good throughout the series. You might also try When Lightning Strikes (1-800-Where-R-You) another series by Meg Cabbot with a teen age heroine.

Thanks to the other posters for their suggestions. I will enjoy following up on these topics.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2012, 1:53:22 PM PDT
Wayward says:
Bones of Faerie
girl of fire and thorns
Shiver etc
What about Beautiful creatures? The writing is beautiful; although the love story is a bit angsty; but what can you expect from teens?

Posted on Apr 27, 2012, 2:04:47 PM PDT
J. Park says:
It is more traditional fantasy, but you might try Maria Snyder's Fire Study (first of 3). Also, Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar trilogy, which starts with The Summer Tree.

Posted on Apr 27, 2012, 2:32:20 PM PDT
Kribu says:
J. Park - I'm pretty sure Magic Study is the first book in Snyder's Study series. But yes, good recommendation, although parts of the second and third book annoyed me.

Clueless - I haven't given up on the Hollows, but I really struggled with the infodumps in the first book, and there has been so much else to read that I haven't felt any strong need to return to that particular series yet... I probably will, some day, especially as I do have the second and third book bought.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2012, 2:40:56 PM PDT
I really like the Mortal Instrument series, but I'm waiting to read the 4th novel because someone said there was a cliffhanger. I hate cliffhangers :(

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2012, 6:28:31 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 27, 2012, 6:30:00 PM PDT]

Posted on Apr 27, 2012, 6:32:14 PM PDT
Rhyta says:
I would second the Fionavar Trilogy, which I think is on a par with LOTR (not YA though). I thoroughly enjoyed Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (loved mythology in jr. high) and his Heros of Olympus is a good sequel. The Nicolas Flamel series by Scott is good and Leviathan series by Westerfeld (more steam punkish). I have read Maze Runner by Dashner which is more like Hunger games but have not finished the series. Hope these will help.
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 28, 2012, 8:42:00 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 28, 2012, 8:43:03 AM PDT
Kris L. says:
I recommend stopping after the first three in the Mortal Instruments. The quality really dropped in the fourth one, and it was basically one big cliffhanger. I was really disappointed by it.

Her other trilogy isn't bad, though.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 28, 2012, 11:42:40 AM PDT
Agnes says:
Kasia S., the first time I read L.J. Smith's Forbidden Game trilogy, I ended up passing it on to my sister; I'm not sure which one of us liked it more. And, yes, The Terminator (along with T2) is one of my favorite movies.

Hope you like House of Stairs. :)

Posted on Apr 29, 2012, 8:15:56 AM PDT
You could try Maria V Snyder's Poison Study series (although I liked the 1st one most), Michael Gant's Gone, or Joss Stirling's series starting with Finding Sky (loved this).

Posted on Apr 30, 2012, 6:35:34 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 1, 2012, 9:33:17 AM PDT
C. Hall says:
The Spirit Keeper

The Haunting of Pico


Eve of Destruction (The Chronicles of Eve)

Cloak (YA Fantasy)

Cat's Paw

Posted on May 2, 2012, 8:40:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 2, 2012, 8:49:25 PM PDT
The Hollow series by Jessica Verday
The Dark divine series by Bree Despain
The Immortal Rules by Julie kagawa
The Morganville vampires by Rachel Caine
Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2012, 6:20:04 AM PDT
Clueless says:
I've read all the Morganville vampires up till the one due out about now - they seem to be the same thing over and over so I'm done with it. Rachel Caine seems to get a formula and repeat it again and again. That being said I read the whole Weather Warden series and found it annoying in that there was never any 'downtime' there seemed to be non-stop tension the entire way - also how many deaths or near-deaths can one character have??? But for some reason couldn't put them down - so Ms. Caine was obviously successful in the end.
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Discussion in:  Young Adult forum
Participants:  54
Total posts:  94
Initial post:  Apr 25, 2012
Latest post:  Jul 17, 2012

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