Perhaps more than for any other age group, fiction for teenagers tends to be relevant to the lives of readers. Young adult literature often tackles difficult topics and pushes boundaries.
Having said that, when it comes to popular book series, there is no doubt that there is great demand for young adult fantasy, including dystopian literature and romance. (This is probably the biggest difference with books for younger readers, who tend not to be very interested in romance.)
Of course, a fantasy setting can be just as effective as the real world in terms of forcing characters to confront difficult decisions, think through options and consequences in a reflective way, and grow over the course of the book.
Below are some popular series for young adults, all of which have had new books come out in recent years.
Chain of Thorns
by Cassandra Clare
The Last Hours series (book 3). Fantasy, danger and romance set in London and Paris at the start of the 20th century. The Last Hours is the sequel series to The Infernal Devices series in the Shadowhunters Chronicles, which is among the top ten bestselling Young Adult series of all time. Age 14+
by Tracy Wolff
Crave series (book 5). Paranormal romance fantasy series set in a boarding school, good for fans of Twilight. Age 14+
The Nobleman's Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks
by Mackenzi Lee
Montague Siblings (book 3). The third book in this series of historical novels is about Adrian, the youngest of three aristocratic English siblings. This volume features family secrets and voyages to the pirate courts of Rabat, Portuguese islands, the canals of Amsterdam, and Arctic waters. Age 14+
Terciel & Elinor
by Garth Nix
This prequel (book 6) to The Old Kingdom series tells the love story of Sabriel’s parents. Fantasy for readers age 14+.
by Tahereh Mafi
Shatter Me (novella 5). Dystopian romance fantasy thriller series structured with novels interspersed with novellas. This novella is told from Warner’s point of view, following the events of Imagine Me (book 6). Age 14+
Sapiens: A Graphic History Volume Two
Yuval Noah Harari, David Vandermeulen & Daniel Casanave (illustrator)
The Pillars of Civilization is the second volume in this graphic history adaptation of the bestselling Sapiens book, primarily aimed at teenagers and young adults. The first volume was The Birth of Humankind. Volume 2 deals with the implications of the agricultural revolution.
As Good as Dead
by Holly Jackson
Want to start at the beginning of the series? The first book is A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. It was picked by Ireland’s Great Reads Awards panellist and retired teacher-librarian Breege O’Brien in our interview on Great Teen Reads.
The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (book 3). Concluding volume in crime thriller trilogy with young protagonist Pip, who investigates some properly scary crime. Age 14+
We Free the Stars
by Hafsah Faizal
Sands of Arawiya series (book 2). Romance and adventure in an Arabia-inspired fantasy world for readers age 14+.