30 of the best YA books to read right now

From teen romances to epic fantasy, here's our round-up of the best young adult fiction, that adults will love too.

If you can't get enough young adult fiction, you're not alone. With the film adaptation of YA classic, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret now on our screens, there's no better time to discover more YA favourites. Here we round-up the best new young adult fiction of 2023, take a look back at the best of 2022, and list our top YA books of all time. 

The best new YA books of 2023

Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret

by Judy Blume

Book cover for Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret

With the release of a major film adaptation starring Rachel McAdams, there is no better time to discover the new edition of this hilarious coming-of-age classic. Meet Margaret. She's going through all the same things most teenage girls have to face, but no matter how hard she tries, she can't shake the feeling that she's simply not normal. Meanwhile, everyone else seems really sure of who they are. And, worst of all, she's a 'late developer'. It's too embarrassing to talk to her parents about these things. So she talks to God instead – and waits for an answer. 

Cupid's Revenge

by Wibke Brueggemann

Book cover for Cupid's Revenge

It was never Tilly's intention to fall in love, but Cupid will get you when you least expect it . . . Tilly isn't looking for a girlfriend, but her best friend Teddy is. Enter Katherine Cooper-Bunting: beautiful, charming, and perfect for Teddy. So why does Tilly find herself using any excuse to join the theatre production they're starring in? And why can't she stop thinking about Katherine? Cupid's Revenge is a hilariously honest novel full of heart, from Wibke Brueggemann, author of Love is for Losers

Fake Dates and Mooncakes

by Sher Lee

Book cover for Fake Dates and Mooncakes

Meet Dylan Tang: he juggles school and delivery runs for his aunt’s struggling Chinese takeout in Brooklyn. Winning a mooncake competition could bring the publicity they need to stay afloat. Enter Theo Somers: a charming, wealthy customer who convinces Dylan to be his fake date to a family wedding full of crazy rich drama. Their romance is supposed to be just for show, but soon Dylan’s falling for Theo — for real. With the mooncake contest looming, Dylan can’t risk being distracted by rich-people problems. Can he save his family’s business and follow his heart? 

I Wish You All the Best

by Mason Deaver

Book cover for I Wish You All the Best

This tender story about a non-binary teen is a celebration of life and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity. When Ben De Backer comes out as nonbinary, it doesn’t go down as planned: they are thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister. Ben tries to keep a low profile in school until Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As their friendship grows, their feelings begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier, new life.


by Frances Hardinge

Book cover for Unraveller

Called her ‘best yet’ by the Guardian, Hardinge expertly weaves together mythology and mystery in her brilliant YA fantasy novel, Unraveller. In a world where anyone can cast a life-destroying curse, only one person has the power to unravel them. Kellen does not fully understand his unique gift, but helps those who are cursed, like his friend Nettle who was trapped in the body of a bird for years. She is now Kellen's constant companion and his closest ally. But the Unraveller carries a curse himself and, unless he and Nettle can remove it, Kellen is a danger to everything – and everyone – around him. 

Promise Boys

by Nick Brooks

Book cover for Promise Boys

Nick Brooks's Promise Boys is a trailblazing, blockbuster YA mystery about three teen boys of colour who must investigate their principal’s murder to clear their own names. When Principal Moore, headteacher at the Urban Promise Prep School is murdered, J.B., Ramón and Trey emerge as the case's prime suspects. With all three maintaining their innocence, they must track down the real killer before they are arrested. This YA thriller shines a glaring light on how the system, condemns Black and Latinx teen boys to failure before they've even had a chance at success. 

Begin Again

by Emma Lord

Book cover for Begin Again

From the bestselling author of Tweet Cute and You Have a Match comes Begin Again — an unforgettable story of love and starting again. Andie Rose has a plan: transfer to the competitive Blue Ridge State and chase her goal of becoming an iconic self-help figure. But once she arrives and meets Milo, her plans quickly disintegrate. He redefines all her ideas about love and relationships, pushing Andie's relationship with boyfriend Connor to breaking point. Sometimes, when all your plans are rubble at your feet, you find out what you're made of.

I Kissed Shara Wheeler

by Casey McQuiston

Book cover for I Kissed Shara Wheeler

Chloe Green wants to be a winner. Her moms have moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, and she has had to spend four years navigating gossips and the puritans who run Willowgrove Christian Academy. She is determined to win valedictorian, and only prom queen Shara Wheeler stands in her way. But, a month before they graduate, Shara kisses Chloe and disappears. Chloe launches an investigation with some fellow students –  quarterback Smith and bad boy Rory. Could it be there's more to Shara than meets the eye? 

The best YA books of 2022

Scattered Showers

by Rainbow Rowell

Book cover for Scattered Showers

Scattered Showers promises tales of love and life in nine poignant and relatable short stories, including a boy-meets-girl classic, an imaginary romance and a holiday adventure. Complete with irresistible characters and hilarious dialogue, Rainbow Rowell's new collection is YA storytelling at its finest. 

The Cemetery Boys

by Aiden Thomas

Book cover for The Cemetery Boys

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him. Attempting to prove his abilities to his family by contacting his cousin, he accidentally brings back the high school’s resident bad boy, Julian Diaz, and Julian won’t go into death quietly. The two must work together if Yadriel is to carry out his plan and show himself to be a true brujo (sorcerer) but the more time the two spend together, the less Yadrial wants Julian to leave. An LGBTQIA+ ghost story about magic and acceptance.

Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments

by T. L. Huchu

Book cover for Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments

When Ropa Moyo takes on a second job to fund her internship (at an occult underground library) she finds herself turning detective. Her new role is at Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments, a very specialized hospital, where a new illness is resisting all treatments – medical and magical. Investigating, Ropa uncovers an avenging spirit, a lost fortune and a secret deep in Scotland’s past. But how are they connected, and can they help the patients of Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments?

Tweet Cute

by Emma Lord

Book cover for Tweet Cute

Gossip Girl meets You’ve Got Mail in this intensely likeable romance. Pepper is a chronic overachiever and the secret voice of Big League Burger's massive Twitter account. Jack is the class clown working part-time at his family’s deli, unknowingly engaged in a viral Twitter war with Pepper about grilled cheese. And then they meet on an anonymous chat app. . .

The Sunbearer Trials

by Aiden Thomas

Book cover for The Sunbearer Trials

Welcome to The Sunbearer Trials, where teen semidióses (demigods) compete in a series of challenges with the highest of stakes. Every decade, the sun’s power must be replenished via a sacrificial offering to Sol. The sacrifice? The loser of the Trials. Teo isn’t worried, at least not for himself. But when his best friend Niya is set to compete against another of their friends, and their rival Aurelio looks likely to win, Teo is determined to get everyone through the Trials unscathed. 

My Mechanical Romance

by Alexene Farol Follmuth

Book cover for My Mechanical Romance

When Bel accidentally reveals a talent for engineering at school, she’s forced into joining the robotics club. Enter Mateo Luna, perfect on paper – captain of the football team and the robotics club – who recognizes Bel as a potential asset, even if they couldn’t be more different. And as the nights of after–school work grow longer, Bel and Teo realize they've made more than just a combat–ready robot for the championship: they’ve made a connection themselves. But with graduation approaching, their differences and what they want for their futures, threatens what they’ve built together. 

Mark My Words

by Muhammad Khan

Book cover for Mark My Words

Dua Iqbal has always been open to new stories: she is persuasive and curious, and a job as a journalist seems like a good move for the fifteen year old. When her school merges with another one, Dua seizes the moment and establishes a rival newspaper, packed with stories that some teachers and kids would rather not be told. Dua is digging deep, and as exams draw closer, she has to decide when to just let things lie. But when she discovers that some of the pupils are being falsely accused of selling drugs, it's time to speak up and speak out.

Tokyo Dreaming

by Emiko Jean

Book cover for Tokyo Dreaming

Japanese-American Izumi Tanaka became a princess overnight, when she realised that her dad was the Crown Prince of Japan. Life as a princess isn't all it's cracked up to be, with plotting cousins, nosy journalists and an imperial scandal. But with her bodyguard turned boyfriend and dog Tamagotchi things seem to be on the up for Izumi, especially when her parents rekindle their college affair and get engaged. Then the Imperial Household Council steps in and tries to stop the marriage, leaving Izumi struggling to keep her newly acquired happiness on track . . .

The best YA books of all time

We Hunt the Flame

by Hafsah Faizal

Book cover for We Hunt the Flame

Another TikTok sensation, We Hunt the Flame is a brilliant debut about exploration and claiming your own identity. Zafira is a Hunter, who disguises herself as a man to try to provide for her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, a notorious assassin in thrall to his sultan father. Both are reluctant legends, and both are on dangerous missions. As they embark on these perilous tasks, a long buried evil begins to stir.

Journey to the River Sea

by Eva Ibbotson

Book cover for Journey to the River Sea

Orphan Maia is on a mission to meet her long-lost relatives a thousand miles up the Amazon. But instead of the warm family she has waited for, she is met by two mean cousins who can't stand the outdoors. The wonders of the rainforest lure Maia outside, where she meets a lone boy on the wild river shore. And a whole new adventure begins. This beautiful 20th anniversary edition of Eva Ibbotson's classic and award winning Amazon adventure story comes with an introduction by prize-winning author of Letters from the Lighthouse Emma Carroll. 

They Both Die at the End

by Adam Silvera

Book cover for They Both Die at the End

This YA novel tells the story of teenage boys Mateo and Rufus, who discover they have just one day to live. These total strangers meet courtesy of the Last Friend app and decide to share End Day, with Last Friend enabling them to experience a lifetime of rich and edgy experiences in just one day. Thanks to the #booktok hashtag, the novel became an international bestselling smash three years after it was first published.


by Marissa Meyer

Book cover for Heartless

This is Wonderland remixed, telling the story of the girl who would go on to become the infamous Queen of Hearts. The girl, Catherine Pinkerton, is looking for love, but despite being favoured by the King of Hearts, her own heart lies elsewhere. Her great ambition is to open a bakery with her best friend, a goal considered inappropriate for a future queen. Then Catherine falls for Jest, the good looking and enigmatic court jester. She his determined to find her own path in life and in love, but in a land of magic and madness, fate steps in . . .

Noughts & Crosses

by Malorie Blackman

Book cover for Noughts & Crosses

In the award-winning Noughts and Crosses sequence, Malorie Blackman creates a dystopian world in which the white Noughts are treated as an inferior race, while the black Crosses are born into privilege and perceived as superior in every sense. It follows Sephy and Callum, who, despite the friendship they have shared since they were children, are fated to be bitter enemies. Sephy is a Cross, dark-skinned, beautiful and the daughter of a powerful politician, while Callum is a Nought, white and poor, existing to serve Crosses and nothing more. But against all odds, star-crossed lovers Sephy and Callum choose each other. 


by Rainbow Rowell

Book cover for Fangirl

Rainbow Rowell shares Judy Blume’s deep understanding of how teenagers think and this funny and sweet coming-of-age story reads like Forever for the Internet age. Cath and Wren are identical twins who, until recently, did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes. Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. Now Cath must decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences.

The Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins

Book cover for The Hunger Games

In the remains of what was North America lies the nation of Panem, with its twelve outlying districts. Each district must send one boy and one girl each year to compete in the Hunger Games, a live televised fight to the death. For sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen the call up seems like a death sentence. But she has faced death and won before. As battle commences, Katniss must choose between survival and her own humanity.

Children of Virtue and Vengeance

by Tomi Adeyemi

Book cover for Children of Virtue and Vengeance

In this thrilling sequel to Children of Blood and Bone, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they imagined, reigniting the powers of the maji and some nobles with magic ancestry. With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must find a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart. Children of Virtue and Vengeance is the perfect read for young adult fantasy fanatics. 


by Frances Hardinge

Book cover for Deeplight

Deeplight is a mystical fantasy book from the author Sarah Perry described as ‘one of our finest storytellers’: Frances Hardinge. For centuries, the gods of the Undersea have ruled the islands of the Myriad through awe and terror. Sacrifices were hurled into the waters to appease them, and every boat was painted with pleading eyes to entreat their mercy. They were served, feared and adored. Then, thirty years ago, the gods rose up in madness and tore each other apart. Now, the gods are nothing but a collection of valuable scraps to be scavenged from the ocean and sold. But something is pulsing beneath the waves, calling to someone brave enough to retrieve it.

Opposite of Always

by Justin A. Reynolds

Book cover for Opposite of Always

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, Jack knows he’s found someone he could share the rest of his life with. Just months later, Kate dies – but their story doesn’t end there. Kate’s death sends Jack back in time to the moment they first met, giving him multiple chances to change their destiny, and save Kate’s life.

Kick the Moon

by Muhammad Khan

Book cover for Kick the Moon

Fifteen-year-old Ilyas is under pressure from everyone in his life: his dad wants him to join the family business, GCSEs are looming, and nobody seems to care that Ilyas just wants to draw comic books. Nobody, that is, except his new best friend Kelly, the school good girl who’s the first person to actually understand him. But when local bad boy Imran decides to seduce Kelly for a bet, Ilyas has to choose between a confrontation that could endanger his family and losing the person who’s most important to him.

Field Notes on Love

by Jennifer E. Smith

Book cover for Field Notes on Love

Hugo and his girlfriend have the perfect romantic trip planned together – travelling across America by train. But then she dumps him. She leaves him the tickets as a parting gift, the only problem is that they’re in her name, and they’re non-transferable. Desperate to get away, Hugo advertises for a replacement Margaret Campbell, which is where Mae comes in. After getting rejected from film school, she’s looking for a new adventure and a cross-country trip with a stranger will prove to be just that.

What She Found in the Woods

by Josephine Angelini

Book cover for What She Found in the Woods

World-weary New York teen Magda is on her last chance. After setting off a scandal in the elite New York City private school scene, she’s been shipped off to her grandparents’ sleepy Pacific Northwest town. Over-medicated and uninspired, she finds her only solace in the beautiful hiking trails behind her grandparents’ cottage. Then she meets Bo who gives her hope that there might be a second chapter to her life story. That is until a series of crimes start breaking out across the region, and a body is found in the woods near Bo’s encampment. Soon it’s clear that Magda’s nightmare is just beginning. 

No Big Deal

by Bethany Rutter

Book cover for No Big Deal

This is the debut novel from body positive influencer, Bethany Rutter, and it follows Emily Daly, a stylish, cute, intelligent and hilarious seventeen-year-old about to start her last year at school. Emily is also fat. She likes herself and her body. When she meets Joe at a house party, he instantly becomes The Crush of Her Life. But, as they spend more time together, doubts start to creep in. With her mum trying new fad diets every week and increasing pressure to change, Emily faces a constant battle to stay strong, be her true self and not change for anyone.