5 Young Adult Novels for Summer

I don’t know about you, but I love a good young adult novel — funny, sweet, silly, or inspiring. Yet with the dizzying number of titles coming out every year, many cheap thrillers or fad romances, it’s sometimes hard to know what to read. Here are five of my favorite titles. And if you think that young adult isn’t your thing, hold on a second — young adult books can be as good, if not better, than “regular” books, and there is enough variety here for anybody.

Photo Credit: wenzday01 via flickr

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

A super short read — think one or two beachside afternoons – Stargirl chronicles the story of Leo Borlock and Stargirl, who arrives at his high school in a burst of nonconformity and captures Leo’s heart. As she takes him on adventures that include dropping off flowers at random people’s houses and trying to count every bulletin board in town, Leo learns about her, him and people in general. After a series of unfortunate events, however, Leo begins to wonder if Stargirl might not be a better girlfriend if she were more normal. This sweet story about the highs and lows of nonconformity is sure to bring back the thrill of first love.

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Hate List by Jennifer Brown

The story of a girl’s experiences returning to school after her boyfriend’s shooting rampage/suicide, Hate List is a surprisingly complex exploration of the lies we tell to the world, our friends and ourselves. The protagonist, Valerie, struggles to find her way in a world where many consider her guilty and to deal with escalating troubles at home and school, her guilt over the incident, and her complicated feelings about the shooter, her boyfriend Nick. Though it might seem long on first glance, the plot’s incredible tension, heightened by flashbacks to the day of the accident, will keep you reading.

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I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb

Hilarious from the first page, I Am a Genius is the story of Oliver, an idiotic, prepubescent boy loved only by his mother — or at least, that’s the cover story. In fact, Oliver is an evil genius who runs a giant empire though his puppet, rich businessman Lionel Sheldrake, and employs an army of minions to carry out his every whim (such as piping chocolate milk into his school drinking fountain or sending his teacher messages on the side of a cigarette). When his father/arch-nemesis challenges him to run for class president, however, Oliver’s single-minded dedication becomes obsessive, and things take a turn for the worst. One note of caution: don’t read this book on airplanes, because you’ll be laughing so loudly everyone will give you funny looks.

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Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder

Looking for something a bit more educational over the summer? Sophie’s World is the perfect mix of Philosophy 101 textbook and mind-bending mystery. If you’re interested in learning about what humans have thought about life, the universe, and everything for as long back as the records go, it’s all condensed in here, but packaged up with the story of Sophie and Hilde (and who the heck is Hilde, anyway?). Written in English by a Norwegian, Sophie’s World is perfect for a nice long plane or car ride, and don’t get discouraged if it seems a bit dry at first — by the end, you’ll be racing to finish.

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And last but not least, what summer book list would be complete without…


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Everyone’s heard of it — the characters, the Peeta-vesus-Gale debate, even the politics — but some might be tempted to pass it off as simply another fad (think Twilight). Truthfully, though, the whole Hunger Games series is about as far from Twilight as you can get. Set in the dystopian society of Panem, where children are forced to battle to the death on live TV, the books somehow remain surprisingly non-gory. Not only that, but they feature one of the coolest heroines I’ve ever met, Katniss Everdeen, who totally lives up to all the hype. Consistently feminist and just generally kickass, Katniss navigates fame, boys and brutal killing as she fights to survive in a world that has been turned upside down. With a plot so gripping that you won’t be able to put it down, the only danger is that you’ll be so intent on reading that you won’t get outside!

Photo credit: Amazon.com

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Debbie Phillips
Debbie Phillipsabout a year ago

A Wrinkle in Time is a classic. Pretty much any Newberry Award books are worth the read. Summer of the Swans is another favorite.

Dave C.
David C.1 years ago

Sophia's list is well analyzed

Dave C.
David C.1 years ago

I can give you a list of many others that read better than some of these sound

Andi P.
Andi P.1 years ago

reviewer good novel while using obat keputihan alami tradisional crystal x to be more relaxed

Dave C.
David C.2 years ago

Sophie's World is worth the read.....daughter read it in middle school and teacher gave me permission to keep it an extra month.....

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

Ganaisha Calvin
Ganaisha Calvin3 years ago

some sound interesting

Jess No Fwd Plz K.
Jessica K.3 years ago

Sounds like a great list of books. I've been wanting to read Hunger Games for a really long time, and Hate List sounds terrific too. Other young adult books I've found to be terrific are Divergent by Veronica Roth and Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, both of which are going to be coming out as movies in the next year. Thanks.

tin leng lim
tin leng lim3 years ago

Thank you.