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YA Books for People Who Don’t Like YA

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As someone who favors YA, but also reads adult lit, I am well aware of the differences

However, despite the differences, I truly believe that there is plenty of YA literature that anyone can

While there are lots of YA books that don’t feel like YA, there are also plenty

Usually, making lists like this requires that I do a lot of research and include quite a

Thus, there are tons of great books missing from this list because I just haven’t gotten

I’ve read them all as an adult-aged person, though I can’t claim to be the

Additionally, many of these books also regularly show up on “best YA of all time” lists

I’m an absolute sucker for a fairytale retelling and I love a dystopian novel with fantasy

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A sheltered princess, confined to a castle, and forgotten by nearly everyone, meets a dark and handsome

There’s a demon in the dungeon with information the princess wants

In this gem inspired by the Asian diaspora, a morally gray witch named Violet is faced with

However, the consequences could unleash a deadly curse that would endanger the entire kingdom

What if I told you that after the Civil War, the dead rose again and united the

Of course, the oppressive post–Civil War society is built on the back of Black and indigenous

Did I mention I love fairytale retellings? Well, I LOVE queer fairytale retellings featuring people of color

This one is part of a series called The Lunar Chronicles and takes place in a futuristic

Don’t worry, fantasy fans, there’s also plenty of magic, along with a litany of heroines

If you like these, you will probably also like her twisty and heartwrenching Lewis Carroll retelling, Heartless

Some are flat out romances, while others are romance adjacent

The title tells you what you’re in for, but there’s still no way not to

A mysterious system called Deathcast notifies people at midnight on the day of their death

Mateo and Rufus meet on their death day and spend it together, trying to live it to

This reimagining has all of the quirky, silly accidents and calamities that we’re used to from

There she meets her best friend Berry and the girl of her dreams, Gilly

This YA book for people who don’t like YA works partly because the young characters are

It’s told in beautiful verse and ends in a twist so heart-wrenching you will never see

Similar to They Both Die at the End, this love story takes place mostly over the course

I cannot even pinpoint exactly why I loved it so much, but I could not stop gushing

I tried not to include many books on this list with extensive high school settings, because I

This achingly sweet coming out story follows a queer brown boy who, because of a dare, secretly

Do you want your books to tackle real world problems? Do you enjoy reading about the darker

After reading this book, I told the friend that recommended it that she had ruined my life

This is the true story of an attack on a transgender youth by a Black boy

Slater masterfully explores the nuances on both sides, addressing how the media, courts, and law enforcement treated

I couldn’t decide whether to include this or Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give, since

In it, the two authors wrote as two characters on opposing sides of a case of police

The story follows Riley, a nonbinary teenager, dealing with both being outed and coming out on their

I don’t know if Riley is going to be okay, and I desperately want Riley to

The adventure that follows is so full of twists, turns, and unexpected character developments that I simply

There’s just something about a spunky underdog protagonist that I can’t resist

Despite poverty, teenage pregnancy, a useless baby daddy, and an absent father, Emoni perseveres toward her big

We follow a Black queer girl who needs the scholarship that comes with being prom queen if

While there’s some intense pain and sadness in this story, it is ultimately beautiful and hopeful

Despite the abuse, Felix finds his voice, his place in his family and community, and even finds

I’m using realistic loosely here, but who am I to say what really happens in Vegas?

Instead of a high school setting, protagonist Jack thrives in the underbelly of Las Vegas with his

When a rival casino owner and jilted lover seeks revenge, Jack’s mom gets arrested

LOL, okay, this isn’t very realistic, but I didn’t have a category for it

This fabulously twisty mystery has been touted as Pretty Little Liars meets The Breakfast Club, which sounds

A group of kids become murder suspects when, left alone in detention, one of them dies