Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer
Young Adult Literature

Ultimate Guide to Summer YA Reading

Kelly Jensen


Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen.

About this time of year, many of the big-name media outlets and websites share their “must read” books for the summer. Here’s a roundup of this year’s picks for young adult fiction from USA Today, MTV’s Hollywood Crush, xo Jane, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic Wire, Mashable, and NPR to get you started on some of this year’s recommended summer reading YA titles. It’s a mix of new books and old ones. Some will come out later this summer, so keep them on your radar.

I’ve taken the liberty of weeding out the books on these lists that weren’t actually YA books but were Middle Grade or Adult books featuring teen characters.

Bonus: I’ve ranked them by the number of times they’ve appeared on the “must read” lists, from most appearances to least.

The Moon and More by Sarah DessenFour Mentions

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Three Mentions

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Two Mentions

If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

The Summer Prince Alaya Dawn Johnson

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

September Girls by Bennett Madison

Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin

Two Boys Kissing by David LevithanEleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

One Mention

Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

A Moment Comes by Jennifer Bradbury

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

The Elite by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

All I Need by Susane Colasanti

Deviant by Helen FitzGerald

If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth

Flicker & Burn by TM Goeglein

Since You Asked by Maureen Goo

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

vortex by SJ KincaidMasque of the Red Death and Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Elegy by Amanda Hocking

Linked by Imogen Howson

Ask the Passengers by AS King

Vortex by S.J. Kincaid

In Darkness by Nick Lake

Five Summers by Una LaMarche

Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Proxy by Alex London

Catch Rider by Jennifer H. Lyne

SYLO by DJ MacHale

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Far, Far Away by Tom McNeal

how to lead a life of crime by kisten millerHow to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller

Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Intuition by CJ Omololu

This Side of Jealousy by Lili Peloquin

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Winger by Andrew Smith

The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

A Midsummer Night’s Scream by RL Stine

17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma

Icons by Margaret Stohl

Confederates Don’t Wear Couture by Stephanie Kate Strohm

17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma

Ink by Amanda Sun

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Boy Nobody by Alan Zadoff

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak


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