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Young Adult Literature

60 Rad YA Book Tattoos (Plus Bonus Ink Ideas For Kid Lit Fans!)

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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.

I didn’t get my first tattoo until I was in my 30s, and now I’m sporting four of them. My most recent one might be my favorite: it’s an ocotillo cactus inside my left foot, done stick-and-poke style while in the desert. The artist called it a souvenir tattoo, and it is, but I also think of it as the tattoo which reminds me of what my dreams are: buying land and living in the desert. Although I’m a book lover, author, and reader, I’ve only got one tattoo that mays any homage  to these things, and that’s my ampersand. But despite my lack of bookish ink, I love to drool over other people’s book ink for inspiration for what might come next. Enter: YA book tattoos.

We’ve highlighted some awesome Harry Potter tattoos before, as well as awesome bookish ink in general. But YA book tattoos have been sorely missing from the spotlight. Part of it might be that YA books reach teenagers not yet ready for ink and part of it might be that it’s easy to forget just how vast the category of literature is and the incredible possibilities there are for tattoos.

Let’s take a peek at some rad as hell YA book tattoos. I’ve also included a few other tattoos that aren’t YA books but fall either in the middle grade or children’s literature categories because they’re too good not to. It’s really interesting to see the books that are inspiring permanent skin commitments—you’ll see a few series repeat themselves below but in unique ways.

Note that because we’v highlighted so many awesome Harry Potter tattoos before, I’ve limited their appearance here.

YA Book Tattoos and Tattoo Inspiration

It’s a little Six of Crows ink.


In honor of Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me.


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“Hell is empty and all the devils are here” 👁️ ————————————————– The Shatter Me series means a lot to me, but my favourite book is Ignite me. Every time I read it, it leaves me aching of pain and emotion and happiness. It's incredible how one single book can make me feel like that. I could read and reread Ignite Me and I would never get tired. It's, sincerely, a rollercoaster of emotions. I'm so so glad to have it in my skin now, because I look at it and remember the best book I have ever read. I wish I could meet Tahereh in person, honestly, it would be like a dream come true. She became one of my favourite authors in such a short time. She and all that she writes means too much. READ THE SHATTER ME SAGA, PEOPLE! #shattermeseries #shatterme #igniteme #unravelme #defyme #imagineme #restoreme #taherehmafi #bookishtattoo

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Another Tahereh Mafi–inspired tattoo, this time from Ignite Me


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“We hunt the flame, the light in the darkness, the good this world deserves.” 🔥 I am an avid reader. That is no secret. But very rarely do I come across a story that reminds me that there is so much to live for. There is so much to fight for. I am learning to trust my heart, more and more. I have fought it for so long and have never felt authentic to myself. But, it has been a long 28 years, and I have grown tired, which means it’s time I began listening when I need to. It’s time to trust the guide of my heart. Become what the heart asks of you. Become a friend, a teacher, a lover. Don’t deny yourself what you are. ❤️ Ft. My very fresh tattoo #WeHuntTheFlame @hafsahfaizal #tattoos #bookishtattoo

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This We Hunt The Flame tattoo is gorgeous.


How clever is this tattoo? Cann you name all of the YA book series (and non-YA books!) represented here?


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Hey Booklovers ❤️ ✨Do you have any book inspired tattoos? ✨ There couldn’t be a more perfect prompt to show off mine 😆 although I couldn’t get the focus right on the camera timer and it was still healing. My Legend is now healed nicely and I’m extremely proud ❤️❤️❤️ I get to carry some Caraval magic with me everywhere I go ✨🎪 . Im excited because tonight I’m going to start Stranger Things S3!!! 🤩🤩🤩 Have you seen it yet? . 🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸 #bookqueensjuly19 : Tattoo Worthy Book Quotes – Remember It’s Only A Game #tinylovejuly19 : Religious Character – well there is a Church of Legend.. that counts right? #bookishsummercourtjuly19 : Alliances – Favourite Duos #FangirlsBookishJuly : Favourite Rereads #readgushjuly19 : ☕️ @stephanie_garber #caraval #legendary #finale #rememberitsonlyagame #bookishtattoo #tattoodgirls #halfsleevetattoo #booktattoo #caravaltattoo #legend #books📚 #mylibrary #booksbooksbooks #bookstagram #bookish #booknerdigan #reread #bookphotography #bookcommunity #readingaddict #readmore #yabooks #yalit #fantasybooks

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This full color Caraval series tattoo is downright magical.


This seer tattoo inspired by Children of Blood and Bone is beautiful and I love how easily it’ll start a bookish conversation.


The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer inspired this tattoo—and according to the reader, it’s their second inspired by the series.


Knowing how magical and lush Laini Taylor’s books are, it’s not a surprise they have inspired a  ton of tattoos. Let’s start with this one, inspired by Strange The Dreamer.



Though not in color like the last, the black and grey Strange The Dreamer tattoo here is intricate and perfect.


As is this take!


This homage to Strange The Dreamer includes a fabulous quote.


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SPEAKING OF #AUSREADINGHOUR… I love reading and writing so much I got a literary tattoo back in April. (I’ve already got the Deathly Hallows hiding in another.) I love love LOVE LOve loVE HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE, so it was inevitable, really. If I were a book, that’d be me. I’m not beautiful enough to be the Studio Ghibli movie! I took a bunch of inspiration, including an illustration by @agent.m.illustration for the @foliosociety competition to @nickas_serpentarius at @wolfandwrentattoo and asked her to work her magic. She did. I was so relaxed I drifted off to sleep briefly. Now I always carry a reminder of how books are a portal to other worlds, no matter where I go.. Look at its little FEET! The FLAMES! The freckle pretending to be a stone! . #tattoo #literarytattoo #howlsmovingcastle #howlsmovingcastletattoo #wolfandwren #nickasserpentarius #favouritebook #thiswasreallydifficulttogetapictureof #blackworktattoos #illustrativetattoo #dianawynnejones

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How fantastic is this tattoo of Howl’s Moving Castle?

A mix tape is totally appropriate for The Perks of Being A Wallflower.

“Claim yourself,” inspired by Beautiful Creatures.


How beautiful this Speak cover tattoo is!


A tattoo that honors the OG YA book, The Outsiders.

From E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars.


From His Dark Materials


I’m obsessed with watercolor tattoos (I have one myself!) so I’m really taken with this His Dark Materials ink.


One more from Pullman’s series.

There’s no surprise given the fandom around Maggie Stiefvater’s books that there are a ton of tattoos in honor of them. First up, The Scorpio Races.


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“onward and upward.” 🍃 . . . My favourite book of my favourite series 🖤 someone asked to see my Raven Cycle tattoo yesterday so here it is! ☺️ I got it done for my birthday earlier this year as a gift to myself, the Raven Cycle means a lot to me and I thought the quote excelsior would help motivate myself. My birthday also happened to be a week after I went to one of Maggie’s writing seminars in Seattle- it was a very Raven Cycle filled time of year for me! . . . . #bookstagram #books #book #bibliophile #bookcommunity #bookish #bookphotography #bookphoto #bookpic #booknerd #booklove #booklover #booklove #booklovers #bookworm #bookaddict #bookaesthetic #bookaesthetics #ya #youngadult #bookaholic #bookstagrammer #bookobsessed #bookporn #tattoo #tattoos #booktattoo #ravencycletattoo #theravencycle #trc #maggiestiefvater

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A gorgeous tattoo from The Raven Cycle series.


This is a clever take on The Raven Cycle via a tarot card.

There just aren’t enough trash polka tattoos out there and certainly not for kid lit–inspired ink. So this The Little Prince tattoo is everything.


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Love, Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli Book 118 of 2019

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This Stargirl tattoo is simple but not boring.

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Swipe left to see video .. . #freehand fun this is a wheezer from a book series #escapefromfurnace by @alexandergordonsmith .. . I am scheduling for The rest of the year now who wants in.. don’t miss your chance to get that much need chair time and #treatyoself .. . . @peakneedles @worldfamousink @hivecups @recoveryaftercare @hivecaps @painfulpleasures @hustlebutterdeluxe @electrumstencilproducts @empireinks @criticaltattoosupply @mysticpiercing #tattoos #bestinbaltimore #maryland #baltimore #baltimoretattoos #baltimoretattooartist #veaganfriendly #portrait #mdtattooartist #eastcoast #tattooshop #tattooideas #inked #nerd #tattoosforwomen #tattoosformen #tattoooftheday #awesometattoos #customtattoos #pride #peakneedlesproteam #loveislove #love #supportgoodtattooing #tattooed #inktober #booktattoo

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Wow, wow, wow. This tattoo looks just like the cover for Escape From Furnace.


Aristotle and Dante in the desert! But wait. This book lover has a second gay couple from YA books tattoo…

It’s Jonathan and Web from Ziggy, Stardust and Me


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“Katniss,” I said aloud. It’s the plant I was named for. And I heard my father’s voice joking, “As long as you can find yourself, you’ll never starve.” 🖤🌱 – – The girl on fire has gotten me through so so much. When I need strength, Katniss is who I think of to embody. When I feel like I’m going to be buried by my PTSD, I remember her strength and her fight to pull me out. So it was about time I put an everlasting reminder to be strong and fiery where I can see it every day. – – – #thehungergames #katnisseverdeen #booktattoo #literarytattoo #ireadya #katnisstattoo #meetthebookstagrammer #girlswhoread #badassbookbabes #bookblogger #bookaesthetic #youngadultliterature

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The Hunger Games will never not be a powerful tattoo inspiration.



Katniss can attest.


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Omg everyone! I got mixed up on my days and forgot to post for Book Thursday! 😅 Well, a day late, but here goes! Anyone have a book or series that influenced their life enough they got a TATTOO from it?! This tattoo is mine! It’s from The Mortal Instruments & The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Claire. My best friend and I got them together because the parabatai symbol represents two warriors bound together and able to draw strength from one another during battle. She and I grew up loving this series together and after so many years of life spent together it only felt fitting ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #bookstagram #tattoo #booktattoo #parabatai #themortalinstruments #theinfernaldevices #cassandraclare #books #book #reading #friendship #bookthursday #writing #write #author #authortobe

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It’s a symbol from Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.


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"I decided on my Percy Jackson tattoo almost impulsively. The design that I had in mind was too expensive for the promo that the artist had at that moment, so I changed it for this one last minute. I remembered how one of my best friends used to draw the Poseidon symbol on his and our wrists all of the time in high school, since we were all very big fans of the Percy Jackson books. It felt right. PJ is still my favorite book series and my tattoo is a permanent reminder of those great times with friends," shared @andibrimi . . Done . #storybehindtheink #tattoo #poseidontattoo #poseidon #percyjackson #percyjacksontattoo #booktattoo #fandom #demigod #water #fiction #fantasy #friends #friendship

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Speaking of symbols, here’s one inspired by Percy Jackson.



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"We live and breathe words. It was books that kept me from taking my own life after I thought I could never love anyone, never be loved by anyone again. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them." ✨ I've wanted to take a pic where I could show off my tattoo for ages, and this morning I finally decided to do it! The Infernal Devices is my favorite series ever and it means so much to me. I decided to take this tattoo partly just because I love the series so much, but mostly because this quote is very meaningful for me. I've always loved reading and writing, and those two hobbies have honestly shaped who I am for years. One of my writing teachers once said to me that "my writing is so beautiful, doing it must be as easy as breathing for me", and although it's never that easy, it is something I wouldn't survive without. I definitely live and breathe words 💖 Oh wow, such a long caption! 😅 Do you have any bookish tattoos or would you want to have some? . . . #bookstagram #books #bookworm #bookish #yabooks #instabooks #bibliophile #booksofinstagram #bookaholic #bookaddict #booklover #bookgeek #reading #bookcommunity #bookishtattoo #booktattoo #tattoo #theinfernaldevices #cassandraclare #theinfernaldevicestattoo #shadowhunters #bookflatlay #weliveandbreathewords

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Inspired by Cassandra Clare’s books.


From Clockwork Angel.


Not only is the tattoo cool, but the photo with the collector’s edition of the book with the symbol is great.


Buckle in: we’re going to see a lot of Sarah J. Maas–inspired tattoos. This watercolor one is just beautiful.


Inspired by Heir of Fire.

Another take on the one above.


From Kingdom of Ash.


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I Love this series! It’s the only series I’ve ever reread! I’m almost finished with Crown of Midnight! Ahh the feels are so much more the second time around! Do you have a bookish tattoo? I got this one a couple weeks ago in honor of ToG, (it even says Fire Breathing Bitch Queen in the swords ⚔️) #readersofinstagram #bookstagrammers #readinglist #literary #booknerd #booklove #fortheloveofbooks #bookstack #ireadya #lovebooks #booknerdigan #reader #yabookstagram #booksofinstagram #bookcommunity #bookobsessed #bookhoarder #booklover #bookish #bookishtattoo #crownofmidnight #throneofglass #survivorofmaasdestruction #firebreathingbitchqueen #bookalicious #fantasy #bookaholic

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Some more Throne of Glass ink.



This is one badass Sarah J. Maas–inspired sleeve.




“Let’s go rattle the stars” with a bright watercolor book.


“Don’t let the hard days win” is such a powerful quote.


From Holly Black’s The Wicked King.


Inspired by Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse.


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Good morning #bookstahomies . . . So yesterday I did something exciting. I finally got the bookish tattoo of my dreams. My husband bought me a gift certificate for Christmas last year from an artist that is seriously amazing. For nine months, I waited and waited and WAITED for this piece, and honestly I couldn't be more in love with it. . . . This tattoo is my character from a book I have written with symbols from stories that have inspired me, specifically with my writing. Whether my book ever gets published or not, this character will forever hold a special place in my heart. This tattoo is like my actual heart on my sleeve. . . . Antlers and Mountains from @therealsjmaas Throne of Glass & ACOTAR Crow from @lbardugo Six of Crows and @misterkristoff Nevernight Wishbone from @lainit Daughter of Smoke & Bone Angelic Rune from @officialcassandraclare and The Shadowhunter series . And finally Cujo, not for the story, but the King himself @stephenking . . . QOTD: Do you have any tattoos? If so, tell me your favorite and the meaning for why you got it. . . . #sj__writes #yabookcrave #yalit #yaliterature #yaliteraturejunkie #yabooks #yabookstagram #yabookstagrammer #yabookworm #yabooknerd #yabooklove #books #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookworm #booknerd #ireadyabooks #yafantasybooks #booklove #bookphoto #bookmagic #bookishtattoo #sixofcrows #nevernight #shadowhunters #throneofglass #acourtofthornsandroses #daughterofsmokeandbone #stephenking

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This is such an eye-catching tattoo and it marries so many YA books in one place.


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Finally healed enough to reveal my newest bookish tattoo! This is the quote I pulled the words from. It’s by @misterkristoff from #Nevernight. I picked books that moved me in some way—usually ones that gave me a major emotional reaction—and were easy to translate in a simplified visual. As you may remember, because I know I’ve talked about it, my most emotional reaction was when I finished Morning Star (book 3 of Red Rising) and was so overwhelmed by the rollercoaster of emotions of binge reading all three books over like two weeks, that I sobbed uncontrollably for 20 minutes. Could not calm down. So, thanks @piercebrownofficial for that experience. Obviously the wolf is #RedRising (but the half circle, horizontal lines, and little down arrow are a loose mashup of the Gold and Red sigils, too). The #hungergames arrow, the stars from the US #harrypotter book pages, needle from #gameofthrones, and Gandalf’s mark from #thehobbit all have stories attached, too, but I’m running out of room in this caption. So if you want the stories just let me know! Oh- and #hisdarkmaterials rep was super hard to incorporate. I decided the dots breaking up the lines would represent dust, and the dashed half-circle was a nod to the alethiometer. But that’s not one you’d spot easily on your own, sadly. It’s more just for me. ••• It curves a bit at the bottom because I was at a weird angle. I swear it’s straight. ••• #favoritebooks #Book #bookish #bibliophile #bookworm #bookstagram #booklover #booknerd #bookphotography #read #reading #instabook #booknerd #lovereading #fiction #tattoo #bookishtattoo #flatlay #bookflatlay #booknerdigans #bookobsessed #bookaddict

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This more minimalist tattoo (comparatively, at least!) marries a bunch of YA books together, too.

“It kills me sometimes how people die” from The Book Thief.


Another tattoo inspired by The Book Thief. 


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“I am June Iparis, I remind myself.” . . 💠 Good morning, Sunday! I’ve talked about the Legend trilogy and how much I love it. In fact, I loved it so much I tattooed it on my body forever (right under an HP one which is covered by my sleeve). When a book has affected you this much, you just have to. . . 💠 I know you’ve all heard the news about Rebel. I just want everyone to know that I’ve preordered it and cried at least 5 times while thinking about it. Apparently Day wears suits in it and tbh, I’m just emotional. . . 💠💠 #legendtrilogy #marielu #penguinteen #booktattoo #literarytattoo #kidlit #yacontemporary #bookcommunity #youngadultfiction #readersofinstagram #youngadultbooks #bookstagram #yabooks #bookstragrammer #booksofig #booksofinsta #booktography #bookphotography #igreads #reader #bookish #bookworm #booklove #flatlaybooks #youngadultfantasy #yafantasy #bookquotes #idratherbereading

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The symbol inspired by Marie Lu’s Legend series.

Until perusing YA book tattoos, I hadn’t realized the level of fandom there was for Jay Kristoff’s “Nevernight” series. There are so many tattoos inspired by it!

“You’ve got words in your soul” is a nice line.

That cat!

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🐰 Never. Ever. Forget. — Once again, thank you @misterkristoff for this amazing quote and also my new tatt 🖤⚔ — Q: Co vy a knižní tetování? / Q: Do you have any book tattoos? — 🗡 Poslední spam s Nikdynoci, ok 😄 Na Humbooku jsem Jaye požádala, zda by mi tento citát napsal, jelikož mi přijde strašně autentické mít text přímo od autora. Jay souhlasil a po měsíci jsem měla text přímo na sobě a neskutečně ho miluju. I když já vlastně miluju každé svoje tetování, nemůžu žádnému nadržovat 😄 Ráda bych měla text i od Leigh, tak uvidíme, jestli budu mít příští rok štěstí 💙 Knižní tetování pro mě celkově znamená neskutečně moc, jelikož je to pro mě možnost, jak si své oblíbené části, texty a knihy navždycky uchovat a pravidelně si je připomínat. — #book #kniha #bookstagrammers #bookstagram #czbookstagram #humbookfest2019 #humbook #booktattoo #bookink #kniznitetovani #jaykristoff #nikdynoc #nevernight #cooboo

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“Never flinch, never fear, never forget.”

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Props if you recognise this castle

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Here’s Hogwarts, take one.

Take two: a beautiful watercolor Hogwarts.

Last, but not least, I just love this simple line from The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue as a tattoo.