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Trends, Recommended Reads

The most popular YA books of all time


Aug 21, 2023

You don’t have to be young to appreciate young adult books. A category beloved by all ages, YA books, defined as having a protagonist ranging from 12-18 years old, is still a relatively newer subset of literature. Blossoming in the 1960s with books like SE Hinton’s The Outsiders and JD Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, the category skyrocketed in popularity among readers in the 1990s and 2000s with books like The Hunger Games and Twilight.

This popular genre (though more often referred to as a “readership” than a genre) contains relatable themes for teens, including first love, peer pressure, race relations, friendship and identity. Young readers can discover a love of reading with these stories that tap into their current emotions and insecurities. Readers beyond their teen years love the nostalgic vibes and may enjoy the escapism these books afford—back to a time when there weren’t the extra responsibilities of adulthood.

YA books have continued to grow and evolve through the decades, often mirroring society and the issues currently facing teens today, with recent titles dealing with topics like social justice and activism, bullying and mental illness. Many big-name authors have contributed to this ongoing expansion, such as John Green, Angie Thomas, Marissa Meyer, Sarah J. Maas, Rainbow Rowell, Nicola Yoon, Jenny Han and many more included in the list below.

Here’s a list of the top YA books of all time that readers of all ages have loved on the Libby app.

*Title availability may vary by region.


About the Author

Annie Suhy has been working in the book industry since 2006. When she’s not working, practicing yoga, or petting cats, she’s doing paint-by-numbers and buying more plants. An avid poetry fan, her favorite collection is "The Splinter Factory" by Jeffrey McDaniel.


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