• Carly Huss

10 Young Adult Books I Wish I'd Read as a Young Adult

When I was younger, I read a lot of adult books, and now that I'm an adult, I read lots of YA. There's probably some psychology that could explain why that it is, but that's not the point right now. The point is, there are so many books out there that could have helped me gain some great perspective. Here's a list of books I wish my young adult self would've read and why.


Bobby Robot, by Michael Hilton


Why I wish I read it as a teen:

Well, for starters, the romance and comedy are on point. It's just flat out entertaining. If I'd have been the one in my friend-group to discover Bobby Robot, I would have been so cool.


From a deeper level, Bobby tackles the idea of striving for perfection ... perfectly. While Bobby's journey is out of this world, his struggle is relatable here on Earth. His whole life, he's been taught that being perfect is the only acceptable way to be, but he finds he's drawn to the imperfections of the human girl who lands in his world and starts to rethink everything he's ever thought to be important.


Read my full review.


When you've finished reading and find that you love Bobby Robot as much as I do, check out his fan page. FeelingsFactor.com


And don't forget to watch out for Bobby 2.0!


The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

Why I wish I read it as a teen:

The beauty of books, to me anyway, is they allow you to step into the shoes of a character and see the world through their eyes. And Starr's shoes are are the best shoes.


Starr goes between two worlds, dealing with two different sides of racism and understanding. She deals with friend drama, boyfriend drama every girl can relate to and learn from.


Starr really is a star.


The movie is fantastic, but this is a story that deserves to be read.


Full review to come soon.




If There's No Tomorrow, by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Why I wish I read it as a teen:

Lena's struggle is one absolutely every single teenager faces: Should I do the right thing?


We know the answer is yes. Of course, it's yes. But Lena shows us why it's not always that easy, but why she should still speak up.


I don't want to talk to much, or I'll spoil it, but if you have a young reader in your life, make sure this book gets in their hands.


Read my full review.


I'd like to add that I love listening to books, and the narrator is great, but this a book I recommend reading on paper.


And because I'm me, I bet you've already figured out this isn't the only Jennifer L. Armentrout book on this list. :)


My Soul to Take, by Rachel Vincent


Why I wish I read it as a teen:

For starters, this a series I recommend. Book One is great, but to understand why it's on this list, the whole series needs to be read.


Kaylee Cavanaugh experiences so many things that most people take a lifetime to experience. But that's exactly why it's so great. People experience the tough things in life: death, heartbreak, true love, battle with good vs evil at different stages. And lots of us had to deal with at least one of them in high school, so Kaylee can be the book-friend who gets it when maybe real-life friends can't.


Not to spoil anything, but I think what most girls need to see is that Kaylee experiences is that it's okay to pick yourself.

Find what other series made it onto my Best YA Fantasy Series list.


Pretty Little Liars, by Sara Shepard


Why I wish I read it as a teen:

The reasons I wish i'd read the series as a teen are probably the exact reasons you wouldn't want your daughter to read them. And that's the point.


These girls are not good girls. They make bad decisions. They get catty. They date their teachers. But they always suffer the consequences.

"A" makes sure they do.


There are a million lessons along the way, but I think the one that most adults see right away is, "Why aren't these girls talking to their parents?"


I'd like to think that teen readers would start to wonder the same thing.


The show is fantastic. Tuesdays were PLL days in my world. But no watch party every matched up to book club day. The mystery keeps going and going, and it can turn a casual reader into an obsessive one.


Stalking Jack the Ripper, by Kerri Maniscalco


Why I wish I read it as a teen:

Ironically, I read a lot, and I mean a lot, of James Patterson's very adult novels when I was in high school. (In case you didn't know: they aren't for kids.) So when I saw his name attached to a YA novel, I was skeptical. A closer look, and I realized he was simply such a fan of this book, that he put his name on it to back the author. And he has good taste, let me tell ya.


It took me entirely too long to fall in love with historical fiction. I thought they'd all read like the books we were assigned in school. It took me until I was in my twenties to give them a chance.


If I'd read Stalking Jack the Ripper as a teen, I would have started reading the genre so much younger. I probably would have paid a lot more attention in history class too, because now I just Google facts for fun.


Read my full review.


The Sun is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon


Why I wish I read it as a teen:

It's just one day. One. But sometimes the time you spend with someone for one day can last your whole life.


There are so many things to take away from this book, but I think what I liked most was seeing the way meeting a stranger, can open your eyes to a whole new way of thinking.


Stranger danger is real, y'all, but letting someone in who doesn't fit into your world and you probably will never see again, is powerful.


Read. It.


I'd also like to take the time to say that as a writer, I appreciate the out-of-the box way Nicola Yoon tells stories.


When you're done, Everything, Everything. And read the real book. There's art!

There's Something About Sweetie, by Sandhya Menon


Why I wish I read it as a teen:

For one, there wasn't a single book out when I was in high school about a big girl. Not one.


For that reason alone, I wish this book would have existed fifteen years ago.


But now, there's lots of books with full-figured protagonists, so I could have easily mentioned them here instead. But There's Something about Sweetie also talks about culture differences and family disagreements and singing!


There really is something about sweetie that is just so lovable.


Plus, this is another YA book with a male POV, which I'd love to see much much more of.


The book stands on it's own, but I recommend starting with When Dimple Met Rishi to meet the characters in the order Sandhya Menon intended.


To All the Boys I've Loved Before, by Jenny Han


Why I wish I read it as a teen:

Lara Jean is a real person. I mean that in two ways: One, she's so well written that I don't think of her as a character in a book; I think of her as my friend, Lara Jean. Two, she represents real girls in real schools with real crushes and real sisters. She is her age. I love YA, like so much, but it's hard to find voice that reads like a real teenager.


Lara Jean is the infulence you want on teen girls. She's optomistic. She has hope. She questions stuff. And she knows who she is. She's a great role model.


And for the love of Peter K., read the books; don't just watch the movie. But then yeah, watch the movie. And more importantly, watch the second one. And listen to the soundtrack. It's good.


Read my full review.


White Hot Kiss, by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Why I wish I read it as a teen:

Layla is supernatural, but we can all relate to her because there is a part of her that she hates. Some of us hate our bodies or our anxieties or our social skills. Layla hates half of her nature.


She does what every girl needs to do and figures out how to accept that part of herself.


It was so hard for me to pick just one of Jennifer L. Armentrout's series, but this one belongs on the list because it was my gateway book to the rest of her books.


I've seen for myself that Jennifer has the power to turn non-readers into adamant readers, so I recommend that you hand a non-reader a Jennifer L. Armentrout book so they can fall in love with the land of books. And Zayne and Roth.


Read my full review.






© 2020 by Carly Huss

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