This summer reading list for young adults contains affiliate links.
Even though I am FAR (far, far, far) beyond my “young adult” years, this is still one of my absolute favorite summer reading book lists to create! I love YA novels, especially those with a supernatural slant of some kind. I realize that not everyone loves paranormal stories, though, so I made sure to include other great young adult books on this list! Some are part of a series, so if you haven’t read the others in it, I suggest starting at the beginning in those cases.
Featured 2014 Young Adult Summer Reading Recommendations
Four: A Divergent Collection (Divergent Series)
I absolutely loved the Divergent series but I haven’t had a chance to read the prequels about Four. This book features all the shorts in one spot, making it so much easier to get caught up on one of the best dystopian series in recent years.
The Fault in Our Stars
I know this isn’t a new book, but it’s definitely one I want to read this summer. I never heard of it before the movie came out, so it’s new to me! According to Amazon: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories
An affecting and hope-filled posthumous collection of essays and stories from the talented young Yale graduate whose title essay captured the world’s attention in 2012 and turned her into an icon for her generation. Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at The New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash. The Opposite of Loneliness is an assemblage of Marina’s essays and stories that, like The Last Lecture, articulates the universal struggle that all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to make an impact on the world.
We Were Liars
A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth. And apparently, a shocking twist at the end!
Love Letters to the Dead
It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more — though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was — lovely and amazing and deeply flawed — can she begin to discover her own path.
Dorothy Must Die
This one looks fun! Dorothy Gale, the sweet girl from Kansas who took down the Wicked Witch, has become a magic-addicted, power-hungry terrorizer of OZ. She must be taken out! That’s where Kansas teen Amy Gumm comes in. She’s sent to OZ by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked to save the magical kingdom from the ruby-slippered girl who got a little too big for her knickers.
Reborn (Shadow Falls: After Dark)
When the Shadow Falls series ended, I was kind of sad. I mean, I was pleased with the ending, but I missed the characters. The Shadow Falls: After Dark series follows Della, Kylie’s vampire roomate. It’s a great way to continue the series and delve deeper into other characters. It’s high up on my wishlist. In fact, maybe I’ll just grab it now for the Kindle and read it tonight!
After the End
Amy Plum, author of the Die for Me series, is back with something a little different, and it sounds like a good one! Juneau grew up fearing the outside world. The elders told her that beyond the borders of their land in the Alaskan wilderness, nuclear war had destroyed everything. But when Juneau returns from a hunting trip one day and discovers her people have been abducted, she sets off to find them. And leaving the boundaries for the very first time, she learns the horrifying truth: World War III never happened. Nothing was destroyed. Everything she’d ever been taught was a lie.
Blur (Blur Trilogy)
First, if you’re a Kindle owner, you can borrow this one for free in the Lending Library. Just thought I’d let you know. I’m planning to borrow it! The isolated town of Beldon, Wisconsin, is shocked when a high school freshman’s body is found in Lake Algonquin. Just like everyone in the community, sixteen-year-old Daniel Byers believes that Emily Jackson’s death was accidental. But at her funeral, when he has a terrifying vision of her, his world begins to rip apart at the seams. Convinced that Emily’s appearance was more than just a mere hallucination, Daniel begins to look carefully into her death, even as he increasingly loses the ability to distinguish fantasy from reality. As his world crumbles, he has to figure out, what is real and what is madness?
The last thing Kyra Agnew remembers is a flash of bright light. She awakes to discover that five whole years have passed. Everyone in her life has moved on—her parents divorced, her boyfriend is in college and dating her best friend—but Kyra’s still the sixteen-year-old she was when she vanished. She finds herself drawn to Tyler, her boyfriend’s kid brother, despite her best efforts to ignore her growing attraction. In order to find out the truth, the two of them decide to retrace her steps from that fateful night. They discover there are others who have been “taken,” just like Kyra. Only, Kyra is the first person to have been returned past the forty-eight-hour taken mark. With a determined, secret government agency after her, Kyra desperately tries to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had . . . but what if the life she wants back is not her own?
More Summer Reading Suggestions for Young Adults
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- Monument 14: Savage Drift (Monument 14 Series) by Emmy Laybourne
- Far Far Away by Tom McNeal The One (The Selection) by Kiera Cass
- Prodigy: A Legend Novel by Marie Lu
- Pills and Starships by Lydia Millet
- The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
- A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn
- Sunrise (Ashfall Trilogy) by Mike Mullin
- Hexed by Michelle Krys
- Free to Fall by Lauren Miller
- (Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn
- Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis
- In the Shadows by Kiersten White and Jim Di Bartolo
- Hungry by H. A. Swain
- Expiration Day by William Campbell Powell
Looking for more summer reading lists and resources? Check out my entire summer reading category.
What young adult books are on your summer reading list?