Updated: Jun 14
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN DE MODE
Article Published on: 02ND JUNE 2023 | www.demodemagazine.com
The young adult genre has gained immense popularity in recent years, captivating readers of all ages with its engaging narratives, relatable characters, and thought-provoking themes. Each year, a multitude of young adult novels are published, but some stand out as exceptional works that resonate with readers and leave a lasting impact. In this essay, we will explore five of the best young adult novels of the year, highlighting their diverse stories and universal appeal.
"The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas:
Angie Thomas's debut novel, "The Hate U Give," made a significant impact upon its release. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, the book tells the story of Starr Carter, a sixteen-year-old girl who witnesses the fatal shooting of her unarmed friend by a police officer. Through Starr's perspective, Thomas tackles issues of racial injustice, identity, and the power of speaking up. "The Hate U Give" became a cultural phenomenon, resonating with readers of all ages and prompting important conversations about race, activism, and the pursuit of justice.
"Children of Blood and Bone" by Tomi Adeyemi:
Tomi Adeyemi's "Children of Blood and Bone" is a fantasy novel set in a West African-inspired world. The story follows Zélie Adebola, a young girl who embarks on a quest to restore magic to her land and fight against oppressive forces. Through its rich world-building, compelling characters, and exploration of themes like power, discrimination, and the impact of systemic injustice, Adeyemi's novel captivated readers and became a bestseller. "Children of Blood and Bone" is a testament to the power of diverse storytelling and the importance of representation in literature.
"The Poet X" by Elizabeth Acevedo:
"The Poet X" by Elizabeth Acevedo is a novel in verse that follows the journey of Xiomara Batista, a young Dominican-American girl who discovers her voice through poetry. Acevedo's powerful writing style and Xiomara's coming-of-age story create a poignant exploration of identity, family, and the challenges faced by immigrant communities. "The Poet X" won numerous awards, including the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, and resonated with readers through its raw emotion and celebration of self-expression.
"The Cruel Prince" by Holly Black:
Holly Black's "The Cruel Prince" is the first book in the "Folk of the Air" series, a dark and captivating fantasy tale. The story centers around Jude Duarte, a mortal girl who finds herself entangled in the treacherous world of faeries. With its complex characters, intricate politics, and themes of power, ambition, and belonging, "The Cruel Prince" kept readers on the edge of their seats. Black's immersive storytelling and morally ambiguous characters made this book a stand out in the young adult fantasy genre.
"I'll Give You the Sun" by Jandy Nelson:
"I'll Give You the Sun" by Jandy Nelson is a beautifully written contemporary novel that explores the complex relationship between twin siblings, Noah and Jude. Through alternating perspectives and timelines, Nelson delves into themes of love, loss, art, and the transformative power of forgiveness. The book's lyrical prose, vivid descriptions, and heartfelt exploration of sibling dynamics resonated with readers of all ages, earning it critical acclaim and numerous awards.
These five young adult novels of the year showcase the breadth and depth of the genre, offering stories that appeal to readers of all ages. From tackling social issues and diverse representation to immersing readers in fantastical worlds and exploring the complexities of human relationships, these books exemplify the power of young adult literature to engage, entertain, and inspire. Whether you are a teenager seeking relatable characters or an adult looking for compelling narratives, these novels have something to offer to readers of all backgrounds and ages.