Top Ten Books for Readers Who Like Older-Skewing YA

Posted March 9, 2015 by Cristina (Girl in the Pages) in Top Ten Tuesday, Weekly Features/Memes / 35 Comments

TTTcustombannerAs usual, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the fantastic blog The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic was a fill in the blank “Top Ten Books If You Like ____.” Personally I love to read YA that focuses on older teens, struggling with issues such as college, relationships, jobs, etc. that are problems that are very real for young adults but generally get ignored in favor of the high school age range in YA fiction. A lot of these themes I have yet to encounter in the New Adult genre, so I try to find YA novels that focus on the 18-early 20s age range whenever I can. Therefore, I decided to list my picks for Top Ten Books If You Like Older Skewing YA.


1) Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas- This book has everything you want from a spring break thriller: murder, jealousy, partying, muddled motives and crazy twists. Haas really pushes the boundaries and includes a lot of more taboo YA topics and weaves them together in this disturbing tale, and it’s fantastic! Read my review here.

2) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell- This novel focuses heavily on the freshman college experience, from the ordinary to exciting aspects. Such a well written book representing an under-written time frame in YA! Read my review here.

3) Just One Day by Gayle Forman- Also focusing on going to college, it explores the emotional toll of one’s first adult relationship, intimacy and all. Read my review here.

4) I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios– Exploring post-high school and before college life for Skylar and Josh, this book doesn’t censor much and is bracingly realistic in its representations of poverty and the military/veteran experience. Read my review here.

5) Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor- The writing in this series is so sophisticated and Karou has the spirit of a truly old soul. Read my review here.

6) Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout- I’ve seen this series marketed as “Upper YA” and it definitely contains more mature themes. The series is action packed and sexy. Read my review here.

7) The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore- Another series that focuses on college age kids combined with a chilling ghost story that leaves out any high school drama.

8) Trouble by Non Pratt- Focusing on teen pregnancy while not turning into an “issue” book, this story is raw and emotional and the most non-preachy book regarding teen pregnancy that I’ve come across. Read my review here.

9) Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge- This dark fairytale retelling will definitely appeal to older YA readers with it’s complex plot, flawed characters, and a focus on the marriage between Nyx and Ignifex. Read my review here.

10) I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson- While still focusing on high-school aged characters, Nelson’s beautiful prose tackles tough topics, from sexuality to dysfunctional families to adultery and consent. Read my review here.

What inspired your TTT list today? Link me up in the comments and I’ll stop by!

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35 responses to “Top Ten Books for Readers Who Like Older-Skewing YA

  1. I’m reading I’ll Meet You There soon and I can’t wait. I’m so excited to read it. I loved Something Real. I have Dangerous Girls on my list this week too. I absolutely adored that book! Love your choices. I really enjoy reading ‘older skewing YA’! 😀

  2. I’ve only read Fangirl from your list, and I loved it! I’ve been wanting to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone, though, so hopefully I’ll get around to that as well. I’ve been noticing that lately the high school age YA has been falling sort of flat for me. I’m graduating high school in a few months, so some of the stuff that these fictional sixteen year olds are doing has me scratching my head at times! Great list!

    • I agree, while I do love the coming of age themes in high school YA, sometimes I cringe at some of the characters’ choices! Daughter of Smoke and Bone is so beautifully written, I’d highly recommend getting to it as soon as you can!

  3. I really want to read more books in this area/genre. These books all sound so wonderful, I think they are all going to go on my TBR! Loved reading your post!

  4. Great topic – I have always had trouble with books set in high school because most authors seem to write about an experience that was completely incongruous with my own. Even when I was younger, I preferred reading about characters who were moving past that stage of life. I haven’t read many of the books on your list, but I definitely agree with Fangirl and Daughter of Smoke & Bone – those two were favorites last year. I would also suggest The Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix – I first read the series in middle school, but the main character is 18 and I think the books read as older-YA.

    My topic this week was Top Ten Books with Atmospheric Settings.

    • Thanks for the recommendation! I agree with a lot of the high school experiences not being reflective of my own. Fangirl and Daughter of Smoke and Bone were my first reads by both Rowell and Taylor, and happily they’ve both turned into some of my favorite YA authors who consistently write YA in a beautiful and mature way!

  5. I really like the topic you picked! I really loved a lot of these too, especially I’ll Give You the Sun, Fangirl, and Dangerous Girls. I’ve been seeing I’ll Meet You There around quite a bit lately, and everyone seems to be raving about it. It sounds a bit like Something Like Normal, which I really liked.

    • I’ll Meet You there was definitely good, although it was a four star read rather than a five star for me, but I loved it’s honest and raw narrative. I’ll Give You the Sun was SO beautifully written, and I felt like it had a more insightful and emotional tone than most adult fiction I’ve read!

  6. Great list!
    I’ve been seeing I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios everywhere lately. Is that a sign that I should pick it up? 😀

  7. Oh cool topic selection this week! I like older-YA reads too and Daughter of Smoke & Bone and Fangirl are some of my favorites 😀 I still need to read Obsidian and Cruel Beauty but I own copies so hopefully soon^^ Nice picks, here’s my TTT this week

    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

  8. Some great stories here. Fangirl is a great choice for this category. Have you read “Even in Paradise” and ” Swimming through clouds”? You may like these given some of the others on your list 🙂

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