At 23-years-old, I still love me some YA novels. You would think “young adult” applies to young adults, but the stories are typically more coming of age oriented. However, I’m not ashamed and will not hide The Hunger Games in a blank dust jacket. Nope, I’ll read YA novels with pride because they’re awesome.
One of my favorite things about YA novels is that a lot of the more recent series don’t focus on romance. Not every book for girls needs to be about finding love, right? Right.
I mean, don’t get me wrong. I do enjoy the usual love triangle plot, but it’s really nice to see books about girls who aren’t focused on their love life. That’s not to say they don’t have a love life, but a guy isn’t their whole world. Instead, they’re focused on being awesome and kickass.
Blood Read Road
Blood Red Road is the first of The Dust Lands Triology by Moira Young. You follow Saba on an adrenaline-filled adventure to find her twin brother who's just been kidnapped. Along the way, Saba fights pretty much everyone and risks her life to save her twin. There's a love interest, but Saba stays focused on the other more important things in her life.
If you haven't started the Divergent series by Veronica Roth yet, then get on it! The first film comes out in March starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James. Anyway, you follow Tris Prior as she leaves her faction and joins Dauntless, the brave and adventurous. She literally has to risk her life every day in training. Naturally, she falls for the hunky Four but always keeps her priorities in check.
Heist Society puts you in the world of some serious thieves. Author Ally Carter introduces you to Kat, who was raised to be a thief and con-artist. She's been hired by someone very powerful to find stolen paintings. The only catch: her dad is the thief.
Songs Of The Lioness
Tamora Pierce first introduced me to YA as a genre with the Songs Of The Lioness series. It starts with Alanna: The First Adventure and only gets better by the book. Alanna switches places with her twin brother Thom in order to train to become a knight. She's probably the most badass character I've ever read about.
The Book Thief
Markus Zusak shares the story of Liesel Meminger during WWII Germany in 1939. She's a foster girl who steals to make ends meet, but especially loves books. She learns to read and shares books with the Jewish man hiding in the basement while surrounded by the terrors of war around them.
I figure most of you have probably read Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments. Well, The Inferal Devices series is a prequel to that. And it's awesome. You'll dive deep into the world of the Shadowhunters before modern times.
The Looking Glass Wars
The Looking Glass Wars follows a skewed version of Alice In Wonderland. Frank Beddor tells the tale of Alyss Heart, who is heir to the Wonderland throne and must fight to avoid death by her Aunt Redd. She even runs into Lewis Carrol himself.
Gina Damico tells the story of Lex, a bad teen who gets shipped off to her Uncle Mort's. It turns out that he's a grim reaper so she embarks of the journey of growing up while learning the family business in the town of Croak.
What are some of your favorite YA books with kickass girls? Do you have any recommendations? What are your favorite types of YA books? Tell us in the comments!