There are tons of good books for young adults to be found. It is true that not many reach the superstar success of Harry Potter or Twilight, but the young adult genre is competitive and ever-growing, and there are many best-selling novels that you may not hear about. The authors and books suggested in this article are just a few of very many. Each is unique, original, entertaining and well-written, and has a big (and growing) fan-base.
The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer defies genre, and is smart, funny and slick besides. A child genius and criminal prodigy, young Artemis Fowl is the heir to the Fowl criminal empire. A dab hand at devious plots and a connoisseur of electronics and cutting edge tech, Artemis discovers the existence of fairies and hatches a plot to ransom one for the legendary pot of gold. Things get hairy when the victim turns out to be LEP Recon Officer Holly Short – a pixie that just happens to be an elite law enforcement agent.
Colfer has grabbed the imagination of millions with this superb blend of slick action, gadgets to make even Q green with envy, well-conceived and -developed characters, classic fantasy elements and witty, smart narrative. The novels have been made into graphic novels and there is a film in development.
Inkheart, Inkspell and Inkdeath – The three books in the Inkworld series by Cornelia Funke – are captivating. Maggie and her father Mo, a book-binder, have always shared a love of reading, but her experience of adventure is limited to the page. When weird – and sometimes too-familiar – characters start popping into their lives, Mo packs Maggie into their car and they skip town, and Maggie starts to suspect that her ‘average’ dad is anything but. She is correct – Mo is a Silvertongue, possessed of the magical ability to read things out of their stories and into the ‘real’ world. Trouble is, he has no control over what comes out, and for everything that comes out, something from the real world has to go in.
Pursued by a motley crew of villains trying to destroy ‘Inkheart’ – The book they escaped and the same book that Mo’s wife disappeared into years ago. Brendan Fraser plays Mo in the recent hit movie adaptation of Inkheart.
Any list of good reads for young adults (however brief) cannot omit the genius of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books or the dark mastery of Neil Gaiman. Read anything written by either master for a fantastic experience – if you are undecided, opt for the superb novel Good Omens, which they wrote together. Movie-fans will recognize Gaiman’s name from the movies Coraline and Stardust – both adapted from his novels. Terry Pratchett’s name should also ring a bell – the Discworld has inspired films, TV-shows, comics and video games.
The task of writing a complete list of ‘good books for young adults’ is herculean – there are too many to choose from. The best way to find books, though, is to read books – go to the library, your preferred bookstore or website, and start turning pages: the perfect fantastic world is out there waiting for you to jump in.