Your Hattiesburg Young Adult Fiction Examiner will be the first to admit that the category is rather broad. There’s as much diversity in young adult literature as there are young adults. If you want to read YA books but aren’t quite sure where to start, now is as good a time as any to familiarize yourself with some of the more popular genres (most of which also apply to adult fiction…but that’s another story for another day).
For the past few years, dystopian fiction has been the hot genre in young adult literature. A subgenre of science fiction, dystopian stories feature a futuristic world that has become corrupted and is often run by a cruel, totalitarian government. Dystopian societies are often presented as utopias, with the protagonist learning horrible secrets about their seemingly perfect world as the story progresses.
- The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
- Divergent (Veronica Roth)
- The Selection (Kiera Cass)
Arguably one of the most popular genres in both adult and young adult fiction. Paranormal romance features a protagonist in a relationship with an otherworldly creature — vampire, werewolf, and so forth.
- Twilight (Stephenie Meyer)
- Hush, Hush (Becca Fitzpatrick)
- Shiver (Maggie Stiefvater)
Urban fantasy stories usually feature two worlds: The “real” world that we all live in, and a secret, underground world filled with magical or mythical creatures. The line between urban fantasy and paranormal romance is sometimes hard to distinguish, but in the latter, the romance is usually predominant.
- The Mortal Instruments series (Cassandra Clare)
- Paranormalcy (Kiersten White)
- The Summoning (Kelley Armstrong)
Steampunk is another science fiction subgenre. It’s usually set in an alternate reality or history in which advanced technology is prominent.
- Leviathan (Scott Westerfeld)
- Clockwork Angel (Cassandra Clare)
- The Friday Society (Adrienne Kress)
According to Novel Novice, Bildungsroman is a German word that means “novel of education.” More commonly referred to as contemporary fiction, this genre features teens coming of age with no monsters, magic, or other supernatural elements.
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)
- Looking for Alaska (John Green)
- 13 Reasons Why (Jay Asher)