These YA books know how to adult! YA has a bad reputation for never featuring adults. Usually all of the adults are either conveniently working all the time, dead, or are totally clueless as to what’s going on with the youths, but not these books!
All of these books feature strong, well-rounded adults––from parents to teachers to mentors––these adults play a role in shaping the lives of their younger counterparts. Isn’t it so refreshing to read a book that features a parent that not only is aware of what’s happening in their teen’s life but also supportive and a good role model? Good parenting? Whaha! What’s that? Read these books and find out!
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Simons parents are freaking awesome in this book. They are so supportive, kind and are actually aware of what’s happening in their kids’ lives. Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met. More info!
Very in Pieces by Megan Frazer Blakemore
Very Sayles-Woodruff could find the value of x with her eyes closed . . . but interpreting her mother’s renowned paintings or her famous grandmother’s poems don’t come as easily. Even her younger sister, Ramona, has the same artistic leanings as the rest of their family. Very has always been the dependable, responsible one—until her grandmother becomes terminally ill, causing all of the pieces of Very’s once-structured life to come crashing down. Now she’s cast aside her steady boyfriend and started an unexpected fling with Dominic, a rebellious art student with a bad reputation. More info!
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
The Dad in this adorable novel is the absolute sweetest! To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.
Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
Ugh, Aza’s parents love her so much which makes chapter 7 even harder to bear. Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—but as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war between Magonia and Earth is coming. In Aza’s hands lies fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie? More info!
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
If all teachers could be like the one in Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock the world would be a much better place. In this riveting look at a day in the life of a disturbed teenage boy, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out.
Compulsion by Martina Boone
Can Aunt Pru be our Aunt please? All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead—a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Tik Tok isn’t a father, but he certainly is a father figure for Tiger Lily and through his wisdom and courage, Tiger Lily finds her own. I LOVE YOU TIK TOK! Tinkerbell narrates the magical, bittersweet love story between Tiger Lily and Peter Pan. Tiger Lily has never been truly accepted by her tribe, and now the elders have decreed marriage to a man she doesn’t love. She spends more and more time alone in the woods, where she meets wild, fearless Peter Pan, leader of the Lost Boys. More info about Tiger Lily!
The Heir by Kiera Cass
Uhhh, America and Maxon (from The Selection) are the adults in this one so obviously we had to include it on our list! Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story…but as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she’s always thought. More info about The Heir!
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Lola’s Dads in this book are all kinds of adorable and we really wish they were our Dads too! Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.
Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu
Tabitha’s mom, Cate, has that whole Gilmore Girls thing going on where she’s Tabitha’s mom but also her friend and we love it! Like most who find Life by Committee, Tabitha is a little lost. Her best friend has ditched her, her Vermont town is feeling way too small, and she’s falling head over heels for a guy named Joe—who already has a girlfriend. Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she discovers Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe. More info here!
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Clara’s mom in this angel series is so warm, kind, loving and thoughtful – which makes the events in Hallowed (the sequel) all that more heartbreaking. hen Clara Gardner learns she’s part angel, her entire life changes. She now has a purpose, a specific task she was put on this earth to accomplish, except she doesn’t know what it is. Her visions of a raging forest fire and a mysterious boy lead her to a new high school in a new town but provide no clear instruction. As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make-between the boy in her vision and the boy in her life, between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil.
Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff
Mila has such a strong relationship with her father in this novel. Her parents are quirky and fully developed characters and we love how they play a major part in this novel, and not just background, or side characters! Mila has an exceptional talent for reading a room—sensing hidden facts and unspoken emotions from clues that others overlook. So when her father’s best friend, Matthew, goes missing from his upstate New York home, Mila and her beloved father travel from London to find him. She collects information about Matthew from his belongings, from his wife and baby, from the dog he left behind and from the ghosts of his past—slowly piecing together the story everyone else has missed. But just when she’s closest to solving the mystery, a shocking betrayal calls into question her trust in the one person she thought she could read best.
Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
Alexi’s parents take in neighbor Bodee after his long-abusive father kills his mother; and, they support her when she speaks up about being sexually assaulted. Alexi Littrell hasn’t told anyone what happened to her over the summer by her backyard pool. Instead, she hides in her closet, counts the slats in the air vent, and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does—and deal with the trauma. More info here!
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
Carlyle, the therapy group leader and Dr. Poirot, are the two incredibly strong and important characters that help bring Caden back from the depths of schizophrenia after nine weeks in a mental health facility. More info about Challenger Deep here!
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Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Lord Ballister Blackheart; he’s a villain, yes, but also a mentor, friend, and father figure to Nimona! Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are. Read a sneak peek here!
What other novels would you add to this reading list? Share your recommendations with us in the comments below! Click here for more curated reading lists!