In spite of the many options available to keep one occupied, books have always held their own individuality as a hobby of choice and still continue to do so. The last few years have seen an explosion of authors who have written solely to cater to young adults. For clarity, the term 'young adult' covers the ages between 14 and 21. Take a look at the emerging trends in literature for young readers, and some of the categories under which famous novels for young adults fall.
Romance novels have always found a large number of takers, perhaps because they mirror a phase that is concurrent with real life. Teenage years are fraught with so many changes that it can be a bewildering experience. Romance novels often deal with problems that many teenagers face, making the story much easier to relate to. Early teenage years mark the onset of adolescence and puberty, closely followed by the first feelings of attraction. Most romance novels for young adults have a protagonist who is a teenager, that young readers can identify with.
Here are some popular ones.
- Lock and Key―Sarah Dessen
- The Princess Diaries―Meg Cabot
- The Luxe Series―Anna Godbersen
- Daddy Long Legs―Jean Webster
- A Walk to Remember―Nicholas Sparks
- A Ring of Endless Light―Madeleine L'Engle
- Ella Enchanted―Gail Carson Levine
- Memoirs of a Geisha―Arthur Golden
Novels based on fantasy have always had a dedicated reader fan base, but it was the Harry Potter Series that took the world by storm. This was followed, more recently, by the Twilight Series. Although fantasy enthusiasts swear by J.R.R. Tolkien's highly acclaimed The Lord of the Rings trilogy, J.K Rowling's Harry Potter enjoyed a wider reader base mainly because it was read by children and adults alike. The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer, combining fantasy and romance, leads the pack in vampire romance novels for young adults. It received rave reviews and continues to occupy the top spot in a number of best-seller lists.
Some best-selling fantasy novels for this age group are listed below:
- The Lord of the Rings―J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Harry Potter Series―J.K.Rowling
- The Twilight Series―Stephenie Meyer
- The Giver―Lois Lowry
- The Chronicles of Narnia―C.S. Lewis
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy―Douglas Adams
- His Dark Materials Trilogy―Philip Pullman
- Enchantress from the Stars―Sylvia Engdahl
- The Color of Magic―Terry Pratchett
- Eragon―Christopher Paolini
A very popular genre, mysteries and detective stories have a huge fan following. Mysteries are also good novels for young readers, since most of them are fast-paced and easy to read. Detectives immortalized by their fan following include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, and Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason, to name just a few. Some of the best mystery novels for young readers are:
- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd―Agatha Christie
- The Hound of the Baskervilles―Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- The French Powder Mystery―Ellery Queen
- Rebecca―Daphne du Maurier
- The Maltese Falcon―Dashiell Hammett
- A Coffin for Dimitrios―Eric Ambler
No list of novels for any audience is complete without a mention of the classics. There are a number of classics well-suited for young adults. Since they collectively span all possible genres, you are bound to find something to interest even the most picky reader. All of them have stood the test of time long enough to ensure their place in what constitutes the classics of literature. It's not unusual to regard reading the classics as a necessity to complete education, or as I believe, as an inspiration to excel.
A number of classics are good choices for college students. Many authors of classics remain embedded in the psyche of the reader for having left an indelible impression on his or her mind. In fact, there is a school of thought that subscribes to the philosophy that there are a number of classic books everyone should read. Some of the best classics for young adults are listed below:
- Great Expectations―Charles Dickens
- Little Women―Louisa May Alcott
- Pride and Prejudice―Jane Austen
- Pygmalion―George Bernard Shaw
- A Study in Scarlet―Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- Wuthering Heights―Emily Bronte
- The Moon and Sixpence―William Somerset Maugham
- Alice in Wonderland―Lewis Carroll
- Gone with the Wind―Margaret Mitchell
- To Kill a Mockingbird―Harper Lee
Wherever your interests lie, there's bound to be a book for you. With a dedicated genre for young readers, there are enough novels to appeal everyone. It's never too late to start a good habit like reading, so if you are not an avid reader, introduce yourself to the world of books, and see how they have a positive effect on one's intellectual growth. Remember the quote "You don't open a book, you open a mind."