The Young Adult genre of casual literature has taken a serious hit in terms of reputation.
From the bandwagon hate of series like Twilight to the disappointing movie adaptations of series like Percy Jackson, it’s hard to find a good YA book series that isn’t a blatant cash grab. In reality, however, there is a flourishing selection of amazing and thrilling YA books that simply don’t get the fame they deserve. Most Young Adult novels may be full of tropes and stereotypes, but some books restore my faith in ever finding a good YA reading experience.
Although set in the seemingly overused setting of a futuristic America with a totalitarian government, with a “bad boy/good girl” trope, Legend is anything but cliche. It follows nationally adored prodigy June and most-wanted criminal Day as they solve a murder mystery while uncovering the sickening crimes of their government. The series goes onto explore the pitfalls of a realistic relationship, the scopes of government corruption and moral responsibility in the face of evil. Legend is a captivating and engaging story, one that will tug at the heart-strings and give you perspective on the world.
The Lunar Chronicles offers a new and futuristic spin on traditional fairy tales with darker undertones. The series follows cyborg Cinder in futuristic Asia as she connects with the Crown Prince Kai of her region and uncovers an intergalactic battle to save Earth, the Moon, and everything in between. The Lunar Chronicles explores futuristic takes on classic tales such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White. It offers an intriguing take on stories you’ve known since childhood, and you’ll definitely want to stick around until the very end.
Now, Divergent is no stranger to mainstream attention, and the beginning of the series is pretty standard. However, as the exposition of the universe is set, it starts to introduce complexities that add depth to the series as a whole. Overall, it takes place in a dystopian world in which people are sorted into factions and follows main character Tris as she leaves the selfless and conservative faction to join the braver and more edgy one. It has major themes in self discovery, morality and loyalty to causes.
The Young Adult genre has been invalidated and ridiculed over the years. However, it still has merit. These series all offer an amazing reading experience while growing their readers’ world view and perspective. They might not be the most profound novels ever written but they’re some pretty good books.