10 Timeless YA to gift this year

Have a young reader in your life? Have a reader pal who has skipped over the YA genre? Want to bring them into the YA world? I picked my brain to make a list of YA new and old that a new reader to the YA genre would enjoy.

1. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Honestly, I dislike this book. BUT I am forever thankful for S.E. Hinton for kickstarting the genre I love so dearly. This book is read in classrooms, throughout college courses, and in many households. It is hard to find someone who hasn’t read The Outsiders. Why gift it? It is a good story with a good movie. This reader 10000% approves the movie adaptation.

2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Easily one of my favorite books. Why gift this contemporary read? It is amazing, to say the least, but THUG deals with race, stereotypes, and will easily be a classic in years to come.  Struggling reader? No problem. Want a quick read? Here you go. Hot topics? Got ’em. If you haven’t read THUG, please do!

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Another gem in the YA world. Loved by readers, liked by myself. A historical fiction set during World War 2, a young girl must use her wit and storytelling skills to keep a Jewish family safe. This read is a tad more depressing than the ones listed before, but it is just as good. Gift The Book Thief this holiday season!

4. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

A quick read that won’t be forgotten, like all the reads on this list. Long Way Down is told in free verse. The story takes place in one minute as the main character, Will,  rides an elevator down to the ground floor. Will has his mind set on revenge, but he may change his mind before the end. A page-turner that is bound to impress!

5. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

What can one day about this tear-jerking read? It is wonderful. Buy it, gift it, read it. An adventure like no other, I have yet to find another book that is like Bridge to Terabithia. Two friends go to their secret place to escape from their everyday world, only to discover you can’t run from your problems. Through the power of imagination and sadness, you will be moved and never forget this read.

6. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez

You do not have to be familiar with Mexican culture to be drawn into this story. After the death of her perfect sister, Julia is left with a broken family and trying to discover who she is. It is not a happy read, but one filled with real emotions.

7. Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card

You may be familiar with the book Ender’s Game. It is a great book and series, but I prefer Bean’s story to Ender’s. Bean is one of Ender’s classmates. Ender’s shadow is Bean’s side of the story. It adds a layer of depth to the story and can be read before or after Ender’s game. If you’re looking to gift a science fiction read, look no further.

8. Every Day by David Levithan

A has a problem. Every day he wakes up in a new body as someone else. If that isn’t enough to deal with he found someone he likes. Breaking one of the only rules he has, don’t get attached. It is a male point of view somewhat love story. Extremely rare to find romance on LitLemon, I didn’t love this read, but it was interesting. I’d gift it to the reader who likes to watch movies as well~there is a movie.

9. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

I discovered this book way too late in life, I wish someone would have gifted it to me when I was younger. Percy is a demi-god with the worst luck possible. To make things more complicated, he is hunted by the mythological beast as he and his friends go on their own adventure and the mystery of his fate unfolds. The Lightning Thief is the first in a series, if you haven’t read it yourself, please do!

10. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

One of my favorite books. Sophie is cursed by the witch of the waste, she also is the oldest sibling meaning her life will suck. She ventures out to seek the feared wizard Howl, in hopes he can break her spell. Like most curses, it is not easy to undo. It is a fun magical tale that has a fairy tale feel.


I sadly did not put fantasy books on this list. Why? Fantasy can be overwhelming for some new readers, but some new readers LOVE it. It is a hit or miss. Remember you know your reader best~

Have you read any of these books? Have you gifted them or received hem as gifts? What book would you gift to a new YA reader? Tell me!

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