Young Adult Fiction: Tears, Triumphs And Tantrums

If you're looking for an emotional read, then young adult fiction is where it's at...

You’re never too old for a young adult tale. We can all totally empathise with the roller coaster of emotions and milestones experienced or thought about at some point during our teens. From first kisses to family dramas and everything in between – you name it, our fave authors have covered it.


Every Day By David Levithan

Levithan tells the love story of A and Rhiannon in such a fascinating way that you can’t help but keep turning the pages; it’s impossible to guess what happens next. The main character A wakes up in a different body every day and can be best described as a spirit or personality, with no gender, age, or distinctive appearance. A ends up in the body of Justin and falls hook, line and sinker for his girlfriend, Rhiannon. A touching tale about appreciating someone for who they are and not what they look like.


The Art Of Being Normal By Lisa Williamson
A life-affirming read about a transgender teen that will reduce you to tears. David Piper has spent the last 14 years of his life trapped in the wrong body. We follow his journey as he experiences the internal struggles and intolerance of wanting to be everything he’s not: a girl. When new guy Leo Denton starts at David’s school, David realises he doesn’t feel so alone anymore.


The Rest Of Us Just Live Here By Patrick Ness

A poignant book that focuses on the story of Mikey as he graduates from school, pursues his first love and starts to think about university, an episode of teen life many of us can relate to. In the background, there’s a bunch of kids fighting vampires and zombies but Mikey remains at the forefront of your mind as Ness touches on his battle with OCD and his sister’s anorexia. This will make you stop and think about the constant need to compare our lives to everyone elses. Ditch the negativity, we’re all equal.


The Perks Of Being A Wallflower By Stephen Chbosky

If you haven’t seen the film, you NEED to see it, and if you haven’t read the book, well, READ it. This will take you right back to the days of school life, when young love, friendships and family feuds are pretty much where it’s at. If you were the more shy and reserved type, you’ll understand exactly where ‘wallflower’ Charlie is coming from when he attempts to deal with the mix of emotions that the teen years threw at us.


All The Bright Places By Jennifer Niven

A heart-wrenching story about two young adults, Theofore and Violet, suffering with mental health issues. They meet on the brink of suicide, and learn to support one another through their day-to-day battles. A thought-provoking insight into teenage mental illness.


Asking For It By Louise O’Neill

A raw and gripping read about the impact that rape has on an 18-year-old woman. It centres in on the relationship between revealing clothing, alcohol and victim-blaming. Emma gets drunk and drugged up at a party, and in her unconscious state is attacked, waking in the morning with no memory of what happened. The whole event is filmed, snapped and plastered over social media for the world to see, and basically the response is, she was ‘asking for it’. From tears to rage, O’Neill brings home the devastation that a victim-blaming culture can cause.

Words by Ashleigh Houlton

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