ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

5 Young Adult Novels Worthy of Adult Audiences

Updated on August 24, 2014

Lauren Oliver Reads Chapter 1 of Panic

1. Panic by Lauren Oliver

Panic is the most recently published novel by Lauren Oliver. Like a quick-spreading rumor, the story is unimaginable, shocking, and just believable enough to captivate the audience.

Panic takes place in the small town of Carp, New York. Graduation marks the start of a dangerous and illegal game that only graduating seniors can play. There is one winner. The prize is life-changing, but so is the game of Panic. Players never know who or what will take them out of the game. What is clear is that they have a lot to lose.

Heather is careful and responsible. Panic is neither. Everyone goes to the first night and Heather plans to cheer for her best friend, Nat. After spotting her ex-boyfriend with her replacement, Heather realizes she is tired of being overlooked. She joins the game.

People don't pay much attention to Dodge, but that's not why he wants to play Panic. His reason? Revenge. Dodge spent years planning for Panic and he will win- at any cost.

Oliver tells the story of Panic through Dodge and Heather, as their lives unexpectedly come together. They don't think their lives would change much after graduation. Nothing changes in Carp. But the game has unintended consequences on other parts of their lives- friendships, love, and family. In one summer, everything changes.

Panic is a thriller that is equally suspenseful for adults and teens. It's easy for readers to invest in Oliver's genuine and likeable characters. The plot is original and the terror is real. Once you start Panic, it's impossible to stop.

The Maze Runner Movie Trailer (2014)

Favorite Things Poll

What is your favorite literary genre?

See results

2. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner is the first book in the action-packed trilogy by James Dashner. Thomas is the 16-year-old protagonist. Unlike in some YA novels, Thomas's age is not a distraction for adult readers. Reading The Maze Runner feels like you're watching a science fiction movie. Dashner has an uncanny ability to show readers Thomas's story.

Thomas wakes up in a box. With the exception of his name, he has no memories from his previous life. He gets out of the box and learns that his strange new home is called the Glade. Its inhabitants call themselves Gladers. It's a community built by and filled with teenage boys. They have their own language and system of government. Everyone has a job. No one remembers life before the Glade. Each boy arrived in a metal box and knew one thing- his name.

The Gladers care about two things: surviving and finding a solution to the maze. They have rules, systems, and routines, until Thomas shows up. Thomas has trouble accepting the rules of his new home, but the rules are about to change. Time is running out to solve the maze.

The Maze Runner is made for people who don't really like to read, but love adventure. It's exciting and fresh. Thomas faces challenges atypical of most teenagers, so even adults who avoid YA novels can enjoy The Maze Runner.

St. Vladimir's Academy is located in Montana
St. Vladimir's Academy is located in Montana | Source

Vampire Academy Movie Trailer (2014)

3. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Mead's twist on the conventional teenage vampire drama is refreshing. Vampire Academy takes readers through the ups and downs of a typical high school experience, but in a paranormal setting. The dialogue embodies the teenage spirit- witty, melodramatic, honest, and apathetic. The teenage narrator Rose Hathaway will make you laugh and bite your nails as she tells her story.

Princess Vasilisa Dragomir (Lissa) is the last member of the royal Dragomir line. She is also Rose's best friend. Lissa is in danger and Rose will do anything to protect her, which means she has to actually study and follow rules. Rose's work ethic and loyalty is exceptional for someone her age, but she is not above the drama of high school. And at St. Vladimir's Academy, she's usually right in the thick of it.

4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Movie Trailer

The YA is trendy, but it's not new. We just called them "the books we read for school." The Giver, Catcher in the Rye, and To Kill a Mockingbird are all YA novels.

Published in 1999, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the oldest book on this list by over a decade. 15-year-old Charlie is a typical high school student. Well, he's slightly more awkward than most teenagers. Relive the best and worst parts of high school as Charlie experiences a long list of firsts. Cigarettes, kisses, drugs, high school dances, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show are new to Charlie. It's easy to relate to Charlie during the fun parts, but also when he faces more difficult challenges.

Chbosky boldly addresses sexual abuse, homosexuality, and suicide through Charlie's voice. By the end of the novel, the drama in Charlie's life is exhausting and somewhat unbelievable. But Charlie remains authentic. Adult readers will appreciate his story.

Chbosky also wrote and directed the film version, which was released in 2012.

The Fault in Our Stars Movie Trailer (2014)

5. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

A book club favorite for teens and adults around the world, The Fault in Our Stars is one of Green's most popular YA novels. Hazel and Augustus brave teenage love and terminal cancer while trying to outwit each other. While the dialogue is a bit unrealistic, the story is enchanting.

What Makes a Book "Young Adult?"

It depends who you ask. Publishers have different standards for what should be included in a YA novel and also what cannot be in a novel labeled YA. Writers who self-publish might have their own ideas about what YA means. Although there is no universal definition of YA novel, typical YA stories share a few core elements.

Common Characteristics of YA Novels

  • Target audience is 12-18
  • Teen protagonist
  • Feature teenage problems
  • Story emphasizes internal struggles
  • Interesting to teens

Want to know more? Check out the All About YA section on YA Highway.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Quinn Grace 

      4 years ago

      Agreed, it was a great story!

    • jlpark profile image


      4 years ago from New Zealand

      I've just finished The Fault In Our Stars - and I'm 32!. I think that the dialogue actually worked for the two main characters - they were a little..quirky. The parents, yeah...not quite there. Awesome story - I was up till midnight finishing it...when I meant to read just a few chapters!

    • Amanda108 profile image


      4 years ago from Michigan, United States

      I've been meaning to read Panic and The Maze Runner. The other books look good too! A unique list with a couple famous suggestions that everyone should read as well as less heard of YA books.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Quinn Grace 

      4 years ago

      Thanks! I was a little disappointed with the end of Panic, but it was a great read.

    • Amy Naylor profile image

      Amy Naylor 

      4 years ago from England

      I've never read Panic or Vampire Academy (I might have to give them a go) but I agree on your other novel choices. Great hub!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)