YA writer Kate Hart assessed over the covers of 900+ Young Adult novels

As our Young Adult Special Titles List was only revised two months ago, we did not expect that many new nominations this time around – after all, with the last revision the number of titles on the list had almost doubled, and many of AAR’s staff had already entered their favorites then. We were pleasantly surprised to find that there are several fascinating titles – older ones as well as more recent ones – we had missed so far, and which we are now able to add, among them the creepy 1980s story A Deadly Game of Magic by Joan Lowery Nixon and Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series, which is a mixture of dystopia, SF and steampunk, but gets listed under Fairy Tale Retellings here (in case you were wondering).

One reader pointed out that Pushing the Limits, which we had included, is actually only the first volume in a very good series, so that entry was changed.

Quite a few male/male YA romances were nominated and are included now, but not a single female/female one! We don’t usually add further titles when we have just published a revised list, but in this case we would be prepared to make an exception. Come on, does anyone know a very good female/female YA romance that should be recommended?

The second fairly large group of books nominated were the New Adult romances. We considered carefully whether we wanted to include New Adult on our Young Adult list, and in the end decided against it. Sadly, this means that a number of very good books did not end up on the list, but it couldn’t be helped. For contemporaries, we decided to draw the line at the main protagonists being already at college. (For classics, historicals and paranormals this distinction need not necessarily apply.) There may be a NA special titles list in the future, but for now we want to wait and watch how the subgenre evolves further. Readers particularly interested in NA can find those NA titles reviewed at AAR easily by using Power Search.

We hope you will be able to find some nice recommendation on the YA list, but if your main reading focus is on adult romances, come back here in two weeks’ time, when we are planning to open five more Special Titles Lists!

Rike Horstmann, LinnieGayl Kimmel and Cindy Smith


Dabney Grinnan
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Impenitent social media enthusiast. Relational trend spotter. Enjoys both carpe diem and the fish of the day.