Winter Reading List 10 Great YA Books

10 fabulous Young Adult books to add to your reading list (great for the young at heart too) Rae Gun Ramblings

Oh man guys I can’t believe my last reading report post was all the way back in September! Sheesh. I have read some GOOOOD books since then. I’ve posted a lot of them on Instagram as I’ve read them but these were some of my favorites so I wanted to make sure to give each a proper shout out.

Atlandia by Ally Condie This is the newest standalone novel from author of The Matched Trilogy and I ADORED it. It’s a quick easy read full of more interesting moral questions that I personally have learned to love and associate with Ally’s writing, the perfect amount of romance, personal growth, and sisterly love. It’s a new spin on dystopian, think Divergent underwater with a light touch of powers.

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu – I am a big fan of Marie Lu’s writing. Her Legend series is one of my favorites and this start to her new series did not disappoint. If you like fighting and a complex characters that aren’t cut and dry good or bad this is a great one to check out. I am excited to see what comes next in this story but it’s not one of those books that leaves you frustrated that the next book isn’t out yet.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Minion by John David AndersonThis is technically the second book in the Sidekicked series but all the characters are completely new so you really can read this without having read Sidekicked first. I love the twist on the normal super hero story. This time we get a peek at the villians and their minions. If you like super hero and origin stories this is a fun midgrade book to check out. I highly recommend listening to the audiobook.

Michael Morn might be a villain, but he’s really not a bad guy. When you live in New Liberty, known across the country as the City without a Super, there are only two kinds of people, after all: those who turn to crime and those who suffer. Michael and his adoptive father spend their days building boxes-special devices with mysterious abilities that they sell to the mob at a price. They provide for each other, they look out for each other, and they’d never betray each other. In New Liberty, a city torn apart by the divide between the rich and the poor, the moral and the immoral, this is as much of a family as anyone could ever hope for.

But then a Super comes to town, a mysterious blue streak in the sky known only as the Comet, and Michael’s world is thrown into disarray. The Comet could destroy everything Michael and his dad have built, the safe and secure life they’ve made for themselves in a city where safety and security are scarce. And now Michael and his father face a choice: to hold tight to their life, or to let it unravel.

For the Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreud This book has been on my to read list for ages and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get to it earlier I was blown away. It’s a Jane Austen retelling but since I’m not really a Austen person that didn’t mean much to me although it might be a plus to someone else. What I can tell you though it that it has some GREAT science fiction with an amazing steam punk and historical fiction feel. It’s unlike any book I’ve read in a good way. Solid characters, fascinating story, interesting details, and gold old romance.

It’s been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth–an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret–one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.

Remembrandt by Robin KingI’m new to the whole spy genre but I kinda of love it. And more than that I love teen spies! Once I got into the story a little I couldn’t stop ready. Luckily it’s a short quick read. There are a few layers going on in the story and with some authors that just means overkill but Robin found a way to give you just enough at the right times so that I was totally hooked but didn’t feel bombarded with any part of the story. If you are looking for a fun spy tale complete with romance that’s great for someone in her 30’s or even a younger teen then check this out!

Alexandra Stewart doesn’t just walk down memory lane, she lives on it. Her eidetic memory records her experiences and plays them back, DVD style. It’s great when she wants to ace a test, but not so great when she topples over a cute boy in the hallway and the humiliation plays back over and over and over . . . Brown University seems like the perfect place for the seventeen-year-old to forget her past. Hope for a normal life comes in the form of a handsome new running partner who makes her heart race and body perspire even before she laces up her shoes. 

When her Russian professor gives her a puzzle that seems impossible to solve, Alex discovers that he has a secret – one that will catapult her into a world of cryptic codes and covert missions. As she tries to find a balance between the two different worlds vying for her attention, Alex wonders if she can have relationships with the ones she cares about while hiding a clandestine life, uncovering the truths of an underground enemy. 

One thing is for certain, whatever happens will be forever etched into her memory. And some things are better left forgotten.

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sale – SO. Much. Fun. Like music and creative kids who don’t fit in with your standard teens? This is the book for you. There are some hard moments and issues addressed but overall it’s a story of how one girl finds a place to belong with her love for music. Bonus if you like indie dance music you’ll be smiling your who way through this read!

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together. 

Maybe One Day by Melissa KantorThis is a cancer story. It’s a story of the people who love the one with the disease and it’s tough but it is also lovely. But don’t expect it to be a funny The Fault In Our Stars because it’s definitely more focused on the disease and the living through watching a loved one go through that but it’s still very good in it’s own way. I just want to warn you it is more of a heart string puller though. If you can try and listen to the audiobook.

Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had big plans for the future, none of which included Olivia getting sick. Still, Zoe is determined to put on a brave face and be positive for her friend.

Even when she isn’t sure what to say.

Even when Olivia misses months of school.

Even when Zoe starts falling for Calvin, Olivia’s crush.

The one thing that keeps Zoe moving forward is knowing that Olivia will beat this, and everything will go back to the way it was before. It has to. Because the alternative is too terrifying for her to even imagine.

In this incandescent page-turner, which follows in the tradition of The Fault in Our Stars, Melissa Kantor artfully explores the idea that the worst thing to happen to you might not be something that is actually happening to you. Raw, irreverent, and honest, Zoe’s unforgettable voice and story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

Say What You Will by Cammie McGover– The synopsis says “John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park” and really that is the perfect  description. In the same way that both Green and Rowell make characters you fall in love with in the midst of awkwardness and illness Cammie McGovern does just the same. I’m only halfway through this but I couldn’t not share it because I am just loving it so much. I’ve been listening to the audio version which I can’t recommend any more. It deals with tough issues but it’s not a tough read. The characters are loveable and funny and sassy and help each other to be strong.

 in this beautifully written, incredibly honest, and emotionally poignant novel. Cammie McGovern’s insightful young adult debut is a heartfelt and heartbreaking story about how we can all feel lost until we find someone who loves us because of our faults, not in spite of them.

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can’t walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.

When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other’s lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.


If you want to chat about these I’d love to but if you’re going to leave anything in the comments please keep it spoiler free. If you can’t do that just email me and I’m happy to commiserate! I won’t add the synopses of these since they might have some spoilers for the earlier books. To read the description of the first books in the series click on the link in the parentheses.

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas – Okay so I first would like to say I adore this series but I felt like there was  major bait and switch. We started The Throne of Glass as a teen assassin, strong girl with some romance and then by this book we’re in full blown high fantasy. I like fantasy but this baby pushed my fantasy boundaries. But I am so glad that I pushed through the first 1/3 of the book with introduced new characters and had all kinds of crazy creatures and powers that were necessary to the story but again felt like it tricked me into reading fantasy because I did really love this. (Throne of Glass is book one)

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins – So much happy. Happy happy swoony swoony. Stephanie Perkins has done it again. I love these books so so so so much. Can I go live in a French boarding school too? Can I have a super cute artistic boy interest too? Can I eat amazing delicious French food too?But really if you liked the other books in the series Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door it’s a no brainer you must read this. But even though they are companion books and not strict sequels read them in order because this definitely has spoilers for the other two books. And I might even go as far as to say I liked this just as much as Anna!! (Anna and the French Kiss is book one)

Winter Reading list 10 great YA books to read - Rae Gun Ramblings

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.



  1. I always look forward to these! Thanks girl!

  2. That looks like a great list of books for people who love that genre!! Thank you for sharing with us at the #HomeMattersParty

Leave a Reply