Reading can be an entertaining and educational hobby. In addition to helping you understand other people, lifestyles, and experiences, it can also be good for your health. If your teenager needs some help managing physical or mental health symptoms, a good book and a good counselor can mean a lot. 

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It can be difficult to find any downsides when it comes to reading often and widely. That’s why we’re going to walk you through some of the best 2021 young adult novels for teenagers to check out!

In order of author’s last name:

  • Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo: “The wolves are circling and a young king will face his greatest challenge in the explosive finale of the instant #1 New York Times-bestselling King of Scars Duology.” The Grishaverse is chock full of great books, and your teen may have been introduced to this by the Shadow and Bone Netflix show.
  • Lore by Alexandra Bracken: “Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality…”
  • Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Brown: “Mahogany L. Browne delivers a novel-in-verse about broken promises, fast rumors, and when growing up means growing apart from your best friend.” Verse novels are a great choice for your artistic or poetic teen.
  • Influence by Sara Shepard and Lilia Buckingham: “After a video she makes goes viral, everyone knows Delilah Rollins. And now that she’s in LA, Delilah’s standing on the edge of something incredible. Everything is going to change. She has no idea how much.”
  • Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore: “Four years after Bitterblue left off, a new land has been discovered to the east: Torla; and the closest nation to Monsea is Winterkeep. Winterkeep is a land of miracles, a democratic republic run by people who like each other, where people speak to telepathic sea creatures, adopt telepathic foxes as pets, and fly across the sky in ships attached to balloons…” New readers and those who started years ago with the companion series Graceling will enjoy this intricate world.
  • This is Not the Jess Show by Anna Carey: “Like any other teenager, Jess Flynn is just trying to get through her junior year without drama … but drama seems to keep finding her. Between a new crush on her childhood best friend, overprotective parents cramping her social life, and her younger sister’s worsening health, the only constant is change–and her hometown of Swickley, which feels smaller by the day…”
  • Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare: “Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend Lucie Herondale and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father. And she bears the sword Cortana, a legendary hero’s blade…” Longtime fans of the various Mortal Instruments books will love this new installment, starting with Chain of Gold.
  • Wings of Ebony by J. Elle: ““Make a way out of no way” is just the way of life for Rue. But when her mother is shot dead on her doorstep, life for her and her younger sister changes forever. Rue’s taken from her neighborhood by the father she never knew, forced to leave her little sister behind, and whisked away to Ghizon—a hidden island of magic wielders….”
  • We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal: “The battle on Sharr is over. The dark forest has fallen. Altair may be captive, but Zafira, Nasir, and Kifah are bound for Sultan’s Keep, determined to finish the plan he set in motion: restoring the hearts of the Sisters of Old to the minarets of each caliphate, and finally returning magic to all of Arawiya. But they are low on resources and allies alike, and the kingdom teems with fear of the Lion of the Night’s return…”
  • The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna: “Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs…but…”
  • They’ll Never Catch Us by Jessica Goodman: “Stella and Ellie Steckler are only a year apart, but their different personalities make their relationship complicated. Stella is single-minded, driven, and she keeps to herself. Cross-country running is her life and she won’t let anything get in the way of being the best. Her sister Ellie is a talented runner too, but she also lets herself have fun. She has friends. She goes to parties. She has a life off the course.”
  • Ace of Spades by Faridah Abike-Iyimide: “An incendiary and utterly compelling thriller with a shocking twist that delves deep into the heart of institutionalized racism, from an exceptional new YA voice.” 
  • The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson: “Amateur sleuth Stevie Bell needs a good murder. After catching a killer at her high school, she’s back at home for a normal (that means boring) summer…but…”
  • A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer: “Emberfall is crumbling fast, torn between those who believe Rhen is the rightful prince and those who are eager to begin a new era under Grey, the true heir. Grey has agreed to wait two months before attacking Emberfall, and in that time, Rhen has turned away from everyone—even Harper, as she desperately tries to help him find a path to peace…”