Tag: StephenChbosky

part scene from perks of being a wallflower film

9 YA Novels That Crossed Over to Adult Acclaim


The line that divides YA fiction from nondescript “adult” fiction has always been more of a publishing industry invention than a reflection of real readers. According to one 2012 study, 55 percent of YA books are bought by adults. With that, check out these 9 books, nominally for readers under 18, that earned recognition from fancy pants grown ups.


  1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


the fault in our stars cover

Image Courtesy of Geeky News


Though John Green has spoke often of his decision to write exclusively for young adult audiences, the targeted nature of his novels has not stopped them from being picked up and adored. The Fault in Our Stars, the story of two teenagers grappling with terminal illness, was particularly successful in this regard, skyrocketing to the top of the Barnes and Noble and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.


  1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


hate u give cover

Image Courtesy of HuffPost



In the middle of America’s renewed awareness of police shootings of unarmed African Americans, Thomas’s debut novel encapsulated much of the nation’s turmoil with this look at a fatal shooting and its effect on witness Starr, a black high school student straddling two worlds. “Ignore the YA label–this should be the one book everyone reads this year,” Shannon Ozirny of The Globe and the Mail said.


  1. March by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell


march: boo one cover

Image Courtesy of Top Shelf Books


Longtime Georgia congressman John Lewis wrote March, a graphic memoir trilogy of his time in the Civil Rights movement, as an educational resource and source of inspiration for young people learning about African Americans’ struggle for equality in the 1950s and 60s. Due to the pedigree of its author, however, March has received acclaim from the adult literary establishment, winning a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and an Eisner Award.


  1. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak


i am the messenger cover

Image Courtesy of BLARB


Due to the success of his earlier novel The Book Thief, Markus Zusak’s exploration of one 19-year-old slacker’s descent into the criminal underworld was able to once again reap the accolades of both the young adult and adult reading communities.


  1. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell


eleanor and park cover

Image Courtesy of Amazon


This bittersweet YA romance between two nerdy teens quickly made a name for new author Rainbow Rowell with its frank exploration of issues like body image, bullying, and child abuse. The Boston Globe awarded it the the 2013 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for fiction.


  1. Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer


belzhar cover

Image Courtesy of S. Krishna’s Books


Wolitzer, who showed a fondness for young adults in her acclaimed novel The Interestings, returned to the age group for with this tribute to The Bell Jar and its author, Sylvia Plath. Belzhar, her first book marketed at teens, captured the imagination of critics impressed with the novel’s mixture of vintage and contemporary sensibilities concerning romance and coming of age.


  1. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman


the graveyard book cover

Image Courtesy of Amazon


Jack, the child protagonist of The Graveyard Book, lives a rather unconventional existence: his home is a graveyard and his caretakers its ghosts, the result of surviving a ruthless murderer who slaughtered his entire family. This grisly premise—along with its prominent author—may be why the 2008 novel, marketed as children’s fantasy, won the prestigious Sci-Fi Hugo Award for Best Novel.


  1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Steven Chbosky


perks of being a wallflower cover

Image Courtesy of Amazon


Though 14-year-old Charlie’s life is far from easy, his fraught journey to self-acceptance, set to early 90s pop culture, has earned the admiration of many adults. Audiences have been taken by its compelling blend of nostalgia and naked emotion.


  1. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys


between shades of gray cover

Image Courtesy of Penguin Random House


Despite its unfortunate titular resemblance to a very popular, very adult book, this somber account of a Lithuanian family destroyed by WWII-era Soviet oppression was able to transcend its original YA demographic. It received major literary recognition from France, Japan, and many other nations.


Featured image courtesy of Vulture.