Some of the most talked-about, most beloved young adult novels talk about some of the more serious issues on growing up. John Green, Rainbow Rowell, and Sarah Dessen are some of the top YA authors that have made us all shed more than a few tears over the years. But within the giant YA bookshelves of novels focusing on break-ups, loss, illnesses, and the harsh realities that comes with being a teenager, there are also a few that focus on the more funny and absolutely embarrassing moments of growing up.
Going through the young adult phase calls for a lot of awkward first experiences, uncomfortable parties, rebellious acts (that usually end in trouble), and the inevitable realization that playing it cool just isn't a possibility for everyone. YA books are known to capture some of those cringe-worthy moments, but the nice reality is that, for once, it isn't happening to you.
When a book can make you laugh out loud in the middle of your train ride home or in the comfort of your own cozy bed, you know it's a keeper. Here are nine of the best funny YA books out there when you need a break from all of the drama.
Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern
What happens when you return to your sophomore year of high school and find yourself clique-less? If you're Jess, you join the Dungeons and Dragons crowd. And even when she's called a nerd (because, high school), she realizes that redefining herself means finding what makes her happiest. This hilarious and quirky novel will have you laughing at the cliquey humor that stitches together so many high school experiences.
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Colin Singleton has been dumped 19 times, all by different girls named Katherine. As Colin sets out on a road trip with his overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend, he is determined to reinvent himself and avenge all the dumpees like himself without any help from a Katherine. How can the author of The Fault in Our Stars make you laugh? Answer: An Abundance of Katherines. Green will still make you cry, of course, but this time it will be tears of laughter.
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Mia Thermopolis is just like any other ninth grade girl trying to fit in with bad hair, gangly limbs, and a massive crush on the hottest senior at school. However, she's in for a wake-up call when her father shows up and reveals he isn't just a European politician, but a prince of a small country — which leaves Mia as his only heir. If you already saw the movie and skipped the book, definitely come back to it. Even though Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews made the film amazing, the book is even funnier.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Right before her senior year of high school, Anna Oliphant is shipped off to Paris by her father to an esteemed boarding school. While trying to adjust to living in the most romantic city in the world, a place Anna just doesn't seem to fit into, she's also trying not to crush on Étienne St. Clair, a gorgeous guy with a gorgeous girlfriend. Perkins captures the essence of feeling out of place with hilarious moments of first kisses and new friendships.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Greg and his sort-of friend Earl make mediocre films together to help them endure the high school experience. Then Greg's mom forces him to become friends with a girl who was just diagnosed with cancer. Full of Greg's sarcastic and insecure humor, this is seriously a funny book that also happens to be seriously sad. Prepare yourself for a ride on an emotional rollercoaster.
Winger by Andrew Smith
Winger tells the tale of Ryan Dean West, a 14-year-old boy at a rich boarding school stuck with the biggest bully on the rugby team for a roommate. Smith somehow manages to make relating to a teenage boy easy by including the perfect balance of hilarious doodles, unthinkable embarrassing moments, and a dose of teenage heartbreak.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Cath, a fangirl at heart, is about to face a more difficult college experience than she had planned for. When her twin sister, Wren, says she doesn't want to be roommates, and her fiction-writing professor believes her fan-fiction addiction is the end of the civilized world, Cath feels torn between letting go of her past and living her own life. Full of hilarious coming-of-age moments and Rowell's ingenious humor, Fangirl is one of those books you'll want to reread over and over again.
Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
Swearing off boys after one cheats on you is one way to recover from heartbreak, but Mallory takes it to an entirely new level in Going Vintage . Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in 1962, not only does Mallory swear off boys, but she searches for a simpler way of life without Internet use or modern-day influences. This coming-of-age novel won't make you cringe at the things kids say these days, but instead make you laugh with Mallory and her determined mind to make her life better.
There is No Dog by Meg Rosoff
Bob, a teenage boy who also happens to be God, falls in love with a mortal girl named Lucy. And every time Bob falls in love, Earth erupts in a natural disaster and Mr. B, Bob's overworked and frustrated assistant, has to clean up the mess. At the core of this funny story is the positivity and kindness all humans carry in their heart. This well-crafted and incredibly unique tale is one that will leave you laughing for days.