Reading a beautifully written book can take your breath away, literally. There have been many times where I've had to pause, reread a line or two, and just gaze at it as if it were a sunset or rainbow in the sky. Sometimes I'll even take a photo of it because I'm just that amazed by a beautiful line in a book. It's the most beautiful books that tend to have the most impact on me, so I thought I'd pile together a list of some of the most beautiful YA books ever written.
YA is usually known for a relatable narrator, a young and fresh voice, along with coming-of-age themes. That doesn't mean these books aren't written in poetic and gorgeous ways. I'd argue that many of these authors beat some classic writers easily in the way they use words to create an amazing story. The YA genre is constantly surprising us with a boatload of new, risk-taking, and amazing authors every year.
If you're in the mood for a book to sweep you away from a mundane day and into a reverie of beauty, you've come to the right place. Here are 12 beautifully written, exceptionally unique, and wonderful YA novels to read ASAP:
1. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
If there's one way to sum up this book, it's in the title, which is beautiful. Ava Lavender, a 16-year-old girl who just wants to fit in among her peers, is born with wings. With a lengthy and complicated family history, Ava is only just beginning to understand her place in the world and how others see her. She ventures out into the world, ill-prepared but determined to find adventure. This magical realism book is one filled with gorgeous descriptions, charming characters, and a story you'll never forget.
2. Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
I remember opening up to the first page of this book and becoming completely enamored by the narrator and what was going on. This is Alex's story, an unreliable but curious narrator, who takes on the world and her schizophrenia by trying to figure out what is real and not real, all while trying to be a "normal" college student. She's fairly content, that is, until she runs into Miles, a boy who she can't figure out if she made up or not. You'll love all the risks Zappia takes in this unique and mind-blowing novel.
3. Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid
Dave and Julia are best friends, and are determined to skip all the clichés and stereotypical events most high school students take part in. They've even created a list of things to never do, including things like not to hook up with teachers and to never date your best friend. One day, Julia decides to break the rules and try everything on the list, and Dave, with a secret crush on Julia, is more than thrilled to partake. They dye their hair crazy colors, attend wild parties, and skinny dip. It's then that they both begin to realize they might be missing out on certain life events, and maybe even love, by staying away from the cliché. This is a beautifully written and simple contemporary story any YA-lover will adore.
4. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Jandy Nelson may as well write with a paintbrush, because her words are so full of color, sounds, and beauty. I'll Give You the Sun is the broken tale that switches point of views between two twins, Noah at age 13, and Jude at age 16. Both have the missing puzzle pieces of their story and how they lost the strong bond between them through a family loss, lies, and well-kept secrets. While Noah falls for the boy next door, Jude meets a mentor that begins to stubbornly steer her in the right direction. These twins have a beautiful and heartbreaking story to share, and if there's one YA book I always recommend to people, this is it.
5. The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
Completely in-tune with the reality of her illness and short life ahead of her, Campbell Cooper gets a real shot at life when her parents move her Promise, Maine, where miracles actually happen. Once there, Cam receives a letter with a list of the things to do before she dies, and instead of rolling her eyes and ignoring it, she gives in and tries to enjoy a normal, teenage life. If you fell for The Fault in our Stars, you'll be swept away in this exceptionally beautifully written novel by Wendy Wunder.
6. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
If you haven't read Rowell's latest masterpiece, I urge you to take a day and spend it surrounded by her beautiful writing and unique story. Stemming from her bestseller, Fangirl, there's no way you can't fall for this book because it includes two of your favorite Fangirl characters, Simon Snow and Baz. Making fan fiction out of her own characters, Rowell creates a book that's one-of-a-kind, full of magic and romance, and one you won't be able to get enough of.
7. How to Make a Bird by Martine Murray
This story surprised me with its simplicity and beauty. It's a coming-of-age tale about a girl named Mannie, ready to leave her hometown and forget the terrible things that've happened there. Before she runs away, though, she's left with a list of unanswered questions that follow her until she returns, ready to face her past. This book is emotionally powerful, heavy at times, and extraordinary in the end.
8. The Absolute True Diary of A Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Sherman Alexie is easily one of my favorite authors, and I'm certainly not alone in recognizing his gorgeous, poetic, and unique style of writing. Main character Junior, a cartoonist and dreamer who doesn't let the restrictions of his Indian reservation stop him from chasing his goals, takes the biggest risk of his life. He makes the decision to switch schools, which makes him, and the school mascot, the only Indians around. This brave story is one I'd read again and again because of how heartwarming, tragic, and lovely it is written.
9. Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway
Young Emmy and Oliver, neighborhood best friends, are ripped apart when Oliver is kidnapped and Emmy's life is forever changed. Ten years down the road, Oliver returns after finding out the truth: his father kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Torn between loving his dad for the life he lived with him and hating him for what he took him from, Oliver and Emmy come back together and slowly find their friendship linking back as quickly as it was torn apart. It's a touching story that pulls you in on page one with its absolutely gorgeous writing.
10. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
You get the best of both worlds in this co-written novel. Two teens with the same name, Will Grayson, meet one night as the two lead very different, and very emotional lives. Suddenly all mixed up in each other's circles and complicated struggles, each Will Grayson has an interesting story to tell. John Green and David Levithan create an unforgettable novel with two voices, both beautiful and intriguing.
11. The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater
Maggie Stiefvater has a unique and talented way of telling the story of a friendship among four interesting boys and one spunky girl. That's only the surface of it. Between psychics, ghosts, dreaming things to life, and prophesies, this series is one you'll be hooked on quickly. As the group searches for a dead Welch king, along with facing other magical events, they become closer to each other and their destinies. I absolutely adore Stiefvater's writing, and it's one that can only be understood after reading her books.
12. The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
Natalie has grown up receiving spiritual "visits" from a ghost who she calls Grandmother. One night, Grandmother tells her she must save "him," but Natalie doesn't know who the mysterious "him" is. Natalie soon meets Beau, and it seems obvious he's who Grandmother is talking about, so she spends the summer discovering her identity and unraveling her destiny that Beau seems to be tied to. This time-traveling, magical, and beautifully written love story definitely deserves a spot on your bookshelf.