While it feels like every YA book that comes out these days is part of a series…it’s not true! There ARE standalones out there! Series have fabulous perks of course, but sometimes it’s nice to eat a book and know it is a complete story. Beginning + middle = THE END GOODBYE AND DONE.
So I am here with an entirely fabulous list of Young Adult standalones you really ought to try. The best of the best, I tell you.
THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST [purchase]
If you’re looking for malicious creepy faeries, changelings, epic siblings and sword fights all set in a modern world with an uber creepy forest in the background? THIS IS YOUR BOOK. I’m such a wild fan of creepy so all the love to this one.
THERE WILL BE LIES [purchase]
This is a contemporary/thriller about a deaf girl who is on the run with her mother. But who is her mother? A famous criminal? Why are they running? It’s not fast paced but it’s very mysterious and SO MANY QUESTIONS.
This is nearly a contemporary. I say “nearly” because it’s about high school and first-love and mini golf aaaaand…it also happens to have this guy named Brewster who can absorb the pain of those he loves. So punch his best-friend? The punch ends up on Brewster. It’s an incredible story about friendship and, erm, bruises. Obviously.
THE GRAVEYARD BOOK [purchase]
Of course I need to wiggle a little bit of Neil Gaiman this list because he is the master. I absolutely adore this book because ghosts! And graveyards! And sneaky characters who do sneaky things! It’s kind of middle-grade, but Bod grows as the story goes. (I’m an epic poet. Appreciate that.)
ONLY EVER YOURS [purchase]
This is a dystopian that is NOT a trilogy!! I mean, that’s cause to party by itself right?! (Noooo offence to the dystopic trilogies, it’s just: there are so many.) This one is about feminism and will probably knock you down with it’s thought-provoking message. Also likely to reduce you to a sobbing mess.
I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN [purchase]
…it pretty much left me speechless. It’s so arty! The words on the very page are art. WOW. Just WOW. This one is about sibling (rivalry) and growing up and stabbing people with paint brushes. That sort of fun stuff. It’s the writing that’s absolutely vivid and unique.
THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE [purchase]
And while we’re listing contemporaries, how about a super sad one? This one is about suicide and siblings (!! love me some sibling books !!) and getting closure. And the main character is also into maths! MATHS! I never read about that, so it’s totally awesome.
Oh this one is a thriller and a half! It’s about 5 teens stuck in a boat in the middle of the sea and BAD STUFF GOES DOWN. Only 3 teens come out at the end. Exciting? Exciting. Also it explores the more psychological side of being trapped/dying/starving. Total recommend, but I WARN YOU: you’ll probably read it in one-sitting. So stock up on popcorn and fishy snacks.