More and more lately I’ve been really getting into making infographics and recommendation guides. I had a blast making my first two recommendation guides — contemporary and paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy — and I really wanted to make a new one, but with a few genres down, I wasn’t sure where to start again. Naturally, I went to Twitter to ask for suggestions and Elizabeth from Don’t Take My Books Away recommended a list of young adult books that would appeal to adults as well and that seemed like the perfect idea!
I decided to take it one step further and add my favorite adult reads that I felt would appeal to readers of young adult fiction as well. Since most of my blog readers are in their 20s/30s/40s reading YA and a few in their actual teens, some of the books on the list are ones I feel would appeal to readers of YA and not necessary young adults themselves. Sounds confusing, but what I mean is that some books will have more adult content than others, but no worries! I’m including a details of which adult books on the list would also be appropriate for younger readers and which are intended for a more mature audience.
Missed my first two “guides”? No problem! Just check out the links below!
So! Ready to get started? I know you are! Here are my favorite “crossover” books that best appeal to a wide age range!
Here’s a list of the books mentioned! All links will take you to my reviews (books that I haven’t reviewed on my blog will take you to the Goodreads page). All adult books will also have notes if they’re appropriate for younger audiences or not!
- (YA) 45 Pounds (More or Less) – K.A. Barson // Keywords: Weight loss, family, weddings
- (YA) Something Like Normal – Trish Doller // Keywords: Military, PTSD, family, romance
- (YA) Fault Line – Christa Desir // Keywords: Sexual assault, relationships, support
- (YA) The Book of Broken Hearts – Sarah Ockler // Keywords: Alzheimer’s, motorcycles, sisters, romance
- (Adult) Degrees of Wrong – Anna Scarlett // Keywords: Epidemic, romance, chocolate, sea exploration // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Some adult humor and sexual references.
- (Adult) Slightly Single – Wendy Markham // Keywords: New York, absentee boyfriend, friends // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. I read this quite a few years ago and remember it being fairly appropriate for a mature teenage audience. Some adult humor and sexual references.
- (Adult) Remember Me? – Sophie Kinsella // Keywords: Memory loss, designer products, humor // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Same as above — read quite a few years ago but should be okay for mature teen audience. Some adult humor and sexual references.
- (Adult) Wedding Season – Darcy Cosper // Keywords: Weddings, New York, comedy // Suitable for teens? Yes? To be honest, I read this one too long ago to remember its specific content BUT I think I was actually a teen when I read this one myself (somewhere around 18, I believe) so I would lean more towards yes!
- (YA) The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight – Jennifer E Smith // Keywords: Weddings, travel, flying, remarriage, London
- (YA) The Sea of Tranquility – Katja Millay // Keywords: Identity crisis, trauma, loss, romance
- (Adult) One Day – David Nicholls // Keywords: Friends, relationships, missed opportunities // Suitable for teens? More mature audiences. Adult content and spans from twenties age up through forties.
- (Adult) The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks // Keywords: Young love, forbidden love, Alzheimer’s // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Personally liked the movie better (gasp, I know) but the book was also great and suitable for younger audiences.
- (YA) The Distance Between Us – Kasie West // Keywords: Family business, mother-daughter relationship, wealth vs “working class”
- (YA) The Chapel Wars – Lindsey Leavitt // Keywords: Las Vegas, wedding chapel, loss, rivals
- (YA) Open Road Summer – Emery Lord // Keywords: Country music, tour, road trip, famous, romance
- (YA/New Adult) Dirty Little Secret – Jennifer Echols // Keywords: Nashville, country music, redemption, performing, romance
- (Adult) The Nanny Diaries – Emma McLaughlin // Keywords: Working, nanny, family, family issues // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. The movie came out in 2007 and I know I read the book before the movie so I was still a teen (older teen) but it seemed perfectly suitable for a younger audience! (The book was also WAY better than the movie, FYI)
- (Adult) The Devil Wears Prada – Lauren Weisberger // Keywords: New York, fashion, post-college, career // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Unlike The Nanny Diaries, I found both the book AND the movie to be fantastic and suitable for teen audiences as well.
- (Adult) What Looks Like Crazy (Kate Holly #1) – Charlotte Hughes // Keywords: Psychology, divorce, humor // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Charlotte Hughes has a very Janet Evanovich-style and while there are more mature themes and references, a mature teen audience could enjoy this book as well.
- (YA) The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey // Keywords: Aliens, invasion, post-apocalyptic
- (YA) The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins // Keywords: Government, dystopia, battle to the death
- (YA) Under the Never Sky – Veronica Rossi // Keywords: Dystopia, science-fiction, technology, wilderness, survival
- (YA) The Raven Boys – Maggie Steifvater // Keywords: Prophecy, tarot, paranormal, private school
- (YA) Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) – Marissa Meyer // Keywords: Sci-fi, cyborg, Beijing, Cinderella
- (YA) Ready Player One – Ernest Cline // Keywords: 80s, pop culture, virtual reality, future
- (Adult) The Passage – Justin Cronin // Keywords: Vampires, plague, post-apocalyptic // Suitable for teens? Maybe. It’s a really big read and takes a while to develop, but if you’re willing to stay in it for the long haul, I think a more mature audience could enjoy it.
- (Adult) Vicious – V.E. Schwab // Keywords: Science fiction, extraordinary, superheroes, revenge // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. A delicious tale of revenge set at an adult age. Mild violence and darker themes, but okay for teen readers.
- (Adult) Dead Until Dark – Charlaine Harris // Keywords: Vampires, romance, Louisiana // Suitable for teens? Maybe. Strong elements of romance.
- (Adult) Gameboard of the Gods – Richelle Mead // Keywords: Mythology, mystery, military, science // Suitable for teens? Maybe. Definitely more mature teens if recommended for younger audiences. Some sexual situations and explicit content.
- (Adult) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams // Keywords: Sci-fi, space, humor // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up.
- (Adult) First Grave on the Right – Darynda Jones // Keywords: Grim reaper, ghosts // Suitable for teens? Not recommended. While the book has a fun and easy feeling, there were strong themes of sexuality and some violence.
- (YA) Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor // Keywords: Chimaera, angels, Prague
- (YA) Fairytales for Wilde Girls – Allyse Near // Keywords: Fantasy, fairy tales, mental illness, magical realism
- (YA) The Winner’s Curse – Marie Rutkoski // Keywords: Fantasy, politics, music, slavery
- (YA) Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy #1) – Leigh Bardugo // Keywords: Fantasy, Russia, powers, army
- (YA) Graceling – Kristin Cashore // Keywords: Fantasy, kingdom, abilities
- (Adult) The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern// Keywords: Circus, magic, illusion // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. A truly magical story with plenty for any age
- (Adult) The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1) – Scott Lynch // Keywords: High fantasy, gangs, thieves, comedy, bromance // Suitable for teens? Maybe. Excessive swearing, some violence, very little sexual content. Possibly suitable for mature teens.
- (Adult) The Princess Bride – William Goldman // Keywords: Fantasy, fairy tales, true love, sword fights // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Suitable for any age. A timeless classic.
- (Adult) A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin // Keywords: Fantasy, kingdoms, royalty, politics, conspiracy // Suitable for teens? Thumbs down. Not recommended for younger readers despite its variety of age ranges present. Violence, sexual content, mature language. But good for the adult YA readers who love fandoms and great high fantasy!
- (Adult) Stardust – Neil Gaiman // Keywords: Fairy tale, fairies, unicorn, star // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Absolutely. If I hadn’t heard an interview with Neil Gaiman at the end of the audiobook calling it a fairy tale for adults, I may have classified it as YA. Suitable for any age.
- (YA) Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein // Keywords: Historical fiction, WWII, flying, torture, best friends
- (YA) Grave Mercy – Robin LaFevers // Keywords: France, 1400s, politics, mythology
- (Adult) The Help – Kathryn Stockett // Keywords: 1960s, race, Mississippi, maids // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. I think this is an important book for all ages!
- (Adult) Water For Elephants – Sara Gruen // Keywords: Circus, the Great Depression, romance // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Technically billed as adult but I think there are a lot of things teens would appreciate about this book. Possibly better suited for older teens.
- (YA) Paper Valentine – Brenna Yovanoff // Keywords: Ghost, murder, summer
- (YA) How To Lead a Life of Crime – Kirsten Miller // Keywords: Crime, boarding school, redemption
- (YA) Killer Instinct – S.E. Green // Keywords: Serial killer, high school, mystery
- (Adult) The Spellman Files – Lisa Lutz // Keywords: Private eyes, they’re watching you, family, comedy // Suitable for teens? Some drug use, drug references, and cursing but I think it would be enjoyable for older teens as well
- (Adult) One For the Money – Janet Evanovich // Keywords: Bounty hunter, mystery, New Jersey, comedy // Suitable for teens? Maybe. Good for older teens as well as adults. Janet Evanovich’s books are so much fun with some mature themes but okay for older teens.
- (Adult) The Pact – Jennifer Sturman // Keywords: Mystery, wedding, Diet Coke // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Written for adults but lots of fun! I think this would definitely be okay for older teens.
- (YA) Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell // Keywords: 80s, misfits, family, first love
- (YA/New Adult) Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell // Keywords: College, twins, fan fiction, social anxiety
- (Adult) Attachments – Rainbow Rowell // Keywords: Y2K, e-mail, best friends // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up! Rainbow Rowell’s books are fantastic and I know Attachments is fun and absolutely suitable for many ages. I read it myself in my early 20s and I feel like I need to re-read it because I would appreciate it so much more now!
- (Adult) Landline – Rainbow Rowell // Keywords: Marriage, issues, communication with the past // Suitable for teens? Landline doesn’t come out until July so the verdict is still out on content but from the early reviews, it sounds like this could be amazing for all ages as well!
- (YA) If I Stay – Gayle Forman // Keywords: Tragedy, loss, family, first love
- (YA) Where She Went – Gayle Forman // Keywords: Reuniting, careers, lost love, emotion
- (YA/New Adult) Just One Day – Gayle Forman // Keywords: Europe, college, first love, self-discovery
- (YA/New Adult) Just One Year – Gayle Forman // Keywords: Travel, loss, family, self-discovery
- (YA) The Princess Diaries – Meg Cabot // Keywords: Princess, royalty, family, confidence
- (Adult) Size 12 Is Not Fat – Meg Cabot // Keywords: Mystery, college, murder, pop star // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Some mature content but mostly mild. Set at a residence hall and several (fake) pop culture references!
- (Adult) The Boy Next Door – Meg Cabot // Keywords: Apartment, mystery, neighbors, romance // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Another book I read around the time I was an actual teen and I remember it being fairly appropriate. I can’t remember the details, but Meg Cabot’s work is usually pretty mild on the adult content!
- (Adult) Queen of Babble – Meg Cabot // Keywords: Gossip, London, weddings // Suitable for teens? Thumbs up. Same as above — I think Meg Cabot’s books really fit a wide age range!
Whether you’re a Young Adult reader looking for more Adult books to get into, an adult who isn’t as familiar with YA, or a teacher or librarian looking for recommendations, hopefully you can find a great place to start on this list! These are just some of my favorites that no matter the age are able to appeal to a wide variety of readers.
I’d love to hear what you think! What are your best picks for books with crossover appeal? Are there any specific authors you think appeal to any age? Any Middle Grade books? (Which I don’t have as much experience with) If you find a great book in a different age range, I’d love to hear which one worked for you! Leave me a comment below with your picks or new discoveries!
Looking for more reading recommendations? Here are some more posts to check out!
- The Book Addict’s GUIDE to paranormal, sci-fi, and fantasy: The second in my series of guides! I hard a hard time separating these three so they all got smushed together.
Infographic: A guide and compilation of paranormal, sci-fi, and fantasy recommendations
- The Book Addict’s GUIDE to contemporary: First of many to come! I created a road map/choose your own adventure-style guide to YA contemporary romances. If you’re looking for a good contemp read, start here!
- If You Liked… If I Stay: For fans of IF I STAY, here are a few hand-picked selections of books you should read next!
- If You Liked… The Fault in Our Stars: With so many great YA adaptations hitting the big screen, I wanted to make a lovely graphic of suggestions for people who have enjoyed them! This one kicks off the series with recs for THE FAULT IN OUR STARS fans!