As we know, young adult books are a bit of a vague category. The genre contain a lot of books ranging in topics and subjects. Most of the time these books are great for a broad age group from around 12 to 18 and beyond, but every once in a while we encounter young adult books that are definitely not for anyone under the age of 18. 

Now, being in my 20’s I still consider myself a young adult. I am just starting out in life and just about to be able to say I am in my late twenties. But I 100% classify myself as a young adult.

I have found some pretty amazing sounding books to read, that still fall under the young adult banner. These books are a bit more mature and hold my interest more than a book aimed for, say a twelve year old.

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The books I’ve listed below tackle some subjects that a teenager, particularly a young teenager, should possibly wait to read about. While I can’t say these books are solely for adults, I can’t say they are intended for a younger audience either. Let’s take a look.

*Disclosure: We only recommend books which we love and would read ourselves. This post contains affiliate links, as we are part of the Amazon Services LCC Associate Program, which may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you.

9. The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

Beware. This will keep you up all night  Lisa Gardner

Young, stupid, and married. Alice and Jake just got married and want what every young couple wants. To stay happy forever! They hear about a group they can join that ensures a long happy marriage, So they decide to give it a try. But then they go and break the pact’s rules. What was meant to be a dream will soon become a nightmare that neither of them could have expected. 

8. Verity by Colleen Hoover

Young adult books by colleen hoover

Best selling author Verity Crawford has been seriously injured and cannot write anymore. She’s left her new manuscript unfinished. Her husband Jeremy searches for a ghost author and offers the job to Lowen Ashleigh. Her job is simple; to finish up the manuscript.

Upon arriving, Lowen finds pages and pages to sort through but they are not what she expected. Instead of a fictional novel, she finds a chaotic mess of an unfinished autobiography. As she starts to piece it together she realizes that this book was not meant for any one to read. Ever. The manuscript is filled with shocking admissions of guilt — including one from the night when their family was forever changed. 

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Lowen wants to keep the manuscript a secret like the author intended, but she finds that she is falling for Jeremy. He is grieving, not only from his wife’s injury but from the traumatic event all those years ago. Lowen knows if she showed Jeremy the manuscript, it will free him up enough to entertain the idea of leaving his wife. Now she just has to decide whether or not to show him…

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7. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbery

Glamorous, sexy, compelling – Dolly Alderton, Sunday Times

It is summertime in New York City. The year is 1940 and Vivian Morris arrives to town. She gets a job as a seamstress for Lily Playhouse but Vivian quickly becomes the go to seamstress for all the showgirls. Being able to make something from nothing, she is determined to make it here. Her and her friends are also determined to find joy in NYC as they circumnavigate this war time era. But as everyone knows, a life seemingly full of glamor comes with steep prices to pay and lessons learned only the hard way. 

Young adult books that center around self exploration are the corner stone for any young adult book, and this one seemingly takes the cake by adding a bit more saucy plot line. If this books has intrigues you, we have more book suggestions like this one!

6. It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell

Its always the husband by Michele Cambell

Best friends Jenny, Aubrey, and Kate promise to always be by each other’s side. Life smacks them in the face and we realize twenty years has passed, Kate has married the frat boy party guy, Aubrey married up in to money and Jenny followed the classic path and married the boy next door. But when one friend dies under mysterious circumstances, everyone wants to blame the husband. But what if her best friends know more than we think?

5. The Girl Before by JP Delaney

The girl before by JP delaney

What would you do if you found the rental of your dreams? Beautiful, modern, and perfectly priced? The only caveat — a strict set of rules. Jane decides it’s worth it to have the house of her dreams. But she soon finds out the last tenant met a very mysterious demise in that house. Jane wonders what her story will be now, and if hers echoes the last tenant’s.

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Young adult books like this one are what my nightmares are made of. It is a perfect modern horror for the mature young adult.

4. Losing It by Cora Carmack

Loosing it by cora carmack

What do you do when you’re the only virgin in your group of friends? Well, Bliss Edwards decides she wants to loose it as quickly as possible, and a one night stand is the way to go. But when the time comes, she ends up leaving a gorgeous guy in her bed and high tails it out of there. Thinking she’s left it behind her, she goes to the first day of the last class she has to take in college. However, she recognizes the guy she ditched last night naked in bed. Turns out he’s her new theatre professor…

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3. One to Watch by Kate Stayman

One to watch by kate staman

Like everyone else, Bea a loves to watch reality TV. She herself is a beautiful plus size fashion model, with amazing friends and family. She also has her Instagram followers, who are like a family as well. But after obsessing over the reality tv show Main Squeeze, she decides that she wants to try it out!

Right after she swears off dating, Main Squeeze calls her and wants her to be a contestant. But there is just one rule: don’t actually fall in love. So she jumps head first and goes for it. Getting caught up in all the fashions, boys, and a messy made for TV love life, what could possibly go wrong?

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2. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient by Hele Hoang

This book is scandalous and full of exploration and the search to find what love really is. Stella understands everything that is logical and can be explained by data. But what is not explained by data is love and intimacy. So Stella does what every logical person should do. She hires an escort to explore love and intimacy with. Needles to say, she gets more than she bargained for.

1. Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson

Never have I ever by Joshilyn Jackson

Amy Whey is your picture perfect normal suburban mom. From baking cookies for school to helping her best friend run a book club – she enjoys all the simple things that make her life hers. But all of that comes crashing down when a young woman appears at book club. Angelica Roux— sultry and full of personality that draws people to her manages to lure all of Amy’s friends and families into spilling their secret. Amy won’t spill hers though; she’s got a doozy. Yet somehow Angelica knows what Amy is trying to protect. In an attempt to save everything she has worked for, Amy needs to out smart the devil.

This dark and delightful take on your average suburban life will really show you what a game of cat and mouse is like. Young adult books like this are so fun to read!


And there you have it! 9 books for the young adult who isn’t quite that young. I know a few of these have moved up into the pile to read ASAP. They’re following the trend of new adult books-young characters in a mature setting. Enjoy!


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