Young adult fantasy novels are everywhere. The truth of it is, it seems that everywhere you look for new young adult books, the more YA fantasy you find. Every list, suggestion or recommendation out there is about a more fantastical realm than the last. In fact, there are so many-admittedly great- young adult fantasies out there that they tend to overshadow the wonderful young adult literature being published in other sub genres. 

Mystery, romance, horror or otherwise, there are a multitude of talented authors churning out underrated content on the regular. Let’s take a look at just a fraction of the YA content out there to tickle your bookworm fancy.

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*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.

Young Adult Books: The Mystery


The young adult genre doesn’t get nearly enough credit for it’s solid work in the mystery genre. From undeniable classics like Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys to more modern series like Enola Holmes (now getting quite a bit more credit thanks to Millie Bobby Brown and Netflix), it’s a style that lends itself incredibly well to the sleuthing teen.


These days, teens tracking down killers and solving missing persons cases are taking over the mystery genre. Everyone loves a good caper solved by Scooby-Doo and the gang, and young adult books centered around a mystery are the perfect literary dive into that world. It’s a wonderful sub genre for teens and adults alike, and with authors like Karen M. McManus and Kit Frick around, I don’t think that teen sleuthing will be dying down any time soon. I’m so grateful.

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Young Adult Books: The Romance


This sub genre might get the most street cred after fantasy, thanks to titans like Netflix picking up rights and churning out franchises. Films like To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and The Kissing Booth have added enormous popularity to the young adult romance. On the big screen, titles like The Fault in Our Stars and Love, Simon (based on Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda) bring viewers in droves. 


Whether it’s a cute romantic comedy or a drama about first love, young adult books are the perfect outlet for romance. As long as there are teens falling in love, there will be teen romance a plenty on the shelves.

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Young Adult Books: The Horror


Ah, this reader’s soft spot. There’s a reason that teens are so often the major focus of horror media. There’s something additionally terrifying about young people in danger, or having to get out of it. It ups the stakes and heightens the fear for the characters as well as the reader. Young adult books rarely get the credit that they deserve for the horror they put out into the world.


Whether you’re looking for a slasher, a haunting or a story about a monster young adult fiction offers horror every bit as terrifying as the fare meant for an older audience. This sub genre is perfect for the burgeoning horror fan. Much of my own love of all things spooky stemmed from the books I consumed as a teen, and it’s a love affair that’s lasted to this day. 

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Next time you’re browsing the shelves at your local bookstore or library, be sure to take a second look through the young adult books. I can guarantee you’ll be surprised by what you find. Happy hunting!

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