Top Ten Crossover Books for YA Readers to Try


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature from The Broke and the Bookish. This week we’re counting down the Top Ten Books To Give To Readers Who Have Never Read X (examples: New Adult novels, historical fiction, a certain author, books about a certain topic, etc.) I wavered between writing about New Adult or Audiobooks but I thought I’d write about something I haven’t talked about on the blog before: Crossover Books.

I like to alternate between reading YA and Adult Fiction, and lately I’m reading more A than YA. Crossover books are books that are written with an adult reader in mind but also appeal to YA readers. The term is kind of broad because a good book is a good book and can be enjoyed by any age. When I was a teen I read adult fiction, mystery and romance and now I’ve added YA to the mix. My own teen has very literary taste and also leans more toward adult fiction. Basically I think everyone should read what they want, though I still had fun considering this topic.

So, coming from a reader of YA and Adult fiction these are some books that I think have crossover appeal: (Bonus: all of these are good audiobooks as well)

Sci-Fi / Dystopia / Post-Apocalyptic 

1. The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey – This book transcends YA/Adult categorization, and also makes non-zombie readers believers. This is a tense, chilling thriller that makes you think.

2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – If you haven’t read this yet, this sci-fi read is a lot of fun for fans of pop culture, and 80s aficionados. The movie adaptation rumors seem to be gaining traction again, and I’d love to see this one on the big screen someday. (Review)

3. California by Eden Lepucki – I’m about 75% of the way through this one and it’s a realistic scary sort of post-apocalyptic/ survival story. It’s about a couple (Cal and Frida) that leaves LA when everything falls apart, but return when they find themselves expecting a child. Their new community is secretive and threatens to tear Cal and Frida apart. (Not sure if that’s literally or not, I haven’t finished the book-ha!)

Contemporary / Humor

4. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – This is such a quirky, fun, feel-good book. It’s about a socially awkward genetics professor who decides it’s time to find a wife. Rosie breaks all his rules for his ideal mate but finds himself caught under her spell anyway. (Review)

5. One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak – You may know Novak from The Office or The Mindy Project (Mindy Kaling’s book is also a great crossover book!) There’s something for everyone in this witty, offbeat short story collection. (Review)

Teen protagonist

6. The Fever by Megan Abbott – I actually thought this was a YA book when I read it, and like Dare Me it walks the line between mature YA and Adult. It’s about a mysterious health epidemic that targets teen girls. (Review)

7. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay – This is technically considered New Adult but it’s an Alex award winner this year and I think it has wide-ranging appeal. Nastya and Josh have suffered huge losses in their lives and have pushed everyone away as a coping mechanism. They form an uneasy alliance and things really get intense.

8. Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin – This is another Alex award winner that is equally shelved as YA and Adult on Goodreads. Golden Boy centers on an intersex teen and this book is powerful and makes you think about gender roles and identity. (Review)

9. Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt – This book is set in 1987 around the height of the AIDS epidemic. It’s about a 14-year-old girl that lost her beloved uncle to the disease and begins a secret friendship with his partner.

For Book Lovers in general

crossover books


10. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin – A bookstore owner mourning the loss of his wife gets the surprise of his life when a baby is left in his shop. This book has a lot of surprises, mystery, quirky characters, and of course BOOKS! (Review)

I started a crossover bookshelf on Goodreads with many more titles if you’re interested.

Want more crossover book recs?  There is an annual ALA award called the Alex Award that celebrates the “ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.”  And School Library Journal has an excellent “Adult Books 4 Teens” blog with lots of great suggestions.

Do you also switch off between Adult Fiction and YA? What crossover books do you recommend?



20 thoughts on “Top Ten Crossover Books for YA Readers to Try

  1. Great list! I loved The Sea of Tranquility.
    I read most Adult myself but I do like the YA Night World Series by L.J. Smith.

    Sharon @ Sharon's Book Nook! recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday #2
  2. EM says:

    I’ve heard nothing but awesome things about Ready, Player One and The Sea of Tranquility 😀 I hope to check those out soon 😀

    Awesome list!

  3. Alison says:

    Fantastic idea! I did the opposite for my list and listed YA books that might appeal to adults. I really want to read a lot of the books on your list, especially Tell the Wolves I’m Home.

  4. I loved Golden Boy. It’s such a powerful read. I’m really intrigued by The Fever! I need to check some of these books out! Great choices!

  5. Sofia says:

    I really want to read “The Rosie Project” and “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry”! My TTT

  6. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz says:

    I want to read California!

    Here’s my list of nonfiction you can’t resist!

  7. Ready Player One is perfect for this list!

    bermudaonion (Kathy) recently posted: At the movies: 22 Jump Street
  8. This was a great idea for a list topic. Although I’m not sure I would put The Girl With All the Gifts on it! That one felt clearly adult for me, even though the MC is a child. I’m very curious to read California, and I might have to buy that one.

    Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted: Unexpectedly Sinister: THROUGH THE WOODS by Emily Carroll – Review
  9. Cayce says:

    Golden Boy is such a powerful novel. And I LOVED Ready Player One and Sea of Tranquility. 🙂 The Girl with All the Gifts and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry are on my tbr and I might read Tell the Wolves I’m Home at some point too 🙂

  10. I read a lot of both adult and YA and I love crossover titles that blend the best of both worlds. 🙂 Ready Player One is a perfect pick as well as The Girl With all the Gifts. I’ll be reading California soon! Glad to hear you’re enjoying it. 🙂 Great post!

  11. I love this topic! I have a few of these on my TBR – Ready Player One and The Girl With All the Gifts, I hope to read soon! If you haven’t read Vicious by Victoria Schwab I definitely recommend it! And it has crossover appeal!

    Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

    Nicole @ The Quiet Concert recently posted: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle
  12. Emily says:

    Ooh good recommendations!! I really want to read Sea of Tranquility and Tell the Wolves I’m Home. And I had no idea about that award list — I’ll be checking it out immediately!!

  13. Yes, yes, yes to The Rosie Project! What a fun book that is. I kind of want to read it again 🙂

  14. What an awesome idea for a topic this week! Seriously, I don’t know how people are just so creative, because I certainly am not. This is exactly the kind of list I’ve been looking for since most of the time YA is fun, but I like a little more meat to my stories. Thanks for this list! 🙂

  15. she says:

    Although I’m not into dystopian stories, I loved The Girl with All the Gifts (although I wasn’t a fan of that title). It was intense, interesting and the plot was nothing like I’ve ever read.

  16. Mara says:

    I would also say Me Before You by Jojo Moyes has nice crossover appeal with contemporary romance. I just read it and it was full of awesomeness.

  17. YES TO THIS LIST! A few of these I currently have checked out from the library, and I am excited to get to them. One day, I will listen to Ready Player One! And The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is one of my favorite reads this year! LOVE!
    Thanks for stoppin’ by! Have a great week!

    Jennifer @ A Librarian's Library recently posted: Finding Truth in Fiction: A Book Discussion of Landline
  18. I love the concept of this list. Many of the books you’ve listed are either ones I really enjoyed (basically Mr. Fikry himself) or ones I’ve been meaning to read (all of your listed spec-fic listings).

    joey via. thoughts and afterthoughts

    Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts recently posted: [Review] A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness
  19. Alisa says:

    I really want at some point to try Ready Player One!

  20. Great suggestions! I read The Rosie Project a few weeks ago and loved it. It will always baffle me why The Sea of Tranquility isn’t YA (they’re in high school!), but you know NA confuses me and I guess the ALA considers new adult to be adult if they gave it an Alex Award? Weird!

    Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages recently posted: Pub Date: Summer Beers

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