Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Adult Novels I Would Recommend to YA Readers

adult novels for ya readers

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is focused on recommending novels for a specific group of people. I often see readers who focus mainly on YA mention that they would like to pick up more adult novels, but don’t know where to start. So, mine is a list of books that share similar themes with many YA novels and would make for a good transition into the world of adult fiction. 

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles 
In 1937, a chance encounter takes Katey Kontent from struggling secretary into the exclusive upper ranks of Jazz Age New York City. 

The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison 
After losing his family in a horrific accident, Benjamin Benjamin becomes a professional caregiver for wheelchair-bound teenager Trevor, who ends up showing him how to heal.

The Passage by Justin Cronin
A breach at a US Government facility unleashes a disease that quickly changes the Amercian people. Big, layered, vampire-ish goodness. 

Lexicon by Max Barry
Words are weapons that can be used to persuade in this alternate version of the United States, where gifted “poets” can use language to unlock the minds of others. 

The Last Girlfriend on Earth by Simon Rich
A collection of short (very short!), hilarious stories about finding, falling in and losing love. 

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
After fourteen year-old June loses her favorite uncle to a new illness, a mysterious man she meets at his funeral helps her heal. 

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
Fame, jealousy and relationships all collide in Wolitzer’s amazing novel about a group of friends who meet as teens and stay in touch through adulthood. 

Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman
In a collection of memories, arrest records, diary entries and social worker reports, Girlchild tells the story of Rory Hendrix, desperate to climb up from the Reno trailer park where she lives with her mother.

The Love Song of Jonny Valentine by Teddy Wayne
Eleven year-old Jonny Valentine is a mega-star, but everything he does is pre-packaged, monitored or staged. A funny but insightful look into the world of pop stardom. 

In Between Days by Andrew Porter
Chloe Harding gets kicked out of her East Coast college, but refuses to tell anyone why. Her return home to Houston sets of a chain of tense events that make In Between Days hard to put down. 


  • Lauren @ Books, Tea & Me

    I really want to read Tell the Wolves I’m Home — I’ve heard such good things about it! However, I have to say I hated Rules of Civility. It’s one of the few books I’ve had to DNF because it was just so dull. But I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • Great list!! I love that a chunkster like The Interestings is on there, too. Definitely a good choice for someone wanting to venture into more adult novels.

    • It definitely shares some of those same themes, especially in the beginning, and makes a really good transition by the end.

  • Ciska van der Lans

    Love your list!! Have a few of them on my TBR pile.

  • Nice list! Good thing that YA readers want to move into adult fiction just as I start reading YA (and liking SOME so far)

  • Sarah Says Read

    Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a GREAT pick! (I often see it confused with YA anyways.) And I just finished Lexicon last night, it was great! Definitely perfect for high schoolers.

    • I was a little iffy about putting that one on here (along with Age of Miracles and Golden Boy, which I ended up not going with), because they are sometimes seen as YA, but I added it anyway because I love it so much :)

  • I read The Passage, and recommend it despite its length. I have Lexicon but hesitated to read it back when. Not sure now if I would like it. But I guess you found it a good read if you are recommending it now. Thanks!

  • Wow, great list! I’ve read The Interestings and Jonny Valentine, but would love to check out more of these. A couple I did avoid because I thought they were YA to begin with. But I’ll have to add them to the list!

    • I think Tell the Wolves I’m Home is sometimes considered YA because it has a teenage narrator, but it has more adult themes, too.

  • I need to check out some of these books. I’ve heard of some of them, but want to add some more to my TBR pile.

  • Lindsey Stefan

    This is a great category! I don’t read a lot of YA, but you feature several books that I have read and loved or am looking forward to reading. :)

  • Eva

    Great pick of to whom to recommend and I love this list — definitely going to check out some of these books!

    My TTT

  • Iris

    I’ll check some of these out! I used to read lots of adult fiction, but I feel like the only thing I’ve been reading the past year is YA. Great recommendations
    x IrisjeXx

  • Fly to the Sky

    Ohhh! I almost never read adult fiction so this is definitely a cool list to see! A couple of these seem fantastic! I will definitely be looking to add these to m TBR! Tell the Wolves I’m Home sounds incredible! Thanks for these great recs!
    My TTT

  • Jennine G.

    Glad to see The Passage on there since I just bought it! I didn’t realize it was vampires though! I’m picky about monster stuff, as I don’t generally enjoy it.

    • It’s almost an impossible book to describe, you really just have to jump in – they’re not really vampires, though they have some of the same tendencies, because they’ve been turned because of a disease. It’s a pretty complex book, I loved it.

      • Jennine G.

        Cool! Can’t wait!

  • This is a super awesome, amazing idea for a list! I am especially glad to see The Last Girlfriend on Earth here, since I think it’s a PERFECT link from YA to adult fiction.

  • Sam_TinyLibrary

    Rules of Civility is such a perfect pick for this list, and it’s an awesome book.

    I’m disappointed I didn’t like The Passage more, I wanted to but I found it slightly tedious.

    • I can see how The Passage could feel tedious, especially if you’re not into it from the beginning, because it’s so long.

  • I’ll have to check some of these out ! I have Passage and Lexicon. The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving looks interesting.

    • The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving is a great blend of really touching and hilarious, it was one of my favorites from last year.

  • Words for Worms

    Tell the Wolves I’m Home is probably my favorite book of the year! Such a great segue for a YA reader. This is a great list!

  • Jenny @ Reading the End

    Wonderful idea for a list, and wonderful list! I particularly endorse Tell the Wolves I’m Home — it’s my favorite book of this year too, I think.

  • Not only do I love this, but I am totally going to add the rest of what i haven’t read to my to-read list! You’ve been coming up with some great lists: this, the podcasts. . . keep it up!!! And they look beautiful, too!

    • Thank you, dear! Do you see all the love for Tell The Wolves I’m Home? If you haven’t read it, I think it needs to go to the top of the list!

      • I haven’t read it yet. I actually checked it out from the lib one time but never actually picked it up to read. I guess I’ll have to re-check it out!

  • I’m so happy to see GIrlchild, Tell the Wolves I’m Home on this list, and The Passage on here. And I think you’re right, they definitely will appeal to both Adult and YA readers. I’ve been meaning to read The Love Song of Johnny Valentine, mostly because I like the cover and title – I’ve seen mixed reviews. I JUST (as in two minutes ago) put Lexicon on my to read list because Sarah Say Read recommended it. LOVE this list.

  • I haven’t read these books, but Lexicon sounds interesting. Especially for me, since I’m a linguist to be ;)