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Teen Board Question - May 2018, Part 1

Teen Board Monthly Question

Teen Board Question - May 2018, Part 1

Here at Teenreads, we know that our Teen Board members are invaluable to us, as they read across a variety of genres and are able to share their love of reading all different kinds of books with us and our readers. This month, we asked our Teen Board members to tell us about their favorite genres in YA and what makes them so special. To help round out their answers, we also asked them to include a few titles that they feel really exemplify their favorite genres. Read below for the first half of their answers and click here for Part 2.


It is tough picking my favorite genre but if I had to choose it would probably be fantasy. Fantasy books just open the doors to possibilities and there is so much that can happen in a fantasy book that would not happen in any other genre. There can be romance, action and also adventure. In most of the fantasy books I read there is intense world-building and I love that about fantasy books. One book series that perfectly represents the fantasy genre would have to be the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling. The magic system in this book just screams perfection and the world-building is fantastic. If you want a perfect representation of fantasy then pick up the Harry Potter series! --- Abigail D.

My favorite YA genre is fantasy. I lead a pretty sheltered life in Manhattan so love being transported to a whole different world where people have superpowers and it feels like anything is possible. The Throne of Glass series is one of my favorite fantasy series. Every time I read it, I feel as if I'm side by side with Aelin traveling in search of allies, hanging out with her friends and battling against the evil Valg. Their perseverance and courage in the face of unthinkable odds inspire me to face my own problems, which seem so petty and mundane by comparison and make me feel like I can take on the world. --- Alice D.

I usually don't have a genre that I exclusively read, but the genre that I find myself most interested in is magical realism. There really isn't much popularity of magical realism books within the YA cannon, but every single book I've read in the genre is thought-provoking and beautiful, making me think there needs to be a greater emphasis placed on giving more attention to the novels. The thing that sets them apart from many other genres is that magical realism books tend to get quirky and odd, and sometimes dark, making multi-dimensional novels that are distinct among all other books. My favorite magical realism book I have read recently is THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER by Leslye Walton. It's gorgeous and tragic and (like the title implies) rather strange, but it combines to make a shockingly good novel. --- Anna Kate L.

It’s so hard to pick just one genre as my favorite in YA! I’m not someone who is all that loyal to a particular genre and my taste definitely changes a lot, but in the spring and summer when it’s nice and warm and I love to read contemporaries. My favorite (for this time of year) is contemporary because I absolutely love cute summer stories and rom-com-like novels with adorable love stories. Plus, they’re not usually too heavy so I can read them, relax, and not be stressed for the lives of my favorite characters all summer. I would definitely recommend THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING by Morgan Matson and SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE by Morgan Matson, both books are great and super fun reads! --- Ansley K.

This is a really tough question, because I love just about all genres. If I had to choose, I would probably pick either romance or fiction. I would recommend The Mortal Instruments series because it combines the two. It is one of my favorite series and it certainly keeps you on your toes. --- Ashley D.

My favorite genre of young adult fiction has got to be realistic fiction. I like imagining that I could live the lives of the characters. A book that I feel like embodies this is Cath Crowley’s WORDS IN DEEP BLUE because it deals with real-life drama and I feel like the relationships she develops with her own friends is similar to stuff I have gone through and that was nice to read about. --- Becky N.

My favorite genre of young adult fiction would have to be contemporary/contemporary romance. Recently, I have fallen out of the fantasy genre that I loved so much and now all I want to read is contemporary YA. I love these books because they are so relatable, especially now as I am about to graduate high school. My favorite contemporary YA novels right now are SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli, TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN by John Green, and every Rainbow Rowell book ever. I know these recommendations are what you may hear all the time, but they are as good as everyone says they are. --- Bryn D.

My favorite genre would have to be fantasy. I don't read it as often I would like because of how long it takes me to read them (especially during the school year with all my classwork getting in the way) but I love the creativity and world-building behind each story. Though it might not be labeled young adult, one fantasy series I think represents this genre is the Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff. This series has everything: action, love, gore, epic characters. Kristoff also does an amazing job at world-building, putting so much detail into the world that it creates that you really feel like you're there. --- Brynn S.

I always have difficulty choosing favorites, but as of this very moment (it could change in an hour!) my favorite young adult genre is contemporary. I love contemporary because they always have an overall feeling of hope, and of the vastness that future holds. They’re also always super real. As much as I wish I could relate to an awesome fantasy story, I can put my self in the life of a contemporary character much easier. I always feel inspired to go out there and get my life and, of course, I love the romance frequently featured in contemporaries. My current favorite contemporary series is the Creekwood series, with SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA and LEAH ON THE OFFBEAT. They have the perfect mix of lighthearted romance, discovering oneself, and stepping into the future head on. --- Caitlyn K.

My absolute favorite genre of young adult fiction has got to be fantasy. I love reading about these distant lands, magical powers, and mystic creatures. I find reality to be quite a let down compared to the wonder of fantasy. I would definitely recommend the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor because it has all of the elements needed for a perfect fantasy: intriguing worlds, magical characters, a swoon-worthy romance, epic scenes of blood and smoke, and melodrama. Not to mention lyrical writing. I cannot recommend this enough. --- Daniella R.

My all-time favorite YA genre is fantasy! I love reading about new worlds and characters with exciting powers. The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas is a great example of a fantasy series with a fantastical world and characters. Another one of my favorites is the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. This series is technically urban fantasy because it’s set in modern day but I think it is a really interesting “subsection” of the genre and an amazing series in general. --- Danielle F.

I have read a little something from each genre of young adult fiction from mystery to romance, but I think my favorite genre is retellings. Whether it is a retelling of a fairy tale or a historical event, I love to revisit familiar stories and see the interesting ways that the authors can twist them into something new. One of my favorite retellings is MY LADY JANE, which reinvents the story of Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for only a few short days. Another fantastic retelling is SPEAK EASY SPEAK LOVE, which reinvents Shakespeare’s MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, but places it in 1920s New York. Both these stories managed to take something old like history or a play written hundreds of years ago and made them applicable to the young adults of today, which is an incredible feat. --- Ellie T.

My favorite genre of young adult fiction is high fantasy. I just feel like fantasy is too broad of a spectrum and there are different types of fantasy now. I would like to recommend obviously the A Court of Thorns and Roses series and the Vampire Academy series, they are amazing. --- Emily F.

There is no doubt that my favorite YA books involve romance. The type of romance stories I like include dashes of comedy and lots of conflict (especially love triangles). The "fluffy" type of romance is not my cup of tea though. There are so many books that are absolutely amazing reads that it's hard to choose only two! One book I still can't get over is LOVE AND OTHER PERISHABLE THINGS by Laura Buzo. I wish more people knew about this book because it deserves some serious discussion. I think it represents the forbidden and heartbreaking portion of love. It's also more realistic than other stories. The second book that I believe represents YA romance is TILL DEATH DO US PART by Lurlene McDaniel. This is also an underrated novel that NEEDS more recognition. This book represents the fluffy side of YA romance. --- Flor H.

As a reader, I find that I am mostly open to all genres within YA fiction, but recently, I have been tending to read contemporary more frequently because of my busy schedule. Since I am reading less than normal, contemporary stories are perfect for me at the moment because they are easy to get through and relatable. Other genres within the YA sphere, such as fantasy or science fiction, require much more world-building than a contemporary story, which can make them difficult to get into if the reader is not entirely immersed within the story. Contemporary plots are more often than not centered in the present-day, allowing the reader to breeze through them easily without getting bogged down within a complex world. Contemporary YA authors have also been making more of an attempt to create characters that are of different sexualities, races, ethnicities and mental health backgrounds, which are, sadly, rarely seen within other YA subgenres, although this is starting to gradually change. Contemporary YA stories allow more readers to find themselves within novels --- a definite positive for me. Two of my favorite contemporaries are MOXIE by Jennifer Mathieu and QUEENS OF GEEK by Jen Wilde. Both of these stories are incredibly diverse and powerful. I found myself deeply resonating with the content and the characters. For me, these two stories strongly define everything that the subgenre of contemporary YA should be. --- Gabby B.

It is super difficult to decide on my favorite YA genre, but my go-to pick is fantasy. I always know that I am going to enjoy a fantasy novel because I love exploring new worlds. A few books that exemplify the YA fantasy genre for me are AN EMBER IN THE ASHES, SIX OF CROWS, THE WRATH AND THE DAWN and REBEL OF THE SANDS. All of these are fantastic, easy-to-read YA books that will start any reader off in the right direction. --- Grace P.

My favorite genre of young adult fiction is either fantasy or contemporary. I love mixing it up between high fantasy books but also those feel good romance ones as well. THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas is a great representation of young adult fantasy while anything by Morgan Matson is the perfect YA contemporary. --- Ilona K.

My favorite YA genre is what Barnes & Noble calls YA Paranormal Romance. This is also known as Urban Fantasy. Sadly, there is a lack of that in publishing at the moment. I was reading a great blog post by Wendy Higgins the other day that talked about how, although there are plenty of readers who want Paranormal books, publishers just don't want to buy it. This makes me sad, but I know it will come back around. Publishing always does. As for books that represent the genre, there are definitely a few! My favorites are SWEET EVIL by Wendy Higgins, VAMPIRE ACADEMY by Richelle Mead, and CITY OF BONES by Cassandra Clare. These are all older, but I feel like the best Paranormal books all came out in the 2010s. I also love high fantasy, which there's a ton of right now, so I'm enjoying that until Paranormal comes back around. --- Isabel C.