Best Fiction for Young Adults

About the Best Fiction for Young Adults The books, recommended for ages 12-18, meet the criteria of both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens. The list comprises a wide range of genres and styles, including contemporary realistic fiction, fantasy, horror, science fiction and novels in verse.

YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults (BFYA) Committee evolved from a committee established under the School Libraries Section of ALA, which was charged with producing a list of 1930s "Best Books for Young People."  The committee has undergone several changes of focus and names over the years, including the Book Selection Committee (1954), and later the Committee for the Selection of Significant Adult Books for Young People (1963). It became the Best Books for Young Adults Committee (BBYA) in 1966. As publishing for the young adult market grew exponentially (over 2,000 titles per year in 2008) and seven other YALSA selection and award lists for young adults were created since its inception, Best Books for Young Adults was restructured and named Best Fiction for Young Adults by the YALSA Board of Directors at the midwinter meeting in 2010.  

Administered by:

Young Adult Library Services Association logo

2013 Selection(s)

The Brides of Rollrock Island

Author: Lanagan, Margo. Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2012.

On an ungenerous island where life is hard, Misskaella, herself unattractive, discovers she has the power to pull humans from the seals cavorting in the sea. A selkie tale that is unromantic and details the unlovely consequences for future residents.

Every Day

author: Levithan, David. Publisher: Random House/Alfred A. Knopf, 2012.

How can love survive if each day you wake up as a different person?

I Hunt Killers

Author: Lyga, Barry. Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, 2012.

Jazz, the son of one of the most notorious of all serial killers, must come to terms with his upbringing by hunting down a new serial killer in his hometown.

Lions of Little Rock

Author: Levine, Kristin. Publisher: Penguin/Putnam, 2012.

Painfully shy Marlee lives in Little Rock and makes friends with Liz the year after the ‘Nine” integrated. When schools close, these friends decide they can make a difference.

My Book of Life by Angel

Author: Leavitt, Martine. Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers, 2012.

Angel must escape her life of drugs and prostitution before she is forced to do the same for another.

Somebody Please Tell Me Who I Am

Author: Lerangis, Peter and Harry Mazer. Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012.

Ben Bright makes the decision to enlist in the Army. His deployment to the Middle East stresses his relationships with his friends and family, but nothing can prepare them for the way he returns home.

Team Human

Author: Larbalestier, Justine and Sarah Rees Brennan. Publisher: HarperCollins/HarperTeen, 2012.

Vampires may be an everyday part of life, but Mel still isn’t thrilled when her best friend Cathy suddenly wants to become one.

Throne of Glass

Author: Maas, Sarah. Publisher: Bloomsbury, 2012.

Left for dead in a notorious prison work camp, Celaena is given a second chance at freedom by the Crown  Prince himself.  However, this freedom must be won in a cut-throat tournament of assassins, and some of her competitors are not playing by the rules.

The Traitor and the Tunnel

Author: Lee, Y.S. Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2012.

Mary Lang cannot keep herself out of scrapes. Once again, she is thrown into the thick of a murder mystery. This time it involves both the British Royal Family and her own long-lost father. The clues bringer her closer to the truth, but deeper into trouble!


Author: Leveen, Tom. Publisher: Random House, 2012.

Zero didn’t get the scholarship to art school, so she’s stuck in Phoenix trying to figure out how to emulate Dali when she falls for the drummer of Gothic Rainbow.