Best Young Adult Books of 2020

best young adult books of 2020

Get ready to add to your TBR list! At the end of 2020, we looked at various “best of” lists and considered the buzziest books at MPPL and–ta dah!–brought you some great reads from a not-so-great year. We’ve selected a little something for all types of readers, whether you’re in the mood for a page-turner or a slow-burner.

Looking for personalized book recommendations? Email teenmail@mppl.org or readers@mppl.org to connect with our book match specialists. Keep reading for a few of our favorite titles, or visit the full Best of YA 2020 list to check out your next read!

These Violent Delights book cover

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

In 1926 Shanghai, eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, heir of the Scarlet Gang, and her first love-turned-rival Roma Montagov, leader of the White Flowers, must work together when mysterious deaths threaten their city

Historical Fantasy; World-building

 

Furia book cover

 

Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez

Seventeen-year-old Camila Hassan, a rising soccer star in Rosario, Argentina, dreams of playing professionally, in defiance of her fathers’ wishes and at the risk of her budding romance with Diego.

Relatable; Inspiring

 

Stamped: Racism, antiracism, and you book cover

 

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

“Reynolds lends his signature flair to remixing Kendi’s award-winning Stamped from the Beginning into a powerful “not a history book ” primer on the historical roots and present-day manifestations of antiblack racism in America.” (from Publishers Weekly)

Issue-oriented; Conversational

 

Enigma Game book cover

 

The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein

Told in multiple voices, fifteen-year-old Jamaican Louisa Adair uncovers an Enigma machine in the small Scottish village where she cares for an elderly German woman, and helps solve a puzzle that could turn the tide of World War II.

Suspenseful; Atmospheric

 

Cemetery Boys book cover

 

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Two sisters–Eri, a fashion model sleeping her way to oblivion, and Mari, a young student–form the center of a novel that documents a series of encounters in Tokyo during the witching hours between midnight and dawn.

Fast-paced; Enchanting

 

Super Fake Love Song book cover

 

Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon

When new-girl Cirrus mistakes self-described nerd Sunny Dae as the lead in a rock band, Sunny rolls with it forming a fake band with his friends, but as the lies continue he risks losing both Cirrus and his friends.

Funny; Romantic

 

Dragon Hoops book cover

 

Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang

“The trials of a high school basketball team trying to clinch the state title and the graphic novelist chronicling them.” (from Kirkus Reviews)

Candid; Triumphant

 

Not So Pure and Simple book cover

 

Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles

High school junior Del Rainey unwittingly joins a Purity Pledge class at church, hoping to get closer to his long-term crush, Kiera.

Authentic; Thought-provoking