I feel like I did not (& probably did not) read as much YA in 2021 as I have done in years past. Not that I purposely didn’t reach for YA, but more so into contemporary romance and adult contemporary fiction. However, the length of my favorite YA books of 2021 is proving me wrong!
With just 2 weeks (!!!) left of 2021, it’s time to bring in my annual favorite & anticipated releases post, starting with my favorite YA books of 2021. Aside from the one mystery/thriller series here, it’s no surprise either that the rest of these books are all contemporary! I’ll be sharing some thoughts on my favorites and have also included honorable mentions below.
Favorite YA Books of 2021
Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson
Morgan Matson is one of my all-time FAVE YA authors. I go into all of her books knowing that they are going to be pure gems, like Take Me Home Tonight. This book following two best friends’ 24-hour NYC adventure was so much fun and I loved the focus on female friendship & growing pains.
Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter
If there’s one book here that I wish I could throw into every reader’s hands, it’s Lynn Painter’s YA enemies-to-lovers rom-com, Better Than the Movies. If you’ve been craving a book with To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before vibes, you absolutely have to pick up this book about a girl who teams up with her neighbor and childhood nemesis to score her dream prom date.
We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Another no surprise that Rachel Lynn Solomon’s 2021 YA release, We Can’t Keep Meet Like This This, is a favorite! The main character, Quinn, and her family run a wedding planning business, so I really enjoyed exploring that premise and their complicated family dynamics. This book had so much that I always love about Rachel Lynn Solomon’s YA books, from romance to relationship develop to discussions on mental health, identity, & religion.
The Inheritance Games & The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Probably the most TikTok famous book/book series on the list, I like many other readers devoured the first two books in Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ The Inheritance Games series in 2021. It’s been a while since I’ve found myself so invested in a YA mystery read, following a sixteen year old girl whose inherited a billionaire’s fortune and has to contend with his family for the rights to his empire.
Anna K: Away by Jenny Lee
Jenny Lee’s Anna K series is among one of the most well-written (and not to mention binge-worthy) YA series. I love the rich & elite teen vibes meets Gossip Girl meets Anna Karenina retelling premise, and this sequel was the perfect escapist reads.
The Marvelous Mirza Girls by Sheba Karim
I will keep throwing all the hype & praise at Sheba Karim’s The Marvelous Mirza Girls. I love the book’s writing style and maturity so much – definitely a great read if you’re someone who normally reaches more for new adult & contemporary romance but want something a little more YA. The book follows a mother-daughter duo who have after experiencing a loss in their family, temporarily relocate to New Dehli.
XOXO by Axie OH
I’ll be the first one to admit that I am not a K-pop fan, but if there’s one book that I LOVED that has a somewhat K-pop inspired book, it’s Axie Oh’s XOXO. I DEVOURED this book in less than a handful of hours, following a girl who has a meet-cute with a K-pop star….and then soon temporarily relocates to a performing arts school in South Korea and is reunited with said star.
It All Comes Back to You by Farah Naz Rishi – It All Comes Back to You is another book that I really want more & more people to pick up. The book has such deep focus on complicated family and sibling dynamics, and me being me, yes there is a slight enemies-to-lovers storyline, as former couple Deen and Kiran must deal with one another again as their brother and sister respectively get engaged to one another.
You Have a Match by Emma Lord
I absolutely loved Emma Lord’s sister-centric YA contemporary, You Have a Match, following two biological sisters who meet for the first time ever at summer camp.Between You Have a Match & Tweet Cute, Emma Lord is for sure a go-to YA author of mine (and I am SO looking forward to her 2022 release, When You Get the Chance.
Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli
Kisses and Croissants by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau
Indestructible Object by Mary McCoy
As If on Cue by Marisa Kanter
The Lucky List by Rachel Lippincott
It’s Kind of a Cheesy Love Story by Lauren Morrill
Between You, Me, and the Honeybees by Amelia Diane Coombs
As the year begins to come to a close, thank you so much for supporting Fangirl Fury in 2021. I hope you unwind with some great books by your side over the next two weeks. Have a happy & safe holiday season, and I wish you a happy & healthy new year!
What were your favorite YA books of 2021? Have you read any of my favorites? Are they any books you think I would like based on my favorites? Share in the comments!