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12 Young Adult Contemporary Novels Not Written By John Green

Because YA is not John Green. Thankfully.

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1. The Probability of Miracles – Wendy Wunder


Having had cancer since she was twelve, 17-year-old Campbell Cooper wants nothing more than to travel thousands of miles to the miraculous town of Promise, Maine. In a world where flamingos in the Atlantic and everlasting sunsets exist, the whimsical novel's charm is all thanks to Campbell, who's as interesting as any protagonist can be.

2. Ketchup Clouds – Annabel Pitcher

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A consuming novel about love and betrayal, it tells the story of Zoe and her letter to Stuart Harris, a death row prisoner in Texas. Overcome with guilt, Zoe writes to Harris about the secret she cannot bear to keep to herself. Pitcher's masterful writing manages to keep the book intriguing and the readers guessing down to the last page.

3. Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

Amazon / Via

Set in a Nebraska high school in 1986, two teen form an unlikely friendship through comic books and mixtapes. Eleanor, with her eccentric style and curly red hair, stands out from the crowd. No one want to let her sit on the bus, except Park, the quiet only Asian kid in school. It shows in her writing that Rowell perfectly remembers what it feels like to be young and in love, as she perfectly captures in the book what it feels likes to be found.

4. Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass – Meg Medina

Junior Library Guild / Via

Piddy has enough on her plate trying to adjust to her new school, rush essays for her classes and worry about her missing father. She doesn't have time to deal with someone trying to bully her just because she's not “Latin enough.” A book about bullying isn't always nice, but Medina's strong characterization of Piddy and the antagonist Yaqui gives this book a worthy place on anyone's to-read list.

5. Reality Boy – A.S. King

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Gerald Faust grew up with a barrage of cameras monitoring his every move, his every action aired on TV. Twelve years since the airing of the reality show, Gerald is filled with so much pent up anger he's afraid he might let out soon. As usual, King penned a novel that can be appreciated by young adults and adults alike.

6. She Is Not Invisible – Marcus Sedgwick

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When her father goes missing, Lauren used her wits and skills to track him back. With her 7-year-old brother, the search brought her to New York, where she faced challenges that forced her to see the connections in her world of darkness. Sedgwick penned an elaborate puzzle that will keep readers trying to solve it till the last pages.

7. Life in Outer Space – Melissa Keil

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Sam is a geek who likes Warcraft, horror movies and staying in his room. He has no problems whatsoever with girls—until Camilla comes into his life and leave him no choice but to be part of hers. Keil's debut novel speaks the language of today's generation. It's witty, charming, drops more pop culture reference than you can count, and deserves a spot in every YA lover's bookshelf.

8. Jasper Jones – Craig Silvey

Fictions Truth / Via

Bookish Charlie Bucktin wakes up one night from the urgent knock on his window. It's Jasper Jones, an outcast from the neighboring mining town Corrigan, and he wants Charlie's help. A coming-of-age tale set in the '60s, it tells the story of two young boys, one who discovered a secret, and the other who has helplessly pulled into the gravity of the discovery. Silvey's little gem is often deemed as one of the must-read Australian novels, as it rightly should be.

9. I'll Be There – Holly Goldberg Sloan

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Sam Border only wishes for him and his brother to escape the fearful life they leave. His dreams takes a turn for reality when he meets Emily Bell, who's just as pleased to welcome the Border boys in her family. Sloan's novel reads like a modern fairy tale, blurring the lines between magic and reality. It's an astounding debut novel that showed insight for more whimsical novels from the author.

10. Please Ignore Vera Dietz – A.S. King

Musings of a Reading Mind / Via

Vera is the only one knows the secret behind the death of her best friend Charlie Kahn. She knows most of his secrets, even after he betrayed her. Books that deal with coping with death can be pretty messy. It's a concept that has been overdone, but King takes it for a spin and gives readers a novel that's gripping and emotional. From a compelling plot to fleshed out characters, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is one of the best YA novels to date.

11. Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

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Moving away to college is supposed to be the best thing ever, until Cath's twin sister Wren decides that they shouldn't room together. While Wren lived the life, Cath stays in her dorm room, writing fanfiction and not making any friends. Rowell perfectly understands the language fandoms speak. Through fanfics, literature, and pop culture reference, Cath learns to adapt to college life no matter how hard it may be. It's the perfect book for anyone who understands it too well how to live a life in the internet.

12. Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein

Lizz the Librarian / Via

Set in 1943 during World War II, Code Name Verity is about survival and how one girl figures out how to stay alive without selling her secrets. After surviving a plane crash driven by her best friend Maddie, “Verity” is given the option to reveal her mission as a British spy or be driven to execution. The Michael L. Printz Award Honor book is a nice addition to the growing list of impressive YA novels set during the war.

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