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17 YA Novels That Are Definitely Morally Complicated

Although, let's be real, what YA novel isn't complicated?

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3. The Death House by Sarah Pinborough

Titan Books

Toby lives in the Death House, where he, and the others who live there, are studied for any sign of sickness to determine if it's time to send them to the sanatorium where no one ever returns.


5. Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn

St. Martin's Griffin

When 17-year-old Sadie Su returns to her hometown she finds it difficult to stay out of the trouble and quickly gets caught up in a tangled web with her childhood friend, Emerson, and 15-year-old Miles Tate.

6. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Henry Holt and Co.

When Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that will make him rich he gathers a crew of outcasts to get the job done, but will they be able to work together and succeed?

8. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard


Mare Barrow has Red blood, which automatically makes her a slave to the Silver-blooded elite. But when she discovers she has powers of her own she's quickly thrown into the Silver court where she has to play a dangerous game to survive.


9. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Feiwel & Friends

Cinder is a giftet mechanic and cyborg, making her a second class citizen. When her life becomes intertwined with Prince Kai's she finds herself in the middle of an intergalactic struggle that could change her world's future forever.

10. The Young Elites by Marie Lu

G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever that swept through her nation. Now she has powers she doesn't fully understand and has to decide who she can trust while running from those who hunt her.

12. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Balzer + Bray

This is the story of Roza, a beautiful girl who is taken from her quiet town and imprisoned by a mysterious man, and Finn, the only witness, who can't forgive himself for being unable to identify her kidnapper.


13. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Viking Books for Young Readers

Amani Al'Hiza is a gifted gunslinger who wants to leave the back-country town she lives in. When she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, she realizes he may be her perfect escape route.

15. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir


Laia is a slave that goes undercover into the Martial Empire's greatest military academy to spy for rebels who will save her brother. While there she has to learn how to survive and who to trust.

16. The Walking Dark by Robin Wasserman

Knopf Books for Young Readers

In the town of Oleander, Kansas, 12 people were murdered in the space of a few hours. Can five survivors of the killing day put aside their differences to work together and save their town?

17. Every Last Promise by Kristin Halbrook


Kayla saw something at a party she wasn't supposed to. Now she's coming home for her senior year and she knows the only way to get her old life back is to keep quiet but should she tell the truth about what really happened that night?