My Facebook and Twitter feeds are chockfull of the best YA blogs and websites I’ve liked or followed over the years to learn more about YA. It can be overwhelming, but so many awesome websites and blogs are available nowadays to introduce readers to book recommendations, reviews, fun articles, and more. One of the best things is that social media and websites allow YA fans to form a community. Here are some of what I consider to be the best YA blogs and websites for YA fans with great interaction. Have any favorites to add to my list? Leave a comment below! I love to learn about new YA sites worth checking out.
Epic Reads is one of the best sites out there to follow the YA scene. Not only do they release breaking news about just-released bombshells like a new trailer for a YA adaptation, they also create some of the most original and fun articles themselves. Just looking at their blog you’ll find hilarious quizzes—“Pick an Oscar Nominated Film, Get A Book Rec!”—cover reveals, and playful, fun activities. They know what they do best; sometimes their articles are labeled: “Procrastinate Here!.” The site is run by HarperCollins, a major publisher, but Epic Reads highlights books from other publishers, too. One of their strengths is building community among readers.
The YA bookshelf is a community of YA authors, readers and bibliophiles who avidly read and review good books for teens, and are always on the lookout for the best young adult reads on the market. The site offers a ton of resources on everything YA, including an epic list of the best YA blogs and sites, as well as the top YA influencers. They also host a lot of giveaways and frequently run contests giving away free bestselling books, swag and other special prizes. Don’t forget to check out their book reviews and hop on over to their sister site UrbanEpics.com to learn more about their founder, Derek Murphy, and his fascinating fiction journey!
It’s no secret that a good chunk of YA literature readers are adults. Some studies estimate that as much as 70% of YA readers are between the ages of 18 and 64. Sure, some of us want to relive the teen experience—though would you really want to be in Katniss’ world?—but others just appreciate YA’s increasing commitment to diversity, willingness to take on real issues, and genreblend like it’s nobody’s business. The idea behind Forever Young Adult capitalizes on that adult audience while also still appealing to all ages. With frequent giveaways and an “open thread” for people to keep open and chat while they work, Forever Young Adult is a fun community for YA fans, young and old, to trade recommendations and discover new books.
Book Riot is one of the leading book websites out there. Their sophisticated yet fun style is not afraid to break down issues in publishing and reading, calling out bias when they see it. Part of Book Riot‘s winning formula is featuring a medley of voices and book coverage. On any given day, you might see articles about saying no to epilogues, Mexican authors to read, and your favorite romance series. And as for YA, they’ve got plenty of that. Follow their YA articles through the tag, and definitely check out the weekly “3 on a YA Theme” posts, on topics as varied as Spy Stories and Misfit Teens. Their podcasts are a must listen, too.
If you were asked who would give great book recommendations, you might say a librarian. Though the stereotype of being paid to read all day—or reading every book in the library’s collection—still exists, it’s not quite true for librarians. That being said, librarians are fierce and prolific readers. Young adult services and high school librarians collaborate on the YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association—a division of the American Library Association) website, The Hub. This blog contains your standard book reviews and lists, but it also includes articles of critical thought about issues in YA today. If you want to level up your YA reading, pay attention to the open dialogue happening on The Hub (and the Facebook page, which can be a little insider-y but still accessible and thought provoking).
Bonus: YALSA gives out the Michael L. Printz Award every year, pretty much the most prestigious award for Young Adult literature. Previous winners include John Green for Looking for Alaska (2006), John Corey Whaley for Where Things Come Back (2012), and I’ll Give You the Sun by (2015) Jandy Nelson. To get a sense of what YA is considered the best of the very best, take a look at YALSA’s Printz page. You can also find more rankings, like the annual list of “Great Graphic Novels.”