Thirty YA Books that Changed My World

Back in the earlier part of June, Cait @ Notebook Sisters posted her version of Epic Read’s meme about 30 YA books that changed their world. I’m now stealing the idea and posting my top 30 as well! And because I’m so into categories, I’ve split my books into the reasons why they changed my world.

Changed thinking

The Fault In Our Stars || The Beginning of Everything || If I Stay || Allegiant || Fangirl || Ignite Me || Looking for Alaska || The Giver || To Kill a Mockingbird

The Fault In Our Stars – it’s okay to thing big and ponder your place in the universe (and maybe be a bit pretentious), but don’t forget that even the smallest action can change a person’s life; and “you don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have some say in who hurts you”.

The Beginning of Everything – seeing someone in a way that makes them more than they really are will only damage relationships

If I Stay – would I choose to stay? If given the choice to leave this world, would I be brave enough to stay, despite the wreckage I may face?

Allegiant – what does it truly mean to be selfless and brave?

Fangirl – there is always someone, somewhere, who will love you just as you are, and maybe in that you will change into a better version of yourself

Ignite Me – your first love doesn’t have to be your last love; people come into our lives for a seasons sometimes, and it’s okay to say goodbye

Looking for Alaska – “the only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive”; and “we need never be hopeless, because we are never irreparably broken.”

The Giver – I wish I could remember more about this book (I read it in 9th grade almost 6 years ago), but I know that I was thinking about the themes and ideas for days after

To Kill a Mockingbird – does being a child mean your opinions are invalid?

Rough times

Me Since You || Ender’s Game || Eragon || Perks of Being a Wallflower || Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour || The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Me Since You – I identified with this story in so many ways it’s scary. But reading about it forced me to face my own real life issues, and I almost went through the stages of grief along with the main character. In the end, I wept and wept in the most beautiful moment of catharsis that I desperately needed.

Ender’s Game – You know that time in your life where you think you’re all alone in your uniqueness and you think no one will understand you? Well – this book came along during that time. I saw a lot of myself in Ender, and the book was my companion during college.

Eragon – I read this book OVER AND OVER in my elementary and jr. high days. Whenever I was bored, or basically any negative emotion – I read this book. It was my comfort blanket.

Perks of Being a Wallflower – Similar to Ender’s Game in that I felt understood in a hard year of high school.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour – I actually read Me Since You right about the same time as Amy & Roger, and the themes of this one were very similar, as far as dealing with loss. Another message I needed to hear to work through some of my issues.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – I read this for my final project in college, examining the parallels between the series and the Bible. I was struggling as a Christian, and this one really helped with the spiritual journey, and understand some of the tenets of my faith.

Reading more

Dragonspell || The Final Storm || Harry Potter || Crane || Maximum Ride || The Phantom Stallion || City of Bones || Fablehaven

Dragonspell – This was one of the first dragon books I read, and I actually found it at my church library. It’s still one of my favorites to this day, and I have the whole series that I stare at lovingly each time I pass it on my bookshelf.

The Final Storm – I really don’t remember much of this series, but that this is the third book, and I wept buckets at the end. I just know that it really impacted me when I was 12 ish.

Harry Potter – Does anything need to be said about this series? I’ve been reading it since I was 8, and it’s essentially shaped my childhood.

Crane – I think this is the fourth book in the series, but it was my favorite. I’m pretty sure this is the beginning of my love for the “girl disguises herself as a boy to embrace her full badassness” trope. Plus, the martial arts focus was interesting to me.

Maximum Ride – This was the only book about angels that I’d read before Angelfall, and I’ve only read the first three. But I was absolutely enthralled with the first book, and couldn’t put it down.

The Phantom Stallion – This was the oldest series I can remember reading, and there was like 20 something books. I read them ALLLLL and it fed my horse-loving self.

City of Bones – I’ve told this story before: COB returned me to reading as an adult. It may not be a literary masterpiece, but it showed me that reading isn’t just college textbooks.

Fablehaven – I haven’t read the final book, but I loved all the ones before it. It was another that fed my imagination and need for magic.


The Lightning Thief || Lola and the Boy Next Door || Champion || Steelheart || The Assassin’s Blade || The Winner’s Curse || Dreams of Gods and Monsters

The Lightning Thief – I was giggling pretty much 90% of the book, and there were also some unexpected feels and huge emotional attachments I didn’t expect. This was the first series from last summer that just made me relax and lose myself in a book for a few hours.

Lola and the Boy Next Door – Anna and the French Kiss started the journey, but Lola solidified my conversion to the idea that not all fluffy contemporary is bad! Plus, CRICKET BELL ❤

Champion – Why is a book that made me sob horrifyingly for a good ten minutes on this list? Because it was amazing, that’s why. It was fast-paced, heartbreaking, and so realistic that I just could not put down the book.

Steelheart – WORLD BUILDING. And character building. It was all fabulous. Plus, X-Men meets futuristic with flipped bad-guy/good-guy battles? I’m all in!

The Assassin’s Blade – I never thought I’d love novellas, but at more than 400 pages this isn’t really a “collection of novellas” – it’s a novel. I loved stepping back and seeing Celaena’s origins, and SAAAAMMM (insert Dean Winchester yelling SAMMAY right *here*)

The Winner’s Curse – I was transported into a completely new world, and it had all of the tropes I love: aristocrat/slave separation, forbidden romances between castes (that doesn’t turn whiney), war, politics, secrets – oh man it was everything.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters – I don’t think I could say anything that I didn’t say in my review, but I’ll repeat that this book gave me ALL THE FEELS. I loved the characters, their relationships, the plot, the villains – all of it. And DAT EPILOGUE ❤

So there’s my top 30 YA books that changed my world! Any of these make your list?

PS: Don’t forget to enter my blogoversary giveaway!

23 thoughts on “Thirty YA Books that Changed My World

  1. I love this list and your break up of the reasons. I might just take part in this tag! 😀

    Yes, Harry Potter has been with me through thick and thin. Me Since You as well helped me get over my grudges and the losses I’ve endured. The Fault in Our Stars reflects my thoughts and Perks of Being a Wallflower helped me empathize better.

    As I said, I love this list!! <33

  2. Oh oh, I love your list so so much. MAGICAL is all I can say. And I love how you split them up…perfection. And so many on your list would be on mine too. (Gosh 30 is not enough.) Yes yes to TFIOS and Allegiant and TKaM and so many others. Eeep, and thanks for linking to me. x)

  3. Ooh I want to do this!!! I love how you separated it into categories of why they affected you so much. I’m already thinking of all the books I would want to put on the list!

    *sigh* I wish I was more of a crier sometimes lol. There are definitely books I’ve read where I feel like I SHOULD’VE cried, but didn’t and it kind of bothers me. Like Me Since You! I remember telling you that I got “teary eyed” and you were like “WHAT?!” haha. That book affected me SO MUCH emotionally, yet still I wasn’t able to cry like I felt like I should be :/ Something’s clearly wrong with me lol

  4. I’m not sure how to comment because LOOK AT ALL THOSE BOOKS. But I totally agree with your last category and how PJO, Champion and The Winner’s Curse are all there. 😉

  5. I’m so glad you added explanations because as I was looking through the first batch of covers I was instantly wondering why 🙂

    The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a big one for me too. For years as a kid the first three Narnia books (The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is the first book and Prince Caspian is the second) would take turns being my favorite. But it was usually Eustace and his story of how he became not a dragon anymore that would bring me back to Dawn Treader.

    • For a second there I was confused about the Narnia books – but then I remembered I have the set that arranges them in chronological order.

      I love Eustace, even if he was a pill of a character at first.

      • yeah, I’m old school and I don’t like them in chronological order 🙂 I almost just wrote “the first three books” but then realized that might not mean what I thought it would mean so I figured I’d clarify.

        Eustace was the only thing I thought the movie got right – because he is such a pill but then he has a great character arc that the actor pulled of really well.

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  8. I love this list, wifey!

    Ohmygosh your reason for why Fangirl is on the list … *sobs quietly in the corner* Seriously, that’s exactly why I love it. And also the fact that I pretty much AM Cath, haha. I only hope there is a Levi for me (and you) out there! THERE BETTER BLOODY BE *shakes fist*

    Phantom Stallion. Phantom. Stallion. This is why we are married ❤

    Oh GOD CHAMPION. I barely ever cry in books and I actually COULD NOT SEE THE PAGES when I was reading this book. Day. DAAAAAAAY MY BABYYYYY.

    Uhm, do not even mention Sam to me, Kayla. DO NOT EVEN.


    • Cath is definitely our long lost sister xD I’M TAKING IT UP WITH GOD IF THERE’S NO LEVI FOR US.

      *wedding bells in the distance*

      I saw a piece of fanart from the Champion epilogue yesterday and started crying again… CAN’T HANDLE IT.

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