Three Of The Best-Selling Books Of The Year Have Something Unexpected In Common

green-fault_300Veronica Roth’s Divergent series, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska have a few big things in common: They’re all YA, they’re all currently or soon to be major motion pictures, and they all made the top of Nielsen’s list of the bestselling books of 2014 so far.

Publisher’s Weekly put out the whole list, and also points out that five books on Nielsen’s Top 20 list are adaptations of the movie Frozen—clearly, readers are still melting for it. (Sorry if this brings back that earworm.)

The list is particularly timely, given the recent chatter about whether adults should even be reading YA books—which are traditionally targeted at readers ages 12-18—in the first place. (According to one 2012 study, more than half of YA books are bought by adults, often for their own reading.) While Slate recently published an article arguing that YA “books consistently indulge in the kind of endings that teenagers want to see, but which adult readers ought to reject as far too simple,” the response from CNN, Jezebel (title NSFW), The Washington Post and more incited a deep outcry of, essentially, “Read what you want.”

Considering the numbers in Nielsen’s report, though, the debate doesn’t seem to have put a damper on sales. What do you think about the stigma surrounding adults reading YA novels?

In the mood to revisit the books you loved as a kid? Here are 10 that not only hold up, but also get better with age.



  1. Miriam

    Why the hell does it matter what you read? I mean what do they want us to do sit around watching dumb reality television shows? I ask you which would you rather have? People reading a thoughtfully written narrative or people watching honey boo boo?

    July 9, 2014 at 6:58 pm
  2. Laura Lynn

    I’m 53 and I love my YA books! I’ve read all of the books mentioned here and more. YA books definitely make up the majority of my reading. I am not ashamed!

    July 9, 2014 at 7:36 pm
  3. Heidi D

    “Far too simple”? Why do they care? Just because I’m over 18 I should want complicated, messy stories? The simplicity is why I like YA – it’s a stupid debate anyway – people should read what they enjoy – forget the labels. I’ve never understood this particular “stigma” – nor have I personally encountered it. I suspect it’s mostly in the minds of people who have nothing better to do than feel superior about their reading material. Silly.

    July 9, 2014 at 7:47 pm

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