The best young adult books of 2017

Every year our staff vote for their favourite books, albums, films and TV shows of the past 12 months. Here are our top 10 young adult books of the year, voted for by Readings' staff, and displayed in no particular order.

(You can find all our best picks for books, CDs & DVDs of 2017 here.)


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas delivers an authentic and unforgettable teenage voice with Starr, who is the only witness to a fatal shooting of her unarmed friend by a police officer. This compassionate and affecting story is imbued with big emotions and real-life politics, complete with a wry sense of humour and a warming dash of hope.

Bronte Coates


My Life as a Hashtag by Gabrielle Williams

A modern cautionary tale: be bloody careful what you post on the internet. 16-year-old MC learns this the hard way, making a mistake she doesn’t realise anyone else can see. As always, Williams has crafted an instantly familiar and quintessentially Australian teenage story. The banter and dialogue between the characters are cheeky and authentic, and MC is charmingly flawed. Brilliant. For ages 13 +.

Kushla Egan


Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Jule is very strong and very smart. When we meet her, she’s hiding out in a Mexican resort, escaping cops. This psychological thriller sends readers catapulting backward through places, events and friendships. We learn Jule is a calculating social chameleon and a very unreliable narrator. If you love a twist and are looking for a page-turner, this is it.

Kim Gruschow


Confessions of a High School Disaster: Chloe Snow’s Diary by Emma Chastain

In the grand tradition of Adrian Mole, Confessions of a High School Disaster is written in the form of 365 diary entries and covers a year in the life of 14-year-old Chloe Snow. From boy drama to mother issues, Chloe has a lot on her plate, and every moment is delightful, charming and laugh-out-loud funny.

Nina Kenwood


Frogkisser! by Garth Nix

A clever blend of fairytale and fantasy with a side order of hilarity, Frogkisser! has the lot. A reluctant but courageous heroine trying to save an old kingdom, an evil Duke with a wicked plan, a mischievous wizard and (my personal favourite) wise, adorable talking dogs! I loved it! Highly recommended for ages 12+.

Athina Clarke


One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Welcome to The Breakfast Club 2.0. Five students from different walks of life come together in detention, except one of them doesn’t get to go home. Simon is murdered and all four are now suspects. This book is totally gripping and is not your usual predictable novel. A suspenseful read for the Instagram age.

Anna Rotar


Beautiful Mess by Claire Christian

Ava, grieving her best friend’s suicide, and Gideon, a shy poet recovering from some vicious bullying at his previous school, are both consumed by their inner turmoil, until their Friday night kebab shop shifts draw them together and back into the world. A funny and sad rom-com that doesn’t sugar-coat the grittier parts of teenage angst. For ages 13+.

George Delaney


Take Three Girls by Cath Crowley, Simonne Howell & Fiona Wood

Take three (very well-regarded) YA authors, put them in a room together, and if you’re lucky, the eventual collaboration will look something like Take Three Girls. Three girls, forced together through a compulsory school wellness program, end up coming together as true friends to battle social media at its worst.

Gabrielle Williams


The Book of Dust Book 1: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

Dedicated Philip Pullman fans will relish this book, in a new series that’s a prequel to the award-winning His Dark Materials trilogy. Pullman is a master storyteller, gifted wordsmith and creative genius. This book can be read as a stand-alone, but be forewarned: once drawn in as a fan, you’ll never let go.

Natalie Platten


The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keil

Two funny, unique narrators: Joshua, empathetic and warm, who would rather perform magic tricks than speak; and Sophia, rational maths genius who is terrified she can’t live up to her potential. Throw them together and watch the sparks fly! Melissa Keil is perhaps the best rom-com writer in YA today and this unconventional love story is an utter delight.

Angela Crocombe

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The Secret Science of Magic

The Secret Science of Magic

Melissa Keil

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