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Books To Transition From YA To Adult Fiction

Books To Transition From YA To Adult Fiction

Team Missy

We love, love, love YA novels, but this one goes out to our older readers who are looking to bridge the gap between Young Adult novels and “grown up” books.

There’s no cut-off point when it comes to reading young adult fiction, but you definitely get to a certain age when you’ll want a bit more from books. The whole point of starting to read adult books is to expand your reading horizons. If you’re not there yet, great. Take a look at some of our favourite books, but if you’re after a little something different we have a few suggestions of books to help you transition from YA to Adult Fiction.


P.S. I Love You

We’re big fans of Cecelia here at Missy. Yes, she now dabbles in a spot of YA, but her debut novel is the perfect way to ease yourself into a different level in your reading. P.S, I Love You tells the story of Holly who is try to deal with the sudden death of her husband, Gerry. But Gerry has left her a bundle of notes, one for each of the months after his death, guiding Holly into her new life, each note signed ‘P.S. I Love You’.


Wuthering Heights

They’re called classics for a reason. If you’ve read the Twilight series you might remember Bella and Edward having a slight obsession with it. Wuthering Heights is a consuming read and requires a lot of attention to keep up with narration changes.

When her father brings back an orphan from a trip to Liverpool, Catherine Earnshaw is fascinated by the strange, ferel boy. Alike in spirit, Cathy and Heathcliff soon form a bond – running riot as children and, later, embarking on a fierce love affair.

But after a betrayal, Heathcliff flees – returning as a rich man and proceeds to exact a terrible revenge.

Years later, caught in a storm, Mr Lockwood seeks refuge with strangers. And, as wind and rain rage outside, he is drawn into the secrets of Wuthering Heights – and the wild Yorkshire Moors which surround it.

It’s dark, but give it a go!


Murder On The Orient Express

Our Editor, Danielle, read Murder On The Orient Express at age 12 – not sure how appropriate that was! It’s one of the best books that you can read because it will keep you guessing until the very end. Definitely give this a go if you’re sick of the sometimes predictable outcomes in YA books.

This is Agatha Christie’s most famous murder mystery. Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside.

Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer – in case he or she decides to strike again.


The Time Traveler’s Wife

Again, this was made into a film, like most good books are. If you haven’t seen it go with the book. It jumps backwards and forwards quite which keeps you on your toes.

The Time Traveler’s Wife tells the extraordinary love story of Clare and Henry who met when Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-two and Henry thirty. Impossible but true, because Henry suffers from a rare condition where his genetic clock periodically resets and he finds himself pulled suddenly into his past or future. In the face of this force they can neither prevent nor control, Henry and Clare’s struggle to lead normal lives.


The Help

The Help is set in the early 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi, and told primarily from the first-person perspectives of three women: Aibileen Clark, a maid who takes care of children and cleans. Minny Jackson, Aibileen’s friend who frequently tells her employers what she thinks of them, resulting in her having been fired from nineteen jobs. And Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, the daughter of a white family who owns a cotton farm outside Jackson. Many of the field hands and household help are African Americans. Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from college and wants to become a writer. Skeeter’s mother wants her to get married, and thinks her degree is just a pretty piece of paper.

This is an easy read, but it gives great context to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s.


The Secret History

The really strange thing about The Secret History is that it was written in the 1990’s, but you don’t get that vibe off if it. Yes, there’s no mention of technology, but it just feels like it could be set anytime. A little bit mystery, a whole lot WTF, plus a great character study.

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and for ever.

See Also


The Bell Jar

Again The Bell Jar seems to have been very ahead of it’s time telling the story of an intern working in NYC long before the Devil Wears Prada.

When Esther Greenwood wins an internship on a New York fashion magazine in 1953, she is elated, believing she will finally realise her dream to become a writer. But in between the cocktail parties and piles of manuscripts, Esther’s life begins to slide out of control. She finds herself spiralling into serious depression as she grapples with difficult relationships and a society which refuses to take her aspirations seriously.



Another classic worth your time is Dracula. You think you know the story, but you don’t. Although not entirely scary it is quite eerie. It’s a surprisingly short read too.

When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries in his client’s castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England: a ship runs aground on the shores of Whitby, its crew vanished; beautiful Lucy Westenra slowly succumbs to a mysterious, wasting illness, her blood drained away; and the lunatic Renfield raves about the imminent arrival of his ‘master’. In the ensuing battle of wills between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries – led by the intrepid vampire hunter Abraham van Helsing.


Light A Penney Candle

This was the late and great Maeve Binchy’s first novel. You’ve probably already come across Meave’s other novel, Circle of Friends, which is on the Leaving Cert course. If not drop everything that you’re doing right now!

Light A Penney Candle follows two girls growing up during and in the aftermath of World War II. Elizabeth is sent to her mother’s friend in Ireland after the war where She quickly becomes best friends with Aisling, who is the same age. The story follows both girls as they grow into teenagers and young women. After the war ends, Elizabeth goes back to London but the two girls have formed a bond that remains for years after the war is over. They remain in close contact through letters, supporting each other through their marriages. Their lives remain intertwined, each facing her own relationships, successes, and failures.

Have you any suggestions of books to transition from YA to Adult Fiction? Let us know in the comments or on our social media.

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