Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
I would first like to put a HUGE disclaimer that these are just my opinions, and I’m solely basing them on popularity of the books. I would like to think if a book were to become a classic, it has to have gained enough notoriety to withstand the time factor. It can’t just be a momentary hype. It has to bring audiences back to it over and over again. Or at least know of it and talk about it.
That being said, I don’t necessarily think all of these books are ones I’ve enjoyed as 5-star reads, but they are well known in their genre among a wide audience. They’re not necessarily all literary geniuses but they became popular for a reason, am I right?
I’m always happy to discuss your thoughts on my selection in the comments below.
So let’s begin!
The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
Propelling Jennifer Lawrence into the mega star she is, it’s hard to forget Katniss and this horrid world she lives in where children are randomly drawn to fight to the death. It’s definitely a series that spark interesting conversations , or even used as English essay analyses which I actually had to do in class.
The Maze Runner series by James Dashner
You’ve got adventure, romance, and a compelling mystery as to where the heck these teens have been dropped into and why. If reading was hard to introduce to young boys, I know this series definitely drew those audiences in a way other big series at the time didn’t necessarily fulfill. It definitely got my younger brother reading!
Divergent series by Veronica Roth
To this day, I still want to figure out what Faction I’d be placed in. Or maybe, I have a little Divergent in me. But this interesting world building and decent first movie starring Shailene Woodley has continually brought new fans to the wondrous dystopian genre, especially at the very peak of dystopia mania.
Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer
I don’t care if you hate said sparkly vampire but let’s be real, this series reinvigorated the YA publishing sphere. It dominated even among audiences outside of YA and brought paranormal romances back into the spotlight. Even if people haven’t read it, people know about it and talk about it – even if it’s in meme form. Personally, this series changed my tween self’s life and I don’t think it’s about to disappear even after almost 2 decades since it first published.
Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
Likewise, whenever people think of the world of Greek mythologies I’m sure many connect back to a certain young boy who finds out he’s the son of Poseidon. Sure, the movies ended up tanking (unpopular opinion: I didn’t actually hate the movies so much because I didn’t have high expectations anyway), but the important part is that it continues to live on in MG/YA fandom where I think a lot of us don’t fit into either category.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
*cue music from Ed Sheeran* Bring those tissues! I hate books that make me sad or cry but there’s gotta be an exception here or there. While John Green had other popular books published prior to or after this one, I think this story tops them all. Heartbreaking romance, particularly of the terminal illness kind, gets its inspiration from this one.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Dominating bestseller lists for weeks on end – it never seemed like it could be topped – and showcasing good storytelling can also teach our generation lessons we need to hear, I think this book really set the beginning for Black stories and the importance of representation in literature. It’s exactly the kind of classic that pushes us to think and as a society to change.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han
While I don’t think it’s necessarily the first series to showcase Asian representation in such a manner, I think it was one of the earliest and largest names to bring attention to the stories young, Asian girls have. There have been plenty more Asian, own voices stories published since but I truly think Jenny Han paved the way here. I think the Netflix film success will continue to find new audiences to wow.
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Probably one of the best well known mysteries in YA, no one writes mysteries like Karen McManus does. There’s just something about the set up of the story that draws so many people in. Perhaps it’s The Breakfast Club character stereotypes with a murder twist? Either way, this book continues to dominate bestseller lists and its new TV series will only draw more attention and chatter about the infamous Bayview High Four.
Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown
While some of its story lines drew controversy, it’s hard to argue that this whirlwind adventure hunting down symbols and codes wasn’t superbly fun. And who doesn’t love a movie with Tom Hanks? These books by Dan Brown have been adapted into film or television and have been well received by general audiences, especially the non-reading types. Isn’t that a marker of success when even non-readers know enough of a book to perhaps enjoy it one day?
So that is my list! Isn’t it interesting that all these books/series have been adapted in some way into TV or movie? It’s popular enough to consider adaptation and perhaps drew in more people because of it.
What do you think of these titles? Got any more you’d like to add?