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The Most Successful Young Adult Books of All Time

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While Young Adult Fiction often is labeled as books for teens or the age group covering 12 – 14 years old, YA books appeal to all ages. Many YA novels have gained so much popularity that people continue to read many titles that are from decades ago. Many YA titles have gone on to enjoy the tremendous success that they get adapted into movies and become blockbuster hits.

The following are some of the most successful YA books of all time. Some of these YA titles enjoy success regarding book sales while others have left a lasting cultural and societal impact:

The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

The first novel from the Harry Potter series, The Sorcerer’s Stone, was first released in 1997. To date, it’s sold over 450 million copies. Six more books followed the Sorcerer’s Stone. In total, the entire book series has totaled $7.7 billion in sales.

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye sold more than 65 million copies when it published in 1951. Each year, there are sales of about 250,000 copies of the book.  At one point, it was both the most censored book and the second most taught book.

 

Anne of the Green Gables by LM Montgomery

Anne of the Green Gables published in 1908. Since its publication, the book has sold more than 50 million copies. It’s adapted into films, animated series, and made-for-television movies.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games published in 2008. When the first book was first released, it sold 200,000 copies. By the time the film adaptation was released n 2012, the book had been on USA Today’s bestsellers list for 135 consecutive weeks.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time released in 1962. The book was so successful that it inspired two film adaptations. In a National Education Association online poll in 2007, it was named one of the “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children.”

The Outsiders by SE Hinton

The Outsiders by SE Hinton is arguably one of the most influential and controversial YA books of its time. It was first released in 1967 and has sold approximately 15 million copies.

The Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal

There are 181 books n total in the Sweet Valley High series. The series chronicling the lives of identical twins living in Sweet Valley, California began in 1983. The series inspired spin-offs and made into a TV series which ran for four seasons.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver released in 1993. In 1994, it won the Newberry Medal and had sold over 10 million copies worldwide. Two decades after its release, the book adapted into a movie.

The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer

The Twilight series has sold over 120 million copies since they were first released in 2005 and translated into 37 different languages. The series spent over 235 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list for Children’s Series Books of 2008. The books adapted into the movie series, The Twilight Saga, which grossed over $3.3 billion worldwide.

Progressive Rising Phoenix Press offers a wide variety of young adult fiction. Our award-winning young adult fiction titles include mystery, suspense, action, adventure, fantasy, romance, historical fiction, sci-fi, and more!

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New Adult Vs. Young Adult Fiction: What’s the Difference?

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Many of us are already quite familiar with young adult fiction or more commonly referred to as YA. Even people who don’t read YA could list YA titles off the top of their head because so many of them have been turned into movies. Some of the most popular YA books include the Divergent, Twilight, and the Hunger Games series. And then there are YA titles such as The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars that were turned into TV series.

According to the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), YA books are those aimed at kids aged 12 to 18 years.

YA books are authentically teen, from the plot to the voice. The storylines are typically coming-of-age experiences that shape the main character. They’re often stories about pivotal moments in the protagonist’s life such as first love, first heartbreak, first sexual encounter, or first time to be alone on an adventure. They span different themes and worlds, covering romance, sexual discovery, and even paranormal activity. Some of the most successful YA novels have fantasy themes that involve mythical creatures like vampires, werewolves, mermaids, witches, and shapeshifters.

And while YA fiction is created for the 12-18 audience, many adults confess that YA novels are their guilty pleasure. With so many adults indulging in young adult novels, a new genre came into the scene – the New Adult (NA) novels.

New Adult emerged sometime in 2009 as a means to fill the gap between Young Adult and Adult Fiction. The target audience of New Adult fiction are people aged between 18 and 30 or that time in the lives of people when you are only just coming to terms with their new adulthood. The NA genre spoke to readers who identified with that age where people start to carry more responsibilities and are eager to find their place in the world. They’re struggling with love and career while on a journey to self-discovery.

NA fictions covers topics such as starting college, first jobs after graduation, financial independence, and first serious relationships. Some NA novels are more sexually descriptive because they are geared towards a more mature audience. However, NA is cautious not to cross the border into adult fiction or erotic novel territory.

NA fiction is gaining popularity for this reason but is also facing some criticism because of it.  NA is not appropriate for a 12-year-old reader yet not graphic or serious enough for the adult reader who picks up the NA title hoping for adult storylines. Many agents and publishing houses are still struggling to see how to market NA which has placed itself between two already well-established genres (YA and Adult). However, as we see more NA authors choose to self-publish and go on to find success, more big publishers may begin to pay attention.

As independent publishers, Progressive Rising Phoenix Press is always looking for creative content and consistently adding new content on a regular basis. Our mission is to succeed through promotion, creative cross-marketing, and original content. We recognize that the industry has changed and have partnered with authors who take ownership of their work and what we do.

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Interesting Young Adult Books That Were Turned Into Movies

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Most people know that the Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Twilight movies were first very successful book series. But many are surprised to know that many of the movies that have come out were also actually successful young adult books first. Let’s take a look at some movies from the past that were inspired by or adapted directly from popular YA books:

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures is the first book from The Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. It’s a supernatural love story of Lena Duchannes, a Caster and Ethan Lawson Wate, a human. Ethan is pulled into the magical world of the Caster because of his blossoming romance with Lena that’s and an eerie connection that links them to a haunting past they seem to share.

I Know What You Did Last Summer

The movie was based on the 1973 Lois Duncan novel “I Know What You Did Last Summer” where a group of teens hit and supposedly kill a man one summer. They cover it up and promise never to speak of it again. However, exactly one year later, they are terrorized by a man with a hook who leaves notes stating, “I know what you did last summer.”

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones 

Teenager Clary Fray’s mother goes missing, and she finds herself entangled in the world of Shadowhunters. Clary faces demons, vampires, and other magical beings on her quest to find her mother, discovering long-hidden secrets about her own past along the way. The City of Bones is the first book from the Mortal Instruments series and is the only book that was made into a movie. However, the book series was later adapted into a TV series.

If I Stay

Mia Hall is a 17-year-old survivor of a catastrophic car accident that involved her entire family. She finds herself having an out-of-body experience as she lays in the hospital in a coma. The story follows her as she makes sense of what is happening while also reliving her past, struggling with the choice to stay or let go.

Divergent

Set in a post-apocalyptic dystopian Chicago, the Divergent trilogy are novels by Veronica Roth that tell the tale of a society that is segregated by personality traits. The story follows Tris, a Divergent, or someone who has equal attributes of multiple factions which not only makes her unique but a threat to the order of things. The movie series was meant to cover all 3 books in a 4-part movie series; however, only 3 were made.

The Fault in Our Stars

Sixteen-year-old, Hazel Grace Lancaster, is a cancer patient who meets 17-year-old Augustus Waters, a cancer survivor and amputee, in a cancer support group. They fall in love and share an unconventional romance. 10.7 million copies of the book have been sold to date, and the movie crossed the $300 million mark at the global box office.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

The movie was based on the book series by Ann Brashares. It follows a group of teens who discover a pair of jeans that magically fits each of them perfectly. The movies follow their lives over the course of four summers as they lead different lives but remain close by sharing the pants and their stories along the way.

These movies that were based from wildly successful young adult novels prove that the best screenplays and blockbusters could inspired by the YA book you’re reading right now. At Progressive Rising Phoenix, we offer a wide variety of young adult fiction that range from mystery, suspense, action, adventure, romance, fantasy, sci-fi, and more! We wonder which of our award-winning titles will be the next book to make it to the big screen.

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