The best young adult books for readers who want to laugh out loud

The Books I Picked & Why

Collateral Damage

By Taylor Simonds

Book cover of Collateral Damage

Why this book?

This book feeds my Spider-Man obsession while asking the question, “How do normal folk fare during those cataclysmic superhero battles?” Answer: Not well, but Meg’s gut-busting adventures as a powerless human surrounded by heroes and villains had me laughing from page one. After finding a superhero murdered in a dark, creepy alley (as one does), Meg is dragged kicking and screaming (not literally, but this girl really doesn’t want to get involved) into a fight between good and evil. Luckily, she has an indestructible umbrella, a radioactive rat, and some snarky friends at her disposal. She’s going to need all the help she can get. Want a story that reads like your favorite Marvel movie? Then run out right now and buy a copy. Right. Now. 

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The Other Merlin

By Robyn Schneider

Book cover of The Other Merlin

Why this book?

This gender-swapped retelling of King Arthur showcases a female Merlin, Emry, who packs some serious girl power. Far superior at magic than her twin brother Emmett, Emry takes his place training as the new court wizard for the adorable, bumbling Prince Arthur. I knew I was going to love this book when chapter one began with Arthur and Lancelot sneaking out of the castle to have one too many drinks at a bar and ended with Arthur getting sick all over Sir Kay’s shoes. Witty banter among lovable characters, the occasional bit of bathroom humor, and lots of magic and heart made this book one of my favorites of 2021.

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The Disasters

By M. K. England

Book cover of The Disasters

Why this book?

I’m a sucker for characters with poorly executed good intentions, which is why I loved M.K. England’s The Disasters. After getting booted out of an elite space academy, four washouts are the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization and are turned into the perfect scapegoats. On the run and desperate to clear their names, the group orchestrates a dangerous heist to expose the truth of what really happened that night at the Academy. Diverse characters and non-stop laughs make this book a must-read for sci-fi fans of all ages.

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Aurora Rising

By Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

Book cover of Aurora Rising

Why this book?

I’m channeling my inner Stefon from SNL when I say that This. Book. Has. Everything. Reckless space battles, interplanetary heists, juicy found-family drama, snarky banter, diverse characters, aliens who could desperately use a hug… and a partridge in a pear tree. (Just kidding on that last one.) Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that a squad of losers, sociopaths, and smart alecks are the galaxy’s only hope for stopping a war that’s been millions of years in the making. What could possibly go wrong? 

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Tweet Cute

By Emma Lord

Book cover of Tweet Cute

Why this book?

The humor in this book is delightfully… cheesy. Pun intended. Tweet Cute is about Jack and Pepper, son and daughter of the owners of a mom-and-pop deli and a massive fast-food chain, respectively, who get into a Twitter war once it is revealed that one has stolen the other’s secret family grilled cheese recipe. This book has three things that I absolutely adore: It’s set in New York City, the characters engage almost constantly in witty banter, and it’s packed with puns about—you guessed it—grilled cheese. But humor aside, Tweet Cute is a terrific story about tight-knit families, teenagers dealing with the pressures surrounding high school graduation, and ultimately, following your own path.

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