The Best Wholesome Books For Young Adults

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This article showcases our top picks for the Wholesome Books For Young Adults. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below). We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.

Sitting on Top of the World By Cheryl King

This product was recommended by Cheryl King from Writes Things

Sitting on Top of the World is an award-winning historical fiction book appropriate for ages 11 and up. Set during the Great Depression, the story tackles tough topics, but at the foundation is a wholesome family and messages of determination, hope, and undying friendship. It’s a book that could proudly sit on school shelves or among a family’s collection.

Make Your Bed By Admiral William H. McRaven

This product was recommended by Natalia Morozova from Cohen, Tucker & Ades P.C.

This book is a quintessential read for young adults who want to build a foundation of discipline and build good habits that’ll last the rest of their lives. Make Your Bed eloquently preaches on the impact of the ‘little things,’; the daily process of gradually pursuing your goals and personal fulfillment. This book written by a former Navy Admiral is a fantastic read on how to push through hardships with courage, determination, and compassion—it crystalizes the value of building good habits and leading a life of clarity and perspective. That’s pretty wholesome I’d say.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower By Stephen Chbosky

This product was recommended by Will Cannon from Signaturely

The novel follows the life of Charlie, a high school freshman who is struggling to navigate the social aspects of his new school. Charlie turns to write as a way to express himself, and he eventually discovers that he is not alone in his struggles. The Perks of Being a Wallflower received critical acclaim upon its release, and it has since become a best-selling novel. The book has been adapted into a film, and it has also been turned into a stage play. The novel’s themes of love, loss, and friendship have resonated with readers of all ages, making it one of the most beloved books in the young adult genre.

Anxious people By Fredrik Backman

This product was recommended by Brian Clark from United Medical Education

Fredrik Backman in this book manages to club together the themes of sorrow, grief, hopelessness, failure, compassion, redemption, and hope. He intertwines many seemingly separate stories into one that never loses the reader’s attention. The humor in this book will never fail to make you laugh along with some pretty sad moments. The moments of grief however only serve to, later on, show how people can overcome such periods of feeling distraught and downcast. Just like his other books such as A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman is able to help us look into difficult and serious questions such as finding happiness and meaning in life at the same time making you laugh your heart out; and smile even when you want to cry for all the characters in the story.

The Catcher in the Rye By J.D. Salinger

This product was recommended by Amira Irfan from A Self Guru

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is one of the best wholesome books for young adults because it deals with teenage angst and alienation in a relatable way. The protagonist, Holden Caulfield, is a teenager who is kicked out of his boarding school and becomes a wanderer in New York City. Throughout the course of the book, Holden goes through a lot of experiences that help him to grow up and become a more mature person. He also learns to accept people for who they are, even if they are not perfect. This book is a great example of how young adults can learn and grow from their experiences.

Happily Ever Afters By Elise Bryant

This product was recommended by Samantha Odo from Precondo

The book is a guide to creating the life you want by following your dreams. Elise Bryant shares her own story of how she made her dreams come true and provides readers with practical advice on how to do the same. She covers topics such as identifying your dreams, setting goals, taking action, and overcoming obstacles. All of which are helpful for every young adult.

The Chronicles of Narnia By C. S. Lewis

This product was recommended by David Zhang from Kate Backdrop

For young adults looking to escape into a fantastical world, The Chronicles of Narnia is the perfect series. C. S. Lewis transports readers to the land of Narnia, where they follow the adventures of children drawn into this strange and magical place. With themes of good versus evil, faith, and redemption, the books in this series have something for everyone. Also, the flow and lessons are perfect for young adults. Since today’s media landscape lacks wholesome content, The Chronicles of Narnia is a great series to recommend.

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World By Hans Rosling

This product was recommended by Kuba Koziej from Hi Junior

Nowadays, all we hear on the internet are bad things that happen across the globe. Whether it is news or on a social media platform, more often than not it is about another tragedy in the world. The negativity spread so much and so fast that it overpowers the good and the fact that the world is moving forwards, too. We have a predisposed perspective that shines a negative lens, and distorts reality; an example of this is that when we think of how many people live in poverty or how many girls finish school, we tend to get the numbers wrong. You’d be surprised how much better (statistically) the world actually is. We need some positivity and wholesomeness too, after all, in all the horrible events that we have or are seeing, there is always a silver lining.

The Midnight Library By Matt Haig

This product was recommended by Chris Kowalski from Auto Padre

The infinite possibility of the unexplored “What if” decisions are pursued to their ultimate ending in Haig’s warm, absorbing and uplifting novel. It’s a novel that reinforces the here and now and makes the most of the opportunities that fate offers while reinforcing the idea that it’s okay to dream and look toward the horizon at the same time, as imagination is key to human existence.

PS, I love You By Cecilia Ahern

This product was recommended by Deepa Tailor from Tailor Law

PS, I love You by Cecilia Ahern is a book about how a girl gets to choose the person she loves and what difficulties she faces through the journey. The book is relatable to every teenager as the struggles, the storyline, and the substances match with the real-life sceneries. The book shows the path of loving, letting go, and accepting changes. With the book, the person gets to know how life is and what disappointments look like in the changing world. The book is recreated into a movie, but the original essence lies in reading the book.

The Secret Garden By Frances Hodgson Burnett

This product was recommended by Isabella Flint from Fanatically Food

This is a wonderful story about a spoilt girl who moves to an old mansion on the moors of England, and soon learns a lot of new lessons as she tries to bring an abandoned garden back to life. This is a wholesome read that’s perfect for when you’re feeling burnout or a little overwhelmed with your job or college (as we all do from time to time) because it will make you feel happy and rejuvenated.

XOXO By Axie Oh

This product was recommended by Maria Ivanova from Mastermaid

Axie’s XOXO Oh, what a lovely book to read. The plot centers on Jenny, a cellist with classical training, who meets Jaewoo, Jaewoo is precisely the kind of distraction Jenny would ordinarily avoid mysterious, attractive, and a tad disturbed. However, she can’t help but be drawn into spending the night before his flight back to South Korea with him as they explore Los Angeles. It’s one thing to track down the ethereal stranger who blew you away in homeroom, but Jaewoo isn’t just any student. Jaewoo, it turns out, is a part of one of the top K-pop groups in the entire globe. Jaewoo is not allowed to date anyone, as is the case for the majority of K-pop idols.

Wilder Girls By Rory Power

This product was recommended by Christel Oerum from Diabetes Strong

Wilder Girls by Rory Power, a fiction book about a group of schoolgirls who are quarantined at their school. It’s a fairly classic storyline that involves rebelling against the constraints of a dictatorial grown-up but there’s plenty in the story that later develops the characters and the plot in ways you could never see coming!

The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had By Kristin Levine

This product was recommended by Jen Stark from Happy DIY Home

The award-winning author of The Lions of Little Rock tells a stunning narrative about race and an unusual relationship. This is the poignant story of a great relationship and the pitfalls of small-town justice, set in 1917 and inspired by the author’s genuine family background.

The Divergent series By Veronica Roth

This product was recommended by John Ricco from Atlantic Group

Veronica Roth’s book series, Divergent, is a fantastic fantasy fiction story that captivated me as an adult and I’m sure it would have the same effect on the young adults of today. It’s really easy to get lost in this story and find yourself falling in love with the characters. You don’t find many books these days that really make you forget about the real world but this series is absolutely gripping!

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda By Becky Albertalli

This product was recommended by Beth McCallum from Oh So Spotless

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is plain lovely. The characters are wholesome yet imperfect. They make bad choices with good intentions but always apologize for their mistakes. This book follows Simon, who is gay but still in the closet, as he navigates his sexuality. This book shines a light for people who are in Simon’s situation and his parent’s situation. It’s also a comfort book for people who have ever harbored a secret or been bullied.

An Ember in the Ashes By Sabaa Tahir

This product was recommended by Timothy Woods from Carnivore Style

Despite being a fiction series, it contains many ups and downs and discusses the quality of life and the challenges that individuals sometimes have to undergo. Not only that, but this book series depicts how scholars were enslaved and oppressed as a result of military conquering invasions, as well as how poverty and class divide affected their life. This is the sort of book that if you start reading it once, you will undoubtedly finish the entire series.

Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? By Dr. Julie Smith

This product was recommended by Adam Enfroy from Adam Enfroy

Learning how to cope with everything that the world throws at you, and the emotional turmoil that walks hand in hand with making the transition to adulthood can be difficult and tumultuous, and Julie Smith’s book was designed and written to equip young adults with all the information and tools they need to successfully make that journey. It’s straightforward, easy to follow, simple to digest, and an indispensable how-to guide for young people the world over.


This product was recommended by Amanda Ferris from Clover & Kind

You can make a difference and a positive impact in the lives of others no matter what is happening outside your front door. YOU: THE STING OPERATIVE provides 100 different acts of kindness to complete on your own, with friends, or with family to make the world a better place starting right where you are. Stop waiting until someday and be the change you want to see in the world by tracking progress with mindfulness activities every step of the way.

To Kill a Mockingbird By Harper Lee

This product was recommended by Dale Steven from Mowers and Yard Tools

This is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a young girl named Scout who is growing up in the deep south during the 1930s. The book is full of racism, injustice, and hate, but it is also full of love, compassion, and hope.

Secrets of the Tally By Halie Fewkes

This product was recommended by Dana Spearin from Luke Knows

Secrets of the Tally is a book filled with danger, friendships, and sisterhood. The main character is a strong, independent and fierce young lady which I love. This wholesome fantasy brings magic to life and keeps you wanting more.

The Fault in Our Stars By John Green

This product was recommended by Jennie Miller from Midss

The Fault in Our Stars is a young adult novel about two teenage cancer patients who fall in love. The story is narrated by Hazel, a smart and sarcastic girl who is trying to come to terms with her own mortality. The Fault in Our Stars is a heartbreaking and beautiful novel about life, love, and death.

The Giver By Lois Lowry

This product was recommended by Jennie Miller from Midss

The Giver is a classic dystopian novel that has been beloved by young adults for decades. The story follows Jonas, a young boy who is chosen to be the Receiver of Memory for his society. As he begins to learn the truths about his world and its dark secrets, Jonas must decide whether to keep living in ignorance or fight for change. The Giver is a thought-provoking novel that tackles difficult topics like euthanasia and totalitarianism. It’s also a story about hope, courage, and the power of human connection.

When Life Gives You Mangos By Kereen Getten

This product was recommended by Steve Harris from Dailydogstuff

This book has a lot of twists and surprising plots, which makes this book a worthwhile read. It holds so many tragedies and adventures and also unfolds many unsaid fragments of life to a great extent. Someone from their teenage years would definitely like it as it compels the reader to think and build their own version of the story out of it.

Because of Winn-Dixie By Kate DiCamillo

This product was recommended by Erin Beers from Mrs Beers ELA

Opal and her father move to a new town in Florida where the first friend she makes is a dog she names Winn Dixie. It is through Winn Dixie that Opal learns to navigate grief, acceptance, loss and friendship. A wonderful story that illustrates the power that love and animals can have in helping us to deal with loss. “You can’t always judge people by the things they done. You got to judge them by what they are doing now.” ― KateDiCamillo

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