10 Best Authors Like Samantha Young Who Explore the Perils of Youth

Discover authors like Samantha Young, who skillfully portray young love, personal growth, and life’s early challenges.

Young adult fiction has experienced a surge in popularity over recent years, with many novels being turned into films for the big screen. This genre tackles many themes, from self-discovery and identity to romance and fantastical adventures, resonating with readers across different age groups and backgrounds.

A prolific writer in this genre, Samantha Young has penned dozens of noteworthy novels that have attracted a dedicated readership. She is a best-selling author of the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal. Her notable titles are On Dublin Street, a contemporary romance; Echoes of Scotland Street, and Smokeless Fire, an urban fantasy. Young’s ability to create immersive worlds and emotionally rich narratives has earned her significant acclaim. If you’re interested in this topic, you might also enjoy the best authors like Wendy Webb.

Best Authors Like Samantha Young Rank

1. John Green, 1977 –

John Green
John Green

John Green has been praised as one of the greatest writers of his generation. His work has earned him numerous awards, including the Printz Medal, a Printz Honor, and the Edgar Award. He’s also been chosen as one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. His works include Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and Will Grayson, but he is best known for The Fault in Our Stars.

The Fault in Our Stars has been made into a successful Hollywood movie – but you’re missing out on a treat if you haven’t read the book! The way that John Green tells the story of two star-crossed lovers is so evocative of young love that one has to wonder where he found the story within himself. The story can be difficult to read sometimes because it is so raw and touching, but in the end, you’ll feel like you have a new understanding of what it means to love. If you’re feeling inspired, you might be wondering how to write a coming-of-age story.

“You are so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.”

John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
The Fault in Our Stars
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Green, John (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 108 Pages - 01/10/2012 (Publication Date) - Speak (Publisher)

2. Jenny Han, 1980 –

Jenny Han
Jenny Han

Born in Richmond, Virginia, Jenny Han showed exceptional academic prowess from a young age. She received her Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from The New School but wrote her debut novel while attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Next on her agenda was a young adult trilogy that became New York Times Bestsellers.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is about a high school girl whose private love letters to old crushes get mailed to them without her knowledge or consent. As every high schooler understands, this turns the protagonist’s world topsy-turvy. This entertaining but heart-wrenching story is yet another notch in Han’s belt of bestsellers that have been turned into Hollywood movies. You might also be interested in our list of the best Karl May books.

“If you were mine, I would never have broken up with you, not in a million years.”

Jenny Han, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
To All the Boys I've Loved Before
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Han, Jenny (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 381 Pages - 04/15/2014 (Publication Date) - Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (Publisher)

3. Rainbow Rowell, 1973 –

Rainbow Rowell
Rainbow Rowell

After a 17-year career as a columnist and copywriter for the Omaha World-Herald, Rainbow Rowell decided to pen her novels. Her first book found success and was named one of the best debut novels of the year. Rowell had more success with her follow-up books, spurring her to write full-time and never look back.

Fangirl is a fun and entertaining foray into young adulthood. While Cath’s sister has given up being a fangirl since growing older, Cath herself is still drawn to the lifestyle, even going so far as dressing up as the characters in her favorite book series when attending the movie premieres. But has innocent childhood fun turned into a way for Cath to avoid growing up? This novel explores complex themes, such as the transition from childhood to adulthood while capturing readers’ hearts.

“To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.”

Rainbow Rowel, Fangirl
Fangirl: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Rowell, Rainbow (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 481 Pages - 09/10/2013 (Publication Date) - St. Martin's Griffin (Publisher)

4. Libba Bray, 1964 –

Libba Bray
Libba Bray

Libba Bray is a Texan who transported herself to New York City. Writing stories since she was in middle school, Bray intended to become a novelist at a young age. Starting at Penguin Putnam in the publicity department, Bray moved on to a book advertising agency. Her husband encouraged her to write a young adult novel after she’d written some mildly successful romance books. Her first YA novel became a New York Times bestseller, and Bray continues to write in this genre.

Beauty Queens is an unusual young adult story about a group of beauty queen contestants who become stranded on a desert island when their plane crashes. Forced to draw on their true inner talents, the girls must discover if they have the substance to survive in a competitive environment that does not involve silk sashes and fake lashes. This is a laugh-out-loud story that young girls will love to read, share and think about when dreaming of what it might take to win a beauty pageant.

“Right now, we are not competitors. We are all one team. Let’s find a place to camp and look for firewood.”

Libba Bray, Beauty Queens
Beauty Queens
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Bray, Libba (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 405 Pages - 05/24/2011 (Publication Date) - Scholastic Inc. (Publisher)

5. Stephen Chbosky, 1970 –

Stephen Chbosky
Stephen Chbosky

After a childhood in Pennsylvania, Chbosky entered the University of Southern California’s screenwriting program. He began writing, directing, and acting, making several important connections that influenced his career. A chance line in a different book that Chbosky was writing became the title of one of his most successful novels, The Perks of Being a WallflowerAfter publication, it became an immediate hit with teen audiences.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower stirred controversy when it first appeared on the scene because of the way it portrayed teen drug use and sexuality. However, it resonated with teens and has since become a successful Hollywood film. It tells the story of Charlie, who struggles in his first year at high school, as most teens of that age do. Less a coming-of-age book than a heartbreaking tale of the truth of adolescence, this book deserves a place on every young adult’s bookshelf.

If you enjoyed our guide to the best authors like Samantha Young, we have many more inspirational round-ups that you can check out such as the best authors like Mary Kay Andrews.

“But because things change. And friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody.”

Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Chbosky, Stephen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 237 Pages - 06/25/2010 (Publication Date) - MTV Books (Publisher)

6. Stephanie Perkins, 1986 –

Stephanie Perkins
Stephanie Perkins

Born in South Carolina, Stephanie Perkins grew up in Arizona and then moved to North Carolina after marriage. She pursued a degree in creative writing and worked as a bookseller and librarian before becoming an author. Her debut novel, Anna and the French Kiss, earned widespread acclaim and was followed by two companion novels, Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After. Perkins continues to enchant readers with her relatable characters and engaging love stories.

Anna and the French Kiss is a charming YA romance novel about a young girl whose life changed in high school. When Anna Oliphant is sent to Paris for her senior year, she’s apprehensive about leaving her life behind in Atlanta. Unexpectedly, she is drawn to the charming Etienne St. Clair, a fellow student with a gorgeous smile and an irresistible British accent. As their friendship blossoms, Anna and Etienne navigate the complexities of love, loyalty, and cultural barriers in the City of Lights.

“How could I have ever for a moment believed I wasn’t in love with him?”

Stephanie Perkins, Anna and the French Kiss
Anna and the French Kiss
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Perkins, Stephanie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 382 Pages - 12/02/2010 (Publication Date) - Speak (Publisher)

7. Nicola Yoon, 1973 –

Nicola Yoon
Nicola Yoon

Nicola Yoon grew up in both Brooklyn and Jamaica. She studied electrical engineering at Cornell, but an elective writing course stole her heart, and she decided to pursue her passion through a master of creative writing program in Boston. Although Yoon had a 20-year career in programming, her yearning to write was reawakened by the birth of her first daughter, after which she wrote her debut novel.

Everything, Everything explores love and self-discovery. Maddy, an 18-year-old girl, suffers from a rare immunodeficiency, confining her to her sterile home. When the enigmatic Olly moves in next door, an unconventional bond forms between them. As their connection deepens, Maddy must confront the constraints of her life and redefine what it means to truly live. With poignant prose and vivid emotion, Yoon crafts a heart-rending story about love’s transformative power.

“One thing I’m certain of: Wanting just leads to more wanting. There’s no end to desire.”

Nicola Yoon, Everything, Everything
Everything, Everything
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Yoon, Nicola (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 311 Pages - 09/01/2015 (Publication Date) - Delacorte Press (Publisher)

8. E. Lockhart, 1967 –

E. Lockhart
E. Lockhart

E. Lockhart, born Emily Jenkins, is an American author celebrated for her YA fiction and children’s literature books. She earned a degree in English from Vassar College and a doctorate in English literature from Columbia University. Lockhart has written numerous novels, including the acclaimed The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. With her sharp wit, compelling narratives, and memorable characters, Lockhart has secured her place as a prominent voice in contemporary literature.

We Were Liars is a gripping YA mystery novel that blends intrigue with the perils of growing up. Set on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts, the story revolves around the wealthy Sinclair family and their intricate secrets. The protagonist, Cadence Sinclair, suffers from memory loss after a mysterious accident during her fifteenth summer. Returning to the island two years later, she’s determined to uncover the truth. The novel unravels dark family secrets, deception, and betrayal, culminating in a stunning twist.

“‘The universe is seeming really huge right now,’ he told me. ‘I need something to hold on to.'”

E. Lockhart, We Were Liars
We Were Liars
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Lockhart, E. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 242 Pages - 05/13/2014 (Publication Date) - Delacorte Press (Publisher)

9. Jennifer Niven, 1968 –

Jennifer Niven
Jennifer Niven

Jennifer Niven is an Emmy-winning journalist, screenwriter, and associate producer for ABC TV. She is now a New York Times bestselling novelist, writing in the YA genre. She has written non-fiction works, but her fiction and historical novels have garnered her the most attention in recent years.

All the Bright Places tells the story of Violet Markey, who is grappling with her sister’s death, and Theodore Finch, who is struggling with dark thoughts. As they embark on a journey across Indiana for a school project, they discover solace in each other’s company. Niven weaves an evocative story about healing, mental health, and the significance of finding someone who truly sees you. Are you searching for books to give to someone? Check out our round-up of the best books to give! Or you can also search for our best book guides using our search bar.

“The thing I realize is that it’s not what you take, it’s what you leave.”

Jennifer Niven, All the Bright Places
All the Bright Places
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Niven, Jennifer (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 391 Pages - 01/06/2015 (Publication Date) - Ember (Publisher)

10. Angie Thomas, 1988 –

Angie Thomas
Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas writes from Jackson, Mississippi, where she was born and raised. Her teenage years were highlighted by her star rapping career, which even garnered her some attention from a genre magazine. After receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing from Belhaven University, she turned her attention to the written word for communication, a choice her fans are pleased about.

The Hate U Give addresses racism, police brutality, and social injustice. Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter navigates between her predominantly black neighborhood and her mostly white prep school. When her childhood friend, Khalil, is fatally shot by a police officer, Starr becomes the sole witness. As her community erupts in protest, she must find her voice and stand up for justice. Thomas deftly weaves a compelling, thought-provoking narrative that sparks important conversations on race and inequality among young readers.

“That’s the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give
The Hate U Give: A Printz Honor Winner
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Thomas, Angie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 447 Pages - 02/28/2017 (Publication Date) - Balzer + Bray (Publisher)

Looking for more? Check out our round-up of the best young adult books!

Author

  • Kate has been writing since she was 10 years old, tapping away on an old typewriter in her childhood bedroom. Today, Kate is a seasoned freelance writer with over 10 years of experience writing for print and online media. She’s an avid reader and believes in the power of words to transport readers to new worlds, and inspire and nurture creativity. Kate is also a published author and is currently working on her next project.