Title YA Fantasy Worlds: Magic, Adventure, and Imagination

Girl reading a book with glowing green magical swirls on grass

There is something special about Young Adult books, and when it comes to YA fantasy, we are completely hooked—hook, line, and sinker. We’ve noticed that there are so many adults out there who, just like us, simply love YA books, too!

What makes this genre so popular is how it seamlessly combines elements of fantasy with current challenges that young adults face. We love to think of it as a web of magic and adventure intertwined with the journey of growing up.

We can’t wait to share some of our favorites!

Young Adult Fantasy Literature

YA fantasy literature draws you into incredible worlds where imagination rules. This is a world where magic, mythical creatures, and supernatural phenomena are part of life. You may just find yourself in an entirely fictional universe or perhaps in an alternate version of ours where the fantastical exists–either hidden or in plain sight!

We love following these young protagonists on quests or adventures that challenge everything from their abilities to their beliefs. We are there with them every step of the way as they grow and discover things about themselves that they never knew before.

Get ready for themes ranging from good vs. evil to coming-of-age and the hero’s journey of self-discovery!

OUABC book subscription box featuring The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh—This Young Adult Fantasy adventure is inspired by Korean folklore and focuses on Mina’s journey to a mystical undersea kingdom to save her people from a perpetual storm.

This beautifully written book will have you captured from the first page as you join Mina on her quest to wake the Sea God and bring an end to the killer storms once and for all.

But be quick; she doesn’t have much time, since humans can’t live long in the land of the spirits. And there are those who would do anything to keep the Sea God from waking…

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan—The kickoff to the famous Percy Jackson series, this book is a fantasy that blends Greek mythology with modern life.

Join Percy on possibly the most dangerous quest of his life as he journeys across the US to catch a thief who has stolen the original weapon of mass destruction – Zeus’ master bolt.

Along the way, he faces mythological enemies determined to stop him, and you’ll stand by his side as he comes to terms with a father he has never known and an Oracle who has warned him of a friend's betrayal.

OUABC book subscription box featuring The Scarlet Alchemist by Kylie Lee Baker

The Scarlet Alchemist by Kylie Lee Baker—We loved this YA fantasy set in an alternate Tang Dynasty China, where Zilan, a poor biracial girl with the ability to raise the dead, gets caught up in the dangerous political games of the royal family.

Join her on this incredible journey from an impoverished village to the steps of the palace, where she finally has a chance to complete her imperial exams and reach her dream of becoming a royal alchemist.

The more Zilan succeeds in her alchemy, the more she gets caught up in the dangerous political games of the royal family. Monsters lurk within the palace walls, and it’s only a matter of time before they and the secrets of Zilan’s past catch up with her.

Young Adult Fantasy Romance Books

Fantasy meets romance! These books will quickly capture your heart with tales of love amidst the backdrop of magical intrigue. Just think of magical worlds, mythical creatures, and fantastical conflicts combined with those themes of sacrifice and love, be it star-crossed or forbidden. We can’t help ourselves, we just love romantasy novels!

When it comes to YA Fantasy Romance, you get the best of both worlds—the immersive world of fantasy coupled with the emotions that can be found in every good romance novel!

Three books from 'The Folk of the Air' series by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince trilogy by Holly Black—This series is known for its dark fantasy elements intertwined with a complex romance between a mortal girl and a faerie prince, set in the treacherous world of the Faerie Courts.

This is the tale of Jude, who was only seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, she wants nothing more than to feel a sense of belonging, despite her mortality.

But many of the fae despise humans, especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. She must defy him and face the consequences to win a place at the Court.

You will love being by her side as she gets caught up in palace intrigues and deceptions. But as betrayal threatens the Courts of Faerie, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters and Faerie itself.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber—Scarlett Dragna's life on a small island with her sister, Tella, and their tyrannical father feels confining, especially with an arranged marriage looming. Scarlett's dreams of attending Caraval, the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, seem destined never to happen.

That changes when she receives an invitation to Caraval, and with a mysterious sailor's assistance, she and Tella escape to the show. But all is not as it seems! Tella is kidnapped, and it turns out that this season’s winner of Caraval will be whoever finds her first.

This is one of those page-turners you can’t put down as you follow Scarlett’s desperate search for her sister while she gets caught up in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic.

Dystopian Literature for Young Adults

Here, you will find stories set in alternate realities or in the future, when society is usually under oppressive control or in a state of collapse. We thoroughly enjoy how they explore themes of freedom, resistance, and identity.

You can’t help but stand behind the protagonists, cheering them on as they struggle against the establishment, challenging injustices, and fighting for a better world!

The Hunger Games trilogy covers with iconic symbols on each.

When it comes to dystopian literature for young adults, Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games is at the top of our list. This gripping novel is set in the ruins of what was once North America, now the nation of Panem. The Capitol, an advanced city, controls the twelve surrounding districts, and each year, it enforces a brutal tradition known as the Hunger Games.

A boy and girl from each district are selected to fight to the death in a vast arena, until only one victor remains. The story follows Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl from District 12, who volunteers to take her younger sister's place in the Games. Here she navigates this deadly arena, facing not only physical challenges but also complex social and political dynamics.


Young Adult Fantasy is more than just a genre; it is a tribute to the power of storytelling and imagination. No matter how old you are, there is always room for magic in your life, adventures waiting to be started, and new worlds to be discovered.

YA Fantasy reminds us to look beyond the ordinary, to find the extraordinary within and most importantly, to always keep the magic of imagination alive in our hearts. 

Our exciting Young Adult Book Boxes will have even the most ardent YA book fan captivated from the get-go. At Once Upon a Book Club, we believe in bringing books to life, and our monthly subscription boxes are the ideal way to introduce any young adult to the exciting world of books.

Each box contains a newly released novel with 3 to 5 wrapped gifts labeled with corresponding page numbers which have been carefully selected to bring the pages to life. As the story captivates your imagination, you can't help feeling the anticipation rise to the surface as you are prompted to open each gift at certain page numbers.

We have four monthly subscription options, so finding the perfect solution has never been easier. Choose from our Young Adult Month to Month, which is billed on a monthly basis, or from our 3, 6, or 12-month subscription plans. A Once Upon A Book Club subscription is a gift every young adult deserves.

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