Top 10 Young Adult One Sitting Reads


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Unputdownable: adj. (of a book) so engrossing that one cannot stop reading it.

How many books have you read that have captivated your attention so entirely that they have literally become the definition of unputdownable? How many times have you told yourself ‘just one more chapter’ only to realise, hours later as you turn the final page, that the sun is coming up and you’ve foregone yet another night of sleep in favour of a good book?

Whether tragic or comic, light-hearted or desperately saddening, there is something truly enchanting about books enthralling enough to become one-sitting reads. And there is true power in something that is absorbed in such a small time-frame and yet can remain in your memory for a lifetime.

Whether you’re looking for a riveting readathon read, or a piece of penned magic to transport you far away on a rainy afternoon, we’ve got a list of our top ten young adult one sitting reads.

Illuminae by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Purchase: Available in the UK and the US

Pages: 599

599 pages? In one day? I know that seems like an impossible feat but this innovative read incorporates text and artistry into a unique collaboration. ‘Illuminae’ is formatted in an exhibition of IM messages, audio transcripts, computer analysis and documentation, and translations of visual recordings. These all combine to create a forensic document, of sorts, that depict the story of two battling mega-corporations set against the backdrop of deep space.This space adventure story is exciting enough on its own but the design of the book, which uses the layout of the text on the page to immerse the reader into the story, makes this both a quick and absorbing read.

The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Purchase: Available in the UK and the US

Pages: 288

This book falls more into the middle-grade end of teenage fiction but is no less of a hard-hitting and informative read because of that fact. This is the story of fictional Ami, living in 1906, in the very real island of Culion in the Philippines whilst it was under colonial rule by the United States. The only life she has ever known has been lived on this segregated leprosy colony, with her mother who suffers from this endemic. But all that is about to change… The story is lyrically beautiful, emotionally draining, and with an ending that will leave you open-mouthed for hours after. A full review can be found here.


Scorpio Races was not what i expected it would be, so maybe that's why I didn't dive right into it. I could say that i was getting a little desperate as i keept reading and reading and didn't feel that rushing excitement but as the first half of the book was stable, the second just made my heart gallop like crazy. I couldn't put it down. I loved the characters, and i hated some *cough Gabe cough* Sean and Corr obviously won the whole story to themselves because you just can't name one without the other. Their story was beautiful and i cried like a baby while reading that last chapter❤ . . . #books #bookish #bookworm #bibliophile #booklove #bookstagrammer #bookstagram #igread #bookishfeatures #bookstagramfeauture #thescorpioraces #maggiestiefvater

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The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Purchase: Available in the UK and the US

Pages: 482

Stiefvater may be better known for her Raven Cycle quartet, but this fantasy standalone provides all the teen angst, evocative world-building, and heart-wrenching plot you could ever need in a story! Don’t let the relatively high page count and the insane amount of plot fool you, though. This is a fast-moving story that will keep you turning pages until the story is over. It may even have you then proceeding to begin it all again, like it did me.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Purchase: Available in the UK and the US

Pages: 388

This is not the shortest or quickest of reads, but can definitely be classified as being the most emotionally draining on the list. This contemporary read confronts the topic of mental illness in teens in such a hard-hitting yet impactful way. This was punctuated with moments of swoon-inducing sweetness, which alleviated the sombre overall feel of this novel. I cried solidly for the last 100 pages of this book but would not change one single, well-placed sentence of it!

The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle 

Purchase: Available in the UK and the US

Pages: 282

I assumed this was going to be a straight-up YA thriller. Which it is. But it can also be described as fantasy, magical realism, paranormal, romance and contemporary. In short, this book is everything and nothing like the genres it can be classified as. The accident season comes every October, without fail. Trips and falls, scuffles and knocks, are all part of the terror the month brings. And so is broken bones, spilt blood and death. No amount of padded clothing and careful planning can prevent it. October takes its fill of ruination regardless, and this month it seems to want more than its usual fill. This book has an eerie quality that permeates the entire book. The opacity of the narrative disallows the reader to fully grasp the nuances of the plot until it deigns to release us from its grasp. The unsteadiness of this book was alluring and left me breathless for more.

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

Purchase: Available in the UK and the US

Pages: 416

This book is aimed at readers at the lower end of the teenage range, but still has something to offer everyone, in the way fairy tales and timeless classics so often do. Here, Mafi has amalgamated a bedtime story, a classic Gothic fairy tale and a middle-grade adventure story into one enchanting and bewitching bundle. Each page has some extraordinary and eccentric peculiarity to enchant and enthral the reader. The magic system is fantastic, the characters are kooky, the writing is sublime, and all of this combines into one of the single greatest (and oddest) things I have ever read.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Purchase: Available in the UK and the US

Pages: 227

This is, I believe, the singularly most insane and shocking stories I have ever read. It begins in a predictable yet enjoyable fashion, but almost immediately it is evident that this isn’t the sweet Summer read that it initially seems. This twisted family drama had me turning pages at double speed and the ending may be one of the biggest literary surprises since George killed Lennie.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Purchase: Available in the UK and the US

Pages: 391

With some chapters measuring in at just a page or two, this book leaves a lot of blank space to allow you to think. The year is 1945 and the civilians of Germany are fleeing for safety as Russia attacks and it appears that Hitler’s reign will soon be overthrown. All evacuees are making for port, to board one of the ships they hope will bring them to comparative safety. This harrowing historical novel is a brutal, yet honest and necessary, historical account that manages to remain historically accurate whilst using fictional personal histories to portray it. Stunning writing, hard-hitting stories and venerated characters – this is a story that will stay with me for a long time to come.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Purchase: Available in the UK and the US

Pages: 208

This is a collection of five hauntingly beautiful graphic stories that all lead you on a journey through the dark, dark woods… With text taking a minimum of space and gorgeous artwork dominating each page, this is a quick read that is equal parts spooky and beautiful.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/ Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

Purchase: Available in the UK and the US

Pages: 223

I mean… you didn’t seriously think this wasn’t going to make the list!? This first instalment in the internationally beloved series is a quick and enchanting read whether this is your first or one-hundred-and-first read.

Know of any other one-sitting reads to add to our list? Let us know in the comment section, down below.

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