These 10 Books Are Breaking the Mold With Their Unique Formats

Epistolary books are becoming a hot new trend in YA. WTF is an epistolary book?

It’s a book that uses letters, diary entries, documents, texts, emails, or other forms of communication to tell some or all of a story.

Epistolary books offer a whole new reading experience that you don’t get from traditional novels, and these ten YA books make reading just plain fun:



By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This sci-fi trilogy is told through documents, emails, medical reports, and interviews. The result is a fast-paced thrill ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat until you read the very last page. The first two books are available now, and the last book in the series, Obsidio, will be published in 2018.

By Nicola Yoon

Maddy is allergic to the world, which makes falling in love with her next-door neighbor a problem. This tearjerker is told through diary entries, illustrations, lists, and vignettes. P.S. Go see the movie too!

YOLO Juliet

YOLO Juliet

By William Shakespeare and Brett Wright

A hilarious and cheeky retelling of the story of Romeo and Juliet—with cell phones. Told through text messages, status updates, and plenty of emojis, this classic tragedy just got a makeover.

By Lauren Myracle

Told completely in IMs and texts, this series chronicles the high school years of three friends and their bumps along the road to adulthood.

By Leah Thomas

Narrated in letter form, this story is about Ollie and Moritz, pen pals who can never meet. It’s a dark and menacing tale of two friends and their strange origins that’s impossible to put down.

By Shannon Hale

Starting with their days locked in a tower together, Dashti keeps a record of her time with Lady Saren. She writes about their life in the tower, their escape, the love they gain and lose, and the lies they tell.

Tell Me Three Things

Tell Me Three Things

By Julie Buxbaum

When Jessie’s dad remarries and she has to start over in California, she thinks her life is over—until she gets an anonymous email from someone claiming to have her best interests in mind. Jessie gets to know her mysterious friend through emails, IMs, and texts in this sweet and funny story.

By Sherman Alexie

This diary-style novel is based on the author’s experiences of leaving a Native American reservation and attending the school in town. Its conversational tone and accompanying drawings lend it an air of authenticity.

By Ava Dellaira

Laurel starts writing letters to famous dead people after getting an assignment at school. She writes about her experiences and works through her confusion and hurt over her sister’s death and her own past.

By Sarah Zarr and Tara Altebrando

Elizabeth and Lauren have been assigned as roommates for their freshman year of college. The summer after high school, they strike up an email friendship, sharing experiences and preparing for their new lives.

Have you ever read an epistolary book? What did you think? Tag us @GetUnderlined!

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  1. Bella Maison

    Jul 7, 2021


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