Why Novels-in-Verse Are the Best

Let’s talk about novels-in-verse! Young adult novels-in-verse are not as intimidating as they might seem. These books are all kinds of awesome. Usually written in free verse, they provide a one-of-a-kind reading experience. You can find many incredible examples across all genres and topics including sports stories, immigration stories, friendship stories, and everything else under the sun.

Here are a few reasons why reading novels-in-verse is honestly the best.


1. They pack a big punch.

Most novels-in-verse are impossible to forget. With powerful writing and stories that transport you to new worlds, reading one is an adventure unlike any other. These distinctive books will stay with you long after you turn the last page.

A word of advice: keep a box of tissues close by whenever you read a novel-in-verse. They can surprise you with the feels at any moment!

2. They offer a unique and sometimes faster reading experience.

Don’t get us wrong—we love spending days trapped between the covers of a 600-page book. But when you’re in the mood for something on the shorter side, a novel-in-verse is just the thing. You may even find yourself tearing through these pages faster than you imagined. Because of their unique format, they often don’t take as long to read, which means you can squeeze even more books into your day. Best news ever!

3. You’ll get to try something new.

You might be a creature of habit, but even the most predictable humans like to venture outside of their comfort zones sometimes. Reading a novel-in-verse is an enjoyable way to do just that.

Ready to try a few? Here are some fantastic novels-in-verse we think you’ll love.

Ariel Crashes a Train

Ariel Crashes a Train

“A gorgeously kind, wonderfully gentle, and unfailingly compassionate depiction of OCD…bursting with light.”
— Ashley Woodfolk, critically acclaimed author of NOTHING BURNS AS BRIGHT AS YOU

Exploring the harsh reality of OCD and violent intrusive thoughts in stunning, lyrical writing, this novel-in-verse conjures a haunting yet hopeful portrait of a girl on the edge. From the author of Dear Medusa, which New York Times bestselling author Samira Ahmed called “a fierce and brightly burning feminist roar.”

Dear Medusa

Dear Medusa

This searing and intimate novel in verse follows a sixteen-year-old girl coping with sexual abuse as she grapples with how to reclaim her story, her anger, and her body in a world that seems determined to punish her for the sin of surviving.

“This is more than a story about sexual violence—this book is about race, sexuality, love, and how anger can be a catalyst for healing.”
—Gabrielle Union, bestselling author, actress, and producer

Bright Red Fruit

Bright Red Fruit

An unflinching, honest novel in verse about a teenager’s journey into the slam poetry scene and the dangerous new relationship that could threaten all her dreams. From the award-winning poet and author of Home Is Not a Country.

Home Is Not a Country

Home Is Not a Country

From the  acclaimed poet featured on Forbes Africa’s “30 Under 30” list, this powerful novel-in-verse captures one girl, caught between cultures, on an unexpected journey to face the ephemeral girl she might have been. Woven through with moments of lyrical beauty, this is a tender meditation on family, belonging, and home.

Did you enjoy these novels-in-verse recommendations? Discover more book recs here and get social with us at @getunderlined!

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