There are arrays of fiction books for young adults, among them, these are a few interesting ones I selected for my readers. Reading fiction helps us escape from constant inner chatter about our past, present and future. When reading we move a little away from all of this. We empathize with the bookish characters. We relate to the characters in the stories, their situations, relationships and their problems. Reading fiction books can not only entertain but also give young adults insights into human nature.
Why teenagers and young adults need to read fiction books?
Remember, as a young adult, you have to cope with many changes in your environment and several turning points in life. Teenagers have to make decisions about higher educational goals. Young adults might have to cope with relocation from the family home to another city for work. You need to adjust to new work life and build a new network circle. Learn to deal with office politics, which can be stressful for anybody. Young adults are just starting their life.
Old friends are far and sometimes, they drift apart. A new friendship is often not as strong as old friendships. While reading a fiction book, a reader connects with the author’s narrative and perspective. It’s no wonder they say books are best friends. Reading fiction books has many benefits, especially for young adults. When we read about characters and their situations, we empathize with them and look at our own situations in a new light. We live different lives and get a variety of perspective when we read fiction and nonfiction books.
List of amazing fiction books by Indian authors
These fiction books have stories on relationships and crisis that are interesting for young adults. They have challenging situations, uncertainty, strength, and courage. Reading fiction builds the ability to bounce back from difficult situations. You might think why to read physical books when you can read on electronic devices, because after all it’s a personal choice!
But think, your physical book will not strain your eyes the way electronic devices can. They do not emit any blue light to disturb your sleep cycle nor will a physical book need charging. You can let your thoughts wander to reflect on something you read. Some poignant passages need time to be absorbed. Don’t you think reading at your own pace and visualizing, is a more satisfying reading experience? Reading a physical book requires more engagement than reading on an electronic device.
So, let’s know more about the list.
Baahubali: Before the Beginning Series
The set of 3 books contains,
The Rise of Sivagami
Published in 2020 by Westland and the author is Anand Neelekantan. These books have a thrilling and mysterious storyline. The stories filled with passion, loyalty, greed and fierce ambition, are sure to entice you.
The Rise of Sivagami
Sivagami lives in the kingdom of Mahishmati which is blessed by Gauriparvat. The people of the kingdom obey, respect and support the king. Yet, there is a secret underneath the superficial support of the people. Sivagami was orphaned at a young age when her father was wrongly accused as a traitor and killed. She harbours a deep-rooted burning desire to avenge her father’s death. She means to destroy the kingdom of Mahishmati. The story is about how she moves ahead with her plans.
There is an underlying political mystery in the kingdom of Mahishmati. Following a failed coup attempt by Vaithalikas, Sivagami gets placed in the position of bhoomipathi, an influential advisor to the king. When the two sons of the king Somadeva, fight for succession, Sivagami makes her strategic move to topple the kingdom. Does she succeed? or is the king able to save his throne?
Sivagami’s steps falter. She has to compete with external enemies aiming for the Mahishmati throne. But Sivagami is determined. She battles the outside enemies with the guidance of king Somadeva. But, she has to choose between loyalty to the kingdom and her ambitious revenge. What does she choose? And how does she succeed? Read this series Baahubali: before the beginning.
Other books by fiction and mythology author Anand Neelekanthan
Role of the Dice
Ajaya Rise of Kali
His work is translated into other native Indian languages as well.
Modern Hindi Short Stories (English Translation)
The book is published by Shrishti Publishers in 2020. The book has 240 pages. The classic Hindi stories are translated into English. This collection has a mix of invaluable short stories by renowned veteran writers and new modern writers. The authors of this short story collection are,
- Phanishwarnath Renu
- Mohan Rakesh
- Bhisham Sahni
- Rajendra Yadav
- Nirmal Varma
- Himanshu Joshi
- Krishna Sobti
- Mannu Bhandari
- Brijeshwar Madan
- Pankaj Bisht
- Ashgar Wagahat
- Abdul Bishmilla
The translation from Hindi to English has been done by veteran translator Jai Ratan. For over three decades, he has translated literary work from Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi into English. The translator has done his best to represent the stories in their original flavour. The stories are sensitive and based on the struggles and complexities of people’s lives across rural and urban setting. The stories are not interconnected. Each story has a good message to convey.
Tales from Firozsha Baag
If you are in the mood to discover a collection of short stories then you will enjoy reading this book. The stories are about a neighbourhood in Firozsha Baag, a Parsi housing complex in Bombay. Rohinton Mistry is the author of this 320-page book published by Faber in 2006.
India has a variety of ethnicities and this brings a unique flavour to the local culture. Rohinton Mistry’s novels have been nominated for the Booker Prize. This collection of stories is about the residents of Firozsha Baag and their daily life. The characters in the book are from the same society compound. So they appear again in different stories.
Due to this, the short stories give a feeling of continuity, when you see the characters through a different perspective of neighbours. The stories are endearing, sometimes funny and emotional.
Other books by the author,
Author Pankaj Kapur and Publisher Harper Perennial. Translated by Rahul Soni. The book has 110 pages. The author of this book, Pankaj Kapur has worked in theatre, movies and television too. With this book, he has forayed into writing as well. The story was written for a play but it got translated into a novella.
The story is about Amma Bi, an elderly widow who lives alone in a Lucknow haveli. She is cranky and surrounded by loneliness. She sees occasional glimpse and shadow of someone watching over her in the afternoon. There’s a helper who comes to cook food and clean. She has love-hate feelings for this cook and their conversations are rather entertaining. Then she takes in a female lodger and the scene changes. Not only is Amma Bi happy but even her helper transforms. Then comes a twist in the story and how all the characters respond is interesting.
The author is Jahnavi Barua and the 256-page book published by Penguin Viking. The central character of this novel is Loya, whose mother is from Assam. Loya goes back to her native village in Assam to visit her maternal grandfather for the first time. Loya’s mother Rukhmini, is outcasted by her mother Usha. So this visit brings out buried secrets and sensitive family matters.
Twenty-five years ago, Rukhmini married outside her caste. Due to this reason she had to leave the family home to never return back. The narrative is descriptive and will transport you to Loya’s world and the beauty of Assam. There are many layers in the story. Castism, socio-political nuances, and underlying issues within families. You will encounter these while reading between the lines. The book is an intense and reflective read. It might make you look at your life or give an insight into other people’s life experience.
Other books by Jahnavi Barua,
And if thats not enough, here are some more interesting fiction books!
No Presents Please: Mumbai Stories
This 240-page book was first written in Kannada by Award-winning author Jayant Kaikini. Translated into English by Tejaswini Niranjana a Sahitya Academi Award winner. The publisher is Harper Perennial India. The language is easy to read and understand. This book of sixteen short stories is a winner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature in 2019. The characters in these stories, based on the many people we interact with, within this megacity.
The ordinary people in the city who live their life unnoticed by the rest of the crowd. The author takes us into the mundane life of these folks. So the cliqued superficial layers of the city sieved aside and tender stories brought forth to the readers.
Other book by the author: Gulmohar (Kannada)
The author is Balli Kaur Jaswal and publisher Harper Collins. The 292-page book is about a 10-year-old girl Pin and her mother Jini living in Singapore. Her grandmother Naniji Kulwant moves in with them. This results in new rules and a change of atmosphere in the home. There are many textures to the story. Racism, gender stereotypes, family dynamics, traditional values vs modern, haunting personal and family secrets, among others.
Nini, Pin’s mother, has her share of battles to face. There’s Pin’s supportive dad. Then there are other relatives and stories around them. The stories touch emotions in family and societal settings.
Other books by the author
Ghosts of the Silent Hills
This book written by Anita Krishan and published by Fingerprint Publishing. If spooky haunting stories are of your interest then this book will be a delightful read for you. These haunting stories are spine chilling. They might make you wonder about ghosts around you. The stories are from the silent hills of Himachal in India. There are lonely winding lanes at nights and deserted lodges.
Dark bushes with noisy insects, animal sounds and lots more. The 312-page book has two sections. The first part has spooky experiences of the author and her family. The second part has fictional stories. Other books by the author
- Tears of Jhelum
- Despite Stolen Dreams
The White Tiger
The book has won the Booker Prize. The author is Aravind Adiga and published by Harper Collins. The story is about Balram Halwai, whose father is a rickshaw puller. Balram was born in a village and becomes a school dropout when he has to work at a teashop. He toils at work with many jobs and dreams of an escape. Then he gets a great chance to rise when offered the job of a chauffeur to a rich man’s son. As he drives the car around Delhi as a chauffeur, he gets exposed to a new life. Then begins the changes that transform his life. The story is honest, dark and humorous in places.
Other books by the author
Amazing fiction book by an international author
The Bee Keeper of Aleppo
The author is Christy Lefteri and this 384-page book published by Zaffre. Author Christy Lefteri is herself a refuge from Cyprus. But this story has the backdrop of the Syrian Civil war. Though a fiction book, it’s scripted with deep research. This acclaimed award-winning book has a gripping story of Nuri and Afra from Syria. Nuri is a flourishing beekeeper and his wife Afra a famous painter.
They have a young son Sami and they live a happy life until the Syrian civil war reaches their roof and doorstep. Afra loses her vision after she sees horrific scenes and her son dies. They’re forced to leave Syria and with great difficulty manage to reach the UK along with others. Ordeals of dealing with painful memories and post-traumatic stress continue. They have to get sanction to live in the UK amidst Afra’s blindness.
The narrative is gripping and the reader goes along the journey. It is a painful story of what humans can do to humans. It’s also a story of resilience, strength, relationship, horror and compassion.
Other books by the author
Some of the fiction books in this list are light hearted reads for young adults. You can read them over many days, while other books are more intense so you might not put down the book over a weekend. Anyway, you will enjoy reading when you get the right book that will capture your attention and pull you into the story. Books in this list are sure to give you the reading fever.
Also read: Best fiction books for middle graders.