Crossover Titles

I’m relatively new to the bookselling world, and as it turns out, there's a whole lot to learn!  Since I've worked at Briliant Books, I've loved exploring the breadth of books out there, discovering just how many genres there are—and just how squishy the dividing lines between genres can be.

Collage of several brightly colored book covers, including The Girl with the Louding Voice and Out of CharacterFor instance, let's take the case of adult fiction vs. young adult (YA) fiction.  Just like there's no exact point when a young adult turns into an adult, there's no firm division between these categories for books.  So what exactly makes a young adult book different from an adult book? 

The obvious answer is that they have different audiences—but what does that mean for the book's plot and prose?  I did some thinking (and a bit of research) and found four patterns that tend to separate YA books from adult books:

Number 1: The age of the protagonist.  This isn’t by any means a hard and fast rule, but generally YA books will feature a protagonist in their upper teens.  However, the age of the protagonist isn’t enough without...

Number 2: The story’s perspective and voice.  If the story is told through the perspective of the younger character, it’s likely going to fall under the category of YA.  On the other hand, a story about a teenager told by an older narrator (like an older version of the protagonist) might appeal more to adult readers. 

Number 3: Content.  This one’s kind of obvious: the kind of heavy and explicit content found in adult titles isn’t going to be as present in YA books.  This isn’t to say that mature themes will be completely absent from young adult stories—just that they won’t be as graphic as they might be in adult stories.

Number 4: Structure and style.  Generally speaking, YA books tend to be a little more straightforward.  Not all adult books are going to be harder to read or full of twists and turns, but they’re much more likely to include longer descriptions and tangents, as well as story arcs that are confusing or unfulfilling.  Teenage readers tend to appreciate neat and honest stories with cathartic conclusions where characters get what they deserve.  While many adult books also feature these qualities, these books might also include messier stories without fulfilling payoff – for the characters or the readers. 

2 Sets of covers from Sarah J Maas's A Court of Thorns and Roses series. On the top, the covers features cover art of a young woman with sweeping hair, her face just outside the cover's edge.  The lower row of covers features simple black illustrations on solid backgrounds.All that said, there’s tons of overlap between YA and adult books.  Some books might be categorized as both adult and YA, depending on where and when they're sold.  For instance, Garth Nix's The Left-Handed Booksellers of London is sold as adult fantasy in most places, but in the US it's billed as YA.  And Sarah J. Maas's A Court of Thorns and Roses series was re-released with new covers to appeal to an adult audience, instead of young adult (see the comparison on the left).

These middle-ground books which hover on the line between adult and YA are often called crossover books, since they're crossing between these two categories.  Crossover books are written for (and marketed toward) both adult and young adult audiences.  This can be a great place to start when exploring a new category of books (like a young adult reader stepping into the world of adult titles)—or just a fun category of books on their own, infusing the energy and clarity of YA with some of the subtlety of adult books.

If you want to explore the world of crossover books, check out the list below!  The team at Brilliant Books has assembled a list of some of our favorite crossover titles.  We’ve got adult books that YA fans might like, YA books that adult fiction readers might enjoy, and books that simply refuse to be categorized.  Some of my personal favorites on this list are Jordan Ifueko's Raybearer (I can't wait for the sequel next month!) and The Shadow of Kyoshi by F. C. Yee (gotta love the Avatar-verse).  Both of these authors weave their giant fantastical stories with delicacy, balancing action (which I do love) with grounded, likeable characters.  But don't take my word for it!  Grab a copy (of one of my recs, or any of the great crossover titles below), and as always, happy reading!


 

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One Last Stop By Casey McQuiston Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250244499
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - June 1st, 2021

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The Other Black Girl: A Novel By Zakiya Dalila Harris Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982160135
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Published: Atria Books - June 1st, 2021

Tokyo Ever After: A Novel By Emiko Jean Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250766601
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Published: Flatiron Books - May 18th, 2021

Ace of Spades By Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250800817
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Published: Feiwel & Friends - June 1st, 2021

The Girl with the Louding Voice: A Novel By Abi Daré Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781524746094
Availability: Backordered
Published: Dutton - February 23rd, 2021

Concrete Rose By Angie Thomas Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062846716
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Published: Balzer + Bray - January 12th, 2021

Out of Character (True Colors) By Annabeth Albert Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781728226033
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Published: Sourcebooks Casablanca - July 6th, 2021

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue By V. E. Schwab Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780765387561
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Published: Tor Books - October 6th, 2020

Clap When You Land By Elizabeth Acevedo Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062882769
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Published: Quill Tree Books - May 5th, 2020

Klara and the Sun: A novel By Kazuo Ishiguro Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593318171
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Published: Knopf - March 2nd, 2021

Survive the Night: A Novel By Riley Sager Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593183168
Availability: Backordered
Published: Dutton - June 29th, 2021

She Who Became the Sun (The Radiant Emperor Duology #1) By Shelley Parker-Chan Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250621801
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - July 20th, 2021

A Chorus Rises: A Song Below Water novel By Bethany C. Morrow Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250316035
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Published: Tor Teen - June 1st, 2021

Blood Like Magic By Liselle Sambury Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534465282
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Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - June 15th, 2021

Raybearer By Jordan Ifueko Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781419739828
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Published: Amulet Books - August 18th, 2020

A Thousand Ships: A Novel By Natalie Haynes Cover Image
$27.99
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ISBN: 9780063065390
Published: Harper - January 26th, 2021

The Chosen and the Beautiful By Nghi Vo Cover Image
By Nghi Vo
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250784780
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Published: Tordotcom - June 1st, 2021

We Are Not Free By Traci Chee Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780358131434
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Published: Clarion Books - September 1st, 2020

Lore By Alexandra Bracken Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781484778203
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Published: Disney-Hyperion - January 5th, 2021

Supernova (Renegades #3) By Marissa Meyer Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250078384
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Published: Feiwel & Friends - November 5th, 2019

Gold Diggers: A Novel By Sanjena Sathian Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781984882035
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Published: Penguin Press - April 6th, 2021

Malibu Rising: A Novel By Taylor Jenkins Reid Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781524798659
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Published: Ballantine Books - June 1st, 2021

Wings of Ebony By J. Elle Cover Image
By J. Elle
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534470675
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Published: Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster Books f - January 26th, 2021

A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot #1) By Becky Chambers Cover Image
$20.99
ISBN: 9781250236210
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Published: Tordotcom - July 13th, 2021

Avatar, The Last Airbender: The Shadow of Kyoshi (Chronicles of the Avatar Book 2) By F. C. Yee, Michael Dante DiMartino (Other primary creator) Cover Image
By F. C. Yee, Michael Dante DiMartino (Other primary creator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781419735059
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Published: Amulet Books - July 21st, 2020

Half Sick of Shadows By Laura Sebastian Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593200513
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Published: Ace - July 6th, 2021

A Pho Love Story By Loan Le Cover Image
By Loan Le
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534441934
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Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - February 9th, 2021

For the Wolf (The Wilderwood #1) By Hannah Whitten Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316592789
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Published: Orbit - June 1st, 2021

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry By Joya Goffney Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780063024793
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Published: HarperTeen - May 4th, 2021

Sooley: A Novel By John Grisham Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780385547680
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Published: Doubleday - April 27th, 2021

The Personal Librarian By Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593101537
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Published: Berkley - June 29th, 2021

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London By Garth Nix Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062683250
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Published: Katherine Tegen Books - September 22nd, 2020

Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orisha #2) By Tomi Adeyemi Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250170996
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Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - December 3rd, 2019

The Dictionary of Lost Words: A Novel By Pip Williams Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593160190
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Published: Ballantine Books - April 6th, 2021

A Sitting in St. James By Rita Williams-Garcia Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062367297
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Published: Quill Tree Books - May 25th, 2021

We Are Inevitable By Gayle Forman Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780425290804
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Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - June 1st, 2021

Good Girl, Bad Blood: The Sequel to A Good Girl's Guide to Murder By Holly Jackson Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781984896407
Availability: Backordered
Published: Delacorte Press - March 2nd, 2021

Felix Ever After By Kacen Callender Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062820259
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Published: Balzer + Bray - May 5th, 2020

Written in the Stars: A Novel By Alexandria Bellefleur Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780063000803
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Published: Avon - November 10th, 2020

Switch By A.S. King Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525555513
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Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - May 11th, 2021

Plain Bad Heroines: A Novel By Emily M. Danforth, Sara Lautman (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Emily M. Danforth, Sara Lautman (Illustrator)
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062942852
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Published: William Morrow - October 20th, 2020

The Once and Future Witches By Alix E. Harrow Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316422048
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Published: Redhook - October 13th, 2020

Wayward Son (Simon Snow Trilogy #2) By Rainbow Rowell Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250146076
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Published: Wednesday Books - September 24th, 2019

The Project: A Novel By Courtney Summers Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250105738
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Published: Wednesday Books - February 2nd, 2021

Where the Rhythm Takes You By Sarah Dass Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780063018525
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Published: Balzer + Bray - May 11th, 2021

How Lucky: A Novel By Will Leitch Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780063073098
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Published: Harper - May 11th, 2021

Sword Stone Table: Old Legends, New Voices By Swapna Krishna (Editor), Jenn Northington (Editor) Cover Image
By Swapna Krishna (Editor), Jenn Northington (Editor)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593081891
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Published: Vintage - July 13th, 2021

What Big Teeth By Rose Szabo Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780374314309
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Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - February 2nd, 2021

What's Mine and Yours By Naima Coster Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781538702345
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Published: Grand Central Publishing - March 2nd, 2021

These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights Duet #1) By Chloe Gong Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534457690
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - November 17th, 2020

Pride and Premeditation (Jane Austen Murder Mysteries #1) By Tirzah Price Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062889805
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Published: HarperTeen - April 6th, 2021

The Box in the Woods By Maureen Johnson Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780063032606
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Published: Katherine Tegen Books - June 15th, 2021

The Final Girl Support Group By Grady Hendrix Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780593201237
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Published: Berkley - July 13th, 2021

Kingdom of the Wicked By Kerri Maniscalco Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780316428460
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Published: Jimmy Patterson - October 27th, 2020

Notes from the Burning Age By Claire North Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316498838
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Published: Orbit - July 20th, 2021

One Great Lie By Deb Caletti Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534463172
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Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - June 1st, 2021