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!


 

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

The Other Black Girl: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982160135
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - June 1st, 2021

Tokyo Ever After: A Novel Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250766601
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - May 18th, 2021

Ace of Spades Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250800817
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Feiwel & Friends - June 1st, 2021

The Girl with the Louding Voice: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781524746094
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Dutton - February 23rd, 2021

Concrete Rose Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062846716
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - January 12th, 2021

Out of Character (True Colors #2) Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781728226033
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Sourcebooks - July 6th, 2021

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780765387561
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - October 6th, 2020

Clap When You Land Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062882769
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quill Tree Books - May 5th, 2020

Klara and the Sun: A novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593318171
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - March 2nd, 2021

Survive the Night: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593183168
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Dutton - June 29th, 2021

She Who Became the Sun Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250621801
Availability: Backordered
Published: Tor Books - July 20th, 2021

A Chorus Rises: A Song Below Water novel Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250316035
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Teen - June 1st, 2021

Blood Like Magic Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534465282
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - June 15th, 2021

Raybearer Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781419739828
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Harry N. Abrams - August 18th, 2020

A Thousand Ships: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063065390
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - January 26th, 2021

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

We Are Not Free Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780358131434
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Clarion Books - September 1st, 2020

Lore Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781484778203
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Disney-Hyperion - January 5th, 2021

Supernova (Renegades #3) Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250078384
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Feiwel & Friends - November 5th, 2019

Gold Diggers: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781984882035
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - April 6th, 2021

Malibu Rising: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781524798659
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - June 1st, 2021

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

A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot #1) Cover Image
$20.99
ISBN: 9781250236210
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Tordotcom - July 13th, 2021

Avatar, The Last Airbender: The Shadow of Kyoshi Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781419735059
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - July 21st, 2020

Half Sick of Shadows Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593200513
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Ace Books - July 6th, 2021

A Pho Love Story Cover Image
By Loan Le
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534441934
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - February 9th, 2021

For the Wolf (The Wilderwood #1) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316592789
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Orbit - June 1st, 2021

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780063024793
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - May 4th, 2021

Sooley Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780385547680
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday Books - April 27th, 2021

The Personal Librarian Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593101537
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - June 29th, 2021

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062683250
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - September 22nd, 2020

Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orisha #2) Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250170996
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - December 3rd, 2019

The Dictionary of Lost Words: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593160190
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - April 6th, 2021

A Sitting in St. James Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062367297
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quill Tree Books - May 25th, 2021

We Are Inevitable Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780425290804
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - June 1st, 2021

Good Girl, Bad Blood: The Sequel to A Good Girl's Guide to Murder Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781984896407
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Press - March 2nd, 2021

Felix Ever After Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062820259
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 5th, 2020

Written in the Stars: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780063000803
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Avon - November 10th, 2020

Switch Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525555513
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - May 11th, 2021

Plain Bad Heroines: A Novel Cover Image
By Emily M. Danforth, Sara Lautman (Illustrator)
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062942852
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: William Morrow - October 20th, 2020

The Once and Future Witches Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316422048
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Redhook - October 13th, 2020

Wayward Son (Simon Snow Trilogy #2) Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250146076
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wednesday Books - September 24th, 2019

The Project: A Novel Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250105738
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Wednesday Books - February 2nd, 2021

Where the Rhythm Takes You Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780063018525
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 11th, 2021

How Lucky: A Novel Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780063073098
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Harper - May 11th, 2021

Sword Stone Table: Old Legends, New Voices Cover Image
By Swapna Krishna (Editor), Jenn Northington (Editor)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593081891
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Vintage - July 13th, 2021

What Big Teeth Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780374314309
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - February 2nd, 2021

What's Mine and Yours Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781538702345
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Grand Central Publishing - March 2nd, 2021

These Violent Delights 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) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062889805
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - April 6th, 2021

The Box in the Woods Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780063032606
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - June 15th, 2021

The Final Girl Support Group Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780593201237
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - July 13th, 2021

Kingdom of the Wicked Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316428460
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Jimmy Patterson - October 27th, 2020

Notes from the Burning Age Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316498838
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Orbit - July 20th, 2021

One Great Lie Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534463172
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - June 1st, 2021