The rise of teen novels

By Nikki Papatsoumas

Movies drive popularity of books written for young adults but loved by all: book buyer.

Films from the books, from left; The Book Thief, The Hunger Games, The Fault in Our Stars.
Films from the books, from left; The Book Thief, The Hunger Games, The Fault in Our Stars.

The Hunger Games, Divergent series and The Fault in Our Stars are bringing about a new trend in book sales, Whitcoulls says.

The Whitcoulls Top 100 List for 2014 has revealed the increasing popularity of novels for young adults.

Whitcoulls head book buyer Joan Mackenzie said young adult novels were becoming more widely read as parents dive into the books too.

More than 70 per cent of the list had remained the same as last year's, she said.

"[It] goes to show that the most loved books have hugely enduring appeal and resonate with readers for a very long time."

Ms Mackenzie said popularity was also possibly driven by film versions of books such as The Hunger Games and Divergent.

The John Green bestselling novel The Fault in Our Stars took out the top spot, on the heels of the recent film of the same name. In second place was Markus Zusak's The Book Thief and in third position, JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings series.

In the 18 years the list has been produced this is the first time a New Zealand author has made it into the top 10, with Eleanor Catton's award-winning novel The Luminaries in the number six spot. The 50 Shades of Grey series has slumped from 21st to 53rd place since last year. There is a distinct lack of non-fiction in the list.

The top ranked non-fiction title is the Bible at number 23.

A number of books had also dropped off the list altogether, and it was the first time the Edmonds Cookbook had not made an appearance.

"Overall, it is a really interesting mix of books and tells us that people are reading as much - and as well - as ever," Ms Mackenzie said.

"Wonderful new books which really capture the public's imagination can find a place alongside others which have been around for years."

Top 10 books on the Whitcoulls Top 100 List

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
3. The Lord of the Rings series by JRR Tolkien
4. The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
5. A Game of Thrones series by George RR Martin
6. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
7. Harry Potter series by J K Rowling
8. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
9. The Divergent series by Veronica Roth
10. I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
* The Whitcoulls Top 100 List is limited to paper versions of books.

- APNZ

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