Genre Guide: Action Novels

Books with lots of action are often a home run with readers, especially those who like a plot-driven story. They can cross a wide-range of genres, from spy fiction to murder mysteries.

Action books are often very heavy on the plot with danger pulling the story forward, leaving readers on the edge of their seat desperate to know what happens next. Elements of risk and surprise are key factors in action stories. The events that trigger the action or danger are typically outside the protagonist’s day to day life. Often, at the end of the story, the hero or heroine is never the same.

* Fast-paced
* Conflict
* Danger
* Risk
* Double-crossings
* Betrayal
* Villains
* Violence
* Survival
* Plot twists
* Underdogs

With action novels, readers quickly turn the pages – often reading these novels in a single setting. In a series, there is often an overall arc that ties all the books together, even though the primary plot of the book is resolved.

Actions books are perfect escapism reads; this type of story rarely happens in real life.

Readers like rooting for the underdogs. Often times these teen characters go against supposedly smarter more savvy adults and yet, they are victorious in their quest. It’s hard not to root for the underdog.

YA Action Adventure

Recommended Titles:

Sure Fire by Jack Higgins
Traitor by Andy McNab
Cherub Series by Robert Muchamore
Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson
Heist Society series by Ally Carter
Killer Instinct by S. E. Green
Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
The Living by Matt de la Peña
See Jane Run by Hannah Jayne
The Night She Disappeared by April Henry
The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall
Fake ID by Lamar Giles
No Safety in Numbers by Dayna Lorentz
I Am the Weapon by Allen Zadoff
The Devil’s Breath by David Gilman
Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond
Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards

Web Resources:
Check out the following Popular Paperbacks Lists from YALSA:
Adventure Seekers
Thrillers and Killers
Spies and Intrigue 

— Jennifer Rummel currently reading  Shadows of Sherwood by Kekla Magoon