According to Goodreads.com, a “YA Space Opera” is defined as a science-fiction based novel starring a young adult protagonist (age 12-17) on an extra-planetary or galactic scale which has a heavy emphasis on character development and (usually) beating overwhelming odds in addition to the world-building and science. Take a look at some of our favorite out-of-this-world picks below!

  • 27 Hours
    Tristina Wright

    Rumor Mora fears hellhounds too strong for him to kill, and failure. Jude Welton dreams that humans will stop killing monsters, and his strange abilities will vanish. In no reality should a boy raised to love monsters fall for a boy raised to kill them. Nyx Llorca's secret is that the moon speaks to her, and she's in love with her best friend, Dahlia. Braeden Tennant wants to get out from his mother's shadow, and to unlearn Epsilon colony's darkest secret. During one twenty-seven-hour night, these four runaways must stop the war between the colonies and the monsters from becoming a war of extinction, or the things they fear most will be all that's left.

  • Across the Universe
    Beth Revis

    Teenaged Amy, a cryogenically frozen passenger on the spaceship Godspeed, wakes up to discover that someone may have tried to murder her.

  • Carve the Mark
    Veronica Roth

    Living on a violent planet where everyone develops a unique power meant to shape the future, Akos and Cyra, youths from enemy nations, resent gifts that render them vulnerable to others' control before they become unlikely survival partners.

  • Contagion
    Erin Bowman

    After receiving a distress call from a drill team on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is sent into deep space to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission. When they arrive, they find the planet l ittered with the remains of the project--including its members' dead bodies. As they try to piece together what could have possibly decimated an entire project, they discover that some things are best left buried--and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.

  • Illuminae
    Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

    The planet Kerenza is attacked, and Kady and Ezra find themselves on a space fleet fleeing the enemy, while their ship's artificial intelligence system and a deadly plague may be the end of them all.

  • Landscape With Invisible Hand
    M.T. Anderson

    When jobs typically done by humans are replaced with alien technology from the vuvv, Adam's parents have no money for food, clean water, or medicine. Adam and his girlfriend Chloe are forced to get cr eative. Since the vuvv love anything of "classic" Earth culture they begin recording 1950s-style dates which the vuvv watch in a pay-per-minute format. As the money rolls in, how far will Adam be willing to go to give the vuvv what they want?

  • Mars One
    Jonathan Maberry

    A teenage boy leaves for Mars as a colonist with the Mars One space program and grapples with what he's leaving behind to do so.

  • Shadow Run
    AdriAnne Strickland

    The captain of a starship and a prince are forced to revise their ideas of family and loyalty, with the fate of their worlds hanging in the balance.

  • Sound
    Alexandra Duncan

    Ava's adopted sister Miyole is finally living her dream as a research assistant on her very first space voyage. But when her ship saves a rover that has been viciously attacked by looters and kidnapp ers, Miyole--along with a rescued rover girl named Cassia--embarks on a mission to rescue Cassia's abducted brother, and that changes the course of Miyole's life forever.

  • Zodiac
    Romina Russell

    When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens, Rhoma Grace, a sixteen-year-old student from House Cancer, must convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac against Ophiuchus, the exiled thirteenth Guardian of Zodiac legend, who has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy.