Do longer titles mean better books? YA books with the looooongest titles. #amreading

Books with super long titles sort of whisper, “I am going to be so well-written. Just wait and see.” But is it true? Are YA books with longer titles better? Let’s find out.

Here’s a list of fifteen YA books with titles of six words or more, each rated from 1 to 5 stars.

6-Word Titles

Titles 6-words
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sara J. Maas   – 4.5 stars
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black – 4.5 stars
The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey – 4 stars
Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King – 4 stars
The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil – 3.75 stars
The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1) by Patrick Ness – 4 stars
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – 4 stars
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – 3.5 stars

Holy royalty checks, Batman. Did anyone notice that on Goodreads The Perks of Being a Wallflower has over ONE MILLION ratings? A million. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book with that many. How could I possibly give this classic book only 4 stars? But I did. Oh, and A.S. King? Her books are so interesting, smart, cool, and different. I love them all. Okay, so there are lots of excellent reads in this six-word title group, but none with five-stars, so let’s see how 7-word titled books fare. . . 

7-Word Titles
titles 7-words

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North – 4.5 stars
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina – 3.75 stars

Okay, not bad. The First Fifteen Lives is so well-written. Technically, it’s adult fiction but feels like a bit of a crossover. Still no five-star books. Let’s move on to YA books with eight-word titles. 

8-Word Titles

titles 8-words
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton – 4.25 stars
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie 4.25 stars
Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle – 4 stars

All three of these books are so enjoyable. Who can resist a book with the gorgeous and unusual title of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender? And that cover!  Alas, neither of these books earned five-stars, so it’s on to the nine-word titles.

9-Word Titles 

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Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz – 3.75 stars

Only one YA book (that I could find) had nine words in the title–which is probably my favorite title, by the way. Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe–it’s a magical title! I wish I liked the book more. The writing is lovely and philosophical, but the plot meanders a bit.

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And now, for the grand champion, the longest-title on the list. No other books had ten-word or even eleven-word titles, but this one, oh, this one.

12-word title 

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The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente – 4.25 stars

Yes, a twelve-word title, and a stunner. Wow! Those were all long titles. All combined, the titles of these fifteen books add up to over 100 words! Something else I noticed was that 50% of them include the name of a character. I wonder if that’s a long-title thing.

The search for long-titled YA books continues. What are some of your favorite YA books with titles of six words or more?

–Eve Messenger

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Author: Eve Messenger

YA writer. Book junkie.

10 thoughts on “Do longer titles mean better books? YA books with the looooongest titles. #amreading”

  1. Great post! I never really thought about books with longer titles being better, but I can definitely see the logic now! I think this is definitely true now, given your ratings and my personal ratings of a few of the books on this list.

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      1. Hmm. My favorite book with a long title would be the OFFICIAL title of the book A Little Princess, which is A Little Princess: Being the Whole Story of Sara Crewe Now Being Told for the First Time .

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  2. Interesting — I was thinking about this the other day. Book titles seem to run in fashion, just as many things do. For a while, all books were “The This of That.” The Fellowship of the Ring. The Sword of the Stars, A Wizard of Earthsea.

    More recently, many books had titles that were just one word, often something that could be both a verb and a noun. Feed. Rebound. Rise.

    So perhaps it’s no surprise that titles are growing from one word to multiples. It’s a natural swing of the pendulum. I noticed my daughter started writing prompts for herself at least 2 years ago using the “Thing of This and That” format. I’m pretty sure she encountered it on the Internet. Now such titles are everywhere. The Court of Mist and Shadow. Daughter of Blood and Bone.

    Makes me wonder what sort of titles we’ll have next?

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    1. That’s such an interesting observation. It’s true! Different kinds of titles go in and out of vogue. It would be a good topic for a blog post. And I sort of agree that the length of the title probably doesn’t dictate how good the book will be, but I do think a novel with a long title may be more likely to have a literary style.

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  3. Oh gosh what a great discussion topic! I do think that there’s something appealing about long titles and it can definitely push me towards a book, though it won’t guarantee whether I’ll like it (case and point, I was the same for Aristotle and Dante- I love the title, but wasn’t crazy about the book, though I liked it)

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