Manga to Young Adult: Read-a-likes

Whether you're an avid manga reader, a devoted YA enthusiast, or a curious soul eager to explore the intersection of these two worlds, this article will shine a bit of light onto the thematic parallels, character complexities, and universal messages that bridge these storytelling traditions. 


Choosing from both newer and time-tested titles, we’ve listed ten manga series with the addition of a few YA titles of similar structure for you to check out! 



One Piece 


As a child, Monkey D. Luffy dreamed of becoming King of the Pirates. But his life changed when he accidentally gained the power to stretch like rubber…at the cost of never being able to swim again!  

Years later, Luffy sets off in search of the legendary “One Piece,” said to be the greatest treasure in the world. 



  • Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller 

This book follows Alosa, a fierce pirate captain's daughter, on a high-seas adventure filled with twists and turns. 


  • Seafire by Natalie C. Parker 

This novel features a crew of all-female pirates seeking revenge on a corrupt warlord in a dystopian world. 


  • Pirates! by Celia Rees 

This historical adventure novel follows two young women who escape their restrictive lives to join a pirate crew. 




My Hero Academia 


Middle school student Izuku Midoriya wants to be a hero more than anything, but he hasn’t got an ounce of power in him. With no chance of ever getting into the prestigious U.A. High School for budding heroes, his life is looking more and more like a dead end. Then an encounter with All Might, the greatest hero of them all, gives him a chance to change his destiny. 



  • Renegades by Marissa Meyer 

Set in a world of prodigious superheroes and villains, this book follows a girl with no extraordinary powers as she infiltrates a group of superhuman rebels. 


  • Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson 

The first book in The Reckoners series, it's set in a world where individuals with superpowers have turned evil, and a group of regular humans called the Reckoners rises to challenge them. 


  • Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti 

This novel revolves around a group of teenagers with unique abilities, exploring the challenges and consequences of their powers. 




Dragon Ball 


Meet a naive young monkey-tailed boy named Goku, whose quiet life changes when he meets Bulma, a girl who is on a quest to collect seven "Dragon Balls." If she gathers them all, an incredibly powerful dragon will appear and grant her one wish. But the precious orbs are scattered all over the world, so together, Bulma and Goku set out on the adventure of a lifetime. 



  • Eragon by Christopher Paolini 

This fantasy novel follows a young farm boy named Eragon who discovers a dragon egg, setting him on a journey filled with magic, dragons, and a dark empire. 


  • Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson 

The first book, "Mistborn: The Final Empire," is set in a world ruled by the immortal Lord Ruler, and it follows a group of rebels with extraordinary abilities trying to overthrow his regime. 


Juvenile/YA suggestion: 

  • Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan 

While centered around Greek mythology, this series features a young demigod named Percy Jackson and his friends embarking on quests, facing monsters, and dealing with divine conflicts. 







Twelve years ago, the Village Hidden in the Leaves was attacked by a fearsome threat. A nine-tailed fox spirit claimed the life of the village leader, the Hokage, and many others. Today, the village is at peace and a troublemaking kid named Naruto is struggling to graduate from Ninja Academy. His goal may be to become the next Hokage, but his true destiny will be much more complicated. 



  • The Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa 

This fantasy novel draws inspiration from Japanese mythology and follows a young kitsune (fox) shapeshifter on a quest involving ancient magic and powerful artifacts. 


  • The Young Elites by Marie Lu 

In a world where some survivors of a deadly fever develop superhuman abilities, this series explores the struggles and conflicts of those with extraordinary powers. 


  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir 

This fantasy series follows two protagonists, Laia and Elias, in a world inspired by ancient Rome, with a blend of magical elements, rebellion, and epic battles. 




Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba 


In Taisho-era Japan, kindhearted Tanjiro Kamado makes a living selling charcoal. But his peaceful life is shattered when a demon slaughters his entire family. His little sister Nezuko is the only survivor, but she has been transformed into a demon herself! Tanjiro sets out on a dangerous journey to find a way to return his sister to normal and destroy the demon who ruined his life. 



  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman 

Set in a world where dragons can take human form, this novel follows Seraphina, who becomes involved in a royal murder investigation while navigating her own unique abilities. 


  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon 

In a dystopian future where clairvoyant abilities are both feared and exploited, the protagonist, Paige Mahoney, fights against a powerful organization while exploring her own powers. 


  • An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson 

This novel combines elements of fantasy and romance as it follows a skilled mortal artist involved in the dangerous world of the fae. 




Yona of the Dawn 


Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Su-won. But everything changes on her sixteenth birthday when an unforeseen tragedy strikes her family. 



  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore 

This novel follows Katsa, a young woman with a unique skill (a "Grace") in a world where certain individuals possess extraordinary abilities. Katsa embarks on a journey that challenges her understanding of power and destiny. 


  • The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski 

Set in a world of political intrigue and power struggles, this novel follows Kestrel, the daughter of a general, who becomes entangled in the world of slaves and rebellion. 


  • The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson 

The story revolves around Elisa, a princess with a secret and a significant destiny. The novel blends political intrigue with the heroine's personal growth and development. 




Bloody Sweet 


Gloomy, introverted, and the daughter of a shaman, Naerim is an easy target for the bullies in her class. With no friends and an aloof mother, she faces this daily nightmare all alone. But just as she hits rock bottom, her knight in shining armor swoops in. Except he’s dressed in sinister black...and he’s an ancient vampire?! 



  • Crave by Tracy Wolff 

After losing her parents, Grace Foster is forced to move to an elite boarding school in Alaska, where her uncle is headmaster. It’s there she meets Jaxon, a boy who runs hot-and-cold, and is hiding a dangerous secret. 


  • Vampires, Hearts & Other Dead Things by Margie Fuston 

When her dad is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Victoria vows to find herself a vampire so that she can become one and save her father. 
Armed with research, speculations, and desperation—and helped by her estranged best friend, Henry—Victoria travels to New Orleans in search of a miracle.   


  • The Coldest Touch by Isabel Sterling 

Elise Beaumont is cursed. With every touch, she experiences exactly how her loved ones will die.  

Claire Montgomery also has a unique relationship with death, mostly because she’s already dead. Technically, anyway. Claire is a vampire, and she's been assigned by the Veil to help Elise master her rare Death Oracle powers. 


Bonus title: 

  • Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey 

Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancé. 




The Summer Hikaru Died 


It has Hikaru’s face. It has Hikaru’s voice. It even has Hikaru’s memories. But whatever came down from the mountains six months ago isn’t Yoshiki’s best friend. Whatever it is, it’s dangerous. 



  • The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco 

Inspired by Japanese folklore, this novel follows a vengeful spirit who hunts murderers. The story explores themes of possession and dark supernatural forces. 


  • The Host by Stephenie Meyer 

This science fiction novel explores a world where alien parasites, known as "Souls," take over human bodies. The story follows the internal conflict of a young woman, Melanie Stryder, whose body is inhabited by an alien entity. 


  • Unwind by Neal Shusterman 

Set in a dystopian future, this novel explores a society where parents can have their children "unwound," a process where children’s body parts are harvested for transplantation. 




Jujutsu Kaisen 


Although Yuji Itadori looks like your average teenager, his immense physical strength is something to behold. Every sports club wants him to join, but Itadori would rather hang out with the school outcasts in the Occult Research Club. One day, the club manages to get their hands on a sealed cursed object.  

Little do they know the terror they’ll unleash when they break the seal. 



  • The Scholomance Series by Naomi Novik 

The story follows Galadriel Higgins, a daughter of a famous magical healer, who gets thrown into a demonic, sentient school, which aims at doubling the survival rates of every growing wizard in this universe. 


  • Lockwood and Co. by Jonathan Stroud 

This series follows three young operatives of a Psychic Detection Agency as they battle an epidemic of ghosts in London. 


Juvenile suggestion: 

  • Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy  

The story follows Skulduggery Pleasant, a sorcerer and detective, who just so happens to be a skeleton. Alongside his mortal partner Stephanie Edgley, the pair wield wit and magic against the likes of a dangerous necromancer. 




Spy x Family 


Master spy Twilight is unparalleled when it comes to going undercover on dangerous missions for the betterment of the world. But when he receives the ultimate assignment, to get married and have a kid, he may finally be in over his head. 



  • I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1) by Ally Carter 

The first book in the Gallagher Girls series introduces readers to Cammie, a girl at a spy school trying to navigate both espionage and teenage life. 


  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo 

This book features a diverse group of skilled individuals with unique talents as they embark on a dangerous heist in a gritty, fantasy world. 


Juvenile fiction: 

  • Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer 

The series follows Artemis Fowl, a young genius and mastermind, as he navigates the world of fairies, magical creatures, and high-tech heists. 


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