Are you a little intimidated by classics but love YA? We’ve got the perfect books for you

Classics can be daunting. They’re often hefty tomes that you’re made to read at school, and usually ones that you have no interest in whatsoever. Why would you read ‘Great Expectations’ when a re-read of ‘Divergent’ is really what you’re after, right?

There’s actually a lot more to classics; they can be fun, hilarious, dark and even a little saucy and we’ve got the perfect books to get you started on bridging that gap between YA and the rather intimidating Canon.

For fans of: unrequited love, epic parties and sultry summers


‘The Great Gatsby’ is a brilliant place to start when you’re branching out into classics without the support/pressure of a teacher. It’s super short, quick and so involving you won’t want to put it down.

Jay Gatsby has everything. His parties are filled with the rich and beautiful of Long Island, but Gatsby himself is still a mystery. He’s hiding away, brooding over an obsession with a girl he fell in love with years ago and he just can’t let her go…

For fans of: all things creepy and supernatural

Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde’s only novel, ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’, is fun and creepy and a surefire winner for everyone who doesn’t think they’ll like classics.

Dorian Gray is having his portrait painted by Basil Hallward who is completely floored by Dorian’s beauty. When Sir Henry Wooton visits Dorian and lures him into a world of youth, beauty and opulence, Dorian makes a wish that will change everything: that his portrait will age and warp instead of himself.

For fans of: thrillers, mysteries and unlikable characters


‘Rebecca’ is Daphne du Maurier’s most famous novel and one of our very favourite books of all time. It’s a gloriously creepy mystery set in Cornwall in the late 1930s and the beauty of du Maurier’s writing will take your breath away.

Our orphaned heroine is on holiday in the South of France as a lady’s companion when she meets rich, handsome and recently bereaved Maxim de Winter. She falls for him fast and is whisked back to Manderley as his wife, but finds herself haunted by the first Mrs de Winter, Rebecca, at every turn.

For fans of: romantic declarations, witicisms and rowdy fictional families


There’s no way that Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ has escaped your notice at all, and the sheer love that people have for this author and her books can be a little intimidating. But they’re revered for a reason. ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is romantic, witty and brilliantly sharp.

When Elizabeth Bennett first meets Fitzwilliam Darcy she thinks him arrogant and rude, and he thinks her nothing special. But when Darcy becomes entangled in the lives and romances of the Bennett sisters and their suitors, they both learn that maybe they first judged too harshly.

What are your favourite classics? Tell us at @maximumpopbooks!

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Written by Sophie Waters

Sophie is the Head of Commercial at Maximum Pop! Having studied English Lit and Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, she came to MP! to satisfy her passion for books. Sophie is a diehard Hufflepuff and feminist. She's also a huge cat lover, and can often be found rocking her socks off at a gig.

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