a person reading a novel in the bath

4 Unforgettable Novels in Verse

Novels in verse are a unique form of storytelling that blend poetry and prose to create a lyrical and immersive reading experience. To help you find your next favorite novel in verse, we’ve compiled some of the most compelling and award-winning novels in verse, written by talented authors from around the world.


These novels explore a wide range of themes, from identity and family to friendship, love, and social justice. They use the power of poetry to convey complex emotions and capture the nuances of human relationships and experiences, drawing readers into the lives of the characters and leaving a lasting impact on their hearts and minds. Whether you’re a poetry lover or a fiction fan, these four exciting novels in verse are sure to captivate and inspire you.


Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

From National Book Award and Newberry Honor winner Jacqueline Woodson comes a moving memoir in verse. Brown Girl Dreaming tells the story of Woodson’s upbringing in South Carolina and New York. Touching and powerful, each poem offers a glimpse into Woodson’s experience as an African American living in the aftermath of Jim Crow and the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement. 


Be Straight With Me by Emily Dalton

This memoir-in-verse began as a thesis and transformed into something truly unforgettable. The boundaries of gender and sexuality fall under the microscope in this moving story of a nonconforming romance between Max and Emily. As the nature of their relationship changes over time, Max and Emily come to appreciate new shades of “this bizarre, beautiful thing” they call love. 


Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds tells the story of violence, family ties, and revenge in this powerful novel-in-verse. Fifteen-year-old Will loses his brother and plans to avenge his death. On the elevator ride down from his apartment, he meets several people who recount their stories in the cycle of violence Will finds himself in. As Will learns more and more, he is faced with a difficult choice: whether to continue on his journey for revenge. 


The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Written by award-winning slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo, The Poet X tells the story of Xiomara Batista: a young Afro-Latina woman who feels unheard and exposed in her Harlem neighborhood. Batista begins to channel her frustrations into the pages of her leather notebook, and soon after she joins her school’s slam poetry club. Despite her mother’s dogmatic determination to keep Xiomara obedient to the church, she refuses to be silenced. 


These four novels use the power of language to convey complex emotions, capturing the nuances of human experiences and relationships in a way that is both accessible and evocative. They offer readers a chance to step into the lives of the characters, experiencing their triumphs and struggles in a way that feels both intimate and authentic. They showcase the depth and breadth of contemporary poetry and demonstrate the unique ways in which poetry can be used to tell compelling and memorable stories.