Ranking the Best YA Novels by Animal Cuteness

If there’s one thing that makes a novel memorable for me, besides having amazing characters that I’d 100% take a bullet for, IT’S THE ANIMALS. Whether they be mythical creatures in fantasy, dogs in contemporary, or anything in between, I’m so here for it. Animals just make life so much better, am I right?! Whenever I see a doggo on the street, I’m like, THANK YOU FOR BLESSING ME WITH YOUR PRESENCE. It’s truly an honour to live on this planet alongside dogs.

So today I’m going to rank some YA books by how cute the animals in them are! There’s honestly no better way to judge how good a book is, in my opinion. So I hope you can add some more fantastic books to your TBR – but prepare to want to drop everything to adopt a teacup dragon. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.


1. Heartstopper

Wow, look at me – I’m cheating already because Heartstopper is a graphic novel, but WHATEVER! NELLIE IS DEFINITELY THE CUTEST OF THE CUTE. There’s not even any competition when Nellie’s in the building. I mean, who doesn’t love an adorable pup that thrives off cuddles? WHAT A CUTIE. And the illustrations of her… my heart can’t handle all the cuteness. Heartstopper updates are 500% more adorable whenever Nellie’s in the story, and yeah, I’m not afraid to admit she’s my favourite character. DOGS ARE BETTER THAN PEOPLE. PERIOD.


2. The Belles

Two words: TEACUP. DRAGONS. Have you ever heard of something so precious in your entire life? I want to live in a world where teacup dragons exist — never mind that the society is super messed up, but the dragons would totally make up for it. If you haven’t read The Belles yet, DO IT FOR THE TEACUP DRAGONS. And also because this book is an incredible fantasy that you’ll just be immersed in, but mainly — dragons.

The Unexpected Everything

3. The Unexpected Everything

If you’re a dog lover and you haven’t read this book, YOU NEED TO RECTIFY THAT IMMEDIATELY. You probably think I’m joking, but I’m not. THIS IS A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH. Okay, maybe it’s not thaaaat serious, but you’re missing out on a heck of a lot of cute puppers. The Unexpected Everything is a book about a girl who gets a summer job as a DOG WALKER. It’s just so, so adorable and perfect in every way. Plus there may be a romance with a dog owner going on… IT’S VERY CUTE. READ IT.


4. Harry Potter

There are so many animals in Harry Potter and yeah, I could focus on the terrifying Aragog or the basilisk, but LET’S JUST IGNORE THOSE THINGS FOR A MOMENT, SHALL WE? I’m just here for my grumpy lil Crookshanks and my beautiful Hedwick of course, and Buckbeak is pretty adorable too. If I had a time-turner, I’d 100% just attend all the ‘care of magical creatures’ classes and nothing else. Plus, I think Luna and I would be BEST FRIENDS, and we could just pet the cute creatures all day long. GIRLFRIEND GOALS, AM I RIGHT? Alsooooo the Niffler and Pickett from Fantastic Beasts! HOW ADORABLE.


5. This is What Happy Looks Like

THE LOVE INTEREST HAS A PET PIG. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. My only complaint about this book is that we never get to meet the pig and we just hear about it, but STILL. How many books can you name where a pig is a pet? NOT MANY. And pigs can be pretty damn cute. You know what I call them? Dogs of the farm. Maybe it was the way I rewatched Charlotte’s Web endlessly when I was a kid, but I freaking love pigs.


6. The Gilded Wolves

Goliath, the giant pet spider, HIGH-KEY FREAKS ME OUT. But he’s trying, okay?! Not everyone can be an adorable puppy. SPIDERS DESERVE LOVE TOO, Y’ALL. I mean, not that I’d be willing to hold Goliath, but I’d appreciate him from a distance. He’s definitely not a pet everyone can fall in love with (and some might even run away screaming, I’m not here to judge), but he’s just chilling with his eight legs and terrifying eyes. Y’know. Doing whatever spiders do. 



How many of my top picks have you read? What are some of your favourite books with adorable pets? If you could adopt any animal from any novel, who would you adopt? I’d love to know!


7 thoughts on “Ranking the Best YA Novels by Animal Cuteness

  1. I’ve read quite a few of these, and Gilded Wolves is on my TBR – but there’s a pet spider in it?! 🙈
    Some of my favourite ‘pets’ include the phoenixes in Crown of Feathers, obviously the dogs in Unexpected Everything and I’m sure there are so many more that I can’t think of right now.
    Amazing blog post!

  2. Ahhh what a great post, Sarah, I love all of your picks SO much! Nellie would have been my number one pick just as well, I just love her so much ❤ ❤ ❤ I think the only choice I wouldn't pick on here would be that giant pet spider, as these animals just terrify me hahahaha.
    Great post! 😀

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