My sister is a high school teacher and she tends to sucker me into helping her chaperone field trips for her FBLA and DECA students. Well, during one of these field trips, I found myself in a conversation with two girls who loved to read, but had only read the big, popular, everyone-and-their-brother-has-read-these-books series. Like, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Twilight.
I tried not to show my horror and started recommending a few–well, a lot–of YA series that I thought they’d enjoy. When I hit the tenth series, I stopped and told them I’d give them a written list instead. Well, that list turned out to be ginormous too, so I told them to start at the top. Those were the big ones they HAD to read.
So, in a nutshell, here’s my Top Ten list of must-read YA series. Whether you’re a teen or an adult, you’re sure to enjoy them!
1. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini TaylorBizarre, addicting and wonderful! I loved the author’s premise, wit and style. Really, it doesn’t even matter that I haven’t read the third and final book in the series, Dreams of Gods & Monsters (set to be published on April 1st, 2014). This is absolutely my favorite YA series! Karou’s blue hair and all!
2. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
This prequel series to Clare’s Mortal Instruments shares the same fun, rip-roaring action and smart humor, but it feels richer and more endearing. By the last page, I was crying (and I’m not a crier) and wishing a thousand times it wasn’t over. I guess I’ll just have to re-read it someday!
Lately, rumors have been swirling around that this could make it to the silver screen. Fingers crossed!
3. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
The concept alone for this series is a reason to pick it up. Love is a disease, deliria, and a cure has been created to eradicate it. But, not everyone wants to be cured and an uprising begins…Now, although the series had its up’s and down’s, overall, I found it to be intriguing and addicting. Plus, it nearly became a TV series, so it definitely has mass appeal. Check it out.
Oh, and I know I’m in the minority on this, but I’m totally Team Julian. Sorry, Alex!
4. Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
A surprisingly enjoyable dystopian novel where the future meets the past. We’re transported from Aria’s underground world of technology and bliss, to up above, to Perry’s savage, poisoned reality “under the never sky”. The love-hate relationship between Aria and Perry is amusing and endearing to read, and has you cheering them on from beginning to end. Into the Still Blue, the third in the series, is set to be released on January 28th, 2014.
5. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Author of the well-known Uglies series, Westerfield takes readers on an around-the-world adventure with would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Prince Aleksander, and commoner girl-disguised-as-boy, Deryn Sharp. The story is exciting, sweet and completely entertaining. Trust me, you’ll be saying “barking spiders” for weeks!
6. Maze Runner by James Dashner
It’s fun, it’s intriguing, and it leaves you wondering “what the heck is going to happen next?”. The Maze Runner is vaguely reminiscent of Lord of the Flies, but with a maze, a couple of girls, and oozing, creeping creatures that attack in the night! Oh, and there’s a tiny world-wide plague that gives people zombie-like symptoms. Make sure you read all three in the series before you see it in theaters February 14th, 2014!
7. Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
When it comes to books, I tend to be one of those “judge a book by its cover” kind of gals. That’s how I came to pick up The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. I just loved, loved, loved the cover. And it was worth it! This haunting story makes you question the protagonist’s sanity the entire time and…well, I don’t want to spoil it for you, so I’ll just leave it at that. You can read the next book in the Mara Dyer series, The Retribution of Mara Dyer, on June 3rd, 2014.
8. Legend by Marie Lu
Lu came up with the plot for Legend when she was watching Les Miserables on TV and thought a teenaged version of the criminal vs. detective storyline would be interesting. And she was right! Hopping back and forth between the two protagonists–June, the military prodigy, and Day, the country’s most wanted criminal–this dystopian tale will have you flipping to the next page again and again. Get the final book in the series, Champion, on November 5th, 2013!
9. Shades of London by Maureen Johnson
A thriller that has you both scared and laughing throughout it. After a near-death experience, Rory Deveaux begins seeing ghosts, one in particular that has been wreaking havoc on London lately: Jack the Ripper. I loved the premise, the dialogue and, more than anything, the protagonist. Simply put, Rory was one of the most amusing character’s I’ve ever read. I can’t wait to read the next in the series, The Shadow Cabinet, set for a 2014 release.
10. Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout
This last one was a bit of a toss up. I almost went with Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, but I figured I’d already covered the angels genre with Daughter of Smoke & Bone. So, I’m using this final slot for a silly and frivolous book that was too entertaining to omit. It has aliens (dun, dun, dun!) and a sizzling hot boy. How can you beat that?
Counting down the days for the 4th book’s release. Origin will hit shelves on August 27th, 2013.
Now, I know some of you may be thinking, “uh, where’s Divergent? They’re making it into a movie, after all!”. Well, to be completely honest, I loved Divergent, but I was let down by its sequel, Insurgent. It’s difficult for me to say this because I genuinely enjoy Veronica Roth’s style and imagination. Even so, I’m waiting to read Allegiant, the final book in the series due out October 22nd, before I decide my overall feelings for this particular YA series.
Be sure to check out Goodreads for full synopses and reviews of these and so, so, so many other wonderful YA series!