“I like the stars. It’s the illusion of permanence, I think. I mean, they’re always flaring up and caving in and going out. But from here, I can pretend…I can pretend that things last. I can pretend that lives last longer than moments. Gods come, and gods go. Mortals flicker and flash and fade. Worlds don’t last; and stars and galaxies are transient, fleeting things that twinkle like fireflies and vanish into cold and dust. But I can pretend…” ― Neil Gaiman, Brief Lives
Hi guys! This is the list you need if you’re looking for your next YA book, with some middle grade and adult fiction included. Many books could fit into multiple genres, so I placed them as I saw fit. For the sake of space, more genres (dystopian, contemporary, etc) are below the cut.
The Host by Stephenie Meyer
Beta (4) by Rachel Cohn
The Fifth Wave (3) by Rick Yancey
Gone (6) by Michael Grant
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Across the Universe (3) by Beth Revis
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (5) by Douglas Adams
Skinned (3) by Robin Wasserman
Mila 2.0 (3) by Debra Driza
Maximum Ride (8) by James Patterson
Unwind (4) by Neal Shusterman
Feed by M.T. Anderson
Uglies (4) by Scott Westerfeld
Partials (3) by Dan Wells
These Broken Stars (4) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
I live for recommending books so. Here we go. This is probably going to get really long…..
The Books of Pellinor by Alison Croggon - Okay, listen. This is one of the two series that will always hold a very, very special place in my heart because I read these books when I wrote my first ever book. So they’re packed full of nostalgia and all that good stuff. Also they’re straight up amazing and I don’t understand why no one has read them?
The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima - This is the other series that will forever take up space in my heart. I will never forget how I cried myself to sleep after I finished reading the last one in the series (I have a problem with attachments to fictional characters, okay?). I love these books a lot and everyone should go read them right now and then come yell at me about them.
The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas - Another super incredible YA high fantasy series that everyone should read right now! The first book has some shaky world building but oh my god, the characters are AMAZING! I just finished the third book earlier this month and I already miss Iolanthe and Titus so much. I screamed at these books a lot and it was a great time.
Sekret & Skandal by Lindsay Smith - These psychic teenage Russian spies stole my heart go read these books now. I was so sad when I finished Skandal (still am) because I never wanted to leave these kids.
also Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith - Amazing high fantasy espionage. I really need to reread this soon. It was one of my favorite books from last year and I need everyone to read it. Right now.
(while you’re at it just go follow @lindsaysmithdc, she’s amazing and also she has another book coming out in October. I’m dying to read it and everyone else should be too)
The Mapmakers Trilogy by S. E. Grove-
MG fantasy. These books remind me a little bit of His Dark Materials
(which everyone should also go read if you haven’t already). Anyway. The
world building is incredible and the main characters Sophia and Theo are the cutest ever. I want to live inside these books.
The Monstrumologist Series by Rick Yancey
- I LOVE THESE BOOKS. SO MUCH!!! They’re dark and horrible and twisted
and I have never been so delighted. The writing, the setting, the
characters - it’s all incredible. Also I cried a lot while reading these and that’s always good.
An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet - Technically this is dystopia but it reads more like fantasy. This weird, wonderful book broke my heart. I’m overwhelmingly in love with all the characters and still weeping about everything.
In the Shadows by Kiersten White and Jim Di Bartolo - This is one of the most beautiful books I own. Half of the story is written by Kiersten White (everyone go read her newest book And I Darken it’s phenomenal and I’m marrying it) and half of the story is illustrated by Jim Di Bartolo and it’s dark and creepy and sad and beautiful.
The Leviathan Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld - Super incredible steampunk/alternate history of WWI. It’s been a long time since I’ve read these books but I love them a lot. Also Keith Thompson illustrated them and wow I could look at those illustrations for days. The characters in this series are some of my favorites ever and everything is just really, really delightful.
The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow - So I’m not really a huge fan of dystopia, but I loved this. A lot. It’s quite unlike other dystopia and also involves a ridiculous AI. Honestly the whole cast of characters is brilliant. Also minor spoiler (I guess??) Happy bisexual girls!!!!! (Everyone should also read her debut Plain Kate. I’m still crying.)
The Abarat Series by Clive Barker - These books are WEIRD and I love them so, so much. I think I read the first one when I was like… 11 or 12? I have no idea when the fourth one is going to be published so that kind of sucks and I believe there is also supposed to be a fifth one? But oh man. These books are a trip. Also the villain!!! Like everything in this series he’s really freaking weird and I love him a lot. (He looks like a corpse, his grandmother stitched his lips shut with he was young, and his nightmares swim around in this weird collar thing he wears. And… I don’t want to say he’s the LI, because he’s not but… idk, it’s hard to talk about without being spoilery so everyone should just go read the books.) The illustrations are also great and sometimes a bit demented.
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev - I haven’t read the rest of this series but I’m sure the other books will be equally charming. The theatre geek in me was absolutely thrilled by this. I practically lived in my community theatre growing up (I mean… not to the extent of Bertie, who actually does live in the theatre, but you know) but trust me this book is still charming even if you have no knowledge of theatre whatsoever.
Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee - YA historical fiction about a Chinese-American girl during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Yeah, this broke my heart and I might have sent it back to the library with tear stains…. (It also made me smile a lot, too, and is just really touching and beautiful.)
All right. I’m probably missing lots of wonderful books and I could go on for ages because books are my life but this is getting really long so we’ll stop here. I hope everyone finds new amazing books to cry about read!
(also I realize that a lot of this is just me saying GO READ IT NOW because I am not good at talking about books I love. Either I scream a lot, or I write like 15 page love letters and since no one actually wants to hear that I settled for lots of demanding)
We’ve got suggestions based on genre and books you may have already loved.
If you’re into fantasy…
Readers who loved Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black should check out Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev for more witty and romantic stories set in worlds where fairies are real.
Fans of The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey, check out Indelible by Dawn Metcalf for more stories of girls who can see magical creatures, go on adventures, and fall in love.
Looking for books set in the sky? Perfect Ruin by Lauren Stefano is set in a magical floating city that is the utopia it is supposed to be. In Magonia by Marla Headley the city in the sky is where the main character can finally breathe.
If you’re into contemporary YA…
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson and Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley are both stories of artists falling in love and finding themselves told from multiple perspectives and bursting with lyrical prose.
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr and Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia both deal with mother-daughter relationships and teenage pregnancy in a compelling and realistic way.
Great by Sara Benincasa riffs on The Great Gatsby, while the protagonist in Solitaire by Alice Oseman is a Holden Caulfield for the digital age. Both present smart and edgy stories about how social media effects the lives of teens.
If you like mysteries or thrillers…
Fans of Pretty Little Liars series should check out They All Fall Down by Roxane St. Claire. Murder? Check. High school drama? Check.
The Rules of Disappearing by Ashley Elston and Fake ID by Lamar Giles are both about teens in the witness protection program, but Rules has a side of romance and Fake ID is heavy on the conspiracy.
I’d Tell You I Love You, But then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter is a fun mystery with spies – fans will find the same in Robin Benway’s Also Known As.
A masterpost of YA books (and a few crossover MG titles) to be released in December 2014. Check out this month’s new releases below. Feel free to use this as a guide to this month’s releases, but please do not repost it in its entirety elsewhere. If you found this masterpost helpful, a like, reblog, or link back to Paperback’d would be much appreciated! If you know of a YA book to be released this month that isn’t on the list, drop me a message and I’ll update it!
Gimme some book recommendations that have fantasy, love, badass female characters but aren't nesecarilly anti-love/anti-man, with a deep and interesting storyline (pretty please? c:)
I most certainly can! What you’re asking for is basically a well-rounded lady character with a well-rounded story and a love interest that treats her with respect in a fantasy setting, which happens to be my favorite kinds of story!
I’m including sci-fi in this because fantasy and sci-fi go hand in hand and also I really, really love these books.
- The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski (fantasy world, with two loves on opposite sides of a political war, both of whom respect the political cunning of the other) - These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner (two people stranded on a planet must find a way to survive and learn to respect each other) - Graceling by Kristin Cashore (a fantasy with a light romance, where a girl goes to recuse her love interest’s cousin from an evil man) - Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (their planet blows up and two people who broke up that morning are stranded on two different spaceships and I’m not joking when I say this is one of the best books I’ve ever read and it comes out in October and you should buy it when it does) - Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood (also sci-fi about a girl who marries herself to a rival house to try and save her sister - comes out in December and was really interesting to read and I love the relationships within the story) - Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev (Bertie lives in a Theatre where every character in a story comes to life and it has a love triangle but Bertie’s like I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR LOVE TRIANGLES I NEED TO FIND OUT WHO I AM and it’s great and also very funny) - Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (alina can summon the sun and the darkling wants to use her power for himself and there’s lots of sexy romance options but mostly it’s about alina determining whether she wants to be a queen or a saint or the ultimate ruler and her relationship with power) - Thief’s Covenant by Ari Marmell (girl with a god in her head is also a thief - really awesome fantasy with a light romance element and i loved this book)
And some adult titles with hella crossover appeal - Uprooted by Naomi Novik (girl is taken to the lair of a supposedly evil man and he teaches her how to use magic as the evil in the world moves closer to her hometown and those she loves) - Through Wolf’s Eyes by Jane Lindskold (girl who was raised with magical wolves discovers that she’s royalty and is taken back to her human home but is still HELLA MAGIC and nobody really knows how to handle her and it’s great; one of my favorite fantasy novels with a really really light romance element) - Soulless by Gail Carriger (paranormal steampunk fantasy with some of the funniest writing I’ve ever read - so so so much fun)