From Sci-Fi to Romance novels, a few specific young adult books and series have managed not only to engage my mind, but also to capture my heart. I often find myself coming back for more with these select books; some stories never really come to an end– not until you let them. You’ll find that most of these books are quite popular, this is mostly because I love reading books that are highly recommended– and I’m guilty of wanting to read what everyone else is reading. Here’s a list of some of my favorites, comment yours down below!
1. The Hunger Games Trilogy – Suzanne Collins
“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.”
I first read The Hunger Games trilogy in 2012 and I am SO glad that I did. To my delighted surprise, I immediately fell in love with this series. Before reading Collins’ trilogy, I thought that I could never be interested in a science-fiction novel. Becoming so immersed in the world of The Hunger Games, however, taught me to never judge a book by its cover– or its genre (yes, that IS what covers and genres are for, but you get where I’m coming from). If I hadn’t read this series, I would have stayed in my tiny world of realistic fiction and missed out on tons of other great books– including Divergent, The Giver, and even Harry Potter! For this reason amongst many others, THG will ALWAYS be on my list of favorites.
2. The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
“That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.”
Although this novel has become somewhat of a cliche amongst teenage girls, I’ll be one of the first to say that it deserves all of the hype it’s received. I came across TFIOS a couple of years before the movie came out (so it wasn’t super popular yet) after it was recommended to me by a friend, and its been my favorite novel ever since. This eye-opening and inspirational novel is one that I’d recommend to all teens and adults alike, both male and female. (I think its often seen as a “girly” book, which definitely isn’t the case.) It will change your outlook on life, or at least give you a different viewpoint, all the while making you laugh until you cry, teaching you some new vocabulary, and breaking your heart.
3. Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling
“It is our choices, Harry, that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
Okay, so I didn’t read this series until March of this year (I know, how did I live with myself?) due to attending a private Christian elementary school that said things like, “Harry Potter is magic and magic is sinful!” But just thinking about these books makes me emotional. I absolutely fell in love with this series and all of its characters. Rowling honestly has to be one of the smartest people on the planet to come up with that plot line. (I mean, she had to have had it all planned out from the first book, how else would everything have perfectly aligned?) The characters are so inspirational; they make you laugh, they make you cry, all whilst destroying stereotypes and teaching a number of lessons that will be valuable throughout life. It’s no wonder that these books have such a large fanbase. They are quite simply amazing.
4. Along for the Ride – Sarah Dessen
“You’re supposed to fall sometimes. It’s a required part of the human existence.”
While I don’t remember close details of this book, (I read a string of Sarah Dessen books back to back and they sort of run together) I know that I particularly enjoyed it. Dessen’s novels are perfect examples of the realistic fiction that I didn’t branch from until after reading THG, and they gave me a good reason not to. Along for the Ride is a great starter novel if you haven’t read any of Dessen’s novels previously and enjoy (teen, romantic) realistic fiction, especially from the POV of a teenage girl.
5. Divergent – Veronica Roth
I’m in love with Dystopian novels/series and book to movie adaptations, so this one is a win-win for me. Like The Hunger Games, this trilogy follows the life of a 16 year old girl in a corrupted, futuristic city. I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys dystopian books!
Remember, there’s always more to learn,