Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Recommended Reading: After The Hunger Games

Some of you no doubt remember that I am a HUGE YA Fiction fan. As in, it comprises 90% of my recreational reading. I get a lot of e-mails asking for more recommendations, but of course it always helps to compare notes so I know what you've already read and liked.

So, for the purposes of this post, I'm going to assume you've read and liked The Hunger Games series. Not necessarily LOVED them, but at least liked them. Good? Good.

Now, what should you read next?

Well, if you haven't already, I'd start with these:

Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld
(links lead to Amazon)

This is the first book in a four-part series, so you might want to have the next one on hand, too, to spare yourself some suspense. Like HG, it's set in a warped future with a totalitarian government, only here all the kids are forced to get plastic surgery instead of fighting each other to the death.

It's, er, a lot more exciting than I'm making it sound, though. Honest.

Terrier, by Tamora Pierce

You guys know I love Pierce's work, and Beka Cooper is one of her most kick-ass heroines to date. C'mon, she's the fantasy world's equivalent of a beat cop. She and Katniss are cut from the same cloth, kick-assingly speaking, although Beka has a better cat and is a bit more likeable in her romantical leanings. (You know what I'm talking about, HG fans.)

Oh, and John is telling me to make sure I mention how much he loved this book, too. So, there you have it: two made-up words and a recommendation from John. You just can't beat that.

So This is How it Ends, by Tui T. Sutherland

I read this book several years ago, and loved it. In fact, here's an old review I wrote for it:

Post-apocalyptic adventure? Check. Diverse yet fully fleshed-out characters? Check. Killer robots, psychic mutant animals, and time travel? Check, check, and check. What's not to love?

Maybe it's because I grew up watching the Martian Chronicles, but I love the whole last-person-on-earth concept. This takes that premise and combines it with some action-packed adventures, fascinating yet believable characters, a smidge of romance, and a somewhat bizarre ending. That ending has me wondering if I'll enjoy the sequel(s) as much, since it was an unexpected twist from your typical sci-fi, but I'm looking forward to reading them regardless.

So, again, some similar Hunger Games-like survival scenarios with teen characters. Good stuff. (And I still need to look up that sequel!)

Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card 

This one is such a classic that if you *haven't* read it yet I'm going to look at you quite sternly over my glasses. Don't make me do that. I mean, I don't even know where my glasses are.

The premise doesn't sound at all relatable - a six-year-old boy genius is taken to a space school to learn war tactics - but the story will suck you in almost immediately. Plus, the zero-G fight sequences are some of the best action scenes I've ever read. Seriously. I never though fight scenes could be awesome until I read this book. (Well, except for the naked shower fight. That was more awkward than awesome.) So, yeah: kids fighting to the death plus some of the best sci-fi writing in history. READ IT.

Gregor the Overlander, by Suzanne Collins

It wasn't until a few months ago that I realized the author of The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins - is also the same author who wrote Gregor the Overlander, another of my favorite books. Gregor is written for a younger audience than Hunger Games, and is a vastly different storyline, but if you like Collin's writing then you should definitely check it out. 

The story follows Gregor, a boy from the present day, who falls through a grate into a vast underworld on the brink of war. It's fantasy at its purest form, with talking bats and giant cockroaches and plenty of adventures, so if you have kids definitely read this one with them. (And if you love it, there are four or five more books in the series, which are also excellent.)

So there you have it! Here's hoping at least a few of these titles might be new to you. And if you're looking for even more YA fantasy recommendations from your fellow Epbot readers, go check out the comment section on this post; it's chock full of titles and reviews. Every now and then I go back there myself and make a new list of books to read. 

Ok, guys, your turn: what should *I* be reading next? (And for the record: I did love The Hunger Games, but I hated the series' ending. Too abrupt! Not enough closure! Can I get a witness?!)

UPDATE: By all means tell me your thoughts on Hunger Games, guys, but try to keep 'em spoiler-free, k?


  1. Hallelujah. (re: the ending to the Hunger Games series)
    I thoroughly enjoyed the Wilfair books by Alysia Gray Painter. Not sure it classifies as Young Adult, but it's a fun, fast read.
    If you don't follow the fun ladies of, you totally should.

  2. There's a great e-book called "Rate Me Red" that's a wonderful take on where our society is heading with things like Facebook and Hot Or Not. It follows one boy's struggle to find love and acceptance in a society gone mad with superficiality.

  3. I just finished one called "The Girl of Fire and Thorns" by Rae Carson. I am the type that usually dozes off about 9:30 pm but I stayed up until 4 am just to finish this one! YA fantasy, an arranged marriage, a bloody war, I won't spoil the rest, but let's just say I was completely enthralled.

    I haven't read the Hunger Games series yet, partly because I don't have a week to dedicate to nothing but reading :) but mostly because my library has a monster waiting list for it. Thanks for all the other recommendations!

  4. Insurgent, by Veronica Roth. It's the first in a series, the second of which came out yesterday and I have no idea why I haven't purchased it yet!
    It's about a post-apocalyptic society where there are 5 different factions, and the kids have to pick a faction about their junior year of school. It follows the training of the main character in her chosen faction, and then some other fun stuff happens.

  5. No, I lied! Divergent is first - Insurgent is the one I have yet to purchase (it must be on my mind).

  6. I'm with you on the Hunger Games, loved the series but I disliked the ending. I guess I was too much of an optimist to hope for a less depressing ending for Katniss.

    Thank you for the recommendations associated with it though, it's an excellent way of finding new stuff to read ^_^.

  7. Any and all books by Scott Westerfeld are recommended- So Yesterday and Leviathan are my favorites. Leviathan took steampunk to a whole new level for me. And was a great way to introduce that style to my husband, who has fallen in love with it. For a more emotional story- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is good too.

    For video-yet-literary recommendation the Lizzie Bennet Diaries on Youtube is a vlogger style retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

    long comment is long.

  8. I hope you've read the rest of the Beka Cooper books; while Terrier is pretty stand-alone, Bloodhound and Mastiff are equally epic.

    Also, Rick Riordan's books are really terrific. They're a little younger than Pierce and The Hunger Games, but I enjoy them as much. He basic premise is, "what if the gods of mythology were at work in the world today?" He took it two ways: Greek/Roman and Egyptian. "The Kane Chronicles" go the Egyptian route, and the "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series and "The Heroes of Olympus" series focus on the Greek/Roman. They're a ton of fun, and I enjoy them because I've studied Greek/Roman and Eyptian mythology.

    One more series that is actually a lot of fun is the "I am Number Four" book/series. (I think the series is actually called the Lorian Legacies.) They're about an alien war going on undetected on Earth. Think Transformers, but with flesh-and-blood aliens, instead of machine-like ones. They're fun because the "good" aliens are teenagers growing to their powers and fighting. I haven't seen the movie, so I don't know if it was at all like the book.

    Thanks for these recommendations! I'll be sure to check them out!

  9. Definitely read John Green's The Fault in Our Stars--not fantasy, but an achingly good book.

  10. A new series by Veronica Roth starts with the book Divergent. I hear the next one should be released this year, called "Insurgent." I found the heroine a bit more likeable and the world a bit more easy to delve into. And the writing was overall better.

    It takes places in a dystopian greater Chicago, with society divided into factions according to what seem to be personality traits: brutal honesty, self-effacing service, daredevil courage, etc. Teens choose their faction at a dramatic coming-of-age ceremony with no turning back. Of course our heroine begins to get an inkling of trouble in, erm, paradise, as well as falling for someone she probably shouldn't. It's got that same lost technology/sci-fi technology combo that HG has too.

  11. I tend to favor romance/action novels like The Black Dagger Brotherhood, JR Ward (there is so much action included...I love it. I feel like I have a personal connection to them). I re-read alot.

    I really like The Dark Hunters Series, Sherrilyn Kenyon - Acheron has my heart, I can re-read him everyday. But these books have alots of action too. My dad actually read the 1st book (Kyrian) and said it was great because of all the history, greek references, and it doesn't hurt that it was set in New Orleans (my hometown).

    I've also read The Midnight Breed Series by Lara Adrian. I like it, not my all time favorite but it was good.

    Oh, and the Mercy Thompson series...I come to realize that I really like shifters and were-animal books.

    I'm a sucker for a happily ever after.

  12. You should try the Monster High series by Lisi Harrison. Quite a bit different than the webisodes, but good nontheless.

  13. I was going to tell you about Ender's Game! I'm reading it right now, for the first time ever. My son has to read it this summer for his advanced placement English class in high school. Have you read all the books in that series?

  14. Have you read "The Strange Case of Finley Jayne" by Kady Cross yet? It's a very Steampunk YA short story about a young servant class woman who can do things that by rights she shouldn't be able to. The Girl in the Stainless Steel Corset is the follow on novel- I'm waiting for it to come out in paper . There is apparently a second coming out- The Girl in the Clockwork Collar.


  15. Have you ever read Diana Gabaldon? It's only slightly fantasy - there's a bit of time travel - but mostly it's historical fiction with a great romance. It's NOT YA AT ALL, but amazing and gripping and You should definitely check her out...

  16. I definetly agree with your feeling towards the end of Hunger Games and I'm curious if you liked the movie? Anyhoo, I would most adamantly suggest you the Percy Jackson and Fablehaven series! For laughs you might also enjoy the Hunger Games parody, Hunger Pains.

  17. Have you finished the Beka Cooper Series yet? Terrier and Bloodhound are awesome and really build the character and world then she pulls a twist in Mastiff that left me going, "What? No, no, that's not OK!" Tamora Pierce is still my favorite authors and Beka is definitely one of her best characters, but the ending of the series was kind of a let down. At least to me. Others may disagree.

  18. They aren't YA fiction, but I highly recommend The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold:

    -Cordelia's Honor (combined book of Shards of Honor and Barrayar)
    -The Warrior's Apprentice
    -Borders of Infinity
    -The Vor Game
    -Brothers In Arms
    -Mirror Dance
    -A Civil Campaign
    -Diplomatic Immunity

    These two books are in the same universe as The Vorkosigan Saga, but deal with other characters:

    -Falling Free (read Diplomatic Immunity before)
    -Ethan of Athos

    They have great characters, plots that are full of adventure and mystery and laughs.

  19. I loved Uglies and Pretties was very good, but then I really REALLY didn't like Specials.

    I would also recommend Unwind by Neal Shusterman. That book has stuck with me like few books ever do. Seriously. Read it today.

    Divergent by Veronica Roth was also very good. Hollowland by Amanda Hocking was a nice YA twist on zombies. Jenny Pox by JL Bryan is interesting and also worth a read. And, finally, The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter is a great take on mythology.

    I've read Ender's Game more than once and will most likely be standing in line for the midnight show next spring, so you can take my YA geek advice.

  20. You have to read Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy. Well actually the first in the trilogy was released about a year ago (Divergent) and the second in the series (Insurgent) was released yesterday. I could not put it down. I guess we will have to wait awhile for the third/last book to be released but thats okay. Here is the description of the first book from Amazon:

    In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

    During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

  21. Yay for book recommendations!

    I'd suggested Chime by Franny Billingsley. A little mystery and a little magic in an alterna-Victorian England setting.

    Oh, and since you love steampunk, you have to read All Men of Genius by Lev AC Rosen. It is a steampunky mashup of Twelfth Night and The Importance of Being Earnest. Great cast of characters and lots of fun details.

  22. I loved The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Stewart. More adventure than fantasy. Smart kids, a kick-ass girl, puzzles and adventure. It was great in the audiobook version as well.

  23. Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan. Awesome zombie apocalypse story. First book of a trilogy. Also, Divergent, by Veronica Roth. The second book came out yesterday, Insurgent. Dystopian society where everyone must choose a faction. Great!

  24. I have read almost every book you just posted and loved them as well :-) If you are ever looking for more books check out I post about these kind of books on a daily basis, plus a few other literary tidbits and am also always looking for my next "fix"

  25. You have named some of my favorite books. :P If you haven't yet, read Ender's Shadow, the parallel novel to Ender's Game, focused around Bean's journey. Anything that Card writes, though, is magic.

    Another amazing book is Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It's amazing and a must-read. A YA novel you will probably (most definitely) enjoy is the Fault in Our Stars by John Green (and, well, all of his other books). If you like that, some other authors you might want to (should) consider are Libba Bray and Maureen Johnson.

    I'd add more, but I'm not with my bookshelf. :)

  26. Sweet. Seems we have similar reading tastes. I have been wondering about the Uglies. Thanks for the recommendations on all the books. I also read Ender's Game and I loved the Hunger Games too.

  27. I am currently reading, "The Night Circus." It is lovely, so far. Here's the Amazon blurb.

  28. First off, I totally agree about Hunger Games! I loved it, but hated the ending! Anyways, some good books I've read recently are Divergent by Veronica Roth (first in a series) and Unwind by Neal Shusterman. Both are fantastic and I couldn't put them down!

  29. I love those books! I'm a 41 yr old mom but I also love YA literature; and since you mentioned Scott Westerfeld's Uglies, I wholeheartedly recommend his Leviathan trilogy. Well, this maybe exactly YA (more like children's lit) but I think it fits with your recommendations.

    It's a fantastic steampunk/alternative WWI history which features a strong heroine who has to dress like a boy (Victorian England, ladies DO NOT fly in living airships). I absolutely adore it and highly recommend it.

    From a review: "This is World War I as never seen before. The story begins the same: on June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife are assassinated, triggering a sequence of alliances that plunges the world into war. But that is where the similarity ends. This global conflict is between the Clankers, who put their faith in machines, and the Darwinists, whose technology is based on the development of new species. After the assassination of his parents, Prince Aleksandar's people turn on him. Accompanied by a small group of loyal servants, the young Clanker flees Austria in a Cyklop Stormwalker, a war machine that walks on two legs. Meanwhile, as Deryn Sharp trains to be an airman with the British Air Service, she prays that no one will discover that she is a girl. She serves on the Leviathan, a massive biological airship that resembles an enormous flying whale and functions as a self-contained ecosystem. When it crashes in Switzerland, the two teens cross paths, and suddenly the line between enemy and ally is no longer clearly defined. The ending leaves plenty of room for a sequel, and that's a good thing because readers will be begging for more. Enhanced by Thompson's intricate black-and-white illustrations, Westerfeld's brilliantly constructed imaginary world will capture readers from the first page. Full of nonstop action, this steampunk adventure is sure to become a classic."

    I couldn't agree more.

  30. If you liked Hungar Games, then try Divergent series. I've read the first two in the series and really like them.

  31. Completely agree about the HG ending!

    Also, thank you for mentioning Ender's Game! I've read several "after Hunger Games" reading suggestion lists, and none of them have mentioned Ender's Game. Maybe everyone assumes others have read it already? In any case, it definitely needs to be on this list :)

  32. I love Divergent, and am now reading Insurgent (which was just released yesterday).

    It's kinda a post-apocalyptic world where everybody has to choose 1 of 5 factions where they belong.

  33. I agree-- I really enjoyed the Uglies series and have been waiting for someone else to read it so I could talk about it; and Gregor the Overlander has been one of my recent favorites.
    The only recommendations I can think of are a little older, but if you haven't read Skulduggary Pleasant, you should-- you would enjoy it. And the Death Gate Cycle is also excellent, although maybe a little fantasy-ish for you?
    Keep the recommendations coming!

  34. While thias series not a TRUE Sci-fi, it is well worth reading. "The Dark is Rising" by Susan Cooper.

  35. Have you read Divergent by Veronica Roth yet? The second book in the series, Insurgent, just came out this week. Of the mass of Hunger Games copycats that have been released in the last couple years, this is the only one that I thought lived up to the billing.

  36. YA fiction is close to my heart as well. I'm sure you may have already gone down this road, but if not, you should check out the Maze Runner series by James Dashner and then the beginning of a series to come called Divergent by Veronica Roth. Fantastic stuff. Both deal with dystopian societies. I liked Scott Westerfield's (Uglies dude) Midnighters series. Those books were fun. The book Unwound is another dystopian book that I found fascinating... oh, oh, and Nancy Farmer's House of the Scorpion. And if you are into realistic YA fiction, I'm loving Gary D. Schmidt's stuff, namely Wednesday Wars and Okay for Now. I'm currently reading another by him. I'll stop there. Thanks for the recommendations --I really need to give Tamora Pierce a shot. Time to go see the recommendations in the other post...

  37. I am a HUGE fan of the YA Fantasy genre, so I just had to comment on a few of your choices:

    The Beka Cooper series - awesome! should be noted that they tie in to the Alanna books, as they are told to a young George Cooper by his mother, to try and get him on the straight path.

    Also of note by Tamara is the Protector of the Small series - my favorite to date! It follows the story of Kel, the first female knight since Alanna. Only Kel is not hiding that she is a girl.

    Ender's Game - as much as I loved this series as a YA, I loved the parallel series Ender's Shadow more as an adult. Ender's Shadow tells the same story, but from the perspective of one of the other students. It is amazing! Same story, different themes, different view points. You can really tell how much the author changed over the years between the series.

    For the record, I tried to read the Hunger Games, but couldn't get through it. I kept wanting it to have a Running Man sorta thing going - meeting up with some secret resistance in the game arena - but it didn't and I resented that.

    Other YA Fantasy on my Reading List:
    Dragon Riders of Pern - Anne and Todd McCaffrey
    The Belgariad and the Tamuli - David Eddings
    Dragon's Blood - Jane Yolen
    The Cirlce of Magic - Tamara Pierce
    The Winter of Magic's Return - Pamela F Service
    The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
    Warrior's Apprentice - Lois McMasters Bujold - note this one is more on the sci-fi side - a wonderful Space Opera if you will

    hmmm... all of these seem to be the start of series.... oh well, more to read!

  38. One more, sorry. If you like Orson Scott Card and haven't read Enchantment, you should. Less outerspace and more fairytale.

  39. My nephew gave me "Enders Game" for Christmas -- he couldn't BELIEVE I hadn't read it. I'm not sure why I never did, but once I picked it up I was immediately sucked in from the first sentence. Unbelievable! That doesn't happen often. I've now read two more books in the series and can say with confidence they both immediately sucked me in with the first page. Read HG recently (after I saw the movie) and really enjoyed that. I'm on the waiting list at the library for the 2nd in the series.

  40. Boy, am I glad I'm not the only grown person that LOVES YA fiction!!! I loved The Hunger Games series and it's ending.

    I also LOVE the House of Night series by P.C and kristen Cast. It's a big series and they are still writing more (at least one book a year!).

  41. I LOVED Ender's Game! My daughter recommended it and I was mesmerized immediately. Then I read the companion novel, Ender's Shadow, written from Bean's perspective. Loved it too. If you haven't read Frank Beddor's The Looking Glass Wars I highly recommend it. It's the first volume of a YA fantasy trilogy about the REAL Alice in Wonderland. Very, very good! I just finished this one and can't wait for the next.

    But now I have to go dig out Ender's Game and read it again. Thanks!

  42. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Run, do not walk, to your near bookstore and buy it NOW. NOW I tell you! Don't even order it online because that will take to long to get to you. Get it NOW! (can you tell I LOVE this book!)

  43. I read & loved the Gregor series before reading the HG series! Glad to see it being recommended :)

    I recently read & definitely recommend Incarceron by Catherine Fisher. Futuristic prison escape, royal intrigue and forbidden technology. My imagination was totally drawn in and Iam looking forward to getting a chance to read the sequel Sapphique.

  44. Love your recommendations! Thanks!!
    I also enjoyed Divergent by Veronica Roth. :-)

  45. Have you ever read "The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles" by Julie Andrews? THE Julie Andrews of "Sound of Music" & "Mary Poppins" fame. My 4th grade teacher read it to us & I begged my parents to buy me a copy. I've had it for 32 years and re-read it every so often. It's about 3 kids who meet up w/a professor & he teaches them how to transport themselves to Whangdoodleland. Story goes back & forth between home & their visits to Whangedoodleland with all kinds of adventures until they finally meet the Whangdoodle. I would love to see it made into a movie.

  46. All of those books are really good books and suggestions! I can suggest The Selection(by Kiera Cass), I just finished it last week and it was amazing. I tend to read a book a day, so I can recommend alot. Tommorrow Land by Matt Mancusi was very good, as well as any of Gemma Malleys books. I also love Veronica Roth, Beth Revis, Marissa Meyers book Cinder was amazing! I can think of a million other books to recommend. But there is a few if you haven't already read them! :) Happy Reading!

  47. Hooray! Thankyouthankyouthankyou for this. Now I have my summer reading list started. Bonus; I can set some of these aside for when my daughter is ready for them and they'll already be pleasantly vetted.

    Another recommendation: Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler. More like near-future-possible reality, as opposed to post-apocalyptic-sf/fantasy. But, young female protagonist against heavy odds, challenging journey, etc.

  48. I felt that way about the Hunger Games ending too. Kinda like how I felt about Mass Effect 3 (if we're going with sci-fi stuff . . . sorry, personal issues I guess!)

    There is a short novel that I think you'd like called Invitation to the Game. I read it years ago, can't remember the author. I like to think I'm a good judge of a book's character, so I am recommending this book to you. It's stuck with me for about 15 years so . . . yeah. It's got robots and sci-fi stuff!

  49. I love YA lit too, although my I'm more of a character/plot reader.

    Have you heard of Goodreads? It's a great way to keep track of what you read and especially what to read next or when sequels come out, etc.

    Have you read "Leviathan" and it's sequels by Scott Westerfeld? It's a steam punk retelling of WW I.

  50. Have you read any of the Matched Trilogy (Crossed is the second book, Reached comes out this fall)? My husband's cousin wrote it and we've all enjoyed it among family, but I'm curious to know what you thought of it!

  51. You're preaching to the choir, Jen. I really enjoyed Hunger Games but I felt that the last book especially needed some work. But other than that Katniss is one of the best heroines to come down the pipe since...umm...Buffy? Keladry? (my favorite Pierce books)

    As for recommendations, have you tried the Artemis Fowl series? Totally up your ally. Modern day world with the Fairy world hiding underground from us humans, while a twelve year old genius boy is intent on stealing their gold. Brilliant.

    Or Gerald Morris' King Arthur series. It starts with A Squire's Tale. And if you ever loved anything about King Arthur you will love this series. Humor and action and seriousness and wonderfulness in every book.

    That's probably a good start, wot? :)

  52. I definitely agree with you about Hunger Games! I thought the end was very rushed and abrupt. It was almost like she was coming up on Deadline!

    Great recommendations! I haven't read any of them but Ender's Game so I added them to my wish list.

    I recommend you check out the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson if you haven't had a chance to. It's really really good! One of my favorite series.

    Thanks for the blog!

  53. I'm reading the Maze Runner series- lots of fun!

  54. Tamora Pierce has always been one of my favorite authors. I've been reading her books since I was ten or so, and her characters have shaped who I am today (an old lady)! I must say, madam, you have excellent taste!

  55. I felt the same way about the end of the Hunger Games. It was also a little bit anticlimactic. It just kept building and then... nothing.

    A good YA book for you to read would be Unwind by Neil Shusterman. That book was INTENSE. It's set in a future where pro-lifers and pro-choicers come to a compromise: abortion is no longer put into practice, but from the time your child is 13 to the age of 18, you can choose to have them unwound. That is, choose to have them chopped up and used as spare parts.

    I also recommend anything by China Mieville or Kelly Link, and the Watch series by Sergei Lukyananko. Not YA, but still good reads.

  56. I just finished The Snow Queen's Shadow, the fourth (and final - boo) of Jim HInes' fairytale retellings. They're really fun and well-written and I wish that he would write more of them =o(

  57. Thanks for the reading list recommendations! I'll be sure to grab a few for summer reading. And I wholeheartedly agree about HG. I loved the series up until the last books ending. I feel like the author just got bored and I hate it when that happens...

  58. Thanks for the suggestions! Have you read the The Mortal Instruments series (and its prequel series, The Infernal Devices) by Cassandra Clare?

  59. TOTALLY AGREE with your views on the ending of The Hunger Games. One minute it was the middle of serious action, the next she was saying 'So I ended up with *** (censored for those who haven't read that far!) and life's whatever.' Ending = fail.

    Some of your recommendations sound interesting, I'll definitely check them out. Sorry I don't have anything to recommend to you - I only read YA when someone tells me about it, usually!

  60. It is not YA, but it is still a very very good series that I think you will enjoy is Lisa Shearin's Raine Benares books. Full list of books & sample chapters(last one in the series comes out at the end of the month) can be found here:

  61. Totally agree with you about the ending of the The Hunger Games -- what a cop out by the author. It was as though she ran out of steam and ideas. When the film of the third book is made, I am hoping that the director will give it the ending it deserves.

  62. Have you ever read A Wrinkle in Time? It seems like something you'd enjoy. I read it for the first time around third or fourth grade, and it's been a favorite ever since. It actually ended up with several sequels that I haven't read through yet. I go through A Wrinkle in Time once a year, at least, because it's just that good.

  63. Oh! Oh, you should most definitely check out Veronica Roth. Her book Divergent and its follow-up Insurgent (which was just released yesterday and I blew through that puppy in one day!) are awesome reads in the YA/Distopian fiction category. I'd give you a plot rundown, but I'm not too good at being succinct.
    Hm. If I hadn't just spent all my discretionary income on plants I would be on my Kindle right now, buying the books you recommended, but oh well.

  64. Ranger's Apprentice series by Jon Flanagan ( not sure if I spelled his name right)

  65. DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth! It's definitely a recommendation for fans of The Hunger Games. I read it last week, and the second book in the series, Insurgent, came out yesterday and I started it today.

    Also, I was about to recommend Leviathan, but then I re-checked your steampunk reading list and you had it on there, so nevermind! I met Scott Westerfeld at New York Comic Con, by the way, and he's wonderful.

  66. I just read Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. Post zombie apocalyptic world. It is a coming of age story, with zombie fighting. It was fun to read.

  67. Jen! I also love dystopian YA lit.

    Try -
    "Matched" & "Crossed" - Ally Condie
    "Divergent" & "Insurgent" - Veronica Roth
    "Feed" - M.T. Anderson
    "invitation to the game" - Monica Hughes
    "The Isis Trilogy" - Monica Hughes
    "Shade's Children" - Garth Nix

    Really looking forward to what else people recommend!

  68. Amen on the ending of Hunger Games. Maybe it's the Potterfication in me but I wanted Katniss to be a leader in the rebellion. Not just a figurehead that gets drugged and shipped out everytime she has an emotion. I did enjoy the books. It was a fun read. But it left me at a dull, flat, empty place.

  69. Completely agree on the ending of HG! Was not too happy with the last 3rd book in general.

  70. Thanks for the recommendations.. I am going to read uglies as soon as I get my hands on it.. Agree 100% about hunger games.... So many things were ended abruptly...loved the first book ..third one not so much.

  71. Have you tried "Pure" by Julianna Baggot? It is the first book in a series...its also the only one out at the moment. But the lead has a baby doll head for a hand, so if that doesn't peak your interest I don't know what will.

  72. DEFINITELY try Veronica Roth's Divergent--it's shaping up to be at least a trilogy (I think). The first book is out, the second (Insurgent) just came out yesterday (and I'm trying so hard to wait to get it from the library instead of buying it).

  73. I absolutely agree about the ending of HG! So disappointing! It felt like she ran out of time and crammed a quickie ending in there just to get it done. I read the last page and sat there almost in shock. ".......what? That's it?!"

    Something else I've read that I really enjoy (I'm a fan of YA fiction as well) are the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan. There are actually two sets of books, Percy Jackson and the Olympians (five books) and The Heroes of Olympus (two books, so far). They follow a group of kids in current day New York who discover they're all demigods! Old Greek and Roman mythology gets fun!

    As for the rest of your recommendations, I'll definitely have to look into those!

  74. My friend just read the "Divergent" series and said it's really great! It's set in future Chicago, but I don't know much about it. Have you read that one?

  75. Great suggestions! I just finished creating a website for a project for a young adult lit class I took. I have a bunch of other books that I think you might like!
    If You Liked The Hunger Games

  76. "The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making" by Catherynne Valente and it has a short ebook prequel called "The Girl Who Rule Fairyland for a Little While" and the novel has a sequel coming out this fall called "The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There". :) I know I should underline or italicize but my lack of computer savvyness couldn't quickly figure it out so I used quotes. Please don't slay me.

  77. I read The Forest of Hand and Teeth series after I read the Hunger Games. Two words: Zombie apocalypse. I loved it.

    Then I read The Maze Runner series. I enjoyed them but didn't get as into it, possibly because it's from a male perspective. But by the end of each book I had to get the next to see what the heck was going on.

    I'll have to check some of these out!

  78. I would recommend 'House of the Scorpion' by Nancy Farmer. I didn't READ read it, but the audiobook was excellent. Pseudo-futuristic, clones, rising up against the man, etc.

  79. First off, yay for mentioning Tamora Pierce. I've read all of her books. The only thing I've ever been disappointed with was the ending of Mastiff.

    Anyway, You absolutely must read the Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness, starting with The Knife of Never Letting Go, then The Ask and the Answer, and lastly Monsters of Men. The last book will have you on the edge of your seat the entire time. The series is somewhat dystopian, set on another planet. I will warn you, do not read this series in public unless you like crying in front of random strangers (which I accidentally did, and did with Mockingjay too).

    Also, if you haven't read Graceling by Kristen Cashore, you should. Katsa, the lead character, is a total badass! Fire, another book in that world, is good but not as good as Graceling. Her third book in this world came out yesterday, Bitterblue, but I haven't had the chance to start it.

    Lastly, have you read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children? You'll totally love it if you haven't. It looks creepier than it is. I'm like you, no scary stuff with the lights out, and I found it totally safe.

    If you've never been to Forever Young Adult, it's a great site that reviews young adult books. They're hilarious too, just like you! They have a term for what you go through when you've finished a book and you're craving more. It's called TEABS, the end of awesome book syndrome. They make sure to note when a book or series will bring on a case of TEABS.

    Hope this helps all of you YA readers, good luck!

  80. I can't remember where I read about these, so I'm sorry if I read them here! Delirium by Lauren Oliver, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, Alchemyst series by Michael Scott, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and though you for sure mentioned this, it was so good I want to mention it again, The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B Dunkle. Thank you for doing this, I really trust your reviews!!

  81. asdfjkl; you mentioned Ender's Game I love you.

    I recommend Artemis Fowl (Eoin Colfer) and Maximum Ride(James Patterson) both hilarious, suspenseful, and satisfying YA series.


  82. Definitely check out The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare and The Infernal Devices by the same author. Also, anything by John Green! I highly recommend The Fault in Our Stars, even though it's not sci-fi/fantasy, it is one of the best books I've ever read.

  83. I absolutely agree on the end of The Hunger Games! I finished that book so, so disappointed. My recommendations to you are the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness (I know, I know, another trilogy, but this one didn't disappoint me!) and Graceling by Kristin Cashore.

  84. Have you read the Mortal Instruments Series yet? (City of Bone, City of Ash, City of Glass are the first 3) It mixes the world of faerie with darker demon types and a splash of the spiritual. Honestly wonderful books.
    Also Rick Riordan's new series based around Egyptian mythology (Red Pryamid is the first) is very good, not quite Percy Jackson but still enjoyable and educational!
    Love the recomendations going to add them to my summer reading list :)

  85. Hungry City Chronicles by Philip Reeve. The first book is Mortal Engines. Basically, in the future cities move around, and eat other cities under "Municipal Darwinism". Very steampunky. Great fantasy/scifi. It's a four book series.

  86. Witness! Without spoiling HG for the six people who haven't read it yet, I needed more at the end about what was going on outside Katniss' experience. I know we're following her around, but the one sentence snippets of where everyone is going to be is frustrating. Maybe she'll do like Orson Scott Card with Enders Shadow, and retell the story from someone else's point of view. The rebel leader from 8, for example.

    I'm loving Peeps, by Scott Westerfeld. It's vampires, but not really.
    Stranger at the Wedding, by Barbra Hambly. Fantasy, but not too far into it.

  87. Matched by Ally Condie It's set in a future society where everything is controlled by the officials--including who your match is to marry.

  88. Here's what I have loved recently:
    1. "The Iron Thorn" a steampunk-ish YA novel, very fun
    2. "The Night Circus" magic and love and gorgeousness
    3. "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" art student in Prague, demon & angel fall in love, lovely writing
    Hope you like em cuz I did!

  89. I'm on Mockingjay right now, so I haven't finished the HG yet, and I've heard the ending sucks. Poo... But I love the books anyway.

    Two of my favorite YA fantasy books are Birth of the Firebringer by Meredith Ann Pierce and Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen. And holy crap--I just now looked up Firebringer, and I didn't know it was a trilogy! So time to go hunt down the other two books!

    Firebringer is all about UNICORNS! It's about their herd dynamics and how a prophecy says the Firebringer will come to stop the wyvrms. I LOVE this book, especially being a horse owner. Plus it's so hard to find books centered around unicorns! I've read it so many times that my copy is quite worn.

    Heart's Blood is about dragons that are kept as pit-fighters (kinda wrong, but they don't treat them bad like they do pit bulls in the real world). A young boy who wants a dragon steals an egg from the breeding barn to raise as his own. It is also a part of a trilogy, but I didn't like the second and third books.

    Honestly, both of these books are old--I read them as a kid, but I actually reread them A LOT. So you might have to buy them online instead of finding them in your local bookstore. But I have found copies of them in used book stores.

    Also, if you've never actually read The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, you're in for a treat. I suggest finding a copy like the one I've linked because it uses fonts and font colors to interchange between Bastian's story and Fantasia. It's really cool.

  90. I hope I did this correctly. Did you know (maybe you did as others have probably posted it already) that Ender's Game - THE MOVIE (squee!) is filming now?! With a projected release date in November, 2013. So, so cool!

  91. Oooh!
    So nice to get some recommendations! I'm always on the prowl for new ones. I found Gregor before I found Hunger Games, so I guess I came on it backward.

    Some of the obvious ones my family has found are:

    Rick Riordian's Percy Jackson series (We weren't liking the Red Pyramid as well, but the Lost Heroes has potential).

    Brandon Mull's Fablehaven series.

    I grew up reading Anne McCaffrey's Perth books, which are more Fantasy than Science Fiction, and Ursula LeGuin's Wizard of Earthsea books, which are still more Fantasy. but still very engaging.

    Of course because I want to suggest something fabulous that you haven't heard of before I'm completely blocking on anything.
    I'll have to check back to see what other suggestions you get!

  92. I have to thank you for drawing my attention to the Hunger Games: bought it before our summer holiday and read straight through all three books. So: thanks!
    Personally I am a big fan of the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. And the trilogy by Philipp Pullman (Northern Lights, Amber Spyglass and The Subtle Knife).

  93. Garth Nix - Old Kingdom series, Keys to the Kingdom series and Shade's Children. Garth Nix blends magical and normal worlds together effortlessly.

    R J Anderson Knife, Rebel, Arrow and Ultraviolet. The first three are a series about how fairies interact with the modern world. Ultraviolet is about a girl coming to terms with having synesthesia when it's complicated by aliens. It's very different to the others but an amazing read. It also has the best back cover ever "Once upon a time there was a girl who was special. This is not her story. Unless you count the part where I killed her."

  94. The Giver! It's the book that got me into distopian fiction in the first place. A real classic!

    I saw someone recommend Garth Nix, and I second that whole-heartedly. His Abhorsen trilogy is some of the best YA fantasy I've ever read.

  95. Ender's Game is fantastic (I dread the movie version trying to tell the story of what is going on in a child's mind). The next book (Speaker for the Dead) is good as well, but they drop off after that and get...religiousy. I've only read one of the parallel novels, though, so I can't comment on them.

    Also, try the Echo Falls series. Young woman whose hero is Sherlock Holmes, likes to do community theater and play soccer, and has a tendency to get in trouble. No sci-fi/fantasy, but still very good.

  96. I'm currently reading the second book in the Gregor series to my 8 year old son.

    If you haven't read it yet, I recommend Graceling by Kristen Cashore. There are other books that take place in the same world, but Graceling is the best of them.

  97. Divergent & Insurgent by Veronica
    Roth; Matched & Crossed by Ally Condie; Delirium & Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. All are amazing and dystopian novels much like The Hunger Games.

  98. Hey Jen!

    I'm in a Science Fiction course at my college, and my two favorite books in the course were The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood and The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. We also read Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin and I, Robot by Isaac Asimov, but the first two were my favorite books.


  99. I'm sorry, but I cannot support the recommendation of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, given his rampant homophobia and general ickyness.

  100. Agreed on the ending of Hunger Games! Book 2 was my favorite of the series.

    Someone else mentioned "The Night Circus" - Love Love Love it!! Definitely check it out.

  101. I love Gregor the Overlander, and had no idea it was the same author as Hunger Games.

    When I was still a YA myself I looooved just about anything by William Sleator. He writes really neat YA sci-fi. My favorites are The Boy Who Reversed Himself and House of Stairs. Some of them are extremely creepy though, brrrr.

  102. Thanks for the recommendations! I too prefer YA to just about anything else. I read the Uglies but only the first 3, I heard the 4th didn't even continue the story so I gave up. Loved Gregor! I will check out these other now too. Did you read the Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare? If so only read the first 3 as it was only meant to be at trilogy but money talks and so a 4th was made. Not a good 4th either....

  103. I always recommend Garth Nix to anyone who likes YA. The Keys to the Kingdom and Sabriel series' are wonderful stories with beautiful writing. Also second the votes for Scott Westerfeld and Lois McMaster Bujold.

  104. +1 for Enchantment by OSC. I would also highly reccomend The Giver if you enjoyed the Hunger Games.

  105. Check out the Chemical Garden series by Lauren DeStefano. I think there's only two books at the moment, 'Wither' and 'Fever', but it's an excellent, if weird, YA dystopian series about a disease which kills people very young.

    great recommendations, I definitely second the Uglies series.

  106. And how could I forget Neil Gaiman! Graveyard Book and Coraline are musts!

  107. Sooo disappointed with the hunger games ending too! But yeah love the Leviathon series by scott westerfield and I am currently reading a series called beyonders which is pretty good by brandon mull. Also Eon and Eona by allison goodman has an awesome female heroine

  108. Have you ever read Anne McCaffrey? She has a few series that are pretty good. I think the most well-known is the Dragon Riders of Pern (which is now being written by her son, Todd). She also has this great space series about Brain and Brawn teams (Brainships (ships who are interfaced with severely disabled people, most of whom would likely have died) with a person who mans it, the "Brawn"). The first one is "The Ship Who Sang" ....Great series!

  109. So, HG ending - completely agree. I was like "Wait! What just happened here?" and it was over. Well, crap.

    Looking though the comments, it definitely seems my nest read should be the "Divergent" series.

    As for my recommendation, I'm currently reading the "Delirium" series by Lauren Oliver. All about a world where love if viewed as a disease and people are "cured" on their 18th birthday. I'm about halfway through the second book in the series, "Pandemonium", and am anxious to see where this story ends up. Definitely highly suggest checking it out.

  110. The Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr is very good. I love anything by her. I think the Artemis Fowl series was very good and even my husband enjoyed it.

  111. While not YA, I'm getting a kick out of reading all of Jen Lancaster's memoirs...pure entertainment!
    I'm also reading Emily Giffin's novels (author of Something Borrowed, with movie same name).

    If you're into some steamy Vampire/Supernatural (not steam punk steamy, verge of x-rated steamy) I recommend the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series. (NOT FOR KIDS, ADULT ONLY!!)

    YA related: LOVE the Vampire Academy series, Blue Blood series, Evermore, all of Melissa De Cruz's novels.
    Kelly Armstrong has both fantastic YA and Adult novels that range from Supernatural/Fantasy to a kick ass female cop!

    Now I want to get to reading, instead of being stuck at work! =)

  112. Just go back and re-read "The Song of the Lioness" quartet, the "Wild Mage" series, and "The Protector of the Small" series by Tamora Pierce and you'll be totally happy, I promise.

  113. Entwined - it is a very quick read and not a series, which makes it a great vacation book. It is a retelling of the fairy tale The 12 Dancing Princesses, and a bit like reading a Disney movie. It is fluff in the best way. I must admit that I did judge this book by it's cover a bit, which paid off this time because the cover is really pretty.

  114. Legend by Marie Lu
    Rot and Ruin
    Wither and Fever -- Chemical Garden Trilogy

  115. Tamora Pierce is the writer who got me interested in Fantasy books!! I love her and the Alanna series!

  116. Loved the HG and have definatley got int the YA realms of books at the minute. Can def recommend the "TUNNELS" series by Rodrick Gordon and Brian Williams, the first book, "Tunnels" is a little slow, but the next four books are really gripping and I can not wait for the final book due out this summer. This is a very british series but is really good. Also if you appreciate fantasy can agree that Anne McCaffrey Pern novels are very good, been reading these for years and again are a very good read, lots of depth and characters.
    Keeping listing as i'm always on the lookout for new books, although my local library may struggle to find some of these American reads.

  117. Yeah, I used to be an Orson Scott Card fan until I read about his homophobia. If you want to read his stuff, just check it out from the library or borrow it from a friend. Don't give him any of your money.

    Love the Scott Westerfeld books!

  118. Yay to those commenters who recommended OSC's Enchantment! If they hadn't done it I definitely would have as it is one of my all time favorite books. I am literally on my third copy - I lent my first one out, and my second was read til it wore out!

    My next recommendation is more for younger kids than it is YA, but I still enjoyed reading J. Scott Savage's Farworld series. My son got a copy of the first in the series, Water Keep, when the author visited his school 3 years ago. The second is called Land Keep, and the Air Keep is due out sometime this year.

  119. are you familiar with She has a great Pinterest account with lots of suggested reading for empowering girls of all ages. Thought I'd throw that your way since you're both on my list of book reccs now :)

  120. Two of my recent dystopian authors are: John Marsden, The Tomorrow Series, set in Australia, at least five books

    and Clare B. Dunkle, her first book is called The Sky Inside. I don't know the name of the series, but there are, I think, three books in the series.

    I also love the Shadow Series, about Bean, from Ender's Game, The Giver, and Gathering Blue, which is a companion to The Giver. If I recall correctly, there is now a sequel to Gathering Blue, but I don't remember what it's called.

  121. OMG for school a group of kids had to read the Uglies for our Sci Fi unit and they loved it! So interesting to see it on here!

  122. I feel especially qualified to give my two cents because I am a young adult. So, Jen:

    My brother read a book called The Tripods, and he though it was the best thing in the word. I think it's a trilogy, and it has to do with large tripod robot alien things taking over the world using television and brain controlling caps. Pretty cool, I know.

    He also read Mortal Engines, which he liked, but i don't know much about.

    THere's a really good book called Larklight, and guess what: It's STEAMPUNK. YES A STEAMPUNK YA NOVEL. IT INVOLVES A HUGE FLOATING HOUSE AND GIANT SPIDERS. HOW MUCH COOLNESS IS POSSIBLE???? (there's a sequel that I haven't read, but heard is good too)

    Another good one is drift house, about a house that turns into a ship suddenly. Not as good as Larklight though.

    ALSO, there's the His Dark Materials series, by Philip Pullman, which is a trilogy, the first of which is the Golden Compass, which was made into a good movie that had nothing to do with the book. The second and third books are actually a lot more interesting.

    Anyway, if you want me to send you my whole library, then email me (i'm the girl with the doctor who and dalek epbots:-) BTW)

  123. I have found myself reading a lot of YA books for some reason as well. No complaints though.

    For your to-read list, I too recommend Skullduggery Pleasant: Scepter of the Ancients (

    My wife picked the first book up for her kindle and I read it when she was done. It's excellent. Really, really excellent. I won't ruin it by trying to write a synopsis, because it is such a great book. I'll just say you should read it. I keep trying to find time to read the two other books in the series.

    On the subject of the Hunger Games, I enjoyed them a lot. It's not fair to try to discuss the books without spoilers though maybe you should start another thread labeled "HG SPOILERS -- enter only after reading the books!"

    I thought the last book had closure, but there were some scenes that were rushed (a lot). It could have used another 100 pages. Also, that one scene where that one girl leading that team into that place runs into that trouble and people might or might not die? I thought that one guy's actions were pointless in the grand plot scheme of things. Maybe it was to show the horror of war or something.

    I can't remember your policy on links, but I wrote this blog post after reading the HG books. It's all about the Roman history and influences on the books (yeah, because I am kind of a geek). If you like HG and also history (or are just a HG book geek in general), you might really enjoy some of the details.

  124. Everyone who loves Portal games, read "Blue Sky" it's a fan fiction. I don't usually read fan ficions, but this one is awesome.

  125. The Emperor's Edge series by Lindsay Buroker. The first book, The Emperor's Edge, is free on Amazon and books 2-4 are very affordable for how AMAZING they are. It's my favorite series ever.

  126. I am just reading the souless books (on your recomendation!) really enjoying them!
    The Hunger Games books were great... finished the first one in one sitting...i couldn't put it down.
    I love enders game and can't wait to see the movie!!!

  127. OH, also you have to read the Alex Ryder series because I had a huge crush on that teenage superspy. Like a long time ago of course (well, maybe like last year...). And you should also read Little Darlings, about kids who are really cool and awesome and like to scare their sadistic babysitters.
    Another book that is a lot more adult than the other books, but still is in the young adult section is A Great And Terrible Beauty. It's about girls in the 19th century who form a cult and perform magic. It's pretty intense, and really good and scary.

  128. I was amazed as I read through the comments that I wasn't seeing my favorite book listed, but then I saw it! The Giver by Lois Lowry is one of the only books I have been able to read over and over.

    Jeff Bridges is looking to bring it to the big screen. I hope he does!

  129. One of my favorite books ever is "Invitation to the Game" by Monica Hughes. Set in a future where Robots do everything so efficiently that there isn't really anything left for the people to do.

    It's a pretty quick read too, and that is nice sometimes.-

  130. I'm glad someone mentioned The Giver, it is my all time favorite book. There are a couple of companion novels but I was disappointed in them.

    I have read every book in the Ender's Game series several time over and the Ender's Shawdow series as well. I admit, I am a HUGE Orson Scott Card fan.

    Don't forget the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman. It's the one that starts with The Golden Compass.

    I love YA fiction. When I finish a series I go on my kindle and find one that the first book is free or that I can "rent" with my prime membership. I've read some that are really good and some that are not.

  131. I'd highly suggest the "Chaos Walking" Series by Patrick Ness.

    The First book is called "The Knife of Never Letting Go" and here's my review (posted on Goodreads):

    ** spoiler alert ** This is dystopian youth fiction at its finest. Todd is the last boy in Prentisstown in the "New World" where everyone can hear your thoughts. There are no women in Prentisstown, so when Todd finds a girl in the swamp, things get interesting quickly. Todd is sent away by his caregivers because without him, there is hope that the men of Prentisstown cannot raise their army and take over the rest of the New World.

    The characters are great-- Todd is a humble, scared, curious kid who doesn't...more This is dystopian youth fiction at its finest. Todd is the last boy in Prentisstown in the "New World" where everyone can hear your thoughts. There are no women in Prentisstown, so when Todd finds a girl in the swamp, things get interesting quickly. Todd is sent away by his caregivers because without him, there is hope that the men of Prentisstown cannot raise their army and take over the rest of the New World.

    The characters are great-- Todd is a humble, scared, curious kid who doesn't quite know what to do with the information that comes at him. Viola is timid, yet very strong (to learn more about her you should definatly read the short-story prequel to the series: The New World) before you read this book. The only character I couldn't stand was manchee, the dog. I HATED the dog and was actually glad when he was finally killed off. His thoughts about poo and his constant whining were a distraction to the story line, and did not add anything significant to the plot.

    The coloquialisms are written in oddly and the changes in spelling don't really belie any difference in pronunciation and should have been left out of the narrative or included only in direct quotes or thoughts. Other than that the writing is well done and the plot unfolds brilliantly.

    The cliffhanger ending however? Painful for the reader. I was glad I had already purchased the second book so I didn't have to wait to find out what happened next.

  132. I'm so glad you put the Uglies series on here. Scott Westerfeld is one of the best YA authors out there right now. If you like steampunk (and I know YOU do), check out Leviathan, Behemoth and Goliath. His writing is even better than Peeps and Uglies series and the setting is eye-popping wonder! Enjoy!!

  133. I don't know if you've ever read Graceling, or it's companion book, Fire, but the true sequel to Graceling, Bitterblue, just came out yesterday and it was amazing. I just finished it an am still having after-book glow. SO. GOOD.

  134. You need to read the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness. It's kind of a weird format, but you'll get hooked! Alien planet where you can hear every man's thoughts?! WHAT?! Also I liked the Ember series by Jeanne DuPrau. They made the first book, The City of Ember, into a movie which probably sucked, but don't let that deter you. There are four books all together and they're pretty good!!

  135. I also wanted a "better" ending for Mockingjay, but it was still worth the read.

    As far as books go:

    "Sunshine" by Robin McKinley (It's my favorite McKinley. I wasn't as enamored with "The Hero and the Crown"

    The Study Series by Maria V. Snyder -- first is "Poison Study"

    Not sure if it's YA, but I like the Chronicles of Elantra by Michelle Sagara -- she IS a beat cop on a planet with a bunch of different sentient species, some immortal, some telepathic. I think the first is "Cast in Secret", but they all start w/ "Cast in" something...

    "The Hourglass Door" trilogy by Lisa Mangum.

    I really liked the Percy Jackson series, including the two later books -- "Son of Neptune" may be my favorite. Not so much "The Red Pyramid."

    I grew up reading Anne McCaffrey. I prefer the stuff she wrote solo, and can't get into her son Todd's writing style at all. Some of the series are: Dragonriders of Pern; Crystal Singer; The Powers that Be; and the Talented Series.

    This is actually for a younger audience -- they say 8 and up, although I enjoyed them as an adult -- The "So You Want to be a Wizard" series by Diane Duane (who is also my favorite Trek author.)

    It's out of print, but I really liked "Witchdame" by Kathleen Sky.

    And a lot more.

  136. Thanks so much for doing another book post! I read the Ken Oppel books on your recommendation and enjoyed them. I haven't had much luck finding good stuff lately, so your suggestions and all the comments are great. I can't believe I haven't read Beka Cooper yet--the Alanna books are some of the first books I ever bought for myself, and I'm not tired of them yet, 20+ years later (yikes!).

    If you haven't read any Jasper Fforde, you should check him out. His books rank up there with the most creative books I've ever read. One of his recent books, Shades of Grey, is about a post-apocalyptic society where class is determined by the color you can see. More books to come in that series.

    And if we're taking a vote, I loved the way The Hunger Games ended!

  137. I'm too tired to read through all the comments tonight but I want to recommend the Forest of Hands and Teeth series by Carrie Ryan. I was obsessed by that series!

  138. I second the Legend series by Marie Lu! Only the first one is out, but I devoured it and started it over immediately to read it over. Then I read it a third time.

    Another book I immediately reread was The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. Not dystopian, but fantasy and wonderful.

  139. Just re-discovering my love of YA fiction am going to go through everyones suggestions many of them I totally agree are great reads. Anyone like cassandra Clare mortal instruments Series great fantasy read. Also loved laini tailors daughter of smoke & bone.

  140. I LOVED THG, but felt the same about the ending. I also read the Uglies series, but was strongly advised not to read "extras" (which I didn't... since I though that Specials had the perfect ending for me)
    However, have you read Fire and Graceling by Kristen Cashore? It's sooo good - I could easily see them making movies from them (but would probably be disappointed in the movies lol) Such strong female heroines, and tender. I haven't read the 3rd one yet, Bitterblue, but am very much looking forward to it!
    Oh! And Divergent! by Veronica Roth - oh it's good! Has a bit of the feeling from Uglies and THG, so it's win-win ;) (and it will be a trilogy, with the 2nd book, Insurgent, out soon)

  141. The Mortal instruments movie is being released soon so I suggest people get in and read Cassandra Clare before they see it

  142. My favorite YA in no particular order

    Old Kingdom trilogy - Garth Nix

    His Dark Materials trilogy - Pullman (Golden Compass, Subtle Knife etc..)

    All of the Enders Game books but especially "Speaker for the Dead"

  143. I want to add a vote to The Mysterious Benedict Society (and 2 sequels). I love the puzzles the kids have to solve, and three of the main characters are quirky and heartwarming.
    I also want to endorse anything/everything by Robin McKinley. Someone earlier mentioned Anne McCaffrey's Pern books and The Ship Who Sang series. I also love her trilogy which starts with The Crystal Singer, then Killeshandra, and The Crystal Line.

  144. The Bloody Jack Adventures! (L.A. Meyer)

    There are now ..9 of them? I love that my library has a scan-books-out-yourself option so I can shamelessly be a 21-yr-old college student reading books meant for older middle schoolers. Ahem.

    Woefully exciting stuff, of course highly improbable but told in a believable way. AND FRUSTRATINGLY ROMANTIC. Ok now to go back to reading the 8th..

  145. Just a note about one of the commenters recommendations : JR Ward and Sherrilynn Kenyon are very adult authors (lots of steamy scenes) . I enjoy them, but not YA suitable.

  146. LOVE Tamora Pierce!! The Beka Cooper books are good - also check out her duology Trickster's Choice and Trickster's Queen. Though I feel like that was on a previous list...

    Another one I really loved recently was Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Set in the modern day world, with the addition of the discovery of supernatural creatures 200 years ago by Charles Darwin. The main character is a pretty kick-ass girl alternates human days with supernatural demon-hunter days.

  147. Dittos to the Divergent series by Roth (dystopia and competition to win), Matched series by Condie (dystopia + love triangle), the Graceling series by Cashore (survival), and the Chaos Walking series by Ness (the 2nd book is a LOT like Mockingjay).

    You may also enjoy the Everlost series by Shusterman.

  148. In the spirit of books I loved (and have reread) and young adult fantasy, I have to recommend "Haroun and the Sea of Stories" by Salman Rushdie. Even if you do not read/ are not a fan of his adult fiction, this is an awesome book with a great plot and very engaging, wonderful characters. Most of it takes place on a secret second moon that is full of magic, talking fish, geniuses, and yes a sea of stories (drinkable plots!) The main caracter Haroun must fight people from the dark side (of the moon) to save a princess, what's not to love?

  149. Seeing lots I love in these comments. A few more recs:
    "The Dark is Rising" series by Susan Cooper
    "The Thirteenth Child" and sequel by Patricia C. Wrede
    "Sorcery and Cecelia or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot" by Patricia C. Wrede and Carolyn Stevermer
    "When You Reach Me" and "First Light" by Rebecca Stead
    "The Eyre Affair" series by Jasper Fforde (not YA, but awesome)
    The Georgia Nicholson series by Louise Rennison, starts with "Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging" (YA non-fantasy, insanely laugh-out-loud funny)
    "The Book Thief" and "I Am The Messenger" by Marcus Zusak (not YA, but two of the best books I've read in years)

    Hope you enjoy some of these.

  150. Hey you should check out Y:The Last Man. It's a graphic novel series about the last man alive in a world of women and it's very interesting.

  151. You have definitely piqued my curiosity with some of these recommendations both from you, Jen, and all these commenters.

    I've enjoyed and highly reccomend the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, the Heir Chronicles by Cinda Williams Chima, and the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull.

    One series I'm looking forward to is the Pellinor series by Alison Croggon. I just haven't had the time to devote to another series.

  152. I just finished all 3 Hunger Games books. I loved the first one. Liked the second one. But I thought the third was bad. I really didn't get why the author did what she did at the end of the third. It was almost like one of those Final Destination movies. That no matter what Katniss did the end result still was the same.

    Usually my guilty pleasure YA books tastes run to Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars. PLL is really a great series. So it The Lying Game series. The shows do diverge from the books, moreso in LG. I've also read the Monster High books and find them cute.

    I'd also recommend a series called the A-List. This is what the redo of 90210 should've been.

  153. I have to say it. I hated Ender's Game. Hated with a passion. I fought to get as far into the book as I did, and I wanted everyone in the book to die a painful, fiery death. I wanted to burn the copy I got from the library to keep anyone else from suffering through it. I don't think I've ever had such powerfully negative feelings about a book before. I think I'm the only one who's ever hated it, though.

    Some YA books I read a few years ago and loved, though, are "A Great and Terrible Beauty" and "Rebel Angels" by Libba Bray.

  154. I agree with bassbone. Orson Scott Card is a raving, foaming-at-the-mouth homophobe who deserves no consideration from anyone. He's a truly objectionable excuse of a human being.

  155. I admit, I didn't read through all previous 151 comments so I don't know if anyone has said this yet or not, should definitely read Cinder, by Marissa Meyer. It's a futuristic retelling of Cinderella (the first in a series of four). Set in post-apocalyptic China, it includes a mysterious plague, descendents of a Lunar colony who can do magic/manipulate the electromagnetic fields of others, a Tuxedo Mask-inspired prince, and - oh yes - Cinder is a cyborg. An unexpectedly great read and one I highly recommend.

  156. There are too many comments for me to check, but if you haven't already or already had it suggested, pick up "Guardian of the Dead" by Karen Healey. She's an internet friend of mine and writes brilliantly and I loved that she beautifully wove Maori myths and legends into the story she wrote. It's compelling, exciting and wasn't too predictable, which is a problem with me and YA fiction.

  157. Have you heard of Fablehaven by Brandon Mull? There are 5 in the series, butI have only read 3 so far. They are fantastic! Not only do I love them, but 3 of my kids and my husband do too. I have even got a few neighbors addicted.

  158. Wow! Those are some great recommendations. I have a few that I'd recommend in the YA genre:

    Matched/Crossed by Ally Condie (the third, and final, book in the trilogy comes out this year).

    The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle -- I re-read it every year!

    Totally different (i.e. not fantasy), but equally excellent - the Louise Rennison series (first book is Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging. What could possibly not be excellent?? Absolutely hilarious series!

    Wizard of the Grove by Tanya Huff

    The Truth series by Dawn Cook

    As a general younger-skewed fantasy, I'd have to recommend The Green Rider series by Kristen Britain.

  159. Loved the Hunger Games, but more than hating the abrupt ending I felt kind of like it was more open to interpretation (and maybe revisitation? One can always hope!).

    My all-time favorite YA book is The Wizard Children of Finn, which I read when I was probably eight or so - the first time. Must have read it twenty times since then!! LOVE IT!

  160. Jen,

    One of my all time favorite futuristic stories is called "Where Sweet the Late Birds Sang". It was published in 1976 by Kate Wihelm. I have loaned out copies just to have to replace them because people refused to give them back. I don't loan my copy out anymore.
    Ah, So many books, So little time...


    P.S. It was great to see you in Pittsburgh!

  161. I've plowed through the better part of the fantasy section and quite a lot of the YA section at the libraries in my city and these are the best of the lot. So heed my advice and read them!

    ARTEMIS FOWL by Eoin Colfer
    Young super intelligent criminal
    who decides to steal from the high
    tech and magic wielding fairies.

    GRACELING by Kristen Cashore
    In a world where everyone with
    special abilities is owned by
    their respective king, this kick-
    ass girl seems to have the ability
    to kill...

    GOOD OMENS by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
    Two authors, one funny and one
    gloomy, write a book about an
    angel and a demon who decide they
    don't want Armageddon to happen.
    But they each have bosses, the
    four apocalyptic MC-riders are on
    their way and Antichrist is
    born... Super funny page turner!

    For slightly older adults:

    The MISTBORN trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
    Sanderson writes fantasy like
    you've never seen before! A
    heroine who becomes kick-ass to
    kill the immortal emperor, a kind
    of magic you have never seen
    before, epic battles and a lot of
    amazing stuff!
    This is not a tip, this is an order! READ IT!!!

    THE ALOOY OF LAW by Brandon Sanderson
    Sequel to the Mistborn-trilogy set
    in the same world some hundred
    years later. The magic is still
    there, but so are firearms, trains
    and big coats. Electricity is
    coming and society is blooming.
    But trains are mysteriously being
    robbed by the Vanishers and our
    hero just can't stay away.
    Steampunk-fantasy with lots of action. Jen, you will love this. Promise!
    Btw, anything by BS is amazing, these are just my favorites.

    The NIGHT ANGEL trilogy by Brent Weeks
    In a truly gritty world, we follow
    a wetboy's aprentice ("Assassins
    have targets, wetboys have
    deaders" said by his teatcher)in a
    time where foreign evils are
    planning to take over the kingdom.
    But there is still time for
    romance, friendship and internal
    What makes these books amazing is, apart from the characters, the story and the action, the fact that if you don't watch your back, you might die. It doesn't matter how important you are for the story, if you're shot, you probably will die.

    The tieves guild has made an
    agreement with the nobles not to
    rob them in return for a slacker
    police force. But there is one
    group of thieves, the Gentlemen
    Bastards, who goes behind the back
    of the guild to scam the nobles.
    They are witty, well educated and
    clever. And they are being set up.
    But the scam must go on...

  162. I second Sharyn's recommendation of "So You Want to be a Wizard" by Diane Duane. Or anything by her, really. She's one of my favorite authors. I actually like some of her Star Trek EU novels better than the original show!

  163. Maria V Snyder's Poison/Magic/Fire Study trilogy was a fun read. I didn't like her glass trilogy as much, but she has just released a new book in a new world called "Touch of Power".

    I skipped the comments above but hopefully they mention Isobelle Carmody's Obernewtyn series. It's due to finish this year (finally! I've been reading since high school (which was awhile ago... :$)) I also liked Scatterlings which is also somewhat post-apocalyptic but different than her other books.

    Jennifer Fallon wrote the Hythryn Chronicles that were a quick fun read with mostly enjoyable characters.

    sorry, will stop now until the next time you ask. :) (ooh, except Janny Wurts & Feist!)

  164. Have you heard about The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss?
    The first two books are out ("The Name of the Wind", and "The Wise Man's Fear") and I am so looking forward to the third! Orphan boy + legendary school of magic (Harry Potter meets Tamora Pierce). Please forgive my poor description and give them a try.

    Or how about Trudi Canavan's The
    Black Magician-trilogy?


  165. I agree with Bassbone, but add if one does decide to read Ender's Game, find an early version that doesn't have the additions/changes he made after he decided to add politics to his, it'll be used, so no extra money to OSC.

    Also going to add, READ the Wool stories by Hugh Howey. I am not a big sci-fi fan, but Wool is AMAZING! I can't say much without ruining anything though...but they are post-apocalyptic. The first one is short, and only $0.99 for the Kindle AND Nook editions. The stories get longer as you go, and really do read as one story if you read them back to back. Haven't read First Shift yet, but I really want to! I just love his characters and the environment and the history, and just, YES!

  166. Isobelle Carmody has the Obernewtyn series (ongoing! One left, for real this time!) as well as some other series and a few good stand-alone YA books. Most of her stuff is post-apocalyptic with mind powers. She's also really involved in the online community for Obernewtyn, which is nice.

  167. Hey Jen,

    I always love your book suggestions, as an avid reader it's fantastic to get recommendations! If you haven't read "The Eyre Affair" by Jasper Fforde, you totally should! It's hilarious - alternate universe, books, dodo, genetically re-created neanderthals, full contact croquet... I think I've read it front to back about 10 times. He also has a YA series out, starts with "The Last Dragonslayer", haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I have high hopes!

    You should also try the Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett, starts with "The Wee Free Men".

  168. You've probably already read it, and it's not really YA, but Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere remains one of my favorite fantasy books. And it has an adolescent character, so that counts, right? Okay, not really, but it's worth a read. (I also love American Gods too but that's definitely *not* YA.)

  169. Try Divergent. You will love it!

  170. Thanks for the suggestions, I'm such a bookworm. Enders Game is one of my all time favorite books, I'm curious to see how the movie comes out. The cast looks great; Harrison ford as Colonel Graff, Valentine is the girl from Little Miss Sunshine, and Ender is the kid who plays Mordred on the tv show Merlin, which is awesome in a really cheesy way and I love it. I hope they do it well!

  171. Ok, so I'm at work and can't read all 150 comments above me. If you liked the Uglies (I'm halfway through Pretties and I started it at 11:00 last night, lol) should read Matched by Allie Condie. (Sequel is Crossed, with the 3rd book out this fall) It's another series with a total controlling government....they tell you what to wear, eat, do....choose who you marry, etc, etc. LOVED it!

  172. I LOVED the Uglies series! It makes me jump up and down like a school girl that my favorite blogger ever (yes you silly!) likes them as well :)

  173. I've read every book Orson Scott Card has ever written and there is not a bad apple in the bunch. Such a huge talent!!! I did love Ender's Game quite a bit. The sequals are good (see bad apple comment above) but not quite as memorable.

    Final word: read them all!

  174. Re: Hunger Games. I wasn't sure how I felt the first time I read it...a little let down, I suppose. After watching the movie, I re-read the series. I enjoyed it much more the second time. I think it's grand to want everything to be sunshine and daisies at the end of such a story, but at the same time, I appreciate that it didn't. Life isn't perfect and there are no fairy tale endings, and I think Ms. Collins reflected that very well. It's the same way I feel about the loss of Fred, Lupin and Tonks in Harry Potter.

    As for a recommendation, I enjoyed The Host by Stephenie Meyer. It's sci-fi, and very intriguing. I will be honest: it did take a bit for me to really get into it, but it was well worth it.

  175. In YA, I *love* Garth Nix's trilogy of Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen. (this includes what should win some kind of prize for the best fictional library anywhere, where the librarians wear swords and carry clockwork mice JUST IN CASE.) And in adult-ish stuff, I love almost anything by Connie Willis, but especially Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog. England, time travel, Victorian dresses, joy.

  176. I agree with Madhatter360, Jen--I think you'd like The Hungry City Chronicles (aka Mortal Engines Quartet) by Philip Reeve, if you haven't read them already.

    I thought the series ended very well indeed (an important consideration, I agree!), and it really drew me right in with a great balance of steampunkiness, originality, and great characters, plus the component of moral exploration that you tend to get in the best YA fiction.

    One thing to keep in mind, though--get the British version (the Quartet) if you can. As far as I know, the only significant difference is that one of the main characters is RENAMED in the American version. This drives me nuts, just because it seems so pointless (and because now the explanation of how he got his name makes no sense whatsoever). If this wouldn't bother you, 'sokay...but I suspect it might, o kindred spirit! ;)

  177. I am TOTALLY with JenBen on the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton (but again, it teeters between R and X rated, so not kid-friendly) but it's about a kick-ass chick in the world as it is today, but with vamps and all the paranormal creepy crawlies totally alive and well and integrated into society. FANTASTIC series, as is Laurell K's Merry Gentry series. Fantastically strong female leads.

    On a more fantasy-esque range, I absolutely LOVED Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series (Wizard's First Rule is the first book) and they had a TV show based on it for a while, that was totally cheesy, but because I loved the books so very very much, it had a close place in my heart (Legend of the Seeker). It's very Zena/Hercules styled, but they are amazing.

    In the more kid-friendly sense, the Ella Enchanted book was one of my favorites as a kid, and I recently reread it and loved it just as much (the movie sucked bigtime though). I've put a bunch of these suggestions into my to-read list, so thanks for opening the thread!

  178. You would probably like The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher! They're not YA, but they feel like YA, if that makes sense? They're about the wizard Harry Dresden and his supernatural and human companions and the crazy magic happenings in Chicago. It's sort of like Harry Potter for adults with lots of Star Wars and pop culture references.

  179. Also definitely check out The Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz. They are amazing!

  180. Most of what I was going to list has already been suggested. I wish I could put a check box by the ones I've enjoyed! You should also check out:
    Wither by Lauren DeStefano
    Croak by Gina Damico
    Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
    The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
    My Name is Memory by Anne Brashares
    Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson

    The last two are adult fiction, but fantastic.

  181. I liked Ender's game too, but I loved its sequel "speaker for the dead" a lot more philosophical, but excellent reading. The previous commenter is correct, the series does loose quality from there, but they are still worth reading.

    Also John Connolly's "The Gates" was fantastic. It is about a boy and his dog fighting of demon hordes trying to end the world via a gate created by the large Hadron Collider.

  182. I looved uglies andretties but i could NOT get through the last book for some reason, sigh great books though

  183. I see a lot of my favorites in the list. One more that I love, and don't think I mentioned the last time you posted about YA books:

    Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie.

    It's an awesome book about a boy who's father is a story teller. He finds out that all the stories litterally come from a sea of stories n a magical second moon. But the sea is being poisoned by evil forces, and Haroun has to fight the dark side (of the moon) to save a princess along with his family and the rest of the moon.

  184. Here's the freakiest thing: I have the beta of a post of "books you might like after The Hunger Games."

    Two of the three: Avatars trilogy (you've read this? No one else ever reads this!), and Tammy Pierce books, specifically Bekah and Kel's series.

    (The third is The Maze Runner trilogy, apocalyptic-ish and very action-based, if you're looking for more to read. The entire series is out now.)

  185. If you're taking votes of books to read, I'd like to cast votes for a few books already mentioned. They deserve the extra attention.

    Anne McCaffrey's books (all of them, really) For younger readers, perhaps try the "DragonSinger" books

    Diane Duane's "So You Want to Be a Wizard series"

    Robin McKinley's books, espeically "The Blue Sword" and "The Hero and the Crown" for fantasy. "Sunshine" is a bit of an older-reader book, but has vampires!

    Also, the Patricia Wrede dragon books, and the Susam Fletcher dragon series are good as well. (Man, did I have a one track mind growing up.)

    For books that are more mature (read: probably for adult readers, though I admit that they were part of what got me through High School) try the books of Mercedes Lackey. Her Valdemar books are fantasy at their finest, and most of her other serieses are wonderful as well.

  186. the Kitty Series by Carrie Vaughn is great. It's YA but there's enough adult content that I wouldn't let my child read it until he was in his mid-teens. Not a tween series in my opinion. The first book is called "Kitty and the Midnight Hour". At last count there were 7 books in the series, but I haven't checked for an eigth in a while.

    I would also recommend some of the Bitten series by Kelley Armstrong. Each book is about a different charter in the same universe. Most know each other in some way but are not necessary entirely intertwined. It's a fresh perspective on the universe for every book. Very cleverly done in my opinion and it makes each book that much more anticipated and the series quite addictive.

    By the way. Since my son is still very very little, i'm interested in which of the book recommendations you have listed here might be more appropriate to read with an even younger crowd. He loves books of all shapes and sizes and will sit and listen to his father and I read for hours if he can. So he's quickly outgrowing the short childrens books. If any of the ones you've recommended are appropriate for us to read to him while reading them ourselves I'd love to know!

  187. This is a much more Fantasy, much less dystopic series... but you should definitely look into Dealing With Dragons and the rest of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles.

    They're about a princess who doesn't want to do "princessy things" so she gets the people of the castle to teach her what she wants to know. Everyone tells her that everything she wants to do "just isn't done" and she can't stand it any more so she runs away to live with dragons and turns away the knights who try to save her! Very girl-power and choosing your own path and all that!

  188. I would also have to recommend the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I don't usually read young adult books, but someone else had recommended this series and I liked Harry Potter so I figured I'd try it. I'm on the second book in the series and I love it so far. I'm also a fan of Greek mythology which definitely helps. Very fun, easy reads.

  189. You must must must read Leviathin! I also second the comment about Larklight. If you like Tamora Pierce, you'll probably like just about anything by Diana Wynn Jones. (Deep Secret is my current favorite)Also try Fly By Night or Here There be Dragons. (can't remember those authors, sorry.)

  190. If anyone wants some suggestions on free or low cost ebooks I have a book review blog where I usually focus on fantasy, steampunk and YA books (there are others though). I'm at

    You don't have to sign up if you don't want to, I just want to share some good Indies authors.

  191. I just finished the Hunger Games books, and am missing them now! Will definitely check some of these suggestions out.

    My recommendation would have to go to the 'O Trilogy' by Maurice Gee - The Halfmen of O, The priests of Ferris and Motherstone. So, so good!! (And by a Kiwi author, so I'm really doing my patriotic bit by recommending them here)
    They are pretty old, I think the first one came out in 1984, but they still rule. New editions have been released. Not sure how easy they are to come by in the real world, but you could always try an NZ book store. :)

  192. Melina Marchetta - she's an Australia author, and I heartily recommend everything she's written. But especially On The Jelicoe Road and The Piper's Son.

    Garth Nix is another Australian author I would recommend, his Keys To The Kingdon series is very entertaining.

    Tim Winton is one of the few authors who gets the teenage mind right. Breath is my favourite by him.

  193. OK, Jen, I think you might be my book soulmate. YA Fantasy is seriously my favorite genre. I'll read anything fantasy, but YA has a special place in my heart.

    Someone else posted about Graceling (by Kristen Cashore) But I can't not mention it, because it's probably my favorite book. Fire is a (sort-of) prequel, and Bitterblue is a sequel.

    I also want to mention books of Pellinor: The Naming, The Riddle, The Crow, and The Singing. I've read each of these books 3 times. Female lead, orphan, undiscovered magic, fighting an evil force so powerful there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of hope, and music.

    Eon and Eona by Allison Goodman are also excellent books based on Chinese zodiac mythology and about girl pretending to be a boy. (Has a lot of really great things to say about gender as well)

    The Faerie Wars Chronicles (4 books) by Herbie Brennan are about a boy in modern england who gets sucked into the faerie realm and makes friends with the prince and princess. Very action packed.

    You'll probably also enjoy Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, about a boy genius who discovers the modern day hidden civilization of faeries.

    If you don't know about Kingdom Keepers I'm ashamed for you, as it is both YA fantasy and DISNEY.

    The Farsala trilogy is also good. Fall of a Kingdom, Rise of a Hero, Forging the Sword. An ever growing empire comes knocking on the doors of a feudal nation, and the story follows three young people who change the fate of the kingdom.

    And finally, even though it isn't true YA Fantasy, Brandon Sanderson is probably my favorite author. Elantris is an excellent solo novel, as is Warbreaker, and the Mistborn trilogy may be the best trilogy I have ever read.

    Graceling by Kristen Cashore
    Pellinor by Allison Croggon
    Eon/Eona by Allison Goodman
    Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan
    Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
    Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson
    Farsala trilogy by Hilari Bell
    and anything by Brandon Sanderson

  194. I tried reading through all of the comments, but realized I am going to need a notebook and an afternoon so I can make a good list! Just wanted to throw my rec. In there. The Pellinor Series by Allison Croggin - it starts with the Naming... amazing magic and wonder and beauty. Enjoy!


  195. Ok, so I have not read quite a bit if the suggestions left but I'm going to. Here are my suggestions:

    Matched series by Ally Condie, GREAT books

    The Curse Workers by Holly Black

    The Fallen Series by Lauren Kate

    The Partials by Dan Wells

    Until I Die by Amy Plum

    Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier (Sapphire blue coming out later this year)

    The Forest of Hands and Teeth Series was fantastic by Carrie Ryan

    The Gemma Doyle Series by Libba Bray was ok. Long and slightly repetitive in my opinion.

    The Chemical garden Trilogy by Lauren DeStefano is fantastic

    The Spirit Binders by Alaya Dawn Johnson though the third book has no estimated publishing date so far.

    The Bumped Series by Megan McCafferty is great.

    Insatiable and Overbite by Meg Cabot

    Abandon and Underworld (will release on 5/8) by Meg Cabot as well

    Any book by Maggie Stiefvater

    The Shadow Falls series by C.C. Hunter

    The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley

    Birthmarked and Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien

    The Goddess Test and Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

    Hourglass by Myra McEntire

    Divergent and Insurgent By Veronica Roth are phenomenal!

    Wicked lovely series by Melissa marr

    Steampunk Chronicles by Kady Cross

    The Adoration of Jenna Fox and The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson

    Incarceron and Sapphique by Catherine Fisher

    The caster Chonicles by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

    The Nightshade series by Andrea Cremer

    Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

    Everneath by Brodi Ashton

    Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

    The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

    Across the Universe and A Million Suns by Beth Revis

    The Need series by Carrie Jones
    Need, Captivate, Entice and Endure

    I know there are some in there that have already been mentioned in other posts but they are worth mentioning again. Enjoy.

  196. My two recommendations aren't really YA, but the authors are amazing.

    Vernor Vinge has been writing in his spare time for many years, but I only started reading his books last year.

    A Fire Upon the Deep (1992) was absolutely fascinating. Aliens with group minds, of all things. There is a sequel called The Children of the Sky, but it didn't grab me like the first one.

    The newest and youngest scifi author I have been reading is China Mieville.

    Perdido Street Station is one of the oddest books I have ever read and it has some steam punk attributes. I think he will be writing a sequel to this one at some time.

    Embassytown, also my Mievielle, was totally over the top and has one of the craziest alien species of all times.

    Hope you get an opportunity to try at least one of these books.

  197. What age would you recommend Gregor the Overlander for? My son is 8, in the 3rd grade. Like me, he is not thrilled with the suggested reading at school. He's been reading all of his father's Robotech books, the Zelda manga, and basically anything that has a spaceship, sword or robot on the front catches his eye.

  198. @miranda 5/4 6.17 am- Have you read any Roald Dahl books to your son? I am in my thirties and still love to reread Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, The Twits, James and the Giant Peach, and Danny the Champion of the World. I loved them as a kid and still do today.

    I loved The Hunger Games series. I've reread them more times than I can count and am fuming right now because I let my friend borrow them and so far I have only gotten the first one back. No, the ending didn't tie everything up in a neat package of sunshine, but life doesn't either.

    There is a trilogy that starts with 'Gideon the Cutpurse' that was fantastic.

    Terry Pratchett's Bromeliad trilogy- Truckers, Diggers, and Wings.

    And I am not at all ashamed to admit that I love me some Star Trek. There is a 4 book series called Invasion, with one book set in each of the television series' eras. First Strike (TOS) by Diane Carey, The Soldiers of Fear (TNG) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith, Time's Enemy (DS9)by L.A. Graf, and The Final Fury (Voyager) by Dafyyd ab Hugh.

  199. Tomorrow when the war began series by John Marsden - 6 books set in Australia with a foreign army invasion and a group a teenagers staging a rebellion.
    I think i might read them again as i await the package of my hunger games books


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