Friday, July 13, 2012

Recommeded Reading: Summer Fun!

It's been way too long since my last list of recommended reads! For this batch of YA titles, I thought I'd focus on fun, easy reads and/or series perfect for taking on vacation or, if you grab the audio versions, for long car rides.

These books are heavy on adventure and humor, and light on drama: kind of the equivalent of a popcorn movie. (And I mean that in only the best possible way.) 

So, in no particular order, here goes:

 Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment, by James Patterson

I was a little surprised no one suggested this series after my last review post; these books (there are three, I think - or is it four?) are pure adrenaline, with almost non-stop action and torturous cliff-hanger endings. The endings were my biggest beef; there's no closure at all, so you'll want to have the next title already on hand, if possible. I remember having a few other issues with the story, too, but the heroine Max is amazing - tough and yet still relatable -  and the fast pace will make the pages really zip by. Besides, they're genetically mutated kids who have giant wings - c'mon, that is AWESOME.

[Correction: per the comments, there are now eight (EIGHT??) books in the series - but someone suggested Patterson should have stopped after four. Heheh.]

Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer

This was a series John actually picked up before I did, and I only started it myself after seeing him devour so many of the titles. (I've lost track of how many there are now - eight? Nine?) The writing is for a slightly younger audience than most of the YA fiction I read (there are fart jokes. You have been warned) but they're great fun and perfect for finishing in one or two sittings, if you're a quick reader. In a nutshell, Artemis is a budding evil genius who stumbles across the world of the fairies - but these fairies pack less glitter and more guns.

Sound like fun? Believe me, it is!

I was about to recommend The Lightning Thief, but then I remembered: I already did! (I really need to get a master list going of all my reviews...) So instead, how about The Lost Hero, the first book in another of Rick Riordan's series called Heroes of Olympus:

It's set in the same world as Percy Jackson, and even has a few overlapping characters, but mostly is a new story with all new characters - and it's great stuff. I'd definitely recommend it over Riordan's other new series, The Red Pyramid. That one is set in Egypt, but it just didn't grab me the way his Olympus series have. (The narrative style by the two main characters drove me a little batty.)

The Squire's Tale, by Gerald Morris

If you like modern-day re-tellings of myths (like Rick Riordan's work up there), then you'll love Gerald Morris' re-tellings of the Arthurian legends. It's not set in the modern day, but the language and writing is more current, and it's filled with humor and unbelievably endearing characters. Compared to the other books in this post it might seem a bit tame, adventure-wise, but there are quests and snappy dialogue and lovable characters that will keep you coming back for more. And if that doesn't convince you, I'm pretty sure this is one of John's favorite series of all time; he's read all eleven or so in the series, and was positively giddy the last time a new one came out.

Everlost, by Neal Shusterman

This is, quite literally, a haunting tale - but despite the cover art it's not scary at all. Promise. :) Two teens get "stuck" between worlds after a car crash, and their adventures in Everlost are both gripping and bizarre. The premise is fabulous - a truly creative twist on the supernatural - but something didn't quite click for me with the characters, and the ending left me a bit hollow. Still, give it a try if the premise sounds interesting; from all the stellar reviews over on Amazon, I'd say I'm in the minority by not loving it.

Dealing with Dragons, by Patricia Wrede

This is a super light, super funny read about a princess who runs away to live with dragons. It's awesome. You should read it. (And when you're done with that, there are three more books in the series! Just look for The Enchanted Forest Chronicles.)

The Wee Free Men, by Terry Pratchett

Though the tiny blue Nac Mac Feegles (think drunk Scottish smurfs) often steal the scenes, this is really the story of a young girl named Tiffany (yes, Tiffany) who sets out to become a witch - albeit a good one. It's absolutely hysterical, full of fantasy and adventure, and it's perfect for fans of Patricia Wrede looking for a longer, meatier story. Plus, after this there are three more Tiffany Aching novels - and I just realized I haven't read the last one! Woohoo!

I actually read Wee Free Men to John during a long car ride, and we had to pause a lot due to all the giggling. I'd love to get the audio version, just to see how the narrator handled the Nac Mac Feegles' dialogue. Hee.

So there you have it: a few more titles to add to your summer reading list! Now it's your turn again: what would you suggest for a fun vacation read? I'm talking adventures and humor, people, and I need more titles! So....GO!


  1. Actually, the 8th and final book in the Maximum Ride series is due out August 6th! And the new Rick Riordan will be out in October, for those who follow Percy and his friends :).

    My defense for knowing this is that I'm a middle school English teacher... a perfect excuse to read YA all the time!

  2. Have you tried Pratchett's 'Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents'? It was the book that got me hooked on Discworld when I was 10 and my father read it to me. It is probably aimed for a slightly younger audience than what you usually recommend for, but it is utterly fantastic - I adore it much more than 'The Wee Free Men'.

    I'm trying to think of other YA books to recommend, but I have to admit, it's books for a younger adience that I really love. The 8-14 age group for books is one that I have really fallen in love with. The books are still full of adventure and they are just fun!

    How about 'Across the Nightingale Floor' - fantasy set in a medieval, feudal Japan-esque world?

    Have you already mentioned Tamora Pierce's Tortall books - I think so?

    I am in love with The Afterdark Princess and the Two Princesses of Banmarre, but they are for a much younger audience!

    The Hobbit is a brilliant children's book...

    I think you may have already mentioned Inkheart...?

    Crown Duel?

    Forgive me for my brainstorming.

  3. Everlost is part of a trilogy (The Skinjacker Trilogy)- it's really good. Everwild in next, followed up with Everfound.

    Have you read one of his other books called "Unwind?" It is so messed up and amazing. I tell everyone to read it because it's a mindf**k, but it's totally worth reading.

  4. I love the series of Mr. Monk books by Lee Goldburg. I also loved the Guardians of Ga'Hoole books (from Scholastic for younger kids, but still great reading).

    By the way, did you know that today is "Embrace Your Geekness Day"?

  5. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. Or any of Moore's vampire series. I think another reader may have suggested Lamb earlier but it's my first choice for adventure and humor. After all, Biff invented sarcasm!

  6. Omg. The first several I've already read, so I'm excited to check out the other ones on your list.

  7. The last Tiffany book is INCREDIBLE. It's a bit darker, but you are in for a great ride.

  8. There are ctually seven Maximum Ride Books at this point- with the last one comming out in August.

  9. My biggest problem with the Maximum Ride books was the cheesy romance. Let's face it, guys: James Patterson is terrible at writing romance. Other than that, the books are pretty fun. Also: There's eight books in that series, I think. However, it really should have stopped after four.

    Otherwise, thanks for all the great book recommendations. I'm always looking for new stuff to read. I just finished the Bartimaeus trilogy, which was AMAZING. If you like fantasy, definitely read this.

  10. You've listed some of my favorite series!
    The Squire's Tale was one of the books that really spurred on my love of Arthurian Mythos (that and Black Horses for the King) and the Enchanted Forest series is just awesome. I haven't read it in years but I picked up Dealing with Dragons at a local book sale for my next big move across the country (along with American Gods).

    I didn't see it when I went back through previous entries but what about Rebel Angels/Gemma Doyle Trilogy or really anything by Libba Bray? It can be dark at times but still good. My friend's copy has been so marked up with sticky tags that there are more tags than pages.

  11. So so glad to see a Terry Pratchett book in your list. I absolutely LOVE his writing. And the Tiffany Aching books are among my favourites. :) Pratchett's books (most of them signed to me personally) have pride of place on my book shelves.

  12. There are actually 7 Maximum Ride books, with an 8th on the way. As well as two adult novels, involving the same characters, however the adult novels, do not follow the same plot line as the YA novels.


    I may be a bit biased as my brother in law knows her...but her books are amazing. Mixing Shakespere and current day, fairies and time travel....her books have them all. Even romance. It is YA, but I thoroughly enjoyed them and can't wait to pick up more!

  14. I love Patricia Wrede's books! They are great for a quick read! I just found a few on the free lists for my kindle that seemed decent enough! Clockwise by Elle Strauss was an entertaining book about a girl who "trips" back into time and takes her crush with her on accident. Kinda cutesy and for the free price I got it for, good!

  15. I found the Maximum Ride books got a bit preacher and moralistic the farther into the series I got. Liked the first few the most.

    Have you ever read Charles De Lint, not YA but really good books. I think my favourite of his is The Onion Girl.

  16. Since you have the Tiffany Aching books have you tried the discworld series? They're not YA, but still easy reads. I recommend the Witches books and the Night Watch ones.

  17. Thank you for mentioning Dealing with Dragons - one of my favorite book series! Such a great characters - and of course the last Tiffany Aching book totally lives up to Pratchett's standards. Have you read Nation? Pratchett wrote it a few years ago, it isn't set in Discworld, but it has wonderful themes about growing up, how we create societies, and subtly set in the Victorian period :D

  18. Someone said "Black Horses for the King" by Anne McCaffery, which I loved, and I'd like to add the "So You Want to be a Wizard" series by Diane Duane. For the younger set, Magic Schoolbus and Ms Frizzle! Great way to get kids started on science and fantasy.

    Robert Heinlein also wrote some fantastic "boys books" back in the 50's.. Just finished "The Rolling Stones", "Have Spacesuit will Travel" and "Farmer in the Sky" All of which are great stories. The science is often wrong, and the manners and attitudes are sometimes dated, but the stories themselves are timeless.

    have fun!

  19. I would also recommend Unwind by Neal Shusterman. It is so messed up but a great read. And Hollowland by Amanda Hocking, which has a great first line... "This is the way the world ends - not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door."

  20. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles are so great! I stumbled across a box set of all four for $5 at a flea market, bought them for my daughter and ended up making my best friend green with envy that we have them! Apparently they were her faves growing up and her copies got ruined. Of course, her reaction meant I had to read them, too. Pure love. I want to be Cimmorene if I ever decide to grow up.

  21. I love Cinda Williams Chima's YA books. Have you mentioned them before? Can't recall... But in addition to the Heir Chronicles (the Warrior Heir, Wizard Heir and Dragon Heir) which are great stories set in contemporary times, she also has the Seven Realms series (4 books so far) which are set in an imaginary fantasy past. Wonderful reads!

  22. I recommend the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa and the House of Night series by P.C. and Kristen Cast. Both have very different takes on modern fantasy, the first being about fairies, the second about vampires. But both have become favorites for everyone in our family, including my non-reader husband.

  23. *LOVE* Terry Pratchet!!! I haven't read the Wee Free Men books yet, but my husband has been telling me that I need to for a few years now. I also recommend the books on the City Watch (Night Watch is the first one I think)... loved them :)

  24. If you like The Hunger Games, you should love Legend by Marie Lu. I actually think I liked it better.

    I agree with you about the Red Pyramid series, but I still read them. The jumping from one PoV to the other tends to drive me a little nuts too.

    Illona Andrews' Kate Daniels Series is just full of awesome. I had to take my time with the first book to get to know the world but all the others I have breezed through.

    Kelley Armstrong has 2 series I would recommend. The Otherworld series is full of so much awesome I read them fast enough. Also her Darkest Powers series is very well done.

    If I can think of any others I'll be sure to let you know.

  25. The narrator for the Tiffany Aching novels, Stephen Briggs, is FABULOUS! His Feegles are absolutely hilarious, especially his Daft Wully.

    He also narrates most of the Discworld novels and his characterizations are beautifully consistent through all the books, so Granny Weatherwax sounds the same in the Tiffany books and the witch Discworld novels.

  26. I highly HIGHLY recommend "The Girl Who Circumnavigate Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making." It's a YA book that's on the heavy side (for kids, anyway. It's just right for adults who enjoy YA fantasy). The writing is lovely and the imagery is just. perfect.

    "The Little White Horse" is an older YA fantasy book. I'm not finished with it yet, but it's sweet so far. Not really filled with humor, but a nice, sweet read.

    And Jen, you really should be on GoodReads! An excellent way to keep up with books you've read and compile a to-read list. My to-read list is currently out.of.control. In the best way possible, of course :)

  27. I have to recommend The Phantom Tollbooth. I just reread it last night, and remembered how much I liked it as a kid.

  28. If no one has suggested Brian Jacque's Redwall series, I will.

    The books are set in a medieval world over a series of years populated by woodland creatures. Lots of action adventure and the descriptions of food will have you wishing you were at the feasts too.

    My favorite characters are the otters.

  29. It's fantasy, but not YA. The books are doorstops, with the latest one clocking in at 1100 pages.
    A Song of Ice and Fire is an icredible series. The amount of detail put into them is amazing, and I honestly don't think I've managed to find a plot hole yet.

  30. @ lizzybef - I've been on GoodReads for longer than CW has been around; I just don't post reviews there anymore (since I do that on Epbot now) or link to it publicly (since I bashed a few books there before anyone knew who I was. Ha!) I do love it for keeping track of what I read, though, and can't recommend it enough!

  31. I need a second job for buying books!! I wish I could have a library card! Damn living in an unincorporated part of town.....

  32. I love this list of books, mostly because I've read and enjoyed so many of them!

    The Enchanted Forest series is one of my absolute favorite series - I have the set with the covers designed by Trina Schart Hyman. I reread them often, because I love the characters so much.

    Personally, I very much enjoyed the Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan. I'm an anthro student with a deep and abiding love for ancient Egypt, so this series was like nerdy crack for me.

    Thanks for the other recommendations - I'm always looking for new books to try out!

  33. You need to read Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, a new book that just came out this month. it's about a girl that is half-dragon, half-human, and was a great read!

  34. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Smith. Four books so far and I enjoy them :) have to admit that I picked up the series because of the cover art. ;)

  35. They aren't fantasy, but one of my favorite series ever is the Fools' Guild series by Alan Gordon. They're historical mysteries set around the year 1200-1204, starring the crafty Theophilos, the jester--whom you might also recognize as Feste from Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night." He serves as an agent of the Fools' Guild, a secret organization of jesters, clowns and troubadours that exploit their position alongside powerful men to prevent war and religious persecution. Several of the books play off Shakespeare, telling the hidden stories of characters we would come to know as Feste, Viola, Hamlet, etc.

    In the first book, Theo is called back to Illyria after ten years away: the Duke Orsino has been murdered, Viola has been widowed, and Malvolio may be on the loose. Mystery, action, wittiness, and lots and lots of drinking abound. If you get the chance, I DEFINITELY recommend them!

  36. The Valdemar books by Mercedes Lackey. There are eight (I think) trilogies set in the same world, but at different times in history. I was so happy when my daughter was old enough to read them. Now I'm trying to convince her to start the Dragon Riders of Pern. I also love the 500 Kingdoms books by Lackey, but there is one scene in the first book that some easily embarrassed young teens may not be ready for.

  37. Dealing with Dragons is one of my favorites! And, funny coincidence, I know the artist who did the Artemis Fowl cover.

    I have recommend the Inkheart series by German author Cornelia Funke. They might not be as fast-paced as these others but they are very enchanting and extremely immersive! They're my favorite YA.

  38. Oh my goodness have i got a book series for you!! The Belgariad By David Eddings. Followed by the Mallorian. Same Author. The first boook of the series is Called Pawn of prophecy. You will love it, plenty of fantastic characters and lots of action. It has a lot of laugh out loud moments.
    Also if you want a new take on Werewolves try Patricia Briggs. Her Mercy Thompson series is really good, but my favorite book of hers is When Demons Walk. None of these are YA, but they aren't heavy reads either.

  39. Definitely take a look at Jim C. Hines' Jig the Goblin books, starting with Goblin Quest, for humorous fantasy. To my knowledge they're not strictly-speaking YA, but fairly YA-safe.

    The Thief series by Megan Whelan Turner is really good, although it does go to some darker places.

    You might like Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev. I thought the book was only ok, but it had its moments. The cover is gorgeous and it's about Shakespeare & a mysterious theater. With fairies.

    I know you mentioned reading The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley before, but The Hero and the Crown, it's prequel, was my own life-changing book that I recommend to everyone.

  40. Crown Duel is the first in a two-part set by Sherwood Smith that I absolutely LOVE; BONUS for being really easy and quick to read.

    There's also anything by Gail Levine - lots of fairytale-esque books.

    Laurie Notaro has a lot of really funny books out. They're not geared towards YA, nor are they necessarily YA appropriate, but they're hysterical nonetheless.

    There is also the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. Teens in a futuristic dystopia. He's also got another set (that I haven't read); the first is called "Leviathan." It's got gears on the cover, which makes me think of you. :)

    Finally, there's always Entwined by Heather Dixson. Fabulous, a little sappy and a lot girly, but a good read.

  41. Ahah just what I was looking for. I just got a barnes and noble giftcard and had no idea what to use it on well now I do. Thanks Jen!

  42. Terry Pratchet is the BEST for long car rides! My boyfriend and I acutally got the audio book for the sequal to Wee Free Men for a trip to visit family. Its called A Hat Full Of Sky and we were in tears laughing. I recomend any of the Discworld series for a good laugh!

  43. I'm going with a previous poster and recommending the A Great and Terrible Beauty/The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray. It's full of fantasy and adventure and a fun read.

  44. I sincerely hope you have read Madeleine L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time series. Oldies (1962) but goodies.

  45. I'm not huge on humor books, but I have a few good reads you might like.
    As You Wish by Jackson Pearce. This involves a heartbroken girl, a genie, and three wishes. The book is quick and fun to read. I highly recommend Pearce's other books, too. She's working on retelling fairy tales, starting with Sisters Red and the more recent Sweetly. These are darker, but they're really good and have a good amount of action.
    Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. Dear goodness this book is hysterical. It's longish, but you don't even notice the length once you get started. The plot is based around 50 beauty pageant contestants crashing on a "deserted" island and goes from there. Get this book, like yesterday. Bray has a historical/fantasy trilogy (the Gemma Doyle trilogy) that is also fantastic, but very long and meaty plot wise.
    Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey. Okay, not a comedy but there is so much fantasy that any hardcore would love this tale. It has dragons, fey folks, witch burningd, the whole 9 yards. I love this book so so much.
    As long as we're straying, The Pledge by Kimberely Derting is a post apostoliptic world with a wonderful twist (think different languages for different classes of people) the story moves along fast and keeps interesting.
    To round off my recommendations, anything by E. Lockhart is fun and easy to read. Personal favorites include Dramarama and Fly on the Wall.
    Phew. That was a lot. Hopefully I gave you some good recommendations. Believe me when I say, the list could have gone on...

  46. For this post, I had to make sure I wasn't reading my own blog...The first three series you mentioned(MaxRide, Artemis Fowl, and The Lost Hero) are three of my favorite series of all time! Glad you enjoy them. :)

  47. Have you read the Temeraire books by Naomi Novik? There's a list of them here. Not YA but amazing fantasty novels. Basically, they are about the Napoelonic Wars, with an added airforce made up of dragons. They are my favourite books, after The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

  48. So many good books in your list and the comments. I've read quite a few of the recommended but also found some new titles (and one I had read the first, loved and then forgot so I'll go back to it now!) to add to my list.

    Since the recommendations are moving just outside the range of YA by now, I'll rec a couple that would be acceptable as YA reads but aren't truly in that category:

    Unicorn on Speed Dial by Jeanette Cotrell - truly fun with lots of good and interesting characters.

    Dragons of Wendal by Maria Schneider - a young girl wants to go to magic college but finds out things are hinky on campus.

    And if you want a straight up adult urban fantasy that is full of good noir humor, try Frank Tuttle's Markhat books.

    And, if you feel the urge, feel free to follow my reviews on GR as I generally say at least a sentence or two about every book I read. You can find me there as April Dwndrgn.

    Thanks again for the recs!

  49. Definitely the Phantom Tollbooth and Redwall series. My middle son did his thesis for his sr. year of HS (yes, they have to do a junior AND senior thesis), read them and defend them to other students and faculty), based on this. The principal had never read it, so I ran across a copy for him recently. Going to make 12 YO daughter read it first. And yes, ALL the Redwall books make me hungry

  50. I'm in the middle of Cinder by Merissa Meyer. The audio is very good (and I hate audio books).

  51. Ooh, The Dragonriders of Pern, for sure! Anne McCaffrey ftw. I bet I could still quote large sections of some of those. Also, Piers Anthony. If you like puns, (big if, yeah, right :) then definitely check out his stuff. He's got like a bajillion titles. VERY light and funny as all get out. I liked his titles for older readers, too!

  52. I read the Enchanted Forest Chronicles in middle school, and they've been some of my favorites since!

    I'd have to second the recommendation for Diane Duane's Young Wizards series- they're brilliant, hugely imaginative, and will suck you straight in. I'd also recommend The Book of Night With Moon, especially for cat lovers.

    Lastly, anything by Tamora Pierce or Terry Pratchett- the City Watch and Rincewind ones are my personal favorites, but you can hardly go wrong with Discworld.

  53. "The Night Circus", by Erin Morgenstern. It is not YA but it is right up the magical fantasy alley (which makes me want to say Diagon Ally hehe). It is a page turner, with duels involving stunningly beautiful experiences. And two endearing twin ginger english children named Poppet and Widget!
    Also, try, but please continue to consult with your readers. It is a fun online bookclub/library. It will let you rate and compare books with friends, and suggest titles based on your library. I also find it handy in organizing what I've read and what I want to read.

  54. I can't remember if you've mentioned it before, but Ella Enchanted is one of my all-time favorites. I also second Mercedes Lackey's series.

  55. Based on some of those, I really think you'd enjoy Jim C Hines books. They're not aimed at the YA audience specifically, but my teenage sister LOVED them.
    He has two series, one about a runty goblin and his reluctant adventures, starting with Goblin Hero.
    The other series is my favorite, it's Disney princesses meets Charlie's Angels. The first one there is The Stepsister Scheme. They're all full of action and humor, and hard to put down.

  56. Have you read When the Wind Blows and The Lake House by James Patterson? They are also about genetically modified bird children, but were a precursor to the Maximum Ride series. They're pretty good.

    For some humourous/adventure series I'd recommend: The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne or The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. I also recommend anything by Kelley Armstrong (all of her books are amazing), Ilona Andrews's Kate Daniels series or The Edge series and Mercedes Lackey's 500 Kingdom books, just because.

    Also Bunnicula, that series is awesome and funny...but it's for a younger audience.

  57. The Nac Mac Feegle's are one of Terry Pratchetts BEST character inventions yet.

    I've just finished a couple of books by Cassandra Clare - there is going to be a third (released here in November), but the first two are out. The series is called The Infernal Devices, book one is Clockwork Angel, book two is Clockwork Prince. They're set in 1870's London, a bit steampunky, a bit preternatural, totally captivating. I devoured them in a couple of days. I really recommend them!

  58. I just got done reading the Hollow series by Jessica Verday - it's not exactly light, but it's set in modern-day Sleepy Hollow and is a great YA paranormal romance.

    LOVE Terry Pratchett. He is hilarious.

  59. Bass Family - I have read the Belgariad (and Eddings other series) probably a dozen times since I first discovered those books when I was in high school. Some of my favorites.

  60. I hate to say this, but the audio version of Wee Free Men was a disappointment. The male narrator just wasn't up to the female voices and Tiffany grated on my ears. The book was AMAZING! That might have been part of why the audio version was such a let down.

  61. Stephen Briggs does a brilliant reading of the Feegles. And every other character in every book from The Fifth Elephant on. I own them all.

    Seriously, EVERYTHING by Pratchett. If you love Tiffany, you would lurrrrrrve the City Watch sub series of the adult Discworld novels. Vimes is sort of Tiffany if she were a middle-aged, cynical, hard-boiled alcoholic male copper. His story arc is amazing. The character growth!

    Bonus, the any female characters are incredible. Especially Sybil.

    The Watch series is (more or less)
    Guards! Guards!
    Men At Arms
    Feet Of Clay
    The Fifth Elephant
    Night Watch
    Where's My Cow? (supplemental children's book)

  62. Has anyone recommended "Dragon Slippers" by Jessica Day George. Again, it's a fairly simple read but very enjoyable. The series is three books and they are all already out so you won't have to wait ages for the next one to come out (which is always really frustrating).

  63. Long time reader, first time commentor here. I have to agree with others that the Enchanted Forest Chronicles are amazing. I would also second the Tamora Pierce and Mercedes Lackey recommendations above. With both of them, however, I highly recommend starting with the first books they wrote and working forward as starting at other points in their work can sometimes ruin the earlier books.

    One great series of YA books that have yet to be mentioned is The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud. There are 3 books, plus a prequel, hence the series name. It is fantasy series set in an alternative London. They are definitely fun reads.

  64. You are going to LOVE "I Shall Wear Midnight." LOVE IT. Have tissues handy - I cried like a baby at the end.

  65. Robert Aspirin's MYTH series. Earlier ones are better (IMHO)

  66. Hey! This isn't necessarily sci-fi, but it is a young adult series I love: Flavia de Luce, by Alan Bradley. The first book is The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. The main character is a precocious girl, and she's fantastic. She is obsessed with chemistry and mysteries and adventure, and basically wreaks havoc in her hometown (set in Britain in the 1950's)

    Also, have you ever used Shelfari? I would love to discuss books with you there! My name is book_fiend

  67. Huh. Two or three of those sound familiar because my brother's been reading them..I know he loves the Percy Jackson series. I may have to check those out too. Tamora Pierce is one of my all-time favorite YA authors, especially her Circle of Magic quartet.

    Terry Pratchett is another fave! If you've never read "Good Omens" you should definitely check it out--he co-wrote it with Neil Gaiman before they were famous.

  68. There's a new kids' book that's awesome called The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom. It's basically the untold story of all the Prince Charmings. AND they get names, which is cool.

  69. Second the Tamora Pierce books, as well as reading from the first book she wrote and working through. Warning though: I think the first series (about Alanna of Trebond) is the weakest of all the Tortall series.

    Also, the Mairelon the Magician duo by Patricia Wrede is awesome. Magic and Victorian era, oh my! If you like those, then you would probably also like Sorcery and Cecelia (trilogy... for now) which is magic and Victorian England, but it's written as an exchange of letters between the two primary characters (written by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer).

    Cinder by Marissa Meyer. It's a retelling of Cinderella, but Cinder is a cyborg. It's an engrossing story, the first book of a planned quartet (I believe). There is only the one book out currently and it ends on a complete cliffhanger. You have been warned.

    Paranormalcy by Kiersten White. First book of a trilogy that I believe has all the books out now.

  70. I have never actually commented on a post here before, even though I have been reading since the beginning, so you have to realize how much I LOVE this series. If you can handle audio books at all, do the Artemis Fowl series (the 8th, and final, book just released this week) on audio. Nathanial Parker is the most amazing narrator I have ever come across and he adds so much to that series. I haven't even finished reading your whole post yet, I just had to tell you about them!

  71. Woot woot for The Enchanted Forest Chronicles! Have you tried anything else by Wrede? She's wonderful--overlooked often, but great (though I can't speak for her pre-EFC books. The one I tried was...cliche). Still, the Sorcery and Cecelia (3), Mairelon the Magician (2), and Frontier Magic (2/3 out, starting with Thirteenth Child) are all just great. Can't remember if you've rec'd/read any of these already, but if you haven't, you won't be disappointed!

    Also, you picked a good time to get into Artemis Fowl: the 8th-and-(finally!)-last book comes out this month.

    Oh! Oh! Have you read Bimbos of the Death Sun by Sharyn McCrumb? Despite the (intentionally) horrible name, I think you'd like it: it's a short humorous murder mystery set at a sci-fi/fantasy con in the 80s. I'll stop typing, but it's better summarized here.

  72. And this is why I love your blog so much, because you like everything I love. Gerald Morris' Squire Tales is my favorite series. It's the perfect King Arthur series that's not actually about King Arthur. The humor is perfectly dry and there is the perfect amount of fantasy in it. I was excited about the last book but really sad when it was over but it was a fantastic end to the series, at last for me.

  73. (A second comment, because, well, I get verbose in the evening.) So, I keep thinking of books I want to rec you, and then I looked back through your BookReviews tag...and you've read a lot of them.

    It's kind of eerie: the Hollow Kingdom trilogy by Clare Dunkle, for instance, I love but it seems not too many others have read it. Ditto for the Avatars trilogy...which I also stuck in a post (written but unposted when you put yours up) for books to read after the Hunger Games. And we both picked Tammy Pierce's Terrier series.

    And then today, I was thinking that if you read nonfiction--or even if you didn't--you might like books by Mary Roach, specifically the one about space. And then I saw you reviewed it a year ago.

    And so, all that to say: I like your taste in books and really enjoy your reviews!

    More recs! Have you tried the Eon/Eona duology by Alison Goodman? They're very much in the vein of Tammy Pierce (pseudo-historical fantasy land, magic, strong female characters), and nicely long.

    Cinder (Marissa Meyer) is a cyborg Cinderella, and though it's futureish, it's not a dystopian *and* there's no annoying technobabble. Plus, the title character is smart, strong, and there's no insta-love trope.

    Shannon Hale's Books of Bayern series aren't really action-paced, but they're fun. The first is The Goose Girl, a nice retelling of a traditional fairy tale, and the following books focus in turn on secondary characters from the first book--that is, Goose Girl can stand on its own, so you don't have to commit to a series, though the following books wouldn't make as much sense if you hadn't read the first.

    For comics, have you heard of Gunnerkrigg Court? It's got science, and magic, and sarcasm, and fun, and like Girl Genius you can also read the entire thing online ( The art starts off a bit rough, but it improves quickly.

    Lastly, a non-YA rec: Jasper Fforde. He's actually written several different things: the Thursday Next series (set in an alternate-earth where books are the main form of entertainment, and the lovely Thursday eventually becomes entrenched in a literal BookWorld as a policewoman of sorts--above all, this series is really, really hard to summarize), Shades of Grey (dystopian where your social standing is determined by how much color you can see), the Nursery Crime series (Detective Jack Spratt focuses on cases with "persons of dubious reality," such as the murder of Humpty Dumpty), and he's due to release his first YA book in the US this fall (something about dragons).

    I'd recommend starting with the mysteries ("The Big Over Easy" being the first title; there's only two books); Fforde's books all have very tightly-written plots with lots of sarcasm and humor, both subtle and overt, but the Thursday Next series can get dense at times and isn't quite so funny and fast. Shades of Grey is great, but be forewarned that it's the first in a trilogy and the others won't be out for years. It doesn't have a cliffhanger, though.

    The Crime series, though, is a great starting point: fast, funny, lots of jokes with book/fairy tale references (Spratt's put away a maniacal killer: the Gingerbread Man), aliens who speak binary, and lots of extras on his ridiculously overwrought website.

  74. Well, I haven't had time to read all the recommendations above to see if these have already been mentioned, but here are a few:

    Agatha H and the Airship City by Phil & Kaja Foglio.
    I just read this one and have fallen in love. Steampunk fantasy! The second book of this series is also out.

    On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson.
    Adventure, Peril, Lost Jewels, And the Fearsome Toothy Cows of Scree. This is the first of a series of three.

    The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers.
    A rather unusual book. It is the memoir of the first 13 1/2 lives of a blue bear. This is one of many books set in the same world.

    Technically, when I found each of these books it was in the adult section, but I think you'll find them right up the alley of anyone who enjoys teen book as you (and I) do. Hope you enjoy!!!

  75. Time Stops for No Mouse by Michael Hoeye (and the rest of the series) is very adorable and fun. It's an adventure story about a watch-maker mouse, Hermux Tantamoq, who falls in love with an aviatrix. It's a wonderful series with lovely characters and exciting adventure.

    The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm is my favorite of Nancy Farmer's novels. It takes place in a futuristic Zimbabwe and is magical, mysterious, and filled with thrilling action and intelligent protagonists.

    I dearly hope you've read The Princess Bride; it's a classic.

    Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix was a fantastic action-packed read. The heroine, Jessie, lives in what she thinks is the 1800s. When diphtheria breaks out in her village, Jessie's mother reveals to her that they are living in an historical replica village. Jessie must venture out into the present day to get medicine, but the people in charge of the village are trying very hard to stop her.

  76. Have you read the Septimus Heap series? There are currently 6 books in the series, the 7th is due next year. They are great, about a young boy wizard and his adventures... draws comparisons to Harry Potter of course, but very different in style and the world they live in. The first one is somewhat annoying in that the author, Angie Sage, spends a lot of tim setting up the stage per say, but it ultimately pays off for the reader. Also, she has a great form of epilogue that... well, I won't give it away :-)

  77. I wonder if it is a bit too juvenile, but have you had a look on Sarah Prineas' Magic Thief series? My kids and I really enjoyed it, especially the first book, and I can't wait for them to translate her new book Winterling (which I hopes is soon so I don't read the book in English in secret...)

  78. I would recommend "Wren to the Rescue" by Sherwood Smith.

    It's a adventure story with a kidnapped princess, a prince, a wizard and a spell that turns the heroine into a dog. Light and fun, I loved it when I first read it in middle school.

  79. Todd McCaffrey took up his mother's mantle in Dragonsblood. It's a good read even if you haven't read his mother's work.

  80. I don't know if anybody has mentioned them to you, but I positively love Faith Hunter's Rogue Mage series.

    It's a three-part series set in a post-apocalyptic version of a small town in the Appalachian moutains. The protagonist is a stone mage, banished from the Conclave where mages are housed. She fights demons at the side of Seraphs. There's a bit of romance, a bit of heresy, and a good amount of action.

  81. I would highly suggest Robert Lynn Asprin. His Myth Adventures books are hilarious. Starting out with the main characters Aahz and Skeeve. Not strictly YA, but my middle daughter loves them as well and giggles the entire time.

  82. This comments section is a great reading list. Way to go, everyone.

    I know other people have recommended them, but I'm throwing my support in behind:

    The Redwall Series
    The Phantom Tollbooth (but only if you can tolerate constant punning)
    Tamera Pierce in general
    Madeline L'Engel in general
    Jim C. Hines Princess books

    In the I haven't seen it here, sorry if I skipped your comment section:

    The Westing Game - my childhood introduction to brain bending books, you're not quite sure what to believe for a lot of it.

    Also by the Brian Jacques (author of Redwall) are three books called Castaways of the Flying Dutchman, The Angel's Command, and Voyage of Slaves. They follow a young boy and his dog that were caught on the Flying Dutchman as it was cursed. As the only two innocents on board, they got the immortality, without the curse, and now wander the world having adventures.

    There's a book called Princess Academy by Shannon Hale that on the surface only looks acceptable to 9-12 year old girls. IT LIES. It is a wonderful book for everyone that likes strong female characters and strong families with a touch of adventure on the side.

    Also, I just read Divergent on your recommendation, THANK YOU. So much love, and I'm impatiently waiting for the third.

  83. Oh my gosh yay! Dealing with Dragons is one of my all time favorite books. I discovered it in a used bookstore when I was 8 and I've read it over and over again since then. Wrede also co-wrote an amazing series with Caroline Stevermer that's set in alternate world Regency England, with magic. Amazingness.

  84. I'd suggest the Last Dragonslayer series by Jasper Fforde. Only two books so far (The Last Dragonslayer and The Song of the Quarkbeast), but I think he's working on a third.

    The heroine is a 16-year-old girl who runs a magic employment agency. The setting is the current day, but it's a very different, dystopic world.

    Fforde is a great writer--very, very funny, albeit in a dry, satiric way. He's also written a bunch of books for adults: the Thursday Next series (humour and adventure), the Nursery Crimes series (ditto), and Shades of Grey (a bit of a departure for him; not so much fun and games, heavier on the drama, but still very good).

  85. The Artemis Fowl series is one of my favourites! Part 8 (The Last Guardian) has been recently released, on July 10th, and it will be the last in the series. I have yet to pick it up, there aren't any proper book stores around my village. As in, the kind that sells proper fantasy, let alone in a foreign language. I'd really recommend the series, they're quite clever.

  86. Someone else said it, but I would also recommend The Mysterious Benedict Society. The first book is a bit stronger story-wise, than the second or third (haven't read Thr fourth yet), but I have really enjoyed all of them.

  87. Have you ever read Lois Lowry's The Giver series? It was originally a trilogy, but the final book, Son, comes out in October. I got my hands on an ARC of it, and oh my gosh it is AMAZING. If you've not read those books, you've got to. They are stunning.

  88. Have you read the Nome trilogy by Terry Pratchett? It's super sweet.
    I'm assuming you have read everything by David Eddings, especially The Belgariad and The redemption of Althalus.
    You really should read Graceling by Kristin Cashore. A kick-ass heroine, magic, some romance, a couple of kings disagreeing, a healthy bit of adventure and a really evil bastard. you'll love it!
    Another of my all-time favorites is Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Just imagine the two of them writing about Armageddon, featuring an angel, a demon, a witch and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It's the only book I've read three times.
    Finally, The lies of Locke Lamora. It's set in a slightly more grim world, but the characters are amazing and you don't want to ever put it down. The main characters are gentlemen Bastards, stealing from the nobility which is vey forbidden in the criminal society. Oh, and he's a priest. Of the Crooked Warden, Father of Necessary Pretexts. That's right, thieves have their own god and the criminal mastermind is a PRIEST!
    Seriously, read it.

  89. The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud! Titles are The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem's Eye, and Ptolemy's Gate. Bartimaeus himself (a demon) is just plain hilarious in his commentary. I highly suggest the audiobooks for a road trip or just for fun, read by Simon Jones, who does an excellent job helping you get lost in the characters.

  90. Squee!, I'm so glad you mentioned Dealing with Dragons, I read those books as a kid until I had to buy new copies because they were falling apart.

    Borderline between youth and teen, Wrapped, by Jennifer Bradbury, is about a regency era girl with a taste for adventure, and the trouble she gets into regarding Egypt-mania, international spies, and a very sweet boy far below her station. It's cute and fun, and leaves the possibility open for a sequel while still concluding tidily.

    Ice, by Sarah Beth Durst, (I think a retelling of a folktale), is about the granddaughter of the north wind, a shape-shifting polar bear king, and going to the ends of the earth for the ones you love. It alse has a very interesting view on souls, and life and death. I found myself thinking about it long after it was over.

  91. Suze, Unwind is the first Neal Shusterman book that I read, followed by the Skinjacker trilogy. The most recent one that I read is Full Tilt, about a carnival from Hell. He's one of my favorite YA authors.

    I read "Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25" by Richard Paul Evans a few months ago, and am anxiously awaiting the next book,because the first one ended on a cliffhanger. It's about a teen who's got unusual gifts, who finds out that there are others out there. I don't remember if Pittacus Lore's "I Am Number Four" was mentioned last time, but it's the first of The Lorien Legacies, another good YA series.

  92. Thanks for this!! My girl is going through books like crazy, and I was just thinking yesterday that I had to go back to your other posts to find her something new!
    She's waiting on most recent Maximum Ride book from the library, but we're #12 on the hold list, so I might have to give in and buy it for her...
    I've just put a few library holds on some of the others from this list... For some reason they have 1, 3 and 4 of Dealing With Dragons series, but not #2. We'll have to punt if she likes that one.

    She's just finishing the 4th of the Kingdom Keepers books. Have you mentioned them before? Disney based, so I'm guessing you have, but just in case, check them out. I haven't read them, but my 13 YO loves them.

  93. I personally LOVE the Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. Set in a village called Stonetown, it involves 4 orphans who have to defeat Mr. Curtain. Great fast paced adventure, and great writing. I have recommended these books for everyone and mostly adults buy them. You should check them out!!

  94. I just finished reading Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn. This is a story about dragons in modern times. I had a lot of fun with this story, it held my interest so much that I almost read it all without putting it down.

  95. Shadow Grail series by Mercedes Lackey is good. It's a modern Arthurian Adventure at a privite school.
    The Oracles of Dephi Keep by Victoria Laurie is good as well.
    As science fiction,A Beautiful Friendship by David Weber is really good. He sets the story in the past of his Honor series. It features the meeting of two races and the friendship that was sealed in blood and courage.

  96. I loved Dealing with Dragons when I was a kid. But if I recall, I just couldn't get into the sequels. Maybe I should try again. I also remember another series of four or so books that focused on a girl with dragons, but I think it was more serious. And a favorite character died in the later books and I never forgave the author. I can't remember the titles of those, though.

    I can't remember if they've been recc'd (someone has beaten me to it in the comments, I'm sure) but Meredith Anne Pierce's stuff is great! They're a little darker than the ones you've recc'd here, but they've remained some of my favorites. She has two trilogies: The Darkangel Trilogy is an amazing fantasy story that I tend to be unable to describe.
    Her other trilogy is called "Birth of the Firebringer" and is about... unicorns. And yet is surprisingly dark and serious. Just this morning I was actually thinking about how much I'd like to reread those.

  97. yayayay! I LOVED Wee Free Men! my husband got me hooked on the Tiffany Aching series. SO, so, so good. And I'm going to check out a couple of those other ones!

  98. One series I haven't seen mentioned is Hugh Howey's "Molly Fyde" series. So fun! A teenage girl takes a stolen spacecraft, her wanna-be boyfriend, and a small copper colored alien for adventures around the universe. It's fun, light on the romance and brooding (despite the presence of the boy). He has another series - "Wool" that is a bit less YA given the protagonists' ages, but very good. Dystopian future type stuff, but with hints dropped along so that it takes a while to get the big picture.

  99. Someone mentioned Kelly Armstrongs 2 series....I am hooked on them, read the books in a couple settings, and they all have strong female characters! I also loved The Night good!!

  100. So much yes for the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. I have the whole series from when I was in middle/high school. I was also a big fan of Anne McCaffrey (RIP), and have wonderful old used-bookstore-purchased 1970s paperbacks of the whole "Harper Hall Trilogy."

  101. Lloyd Alexander has a series with a fabulous teen heroine, Vesper Holly. The first two in the series are The Illyrian Adventure & the El Dorado Adventure. There are 4 other books after those.

  102. Excellent taste! I love seeing The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, and love, LOVE an adult willing to recommend YA titles! Yay!

    I also liked Rick Riordan's Egyptian books, which start with The Red Pyramid -- I know a lot of people love or hate them, and I mostly enjoy them as a way of learning about Egyptian mythology, which I don't know as well

    Fablehaven, by Brandon Mull, is great. It's about a brother and sister who are sent to stay with their grandparents over the summer and sense that something fishy is going on, only to learn that their grandparents are in charge of a preserve of magical creatures that may hide a treasure, and their grandmother is missing.

    Have you read The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde? He also has the Nursery Crimes series and if you're in the mood for a puzzle, his Shades of Grey is a bit tougher, but is a lot of fun once you get your mind wrapped around a world with a social hierarchy based on visible colors!

    I just read 2 books that I enjoyed:

    Pure, by Julianna Baggott, is about a world after nuclear detonations cause people to fuse with items around them--except for the lucky ones in the dome, who were kept pure for the day when the world is safe enough for them to leave the dome. We meet Pressia, who has a doll fused with her hand and Partridge, a Pure who has escaped from the dome, when he learns that his mother may have survived the detonations.

    Rot and Ruin, by Johnathan Mayberry, is set in California after an infection has swept through the world, turning people into zombies. Benny has just turned 15 and now must find a job or lose his rations. He is still angry about his memories as a small child, of his mother giving him to his older brother Tom, who ran away as his zombified father attacked her, and now is forced to become his apprentice, as a zombie bounty hunter.

    Another great series that I keep thinking of re-reading is The Dark is Rising, by Susan Cooper. It is also based on Arthurian legend!

    I'm seeing a lot of other great recommendations, but I will just finish up with anything by Mary Brown, specifically The Unlikely Ones and Pigs Can't Fly. They all have a similar set up, of a ragtag group of humans and animals on an epic journey, but I think my personal favorite is The Unlikely Ones. The deformed Thing and her friends were a witch's slave and when she dies, they find they are still linked by the stones in their bodies that also cripple them, and so they set off to try to free themselves from the stones.

    I'm a librarian and you can probably guess that giving recommendations is one of my favorite things to do!

  103. actually the second book in the heros of olympus(son of neptune) percy is the main charactor

  104. The Storm Thief by Chris Wooding.

    Post apocalyptic escape from an island fortress, a winged golem who doesn't remember who he is, mysterious structures left from a bygone age, and just to make life more fun, reality storms which sweep through the city. Through walls, through roofs and through people. They change things. You might wake up the opposite gender. Or rich beyond your wildest dreams. Or without lungs.

    It's a little bit steampunk, a little bit YA romance and a whole boatload of adventure.

    And once you've read that, look for Chris Wooding's other book, The Haunting of Elizabel Cray. Set in an alternative London where the supernatural is lurking just across the river it's reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere (also excellent) with a distinctly creepy edge. I'm no fan of horror (Supernatural gets too much at times) but I've read Elizabel Cray through at least three times. It's intense and thrilling and Chris Wooding weaves a haunted London around you so you feel like you know it, even though you may never have been there.

    I've read approximately 50% of your recommended reading list so far and by gods, my e-reader is getting a workout!

  105. I love the Enchanted Forest Chronicles! Though for some reason, I had a really hard time finding the 4th book, even online at the time. I did finally get it in the end. I actually got another book by her recently for my Kindle, though I can't quite remember the title at the moment.

  106. I second a lot of the other recommendations, but here's a few I haven't seen mentioned:

    Temping Fate by Esther Friesner (no, that's not a typo)

    The Last Treasure by Janet Anderson

    Wildwood Dancing and Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier

    The Thread that Binds the Bones by Nina Kiriki Hoffman (or really anything by her)

    Marianne, the Magus, and the Manticore and its two following books by Sheri Tepper, as well as the 9 volumes of the True Game series if you can find them...

  107. "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs. SO good but just the first of what will obviously be more books. I can't wait until the next one comes out! I may have to break my own rule and preorder.

  108. OK The book I would recommend doesn't fit into the genres that you have mentioned here, but I would say it is a lovely vacation read. Not too heavy, a little informative, and a tweak of romance. and much humour.
    The Guernesy Literary and Potato Peel Society. Set on the Island of Guernsey and London just after the end of the second world war. And its written almost entirely in a series of letters! It made me want to write letters and send packages to everyone I know.

  109. a search through the comments revealed some mentions of neil gaiman's books, but none so far mentioned his YA books, especially "the graveyard book". which is a shame, because it's brilliant, a great and fun read, and suitable for a broad range of ages. i wholeheartedly recommend it.

    plus i was delighted to find two of my favourite YA books mentioned here: artemis fowl AND the wee free men! seems we have a similar taste in books!

  110. I LOVED dealing with dragons. The rest of the series was ok, but not nearly as good as the first book.

    I also really liked the Maximum Ride books, but it drove me a little crazy how the plot seemed to change so much, with so many details, story lines and characters that were never resolved or forgotten completely.

  111. Can't remember if you've read "Airman" also by Eoin Colfer or not... but it was pretty fantastic!

  112. I know you posted this a few days ago, but I agree with Mary Anne (I think).

    Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson is an awesome series! As previously mentioned, it is set in Disney World. It skews a bit more J fiction than YA (the first book mentions belching as being really funny). However, it's an awesome premise - because "Believe" is such a powerful thing at Disney - the good AND the bad at Disney become real! And some of the Disney villians want to expand their kingdom... Mwahahahaha!

    Anywho; I think it's supposed to be a 7 book series when finished, and there are 5 right now. Quick reads too; I finished the first one in just a couple hours.

  113. You, madam, have just hit a gold mine by discovering the Tiffany Aching books. I. Love. Them. As the books go on, Tiffany grows up to be one of the most awesome heroines EVER. And YES, GET YOUR HANDS ON THE AUDIO VERSION. Steven Briggs does it so well.

  114. I recommend reading the whole Everlost Trilogy... just give it a try! Everfound had me weeping at the end.

  115. The "Bloody Jack" series, by L.A. Meyer!! I just finished reading the first book (Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy... what a title!!!) for my book club, and I'm now starting the second one, and they're fantastic!!! They're about a London street orphan who disguises herself as a boy to find a better life as a ship's boy on one of His Majesty's Ships (which happens to be hunting pirates!). Shenanigans, danger, and love ensue. They're Teen/YA, but the writing is great, Jacky is a FANTASTIC character... she's hilarious, and someone you can genuinely root for, and if the second book is as good as the first, there are currently 10 books in the series, so plenty of reading material available! Fun, quickish reads, and it will give you the strong urge to start titling and capitalizing events in your life, such as The Dilemma, or The Bath Time, and talking with a Cockney accent. And now that I've gushed about it for way too long, I'll just finish with a MUST NEEDS READ!!

  116. The audio books of the tiffany stories are great! Stephen Briggs does amazing nac mac feegle voices/accents! Any Terry Pratchett novel is a fun ride, and the audio books are always entertaining. :) (some other books are read by Tony Robinson aka Baldrick from BBC's Blackadder... which is awesome if you know what that is)

  117. For those of you that love the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, I suggest Books of Enchantment by Patricia Wrede. It is a collection of her short stories and includes 2 Enchanted Forest stories, one with the royal family and one without.
    A semi-steampunk series called the Knightly Academy by Victoria Haberdasher is also interesting. Alternate Victorian England (King Victor gave it its name), a Harry Potterish feel being set at a boarding school, and an engaging heroine and hero. The only thing missing so far is the alternant tech.

  118. Read the Aisling Grey novels by Katie MacAlister. Fantastic and fun, but more along the lines of paranormal romance as opposed to young adult. All her books are great, but I loved these best. Guaranteed, Effrijim will be your favorite character. Every time I see a black Newfoundland, I now think of him.

  119. Anything by Jessica Day George, really. In addition to Dragon Slippers and its sequel, which somebody else mentioned, she also has a series updating The Twelve Dancing Princesses and other fairytales to still-oldfashioned but more realistic settings (lots of inter-kingdom diplomacy, wars, and what not)
    Also anything by Diana Wynn Jones, although my personal favorite is Deep Secret.
    The Abhorsen Trilogy, by Garth Nix
    The Naming and its sequels, by Allison Croggen
    Amy Unbounded by Rachel Hartman
    Castle Waiting, volumes I and II by Linda Medley
    Those last two are actually graphic novels, but of considerable length (especially Castle Waiting) They have amazing characters, especially the women.
    Here There be Dragons by James A Owens
    The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme by Elizabeth Hayden
    All the Redwall books by Brian Jacques
    If you liked the Tiffany Aching books, you should read the rest of the Discworld books. I particularly recommend The Fifth Elephant
    The Search for WondLa and A Hero for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi have a fascinating world and great illustrations
    Tamora Pierce has a lot of good stuff, but I especially like Terrier and its sequels.
    Whew! I wasn't expecting this to get so long. I am one of three girls ages 10 to 17, so if its YA fantasy with female protagonists (not that we've got anything against men) then at least one of us has read it.

  120. If John enjoys the Gerald Morris books, he might want to try John Flanagan's "Ranger's Apprentice" series (10 books plus a book of short stories). They have a similar appeal, with lots of likeable characters and good old-fashioned adventures and heroics. The series is consistently likeable, but really starts to find its feet around book 4.

  121. I haven't had time to read all the comments so I don't know if someone has recommended these yet or not. I stumbled across them when looking for books that were available to check out on my Kindle. They are called the Princesses of Myth series by Esther Friener. I've only read the first two "Nobody's Princess" and Nobody's Prize" They were about different spin on Helen of Sparta. The next two are about Nefertiti. I thought they were pretty good anyway and would recommend them.

  122. I can't remember if you've ever mentioned the His Dark Materials series.

    There's also The City of Ember which has a movie adaptation.

    His Dark Materials (Golden Compass, Subtle Knife & Amber Spyglass) have HANDS DOWN the best audio recording I've ever heard. It's read by a full cast, so they've omitted all the "he said"s etc, and just read/act the story. It's truly amazing.

    2nd best audio is definitely the Artemis Fowl series, all but the 4th or 5th one that has a different reader. The voice actor uses such distinct but perfect voices that I can still hear each character in my head (especially Mulch) and the opening chimes for each book practically make me giddy with happiness.

  123. I ADORE the Enchanged Forest series. It was recommended to me as a kid back when there were small bookstores with owners who got to know you and would recommend books to help get a 10 year old in into reading. I kept them and re-read them to this day.

  124. Gerald Morris is an alumnus of my alma mater. In fact, he used to babysit for my English professors' kids when they were wee, and I babysat for them when they were almost too old to be babysat. Good times!


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