Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Top Ten "Classic" YA Series

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This weeks blog-wide topic is top ten classic books (however you define classic) or top ten classics I want to read or spin it some other way...I think I'll spin it another way. Today, I'll be talking about my top ten classic YA series. In this instance, I'm defining "classic" as a series that began releasing a few to several years ago, back when YA was beginning to experience the big explosion that made it what it is today. The true beginning of YA as we know it began with Twilight, in my opinion. Trust me, I worked in a bookstore at the time and that book was the "gateway" YA. It brought teens as well as adults into stores, clamoring for the next book fix. Right around that time and for the next few years, there were many wonderful series that were released, and many have been forgotten to make room on the shelves for other equally awesome books. If anyone wants to go back where it began and read some of the books that many new YA releases are being compared to in their Goodreads blurbs, here's a list of ten great ones to start with. Oh, and I won't include Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, Vampire Academy, The Mortal Instruments or The Hunger Games because everyone already knows about those (or has seen the movies or TV show). This list is in no particular order. As always, click on the titles for their Goodreads page.

The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine
Began releasing in 2006, 15 books total.

This series is pretty much YA required reading. It's an excellent series about a town run by vampires, where humans are the minority. There is action, romance, magic, mystery, crazy characters and a few ghosts. And Shane. Lovely, damaged, tough, hot, adorable Shane...sigh...Rachel Caine is an amazing author and a wonderful person, too. 

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Began releasing in 2007, 5 books + 1 companion novel (Desert Tales)

One of my favorite series ever. Just read it. It's so good I named my son after a character in the books. Melissa Marr is rocks.

From Goodreads:
Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty - especially if they learn of her Sight - and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.
Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.
Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.
But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King, who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost — regardless of her plans or desires.
Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.
Faery intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning twenty-first-century faery tale.

Sweep series by Cate Tiernan
Began releasing in 2001, 15 books total.

The Sweep series is the best series about witches/Wicca I've come across. If you want an epic, sweeping story line with romance, suspense, plot twists, history and romance, you must read this series. It is also highly addictive. Book crack is the term I like to use. You just can't get enough. Seriously. I couldn't move forward with my life until I had binge read all 15 books. They are currently available in Omnibus form (3 books per volume, 5 volumes) and Cate Tiernan continues to write many more books.

Blue is for Nightmares series by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Began releasing in 2003, 4 books.

Definitely go back and check out this suspenseful series that will have you guessing and turning pages all night. So many books out now try to be this good and just can't. The order you read then in is Blue, White, Silver, Red. It's easy to confuse the order, and you don't want to because you might spoil the mystery.

The Seer series by Linda Joy Singleton
Began releasing in 2004, 6 books.

Oh, how I love this series. Each book is it's own mystery, but there is a plot that runs through the entire series. There is also a swoon-worthy romance. Just looking at those gorgeous books makes me want to re-read them.

Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray
Began releasing in 2003, 3 books.
Historical Fantasy.

Every single historical fantasy released after these books has been compared to them. This series set the bar (very high) for future releases in this genre. They are modern classics and should absolutely be read by all YA lovers.

Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles
Began releasing in 2008, 3 books.
Contemporary Romance.

Gritty, intense love stories that will leave you swooning. Romeo and Juliet, style romances with a caliente twist. I love those Fuentes boys.

Graceling Realm series by Kristin Cashore
Began releasing in 2008, 3 books.

This is the series that set the bar (very high) for ALL other fantasy series that came after it. You'll often see in book descriptions, "It's Graceling meets _______". I highly suggest reading this series to find out what the hype is about. 

Guardians of Time trilogy by Marianne Curley
Began releasing in 2005, 3 books.
Time Travel/Magic/Historical Fantasy

This series is an exciting, time-hopping adventure with magic and a bit of romance. Even reluctant readers have been known to devour this series.

Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld
Began releasing in 2005, 4 books.

This series is like the parent of modern dystopian YA, definitely classic, and will be enjoyed just as much today as when they were first released. They have been reprinted, so you may find either of these cover choices out there. 

Why didn't I include The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater? Well, because that series is still "active". As a matter of fact, today, July 1st, is the release date of Sinner, the newest book in the series! Everyone should still go read the first 3 books, Shiver, Linger and Forever. They are also classics. 

If you love to read YA and you missed these great books, it's a good idea to make a little time to revisit the past and check them out. 

<3 Michelle

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the recommendations! There are a few I haven't read yet so I must get them!!!!