I started writing a post about books I was looking forward to this year then realised the majority of them were the next instalment of various series, so changed it slightly to become my 10 favourite current series – plus five honourable mentions. Click on links, where present, to take you to my reviews, either here or on the Bookbag. I hope you enjoy reading it and would love feedback – what’s YOUR favourite YA series currently being written?
1. Caster Chronicles (Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness) – Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
I fell in love with Gatlin, the setting for these amazing books, and with narrator Ethan from the moment I opened Beautiful Creatures. Ethan was briefly my favourite male character in all of paranormal YA fantasy – and then Link came into the book and took his place. Link is the most awesome sidekick in the history of the universe. He’s breathtakingly loyal to the point of complete insanity, won’t give up on Ethan and Lena when everyone else in school hates them, and has some interesting romance in his own life. Tearing myself away from Link for a second, the books in general are both amazing – the first is ultra-romantic while the second is more of a hero’s journey type book – the background of the Caster world is developed brilliantly and I love Garcia and Stohl’s writing style. The as yet unnamed book 3 will have me dropping everything to read it.
2. The Ashbury/Brookfied Series (Feeling Sorry For Celia, Finding Cassie Crazy, Becoming Bindy Mackenzie, Dreaming of Amelia) – Jaclyn Moriarty
I’m breaking, or at least bending, two rules here. Firstly, it’s not really a series as such, more a set of stand-alone novels set in the same two schools with some characters recurring – but that’s close enough. Secondly, I’m not 100% sure it’s a current series – no details that I can find about the next book. However, I’m ignoring them, because gosh darn it, these books are AWESOME! Apart from Becoming Bindy Mackenzie which for some reason I’m not that keen on. But Feeling Sorry For Celia is funny, Finding Cassie Crazy is amazing, and Dreaming of Amelia was my “OMG this is teh book of the year” pick for 2010 until the last few days when it got beaten out as I read The Sky Is Everywhere. They’re told in a variety of ways, including letters, exam questions, and extracts from notebooks and journals and are just basically hilarious as well as being brilliantly plotted. Please say there’s a number 5 coming, JM!
3. Gone (Gone, Hunger, Lies) – Michael Grant
Somehow I’d never read these until I picked up the first book in a 3 for 2 offer last week. Halfway through that book I ordered Hunger. When it didn’t turn up the next day (Grr! At Amazon Prime) I got Hunger AND Lies on my Kindle (yay for Amazon Kindle!) and read them in a bit over a day. I don’t normally read sci-fi but this series has got me completely hooked – multi-layered characters, intriguing society rebuilding, and lots of action. Amazing stuff.
4. Gallagher Girls (I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have To Kill You, Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy, Don’t Judge A Girl By Her Cover, Only The Good Spy Young) - Ally Carter
Okay, I officially suck at keeping up with series. I picked up Gallagher Girls 1 back in September, read it and loved it, meant to get book Cross My Heart... and somehow didn’t because I got insanely busy and didn’t have time to read much and then forgot about it and next time I look there’s a fifth being written? Argh, gotta catch up – I love the first one so much! Really imaginative spy/school story, the way Ally drops in little bits to root the Gallagher Academy in history (Amelia Earhart was a pupil, naturally) is great, and there’s a sweet romance in book 1.
5. The Hollow (The Hollow, The Haunted) – Jessica Verday
It’s kind of insane to put something this high up without having actually read the first book in the trilogy but I loved the sound of The Haunted so much that I pounced on it to review it for the Bookbag and it was unbelievably amazing. Love love love the romance here and the setting in Sleepy Hollow is amazing, and Verday is fantastic at describing her settings and the perfumes Abbey creates. Great atmosphere, as well – Sleepy Hollow is probably behind only Gatlin as my favourite setting for a series. Definitely need to read The Hollow and can’t wait for book 3.
6. The Dark Elite (Firespell) – Chloe Neill
I can’t wait for Hexbound which is about to be released! Firespell was mainly scene-setting for the series but I still absolutely loved it because Neill’s dialogue is, as I’ve said on here several times already, phenomenal. Snappy and realistic, it’s like Gossip Girl meets Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Looking forward to Hexbound a LOT.
7. Fallen (Fallen, Torment) – Lauren Kate
Hugely ambitious fallen angel fantasy which features a ton of compelling characters. I was amazed that many of the major characters from Fallen had fairly minor roles in Torment but the new ones in that book are also fantastic so it clearly worked. Loving this one.
8. Soul Screamers (My Soul To Take, My Soul To Save, My Soul To Keep) – Rachel Vincent
Again, I came to this one stupidly late, recently reviewing My Soul To Take for the Bookbag. Fun fun fun, a great new addition to paranormal YA fiction, and I love the mythology Vincent has built up.
9. Fins (Forgive My Fins) - Tera Lynn Childs
Mermaid rock! Or at least Tera’s do. Ultra-cute romance in Forgive My Fins with a really sweet couple – although the third person in the love triangle is in the way and needs to MOVE! Second one sounds intriguing.
10. The Dark Divine (The Dark Divine) – Bree Despain
Werewolves are awesome, but the main thing I love about Despain’s writing is the religious parts – despite not being religious myself, it’s wonderful to see a Christian family portrayed realistically rather than either as saints or hypocrites.
Honourable mentions (in alphabetical order by surname of author.)
Hourglass Institute (Tomorrow’s Guardian) – Richard Denning – fun time travel.
Spiritwalker (Cold Magic) – Kate Elliott – Epic icepunk, more adult than YA but still recommended.
Striker (Sudden Death) – Nick Hale – Football + spies = great result for an appealing action series for younger teens.
Mortlock (Mortlock) – Jon Mayhew – Atmospheric Victorian fantasy.
Monstrumologist (The Terror Beneath, Curse of the Wendigo) – Rick Yancey – gruesome but awesome tales of a 19th century monster hunter and his young apprentice.