When I think about my favorite books, there is a common theme that starts to appear. Many of my favorite books happen to be YA novels, and more specifically, most happen to be series. There is something to be said for getting multiple books to really explore and get to know the characters and world portrayed. Since young adult books typically have plot lines surrounding self-discovery and personal growth, series are particularly enjoyable and at times necessary for these books. While there are many young adult series I have not read, this is my list for the best YA book series that I have read so far.
Is anyone surprised to see Harry Potter here? It is not one of the best selling book series of all time, as well as one of the most successful movie franchises of all time, for no reason. Harry Potter features an imaginative and exciting world, witty and relatable characters, and amazing adventures and mysteries that keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s probably my favorite series of all time, so it’s safe to say Harry Potter is my number one recommendation if you haven’t already read it.
A childhood favorite that still manages to entertain me as an adult, Percy Jackson (both Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the Heroes of Olympus series) is a true classic. Imagining a world in which the Greek gods live in New York and mostly ignore their demigod children, Rick Riordan’s many, many books featuring the same lovable characters are absolutely hilarious, extremely fast paced and riveting, and informative to boot. We’re not gonna talk about the horrible movie adaptations though (I’m still upset about it).
The Earthsea Trilogy
Harry Potter and Percy Jackson are modern classics, but long before they came out, the Earthsea trilogy was dazzling readers with its fantasy world. The world building is incredible, the lore extensive, and the overall plot probably the most traditionally fantasy of the other books on my list. If you are a fan of classic fantasy novels, then you can’t miss reading Earthsea.
The Hunger Games
Class struggles, segregation, propaganda, mass murder, war, and a badass female protagonist, Hunger Games has basically everything you could want from a dystopian series. The stakes are high and the danger real, and even just reading about Katniss’ situation is enough to make you a little anxious. A perfect binge read, the series also comes with a decent set of movies to watch after you finish the books.
While I think the first book was definitely the strongest of the three, each book is still extremely entertaining. The characters and their relationships are built up nicely, the overall mystery is pretty intriguing, and there are some surprising twists along the way. The movies are a little weak, especially when looking at other book to movie adaptations like Harry Potter, but they do have Dylan O’Brian in them, so I guess they’re not all bad.
I Am Number 4
Ok I’ll be honest, I haven’t technically finished this series. It did kinda start to drag on a bit towards the end, but the first 4 books or so are really some of my favorites. They have so much action in them, great characters and changing relationship dynamics, and cool powers that make you wish you too were an alien. I am planning on going back and finishing the last book at some point, so even though I haven’t read it all you can still trust me that it’s a good series.
The Selection is basically the Bachelor if the bachelor was a prince. It is really your typical teen romance book, with a love triangle and everything, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a fun read. You get emotionally invested in the characters and the plot lines, even if you don’t expect to, and it takes a while to decide which potential couple you like the best. Now that I think about it, it’s probably even more like the Bachelor than I thought.
I know what your probably thinking, but hear me out. Twilight really isn’t that bad. The movies are one thing, but the books became the phenomenon they were for a reason. Are the Twilight books the greatest novels ever? No, absolutely not. But are they still pretty entertaining, and do you still end up with an opinion of Edward vs Jacob? Yeah, pretty much. It’s been a while since I read them, and I honestly can’t remember anything from the books, but I do remember actually enjoying them, so I still think they’re worth reading.
I love young adult books, and especially series that really let me get to know the characters and experience more adventures with them. There are many more series that I could add to this list, and some that probably would have made it had I read them at this point. But of the series that I have read, these are some of my all time favorites. Do you have any recommendations of young adult series I should read? Let me know in the comments below!