I’ve decided to do a mix, kind of, because I couldn’t make up my mind.
10. Aimee Carter and “The Goddess Test” series.
A lot of people have read Aimee Carter’s books, and they’re all great (even though I wasn’t a huge fan of her new series). But “The Goddess Test” series is one of the best series I’ve ever read. It has real mythology and originality that is pretty hard to find in other series. I’m also a sucker for Grecian themes.
I read “Hex Hall” in one night when my power went out from a thunderstorm. Let me tell you, it maybe wasn’t the absolute best idea because there are witches, ghosts, and curses (oh my!), but it was a great read! I own the other two books in the series, but haven’t read them yet. But I’m willing to be they’ll be as light, fun, and funny as the first. I also LOVED “Rebel Belle”. Having been raised by a Southern momma, let me tell you that book is spot on real and wonderful.
For Valentine’s Day a few years ago my wise, wise husband brought home the three newest books in the Young Adult section at Wal-Mart, and among them was “Switched” by Amanda Hocking. One of the most original stories I’ve ever read. I sing the praises of this series to anyone who will listen, and have recently started her “Wake” series—which is just as well-written and lovely.
If this list had been written prior to the release of “Trial by Fire” it would have been higher on the list. But, after reading her latest book, it won’t be long before “Starcrossed” is all over because it is just that amazing. Super original (again with the mythology that I love), one of the best written YA books ever, exciting, and impossible to put down, everyone needs to read this.
Before reading this, when people referred to “gothic” in modern books, I didn’t have the best frame of reference. However, Rosamund Hodge has brought me around to it. I adored this book and read it in a day. It’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast (which is among my all-time favorite base stories, so I’m picky about it) and it is fabulous.
Top 5 after the jump. : )
5. ”Masque of the Red Death” and “Dance of the Red Death” by Bethany Griffin.
Speaking of re-tellings, this is a Poe re-telling of the story by the same name that blew me away. It also sings gothic and steampunk, and wonderfulness. Griffin has a new book coming out called “The Fall” which is another Poe re-telling based on “The Fall of the House of Usher” and I’ve already pre-ordered it.
This is the only non-YA entry on this list, but Jen Lancaster is far and away one of my absolute favorite authors (and in my opinion, one of the best voices out there in contemporary and memoirs). She’s written both fiction and non-fiction, and I love every single word she writes. She is one of the few authors I genuinely connect with and follow their personal blog, articles, interviews, etc. I cannot go on and on about her enough. If you’re about 20 and up and looking for a good laugh, pick up one of her books right this minute.
When I’m asked my favorite book, after arguing with the absurdity that is that request, I generally say that this book is it. It was one of the first that I read that made me realize that I love the Young Adult genre more than anything. I read it in high school and have re-read it dozens of times. It has it all—magic, time travel, curses, bad guys, and, of course, romance. Read this book. Now.
So, don’t let the covers fool you (because, I hate these covers), these books are PHENOMENAL. I originally downloaded the first book on my Kindle when it was on sale for 99 cents and ran out of things to read while away from The Great Stack and decided it would be a light, fluffy read (again, these covers, grrr) and started it. I read it in 8 hours! Straight through. I read it while cooking dinner that night, while doing my make-up, and at stop lights. It. Is. Amazing. The rest of the series delivers the same thing. The second book is my favorite. But it’s original, heartwarming, and one of the best series of all time—in my opinion.
Ok, so, this book guys…this book is wonderful. I actually bought it with my monthly credit on Audible, listened to it, and loved it so much that I bought it in hardcover. The only way I’ve ever been able to describe it is as a Dystopian “Pride and Prejudice”. Hagen channels Austen in a way that amazes me, but this isn’t a run of the mill YA romance. There are political overtones, social commentary, and science fiction elements that bring it all together. I cannot wait for the sequel.