There’s nothing more heartbreaking (satisfying?) to a reader than realizing you’ve reached the end of your TBR pile. Sure it’s great that you met your reading goal, but how do you manage when you’re next book endeavor takes an unexpected left turn into reading slump territory?
Try picking up a young adult fantasy novel. Need recommendations? We’ve got five for you.
From Mary E. Pearson to Michelle Hodkin, here are five series-favorite YA reads that’ll help pull you out of reader’s depression.
Check them out below.
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1. The Kiss of Deception, Mary E. Pearson
Synopsis: In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight―but she doesn’t―and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom―to a prince she has never met.
On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive―and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets―even as she finds herself falling in love.
Why we love it: Gorgeous prose, beautiful world-building, and a reveal that’ll leave you breathless and ready to tear into the next book in the series. However, be warned: this book is “fantasy-lite” and will sometimes feel more like historical fiction than anything else.
2. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Michelle Hodkin
Synopsis: Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. There is.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love. She’s wrong.
Why we love it: Mystery, humor, suspense, and a swoon-worthy will-they-won’t-they romance. Once hailed by Veronica Roth as “deliciously creepy,” The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer features an unreliable narrator that will have you doubting everything. There are some clichés sprinkled here and there, but that won’t stop you from having a good time with this series or its new spinoff. If anything, it’ll affirm important lessons that horror movies have been trying to teach us for years: Nothing good can come from playing with a Ouija board.
3. Vampire Academy, Richelle Mead
Synopsis: Only a true best friend can protect you from your immortal enemies . . .
Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.
After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger . . . and the Strigoi are always close by.
Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever . . .
Why we love it: Action, suspense, humor, forbidden love, a heart-stopping twist…starting to see a pattern? Don’t let the title throw you off. This six-book series will give you everything you’ll want out of a fantasy story. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the spinoff series, Bloodlines, which is also six-books long. Yep, this universe is sure to tide you over for a while.
4. Unearthly, Cynthia Hand
Synopsis: In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.
Why we love it: No Insta-love. The slow burn is real in this one. No clueless parent trope, either. Clara’s mom plays an active part in her daughter’s life, helping her navigate this new crazy chapter. Best of all, it features a unique take on angel mythology that puts it leagues above stories like Hush, Hush, and Fallen. So, take a chance. What could go wrong?
5. Obsidian, Jennifer L. Armentrout
Synopsis: Starting over sucks.
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens.
The hot alien living next door marks me.
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.
If I don’t kill him first, that is.
Why we love it: Mystery, romance, action, sexy banter…this book has it all! Also, the main character, Katy, is a book blogger (umm…yes!). Armentrout’s writing has an addictive quality to it that you can’t help but give into. A light, easy read with a unique take on alien lore that becomes more emotional and action-packed as the series progresses.