It’s summer! Yay! Or really, yay for staying indoors even more than I typically do during the winter. Summer is not my favorite season. I hate heat. Fortunately there are ways to occupy my temperature-induced confinement and most of them involve books! Books are always the answer. Except when the answer is Jesus. But then you could probably say “the Bible” and get away with it.
Anyway, these are in no particular order, and some of them are not even very new. But they’re some of my favorites and I hope that they become some of your favorites too. Note: I have bought or would buy all of these, and there is minimal in the way of objectionable content in all of these.
10. Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. Classic tale of girl who never expects to become second-in-line to the throne becomes second-in-line to the throne, then through a series of cruelties runs away and disguises herself to survive life in her arch-enemy’s camp. You know how some books are just so good you have to buy them? This is one of them. So are the rest on this list, honestly.
9. Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter. Spies. Intriuge. Danger. Mind-bending twists around just about every corner. And yes, all this is achieved by a teenage girl. Well, the protagonist is a teenage girl. It was actually achieved by Ally Carter, who while not a teenage girl anymore, definitely understands the audience she writes for. Which is teenage girls, not 20-somethings. Fine. 30-somethings.
8. I, Q series by Roland Smith. These are super-fast paced more spy-like books that will take you all over the country ten times faster than you could actually get there. Perfect for road trips! Honestly, I read them all in a weekend. While I was road-tripping, coincidentally enough.
7. Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. This was probably the first YA series I fell in love with. I’m not sure if it was the way a teenage criminal mastermind slowly transformed into someone halfway decent, or if it was the clever way he stayed up to no good. Looking back on it now I realize that Mr. Colfer slightly glorifies villainy, but I didn’t turn into a criminal mastermind no matter how many times I read this series so chances are you’ll be alright too.
6. Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. Fabulous retellings of many classic fairy tales, exquisitely done and set in a slightly dystopian alternate universe. For example, Cinderella is a cyborg. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.
5. Renegades by Marissa Meyer. Yes, I know, she gets two books on this list. Lucky her. Well, more than two, because the first one was a series. But lots of other authors have that series privilege thing going on too. Anyway, Renegades is another fabulous book. Again, set in an alternate futuristic reality where some people have special talents and abilities. Some of those people have differing viewpoints than others of those special people and honestly, I’m not sure whose side I’m on. Yes, I’ve read the book. Throughout the whole thing my loyalties switched sides several times. I like that in a book – not enticing me to root for “the good guys” and ignore all the bad things they’ve done and showing that “the bad guys” maybe aren’t as bad as they’re cracked up to be. It was curious and enthralling.
4. Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch. Beautiful Italian teeny-bopper romance that doesn’t go too far, just to Italy. Lina’s world has been turned upside down and what better place to right it than with a guy who might be her father who lives in a cemetery in Italy? And now I want gelato. (And this book, which I noticed just came out! Squee!!!)
3. The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner. These have long been loves of mine and she’s coming out with more!!! I love characters I can’t predict and Gen definitely fits that bill. The first book blew me away and the succeeding ones have not let me down.
2. Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith. Originally published as two books, Crown Duel and Court Duel, it’s been squeezed into one volume and lost nothing in the move. Absolutely fantastic. This has long been one of my go-to books when my spirits need bolstering. Classic story of the little guy (or in this case, little countess) taking on the big bad king and things not turning out quite like you’d expect.
1. Rangers Apprentice series by John Flanagan. My all-time, hands-down most favorite series of books ever. These books are incredible. Good solid stories with character, humor, adventure, danger, and everything else you could ask for in a 12 book series (with two spin-off series!!!). They are excellent and you should go buy them and read them right now. Good luck finding them at your library – at least at my library these are hot commodities and since the next one I needed was never in I went out and bought them all. I was just listening to the first book on my most recent road trip and was reminded again just how much I love these books. Even though I’ve read them at least a dozen times, I still laughed and cried at points (different points). So good. Have I emphasized that enough? I feel like you’re still in doubt. These are good books. There, now you’re convinced.
And there’s my recommendations for young adult summer reading! I could add so many more books to this list, so watch for my top 10 list next summer! Spoiler: John Flanagan will probably be on it again. As will many of these other authors. Once I find an author I trust and love I tend to stick with them. Now go get reading!
Full disclosure: clicking the pictures and links above will take you to the Amazon page for the book where you can read more reviews and purchase the book if you’d like. I receive a percentage of the sale, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to pay more for the book than you normally would. It just helps me out. Thanks!