Growing up, I was never the active child, per se. My brother inherited all the athletic genes in the family, and while he’d be outside playing, I’d be inside on the couch with a book in hand. I’m not afraid to admit that young-adult fiction will likely be my favorite genre for a long while. That being said, I’ve read a handful of YA fiction series, and these are at the top of my must-read list, in no specific order — aside from Harry Potter. That’ll always be my No. 1.
1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling: Okay, if you haven’t read Harry Potter, let me start off by apologizing. Your childhood was seriously deprived. I started reading Harry Potter in the second grade and have been hooked ever since. J.K. Rowling has an unmatchable skill. She created an entire universe that drastically impacted so many people, all of different backgrounds and lives. I don’t think I’ve ever read such well-written characters that develop seamlessly and naturally. I’ll forever be in awe of this series.
2. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot: This is such an underrated series. While I love the Disney adaptation (Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement is arguably my favorite movie), the plot very loosely mirrors what happen in the books. The story follows Mia through high school and the latest book touches on the beginning of her adult life. It’s the kind of story that reminds you why you love characters in books — because they’re relatable, honest and funny. It’s told in journal format (from Mia’s perspective) and you grow up with her. You witness her transition from an awkward freshman in high school to a strong woman, making it an enjoyable read for girls of most ages.
3. The Selection by Kiera Cass: I read the first two books over winter break last year and got hooked and kept up with the story from there. It’s an easy and super interesting read. The story follows the “Selection,” a competition in which girls are pulled from different social tiers to live in a palace and compete for the love of the prince. Of course, nothing is as perfect as it seems, and there’s trouble in the kingdom. I’d definitely recommend a binge-read this upcoming break.
4. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket: If you didn’t read these books in elementary school, you were definitely missing out. Now that I’m older, I’d like to go back and reread this series so I can pick up all the details and implications that went over my head as a child. Based solely off what I remember, I now understand that these were books full of symbolism. Lemony Snicket has such a unique voice as an author and I personally have my fingers crossed that the Netflix series will be coming out soon.
5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: While she’s not the first to do it, I do believe that Collins strongly influenced a wave of post-apocalyptic, satirical books to hit the shelves in the world of YA fiction. The series has an extremely dedicated fandom and with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 movie about to be released in theaters, the media has been full of THG coverage.
6. Matched by Ally Condie: My aforementioned brother so kindly bought me this trilogy last Christmas. I’ve only read the first book so far, but I’m looking forward to reading the rest. It has a unique concept: At the age of 17 years old, citizens are “matched” with who is right for them, as selected by city officials. It has that futuristic kind of feel that reminds me faintly of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
With Thanksgiving and Winter Break right around the corner, I highly recommend investing in a couple (or all) of these series to read. As for me, I’ll be planning on going into hibernation and re-reading them all in these next couple weeks. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a break.
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