Let’s face it, if you are in the majority of people your college schedule doesn’t leave a lot of time for recreational reading. Even when you do manage to find a spare moment it can be tempting to simply turn on Netflix and zone out. It can also be difficult to find the motivation to read if most of your classes have assigned reading. I definitely miss my younger days when I had the time to become obsessively lost in a different world and forget my own cares. Luckily, with the right book it can be easy to reignite one’s love of reading. These three young adult series will help you remember that reading can be fun, without taking up too much brain energy.
1) The Oracle Prophecies Trilogy – Catherine Fisher
You may remember Catherine Fisher from her bestselling series Incarceron; despite her success with Incarceron, most people never read her other books. The Oracle Prophecies Trilogy is severely underrated and honestly remains one of my favorite series. The story takes place in a fictional civilization which is an interesting blend of Greek and Egyptian mythology. Despite having been written for younger people, the series addresses issues such as religion, love, power, and tyranny. As a bonus, the book follows the protagonist, Mirany’s, journey as she finds her voice and strength. Mirany was one of the most important characters to me growing up; it was really special for me as a shy girl to read about a character who experienced similar struggles, but ultimately succeeds and becomes a hero. This series might inspire you to read some of Catherine Fisher’s other works.
2) The Bartimaeus Trilogy – Jonathan Stroud
This is another highly underrated young adult series which deserves far more attention than it receives. The three novels in the trilogy interweave the voices of three main characters in a modernish-day (no one has smart phones, but there are cars) London. Relying on fantasy and alternative history (no this is not another typical dystopian series), the story revolves around the existence of djinn which can be conjured by certain individuals known as Magicians, who rule the country. The three characters consisting of a non-magician girl, a magician’s apprentice, and a djinn, offer unique perspectives into their world. Once again, despite the fact that these books are meant for a younger audience, the actions and beliefs showed by each character reflect the complexities of real life. Perhaps one of the best parts of the series are the snarky remarks made by Bartimaeus, the djinn, whose storytelling is often enhanced by the use of hilarious footnotes. On a more serious note, the character development (particularly of the magician’s assistant, Nathaniel) is truly wonderful.
3) The Diviners Series – Libba Bray
This bestselling four novel series (the final book comes out this year!) is paranormal historical fiction taking place during the roaring 20s. While this series is definitely less of a quick read than the other series (each book is around 600 pages long), it is really interesting and does a good job of interweaving the nature of the decade with more mystical elements. Another strength of this series is the level of diversity that the author decided to include. It should be noted that most books set in this time period tend to be very white-washed and heteronormative, however The Diviners challenges this stereotype through the inclusion of different races and sexual orientation in New York City. While the mystical talents held by each protagonist ultimately brings them together, the author takes care to address issues which still plague our society such as race, religion, domestic violence, homophobia, and ableism. Even though the cast of characters is very large, Bray does a good job of making the reader feel an individual connection to each one.
I hope these books can help reignite your passion for storytelling and reading, or at least help transport you for a while during the coming semester.
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