Top 6 Series: YA EDITION

You saw right, my fellow bookworms. I am going to attempt the absolute impossible, and name the favourites of my children. I welcome anyone who would like to add any, and if yโ€™all have any recommendations, please let me know! I am a sucker for a well-written series. Ok, letโ€™s delve into the belly of the beastโ€ฆ

1. Theย NEVERNIGHTย Chronicle by Jay Kristoffย 
nevernight chronicle
โ€œThe Nevernight Chronicles show how brilliant fantasy can be and inspire you to stand up and grow a pair…of titsโ€ – Hannah Viney, historian extraordinaire, fellow mermaid queen and avid bookworm
How could I possibly put into words how I feel about this series? Jay Kristoff has certainly become one of my all-time favourite authors. His imagination paired with his writing and with a side of his humour, makes for a masterpiece of award-winning proportions. If you have not, for some ridiculous reason, read any of his books or this series, please do so. It will seriously not disappoint, rather, you will find that you will be forever changed because it is just such a breath of fresh air.
The Chronicles focus on the doings of Mia Corvere, a female protagonist who gives no shits (but secretly does), and her journey to seek vengeance for the murder of her father and eventually, the death of her mother and the supposed death of her younger brother. In this, you will find a Church of assassins, betrayal, earth-shattering revelations, a whole lot of shadows, demons who are pets, murder at every turn and LGBT representation (can I get a holla!?). There are gods, corrupt governments, the slayage of kings and epic gladiator Olympics and thatโ€™s not even mentioning the different species, the complexity of the universe itself and the narrator. Honestly, I need to emphasise how much you will learn to love the narrator of the series. This is why I describe this series as a breath of fresh air because the narrator themselves is a character – you are looking through their eyes as they describe the events of the book, and you can โ€˜hearโ€™ their voice through the footnotes. It will make more sense when you actually read it. So read it.
I actually went to the book launch of this event at Dymocks Melbourne on Friday 8th August, and I am so happy I did. Jay Kristoff is absolutely amazing, and even more epic to me, was the fact that he used his platform to emphasise the importance of marriage equality and the importanceย of voting yes in the same-sex marriage postal vote thatโ€™s happening in Australia soon (i think in like, a day when Iโ€™m writing this?). And my books WERE SIGNED AHH!!!
Also, side note, I finished Godsgrave, the second in the series, on Monday and I am shooketh. Just warning you, your feelings will be torpedoed.
Books in the series include:
ย 1. Nevernight
ย 2. Godsgrave
ย 3. To be announced.
2. The ILLUMINAE Files by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
I cannot seem to escape the wonderful writing of Jay Kristoff. In this case, he is co-authoring with Amie Kaufman, who is an incredible author herself, to write a space-odyssey where nothing is what it seems. The beauty of this series (unfinished, with the last OBSIDIO coming next year) is in how itโ€™s presented to the reader. I delved into detail in my โ€œIlluminae Reviewโ€ last year, but the books are a collection, in that they aim to represent a file of documents that prove that a conspiracy is in action and you follow these documents and attempt to piece together the truth. It is a story of truth-searching, survival, love, and friendship. Oh, and the random space worm and plague. Just casually. An excerpt from my previous review attempts to shed light on what you will find in this series:
“A collection of content in order to discover the truth and expose the corruption and conspiracy within an organisation – specifically, BeiTech Industries. The files itself is addressed to Executive Director Frobisher, a character whose life you will eventually plan to end (MURDERRRRRR), written by the anonymous Illuminae Group. Now, the anonymity does not stay so for long – you will have your suspicions from the get-go and those suspicions will be correct – *cough* *cough* – but this does not decrease the readerโ€™s interest. The first page concludes with a quote from George Orwell: โ€œIn a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary actโ€. The 599 pages of Illuminae and the 659 pages of Gemina, is a testament to this quote.โ€
Highly recommend, is all Iโ€™m saying.
The books in the series include:
ย 1. Illuminae
ย 2. Gemina
ย 3. Obsidio
3. The Captive Prince Trilogy by C.S. Pacat
captive prince
Oh, I love this series. So. Much.
Without giving too much away, we are told the story of Damen, the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos, and his betrayal at the hands of his half-brother, Kastor – a right prick if you ask me. This is where the story gets interesting, as Damen traverses to the Royal Court of Vere, where Prince Laurent presides over. Damen, sold as a pleasure slave, is painstakingly interwoven within the dangerous web of royal politics, murder, corruption, sex and decadence. It is a story about survival, manipulation, power and above all, love.
Read it for the developing romance between Damen and Laurent; and, the slayage, of course.
The books in the series include:
ย 1. Captive Prince
ย 2. Princeโ€™s Gambit
ย 3. Kingโ€™s Rising
4. Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo
I have to admit that I was pretty late to the Six of Crows bandwagon. In that, I only jumped onto the carriage when Crooked Kingdom (the second and final book of the series) was released. And I fell in love. If you enjoy #squadgoals, that gangster life, kickass male and female characters who overcome horrendous piles of shit in order just to wake up every morning, within a universe of corruption, magic, master manipulators and the importance of friendship and having each otherโ€™s back; this is the book for you.
There is a narrative arc of romantic love, however, this is not the focus of the story and that in itself, is wonderful. Each character is given their own room to develop, and through each of their eyes, you see the way the group of misfits come together, trust each other and kick absolute ass.
It is a part of the Grisha universe, which was introduced in her earlier works:
The books in the series include:
ย 1. Six of Crows
ย 2. Crooked Kingdom
5. A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas
a court of thorns and roses
Although it was a toss up between this series and the Throne of Glass series, I have to say this one will forever be in my heart. Although I found the way the narrative in the first book repetitive to the first novel of the Throne of Glass series, these characters own my soul. Not only do I love the fact that Feyre is a strong woman, who knows her own mind, is brave and courageous; it is the relationship between her and Rhys, that really captures the reader. It is a representation of a healthy relationship. I get so annoyed when I see โ€˜romanticโ€™ love portrayed in a way that is borderline emotional abuse, especially in the young adult genre, so this series was something that the YA community desperately needed. Especially that fact that Sarah J. Maas makes a point to portray an unhealthy relationship in the first novel of the series, the reader can then see in the subsequent books, how a relationship that is based on support, friendship and love actually should be.
There is heaps of action scenes, cutesy moments, sex in various locations and positions and #squadgoals. The world that Sarah J. Maas created is exceptional and her characters even more so.
The books in this series include:
ย 1. A Court of Thorns and Roses
ย 2. A Court of Mist and Fury
ย 3. A Court of War and Ruin
6. Thunder Road Series by Katie McGarry
thunder road series
I found this series whilst I was bookshelf surfing in my local QBD bookshop. And what a find. This series focuses on the love, relationships and crazy antics of young people (between the ages of 17-22) of a motorcycle gang called the Reign of Terror. Although, I should warn you that the female characters in this take a while to come into their voices, and at times, are just plain whiny AF. Too much of a โ€˜Mary Sueโ€™ for my liking, but eventually they develop and grow as characters, as women and as individuals that are irrevocably involved with a motorcycle gang that just edges on the side of legal. To be quite honest, I needed a series that involved the workings of a biker gang – I feel as though there is literally nothing like this in the YA and adult fiction community!
As a warning though, this is not entirely feminist in nature. The gang literally does not allow women into their ranks, even though the strongest of their gang are the females who are married to the men and their daughters. Thereโ€™s a lot of โ€˜WOMEN FOR SEXโ€™ vibes, which for me, was absolutely abhorrent. But thatโ€™s the point. You are perceiving โ€˜gang lifeโ€™ from the eyes of the female protagonists, and I am so happy that they each of heads on their shoulders, and loud opinions which confront the wrongness of the misogynistic culture of the biker gang – at one point, it is screamed at the โ€˜CEOโ€™ of Reign of Terror, and it is beautiful. But read it for the cuteness, the sexy times and strong young adult men getting tongue-tied around the women who own their hearts.
The books in the series include:
ย 1. Nowhere But Here
ย 2. Walk The Edge
ย 3. Long Way Home
Happy reading yโ€™all!
all photos by me.
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