I love to read. As an author and writer, it's a great way to put myself in a creative space. Not only that, but it makes me happy. Following a hero in their journey puts me in a fantastic mood! I hope this list will help you find a book that you'll love and inspire you to create amazing stories!
Most of my favorite books are YA or middle grade and/or are romance oriented. So, if you're a fan of cute relationships and high stakes adventures, you found a great list!
Since I have so many favorites, we have only ONE Honorary Mention:
H.M.) Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus/The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan
These series, this author, will always be in my heart. Percy Jackson and the Kanes were my first favorite series. My gateway drug to reading, if you will. Though it's been a few years since I wrote PJO/HoO fan fictions, I can't deny my love for the characters. Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and the rest of the gang will stick with me throughout my whole life.
If you haven't read these books, it's fantastic. Please, if you have the time, read the first book: Percy Jackson and the Olympian - The Lightning Thief. It was my Harry Potter.
ONTO THE LIST!
10.) Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson.
As someone who grew up in a family OBSESSED with Disney, this series really stuck out to me. If you love Disney, technology, some budding romances, and your favorite childhood villains coming to life, this is definitely the series for you!
9.) "The Sisters Grimm" series by Michael Buckley
Ironically, I accidentally read the second book in this series before I even knew it was a series! (Start with the one called "The Fairy-Tale Detectives"). This is a great middle grade fantasy adventure with characters like the Three Little pigs, the Big Bad Wolf, Puck the Trickster, Beauty and the Beast, and so many more! I would highly recommend this to parents for their kids to get them into reading. Plus, it's got a fantastic story with a hint of romance. *wink*
8.) "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins
I know, I know. It's so cliche, but it's a great book! I wasn't a fan of the whole series, but the first book was one I thoroughly enjoyed. Twisted dystopian worlds, romance, and death - what more could you ask for?
7.) "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner
Having met James Dashner at TABC, I have a whole new respect for this book. I read it while I was in high school, and ate up the whole thing! (As well as the rest of the series, but this was my personal favorite). Twisted dystopian worlds, romance, death... I'm sensing a pattern here...
6.) "Michael Vey" series by Richard Paul Evans
OOOOH MAN. A great series by an awesome author! I've actually met Richard Paul Evans and he is so cool. (I have the picture proof and I'm not afraid to flaunt it). This is an excellent series with compelling characters, gripping plot, and rising stakes. Oh, and some romance (obviously).
5.) "The Infernal Devices" series by Cassandra Clare
*fans face* Okay, okay, for those of you who've read the series, you know why it's so high on my list. This series of books is considered a prequel to Cassandra Clare's hit series, "The Mortal Instruments". It has the same compelling romance, action, and world building as her other series, only with less... possible incest. Will, Jem, Tessa, and the rest of the gang are some of my favorite characters TO DATE. And that's saying a lot. This is a definite read for fantasy, Victorian-steampunk, and romance fans alike!
4.) "The Lockwood & Co." series by Jonathan Stroud
Goodness gracious, I cannot praise this series enough. A friend recommended it to me, and once I read the first book, I couldn't put it down. Then, I ate the entire series as fast as I could! With more Victorian-steampunk vibes, a sweet romance, and fantastic ghoul-ish adventures, it's a great read for a stormy night or chilly winters day. It has a more middle grade feel, but borders on some more horror-like YA content.
3.) "By Your Side" by Kasie West
Honestly, I'm gonna start to cry. I adore anything by Kasie West. Her romance stories pull on all of my heartstrings, but 'By Your Side' will always be my favorite. Autumn was, and forever will be, a character I can personally connect with. I struggle with anxiety like she does in the novel, and to see her end - OH OOPS. Sorry, no spoilers from me. Not only was this my first introduction to her writing, it was given to me FOR FREE and SIGNED by Kasie West herself! I swear, I'm not joking.
Quick Story Time: I didn't know who she was at the time while I wandered a giant room filled to the brim with authors. She just sat at an empty table, a small of books next to her, and a turquoise Sharpie in her hand. When my friend and I walked by, she asked if I wanted a free book. Of course, I said yes, and she signed it right then and there! Later, I told someone about the experience, and they nearly peed their pants! They practically screamed to me that she was one of their favorite authors. They recommended more of her books to me, like 'The Fill-In Boyfriend', 'The Distance Between Us', 'On The Fence', and 'Lucky in Love'. I have been hooked to them like drugs since.
Shout out to you, Kasie. I hope we can meet again someday.
2.) The Tigers Curse series (books 1-3) by Colleen Houck
AHHHHH. I will eternally love Kelsey, Ren, and Kishan, okay? This is a story filled compelling characters, a fantastic love story, and a fascinating heroes journey. With a strong female lead like Kesley, the adventure never seems too out of reach. Thanks to the brilliant Colleen Houck, I'll never be able to see a white tiger the same way again. And I'm perfectly okay with that.
And, in the number one spot...
1.) The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
I have re-read this series at least 4 times now, and I'm never tired of it. Cinder, Throne, Winter, Jason, Cress, and the rest of the crew of the Rampion have never left me since reading this series. These well-written, deep, and real characters have inspired me to become a better person. And Marissa Meyer has inspired me to be a better writer.
The series is heavy in romance, but never seems to lose sight of the adventure. Plot twists come when you never expect. Like stated above, the characters are fantastic. The world is gripping and beyond interesting.
If I could ever meet Marissa Meyer, I would want to hug her and thank her for giving me a book series that has literally saved my life.
Well, that's my list! I would highly recommend any of these great reads. If you've read any of them - or anything like them - don't be afraid to add to the post! Just, you know, don't spoil anything.
As a final question, what are some of your favorite books? Have any in your top ten you just have to share with the world? Go ahead and reply to the post! Let's get a great conversation going!