Friday, May 15, 2009

Ten Worthy Young Adult Books

I just posted this in Amazon's feedback forum. The full title of the thread was "Ten Worthy Young Adult Books by Authors Not Named J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer".

I read that, and instantly thought of you: my blog-buddies. Would y'all like some input?


Mr. Veen says:

I love a fast paced-adventure, I love to be bowled over by breathtaking, creative concepts, and I LOVE surprises. I am addicted to those moments when you say, "Whoa... I didn't see that coming!" The books I've listed here are pretty much all well-known best-sellers, but they have those moments. They meet my criteria for great YA. And even though most of them have already been mentioned, I'm adding my vote to kind of reinforce how good they are.

*Note: I love YA fantasy, but NOT Potter and Twilight, so this thread is perfect for me.

Fablehaven is my favorite series right now -- simply blowing me away.
Abhorsen Trilogy -- My second favorite. Love this, loathe Keys to the Kingdom. Sorry Mr. Nix.
Pendragon Chronicles -- I've been biting my nails through nine thick books to find out what the heck is really going on.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series -- It's everything good fiction should be, except without a cool title.
Warrior Heir, Wizard Heir, Dragon Heir -- great concept, high adventure
Tithe series -- dark and beautiful and haunting
Dreamhunter -- The Dreamhunter Duet: a wonderful two book series. Little known, but very very unique and compelling -- highly recommended (author: Elizabeth Knox)
Ender's Game -- One of my all time favorite books, in any genre. I'm very sorry I couldn't get into any of the sequels. They just didn't have the same feel.
Howl's Moving Castle -- Quirky and fun. Super creative, lots of surprises.
Maximum Ride -- I LOVED these books. But somehow, somewhere near the middle of the third one, the magic seemed to fizzle. Big time. I swear you can almost feel the exact moment when James Patterson gets tired of writing them.


Madison said...

I have not read any of the books you have mentioned. I'll have to find them. A lot of them look very interesting!

Anonymous said...

Fablehaven and Ender's Game are the only ones I've even heard of - (Loved Fablehaven, Hated Ender's Game) guess I've got some books to read! Thanks for the heads up!

Danielle said...

I haven't read any of those, but they're being added to the list...

I recently read The Golden Compass, and I really enjoyed it. I keep meaning to read the next two parts of the trilogy, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

I absolutely adored Patricia C. Wrede's Chronicles of the Enchanted Forest when I first read them, and I still love them today.

Vikki said...

Geez, I haven't read any of these! I feel so lame! I'm a huge of the Golden Compass trilogy myself. Way before it was made into a movie. (I don't know why I feel I have to point that out, but it makes me feel better.)

Kelly Polark said...

Thanks for the recs. I am so behind on my reading, I haven't read any of them. But I am a huge Potter and Twilight fan! :)

Tracey said...

Sadly I haven't read any of those books either. The extent of my YA reading has been The Chronicals of Narnia and the first HP book (hangs head in shame). Maybe when my girls are a little older I can improve my track record.

Ray Veen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ray Veen said...

Madison, you would LOVE Fablehaven. Skip any of those others if you wish, but check out Fablehaven!

Wendy -- Yeah, Ender's Game is definately out of place on that list. I only included it because I love it, and it's technically YA. If you're more into the style of Fablehaven, then I'd suggest Percy Jackson as well. They're both great.

Danielle -- The 'His Dark Materials' Trilogy was pretty good, just not in my top ten. Plus, I was kind of disenchanted with the way the series became progressively more anti-God. Beyond that, though, really outstanding stuff. If you like Pullman, you must check out Garth Nix'es 'Abhorsen' Trilogy. It's much better.

Vivi -- Read what I just wrote to Danielle. And I'm giving you extra credit for reading the book before you watched the movie, cuz that counts for something.

Kelly -- I'm one of those snobbish readers that either loves a book with sweet tenderness, or hates it with furious furor. Nothing against anyone who likes them, but Twilight and Potter fall into the latter category.

Tracey -- I shall excuse you for now, but only with a written promise that you'll read them all eventually.

Keri Mikulski said...

When I taught seventh grade, the students devoured MAXIMUM RIDE. Interesting - you can tell when the author gets tired of writing them. :)

Jewel Allen said...

Thanks, Mr. Veen.

My youngest just bought Fablehaven from the bookstore with her hard-earned allowance.

All my three kids love the series. It's on my to-read list.

Ronald L. Smith said...

Lots of great books here. I've read a bunch on your list. But, of course, that's the genre I'm writing in.

Abhorsen is fantastic, isn't it? Did you hear it is being made into a film?

I would add the Dark is Rising series and the Borribles. Two oldies but goodies.

colbymarshall said...

I just don't put Harry and Twilight into the same category because though they are both YA, I hate that they're always compared because they are nothing alike. I love Harry, but Twilight I despised. But, I will check out some of the stuff you recommended since my Harry fix is over. :-)

Ray Veen said...

Keri - I also read the adult version of Maximum Ride, which isn't supposed to be the same story but really is -- Max gets pregnant in the end and lays eggs.

Pink - Read 'em, my friend. Literally "fun for all ages."

Prince - Dark is Rising? I'm ashamed to say I don't think I've ever heard of it. Sounds intriguing, though, I'll check it out.

Colby - I agree. I don't 'hate' Harry, I just resent the fact that she's been the highest paid writer in history, yet she's certainly not the best. Not in my top ten, anyway. Twilight, though -- absolute drivel.

Anita said...

I'm working my way through the Newbery Award winners and am loving's fun to read the much older books...writing styles truly change (kind of like movies), but a good book is a good book no matter when it's published. Not all Newbery's are fanatsy, of course, but there are a few.

My husband is reading the kids this whole pre-PETER PAN series. They love it and the writing is good, solid.

HARRY POTTER changed the entire course of my life, I'm sure. My kids loved the series so much (they were just the right ages as the books/movies came out) that we acted out Harry stories daily (complete with robes and cauldrons), wrote our own Harry stories, made our own Harry videos, had Harry parties, read the books over and over and over again--you name it, we've done it.