A few times I’ve been asked why I review young adult novels on a blog written, by and large, for adults. The answer is always a simple one: the novels are excellent reads. When written well, YA has epic emotional pull. The latter teen years (and into college) are a tumultuous time when we experience so many things for the first time. It’s easy to get pulled into the rush of first love and first heartbreak and to delve into the conflicting emotions accompanying the discovery that who you are doesn’t match the predicted mold.
My point in bringing this up is summer is often the time I end up re-reading YA novels. (Part of me wonders if it’s a result of years of summer reading lists as a kid.) As such, here are six series worthy of summer re-reads (or first reads!).
HARRY POTTER series by J.K. Rowling
Best reason to read: J.K. Rowling created a stunningly vivid world, dropping hints about its remarkable ending throughout the seven novels. But when it comes down to it, Harry doesn’t have any special powers, per se, but he’s able to rise up against evil. Hard not to be a bit inspired, no?
First book: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Get it: Book Depository, B&N or Amazon)
VAMPIRE ACADEMY series by Richelle Mead
Best reason to read: Rose Hathaway’s development from bratty party girl into a fierce woman who puts friendship first is beautifully wrought with emotional highs and lows that could only come from Richelle Mead. (Expect to cry at least once, probably three times, during this series. Worth it.)
First book: Vampire Academy (Get it: Book Depository, B&N or Amazon)
THE HUNGER GAMES series by Suzanne Collins
Best reason to read: New standards for inner strength and reminders to truly see others around you. Emotionally gut-wrenching and, at times, disturbing, The Hunger Games reminds us that doing what is right is rarely easy.
First book: The Hunger Games (Get it: Book Depository, B&N or Amazon)
IRON FEY series by Julie Kagawa
Best reason to read: Epic battle of good and evil with a woman leading the charge. (Plus, a nice side of Hot Boy With Sword.)
First book: The Iron King (Get it: Book Depository, B&N or Amazon)
TWILIGHT SAGA series by Stephenie Meyer
Best reason to read: Getting wrapped up in Bella and Edward’s romance is all the reason you need. Also: Super-quick reads.
First book: Twilight (Get it: Book Depository, B&N or Amazon)
EVERNIGHT series by Claudia Gray
Best reason to read: Star-crossed lovers. Bianca and Lucas aren’t supposed to be together. Their families want to kill one another, literally.
First book: Evernight (Get it: Book Depository, B&N or Amazon)
Which of our six favorites are you most likely to make a summer read? Vote in the poll below, and if we left off your favorites* (because there are numerous great options), please leave a comment with your picks for great YA summer reads.
*Lest I get comments from our The Mortal Instruments-loving readers, there reason Jace and Clary aren’t in the above shortlist is I haven’t read the series more than once. Maybe this year.