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Young Adult Books That You Must Read at Least Once Before You Die

Young Adult Books That You Must Read at Least Once Before You Die

 

When a few years ago I religiously and obsessively only read young adult novels, throughout the years, I have found myself slowly but steadily moving away from the YA genre. While I will always have a soft spot for YA genres, I must admit that I have been purging out a lot of my YA novels to make space for other genres. 

With that said though, even though these days I don’t really read as much young adult books as I used to back in the good old days, your girl will still –– every once in a while –– pick up a YA novel. Just like what I’m doing currently as this post is being made. Because despite my growing out of this particular genre, there is still something about YA genres that feels like coming home whenever I read it –– if the book is good, that is. 

Which is why today, I am going to list down 11 young adult novels/series that’s just plain epic. Those books/series that left an impact on me and still pepper my dreams until today. Those books/series that shot expectations on all other YA novels up into the stars. 

Most importantly, all of the books that I will list down today have been the most memorable and mind-blowingly-orgasm-inducing YA novels that I have ever came across. And I want to have you join me on this good reads Choo Choo train, because why the heck not?

 

 

 

young adult books you must read before you die

 

1. Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1)

 

Genre : Fantasy, Young Adult 

Type   : Trilogy 

Status : On going series 

 

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Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager

A runaway with a privileged past

A spy known as the Wraith

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

 

 

 

young adult books you must read before you die

 

2. An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1)

 

Genre : High Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance 

Type   : Tetralogy 

Status : On going series 

 

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Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
 
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
 
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
 
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
 
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

 

 

 

young adult books you must read before you die

 

3. Sabriel (The Old Kingdom #1)

 

Genre : Fantasy, Young Adult 

Type   : Tetralogy 

Status : Completed series 

 

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Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him.

With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen series, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn’t always clear—and sometimes disappears altogether.

 

 

 

young adult books you must read before you die

 

4. Half a King (Shattered Sea #1)

 

Genre : Epic Fantasy, Young Adult 

Type   : Trilogy 

Status : Completed series 

 

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Betrayed by his family and left for dead, prince Yarvi, reluctant heir to a divided kingdom, has vowed to reclaim a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the shattered sea itself – all with only one good hand. Born a weakling in the eyes of a hard, cold world, he cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so has sharpened his mind to a deadly edge. Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast, he finds they can help him more than any noble could. Even so, Yarvi’s path may end as it began – in twists, traps and tragedy.

 

 

 

young adult books you must read before you die

Click here for the detailed review 

 

5. Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1)

 

Genre : Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Dystopia 

Type   : Pentalogy

Status : On going series 

 

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I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I’m more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

 

 

 

young adult books you must read before you die

 

6. Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1)

 

Genre : Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal 

Type   : Hexalogy (6 books)

Status : Completed series 

 

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Only a true best friend can protect you from your immortal enemies . . .

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger . . . and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever . . .

 

 

 

young adult books you must read before you die

 

7. Forbidden  

 

Genre : Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance 

Type   : Standalone 

Status : Published 

 

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She is pretty and talented – sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But… they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

 

 

 

young adult books you must read before you die

 

8. The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society #1)

 

Genre : Fantasy, Young Adult, Mystery  

Type   : Tetralogy 

Status : On going series 

 

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ARE YOU A GIFTED CHILD LOOKING FOR SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES?

When a peculiar advertisement appears in the newspaper for children to take part in a secret mission, children everywhere sit a series of mysterious tests. In the end, just four children succeed: Reynie, Kate, Sticky and Constance. They have three things in common: they are all honest, all remarkably talented and all orphans.

They must go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened where the only rule is that there are no rules. There they must work as a team to save not only themselves, but also the world outside the walls.

 

 

 

young adult books you must read before you die

 

9. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1)

 

Genre : Fantasy, Young Adult, Mythology

Type   : Pentalogy (5 books)

Status : Completed series 

 

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Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

 

 

 

young adult books you must read before you die

 

10. A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1)

 

Genre : Fantasy, Young Adult 

Type   : Trilogy 

Status : Completed series 

 

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Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

 

 

 

young adult books you must read before you die

 

11. Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1)

 

Genre : Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance  

Type   : Duology  

Status : Completed series 

 

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The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

 

 

 



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