My YA faves, old and new
There's something about summer that just goes hand-in-hand with reading, at least to me. I was a voracious reader as a kid and through my teen years, never without a book or twelve in hand. Because I write young adult (YA) romance, and because I never stopped loving YA, I thought it would be fun to put together what I think would make the ultimate beach bag of YA reads. This list includes five YA books or series I'd recommend to YA lovers now, along with five YA favorites from when I was younger. If you love reading YA or if you know someone who does, I'd love to hear what you think about my ultimate YA beach bag, and what your picks would be!
Five YA books (or series) I'd recommend to YA lovers now
The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence – I love this book. Period. Fantastic writing, an incredibly unique plot, and a cast of memorable characters. If you haven't read this yet, you're missing out!
Hexed by Michelle Krys – My most recent YA read! A witch who doesn't know she's a witch (and is pretty reluctant to be one when she finds out), a bad-boy warlock, and lots of romantic chemistry and action. This is a really fun read, and a great start to a new series.
Between the Lines series by Tammara Webber – This was a series I couldn't stop reading once I started. You know how this goes! When I got to the end of the first book in the series, Between the Lines, I immediately had to read Where You Are. Then when I got to the end of Where You Are, I immediately had to read Good For You.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman – This one is getting a lot of attention right now because of the movie coming out, but I have to include it in my list. The emotion in this novel is phenomenal. Make sure you have a box of tissues by your side when you read it, because it can definitely make you a weepy mess!
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green – This is another one that's getting a lot of attention because of the recent movie release, but I'd also argue it had just as much attention before the movie. There's a good reason for that! It's another "grab a box of tissues" read, but I also found myself laughing out loud just as often as I was a little teary-eyed.
Five YA books (or series, or authors) I loved while growing up
When I thought about the books I devoured while growing up, I realized that many of them were a series, or simply a must-read author whose new releases I waited for each month. As you can see from this list, I read a lot of YA horror!
Sweet Valley University series by Francine Pascal – I grew up on Sweet Valley. Before the Sweet Valley University series, I read most of the Sweet Valley High books available at that time. It seemed like the stakes were upped a little bit when Elizabeth and Jessica headed off to college, and there were some great romantic moments that kept me hooked.
One Last Wish series by Lurlene McDaniel – Before there was The Fault In Our Stars, there were books by Lurlene McDaniel that explored teenagers facing terminal illness and death. These books never failed to make me cry!
Christopher Pike – I honestly can't name just one Christopher Pike book, unless it's his first adult novel, Sati, which I also read during my pre-teen years simply because I would read anything by Christopher Pike. I remember having a debate with friends over whether I liked books by Christopher Pike or books by R.L. Stine more. It didn't matter, because both authors always made it to my "must read" list.
Fear Street series by R.L. Stine – These were the books that everyone I knew read back in the day, along with books by Christopher Pike. I read them, I loved them, and I'm pretty sure it was the Fear Street series by R.L. Stine that was my introduction to YA horror, quickly followed by Christopher Pike books.
Casteel series by V.C. Andrews – I remember reading at least 16 V.C. Andrews books in one summer when I was growing up. We might call this "the summer I did not go outside since I was so busy reading during the daytime and writing stories at night." The Casteel series was my favorite.
Be sure to check back later today for an excerpt from Seven Weeks to Forever by Jennifer Farwell as well as our take on the book!