I love reading, it’s been one of my favorite hobbies since I was a kid. I read on the subway, on airplanes, at restaurants – when I’m alone of course – and while I’m aimlessly walking around Boston.
While it’s easy to pick up a random book and enjoy it, it’s harder to find a series of books to enjoy – something usually goes wrong by book two or three.
Since you can only read Harry Potter so many times, here are a few other book series that totally hold up.
I could not love these books more.
I first read Uglies as a terribly awkward middle schooler – boarding school and braces aren’t a good mix – and it made a hell of an impression on me. The series is set in a dystopian future where people live their lives as “uglies” until their 16th birthday, where they receive a surgery that makes them “pretty” for the rest of their lives.
The main character, Tally spends the trilogy battling her own insecurities and questioning the system that’s made her and her friends detest the faces they were born with. With so many YA novels getting made into movies I’m surprised that this one hasn’t.
2. Generation Dead
This series is about a strange supernatural phenomenon that’s been occurring around the world: dead teens aren’t staying dead. That’s right, they’re turning into zombies – which actually becomes a slur in this series, funnily enough.
Unlike the zombies we’re used to, the kids in Generation Dead don’t crave brains or want to kill other people, they just move and talk a bit slower than we do. People start calling another “traditionally biotic” (AKA normal) and “differently biotic” (AKA dead).
The series follows a teenager who begins to fall in love with a differently biotic classmate, only to receive backlash from members of her community and insight into the prejudices the undead have to go through daily. Once Teen Wolf is over maybe this is the next TV show MTV should make.
3. The Princess Tales
Now this isn’t a traditional book series. Instead of a cohesive plot with the same characters, these books instead take place in the same world but with wildly different storylines. The Princess Tales is a humorous retelling of classic fairytales we’ve all grown to love, from Sleeping Beauty to The Princess and the Pea, but you might even love these more.
If you were a fan of Ella Enchanted you’re sure to like this series – they’re by the same author!
4. Books of Bayern
This is another series based on a classic fairy tale, but only slightly-so. The first book in the series is The Goose Girl – after the Brothers Grimm story – and introduces us to the kingdom of Bayern as well as a world riddled with deceit and magic.
The main character of this novel is a princess from another land who becomes a lowly goose herder after a series of betrayals. The series follows her and her friends as they discover magic and become involved with the politics of their country.
5. Maximum Ride
With nine books in total, this series forces you to get attached to its main characters. It revolves around a “flock” of kids who are part bird and part human – try to ignore the science, it doesn’t make much sense – who are on the run from a scientific organization that wants to profit off of them.
The series follows them as they deal with the struggles of growing up and staying alive. The series brings up important points about the ethics of genetic modifications and even talks about global warming. A Maximum Ride movie came out last year, but it was positively dreadful.
Do not watch it.
6. The Pink Carnation
This series of mystery novels takes place in modern times and the 1800s. It follows a graduate student who unearths stories of spies during the Napoleonic Wars. With each novel focusing on a different spy – all given flowers as codenames – you’re given a bit of a history lesson along with some serious intrigue and romance.
You get to meet the Black Tulip, the Moonflower, and the Scarlet Pimpernel. I don’t think 007 is the only spy with a cool name.
7. Deltora Quest
OK, so these are technically children’s books but the world of Deltora is so brilliantly put together that it doesn’t even matter. With eight books in just the first Deltora Quest series – there are three total – you’ll have to spend a good amount of time reading to reach the end of each story arc.
The plot of the first series revolves around a teenage boy and his companions who must search for seven gems that have special “powers.” In order to find these gems they must battle mythical creatures and make their way to distant lands – it’s pretty cool.
Having sold over 15 million copies worldwide it’s a surprise this series isn’t more well-known and more importantly, it’s a surprise that it hasn’t been made into a movie yet.