This Friday, I thought I’d bring back some old YA trends: dystopian and paranormal (or fantasy) novels. By this point, much of the world is sick of these genres after having years of books such as Twilight and The Hunger Games in pride of place in bookshop windows. Personally, these genres are two of my favourites.
A lot of people make jokes about the coming-of-age cliché that was so popular a few years ago, but it was popular for a reason: those books were good. I’ve read and reread a huge number of dystopian and fantasy novels, but here are just a few favourites. All of the books included are part of a series, as I feel these genres are most enjoyable when there are multiple books to develop the story-line.
1. Starters by Lissa Price
I first read this dystopian novel when it was published in 2012, and loved every page. This story is about a dark future where desperate teens can rent out their bodies to wealthy seniors (known as Enders) so that they can feel young again. There is a sequel to this book, called Enders, and I’ve heard rumours of a prequel coming out in 2017, so I am very much looking forward to that!
(more information on Starters here)
2. Angel by L.A. Weatherly
As the title suggests, this trilogy by L.A. Weatherly is all about angels. However, in this paranormal YA novel, there is a twist: the angels are the bad guys. So there are angel killers. And a half-angel protagonist who has to stop the holy half of her bloodline from destroying mankind. Sounds interesting, right? I enjoyed this whole trilogy, especially the first book, and would definitely recommend it to someone looking for a fantasy series that isn’t all werewolves or vampires.
(more information on Angels here)
3. Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien
Part of another trilogy, Birthmarked is a story in which the privileged are separated from the impoverished by a wall, never to mix with each other. Gaia is one of those considered unworthy of living inside of the wall, and has accepted this as her fate until one day her parents are arrested – and taken to the other side of the wall. I enjoyed this series, and although it is now a few years old (it was published in the UK in 2011), I think it deserves to be read and loved by others.
(more information on Birthmarked here)
4. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Becca Fitzpatrick is one of my very favourite authors, starting from the day I picked up a copy of Hush, Hush a few years ago. This is another story about angels, or more specifically, fallen angels. It has a perfect balance of lighthearted teenage life (with Nora’s fantastically entertaining best friend Vi), and darker, more serious conflict building up in the paranormal world of angels and nephilim. It’s angsty, intriguing and still made me laugh out loud in places. It pained my little bookworm heart that none of my friends share my passion for paranormal novels; I was left to fangirl over this series all by myself.
(more information on Hush, Hush here)
5. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
This book is part of the paranormal series Soul Screamers, which I own and have read several times over. In this story, the protagonist Kaylee discovers she is a Bean Sidhe (banshee), and over the course of the seven books in the series she finds out more about herself and her new, paranormal world. I’ve never read a story about banshees before, so this was a fresh, interesting read for me. I found these books to be not hugely challenging, but each one adds an intense, enjoyable layer to the overall plot, which means I did not tire of them once.
(more information on My Soul to Take here)
I’ve read so many different dystopias or fantasies that I have read, but these are some that I just keep coming back to. If there are any novels from these genres that you think the shouldn’t be forgotten about please let me know in the comments – and how many of these have you heard of or read?