In my last post, I talked about the once popular books that have fallen into an early grave.
Today, I will be discussing the series that paved the way to YA years ago, but are still being talked about, adored and still selling well.
I’ll also be including some newer series that are becoming part of the foundations of YA.
Series 1: An Ember in the Ashes
With the first book debuting in 2015, Sabaa Tahir brought us our rebellious loves right when the YA genre we know today was still being built. With new books in the series still appearing, a cover remake (in both the UK and the US) and continued NYT bestselling success, AEITA is here to stay.
Series 2 & 3: Vampire Academy & Bloodlines
Despite a disappointing movie and even more disappointing covers – the Vampire Academy is still a strong staple in the YA bookverse. The vampire trend may have died out, but these books are seemingly immortal, with VA content being included in book boxes and Richelle Mead continuing her incredibly career with The Glittering Court. Maybe it’s the fact she’s still churning out new content or maybe it’s the fact she’s a talented author, but I picture Richelle’s books staying in the spotlight for years to come. (As long as the spotlight doesn’t make the vampires sparkle).
Series 4: The Selection
We all thought The Selection was dead, and then Kiera Cass showed us tooth and claw by publishing a duology that gave new life to the original books. Everyone was rereading in time for The Crown to release, and it just reminded everyone how much we adore our one true king, Maxon. There’s no doubt The Selection is a building block in the community, with its appearance falling off the back of the Divergent craze – but will it survive in the years to come?
Series 5: Angelfall
Most fallen angel books have already taken the plummet into NO RETURN – with Fallen and the Hush, Hush books splattering into hell. However, our hearts haven’t been willing to let go of Penryn yet, and maybe they never will. Maybe fallen angels will grow their wings and make a come back.
Series 6: Shadow and Bone
If you’re a fan of YA and haven’t heard of Leigh Bardugo’s ground breaking trilogy – have you been living under a rock? The Grisa world is one that’ll never die, not with the companionship of the Six of Crows duology and even a new series up and coming. The world is one that’ll stick in your mind forever, and the magic system stands out in a sea of uniform books where everyone has identical powers. Because of this, Shadow and Bone will always stand out and will be remembered forever. There’s no forgetting the one.
Series 7: Shatter Me
This may be a complete bias, but Shatter Me will never die. Loyal and unrelenting fans like myself and Whitney (WhittyNovels) will be a plague that makes sure Shatter Me survives forever.
Series 8 & 9: Legend & The Young Elites
As mentioned in my last post, Marie Lu is a queen. She’s conquered fantasy, dystopian and sci-fi and is set to take her first wobbling steps into YA contemporary, like an extremely talented toddler who conquers everything she sets her mind to. There is no stopping this complete force of nature who has more talent in her little finger in a second than I’ll ever have across my entire life. Her newest duology is one to die for, and my obsession with Warcross has completely overtaken my life. That’s fine, right?
Series 10: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
A moderately decent movie and an incredibly talented author has led to continued success of these spoopy books. Having wrenched the YA horror genre out of Mara Dyer’s cold, dead hands – Ransom Riggs has become a dynamic feisty author with a personality to watch out for. Also, has married to my love Tahereh Mafi and they make a duo whose love will power their careers for decades to come.
Series 11: Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Another fallen angel book that hasn’t died along with the rest of them, DOSAB has exponential success that has made it a platform for YA readers in the community. It’s still featuring strongly in book boxes, and Illumicrate’s “Dream of Gods and Monsters” February box gently reminds straying readers of its existence and pushes us back to our old loyalty. It’s possible that Laini Taylor has changed the game with her newest duology, Strange The Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares – as these two lyrical books dominate the hearts and minds of readers everywhere. I won’t be surprised if these 2 become a foundation for the YA of the future.
Series 12: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
This was one I, and most of the reading community had forgotten about (I’m sorry Lara Jean for my sin) and the revival of these books came with the explosion of the Netflix movie and non-readers becoming all about Peter Kavinsky.
I, for one, am happy to have been reminded about this books existence, and am planning a full reread soon. After the rest of my humongous TBR, at least.
Series 13: Twilight
This one isn’t necessarily still alive and kicking in the YA community, but Twihards are still one of the strongest forces out there. Twilight fan pages are amongst the most active and have hundreds and thousands of followers desperate for new content and the return to the world of rainy Forks. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Stephanie Meyer to smash out a new book – perhaps all about Carlisle in his young doctor days, or about Alice and Jasper’s long journey to each other.
Series 14: The Lunar Chronicles
Marissa Meyer built the foundations of YA sci-fi and fairy tail retellings with her introduction of Cinder the cyborg, and I haven’t been able to forget her since. Not only am I not usually a fan of science fiction, but I just wasn’t expecting to like these books as much as everyone else.
Spoiler: I loved them.
Now we have hundreds and thousands of retellings stacking up in piles on our bookshelves, and it’s all thanks to Marissa and her mind blowing debut.
Series 15: Throne of Glass & A Court of Thorns and Roses
Last and definitely not least, we have Sarah J Maas herself. It seems just about everyone has a copy of at least one of her books, and her fae fantasies have gone from YA into totally not suitable for younger readers. They are still marketed to young teens though, and Throne of Glass was one of the books that made me fall in love with reading. I, along with the rest of the world. I would allow you to disagree with any other books on this list, but none of us can deny that SJM has become the queen of YA and if you want to call yourself a “true YA fan”, you have to sell your soul to her books.
Apparently. Because ‘SHAME ON YOU’ seems to be the go to when people say they’ve never read any of her books. I don’t understand it, personally. And that’s the tea.
And that’s it! Those are the 15 series that have carved the path for YA, and are still permanently tattooed into our hearts. Or scarred, depending on your experiences with each individual book.
Do you disagree with any of these still being big sellers? Are there any I’ve missed?
Let me know in the comments below!