1. Dawn of Wonder
by Jonathan Renshaw
My favorite of favorites. This book transcends age, gender, and genre. Its protagonist, twelve-year-old Aedan transforms through a series of adventures and challenges. Packed with unique storytelling and line after line of highlightable wisdom, I’d recommend this to anyone.
2. Lirael and Abhorsen
by Garth Nix
Sit back kids and get comfy. When I read this, I didn’t move for two full days. Fast-pace adventure, magic, detail, incredible world-building and memorable characters. This is true book candy.
3. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Need I say anything about this? Oh, and for all of you that have only seen the movies but not read the books- you have my full condemnation. No. Seriously.
4. Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer
I said, NO JUDGING! Any book that can be as addicting as meth gets a five-star rating in my book. And it’s CLEAN. And it’s getting people to read. And no matter who you are or how better-than-thou you claim to be, you still flipped through those pages faster than Edward could run through a forest.
5. Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers
Ahhh… Long sigh. The first two books in this series had me up all night. A love story with a positive message. You’ve enchanted us all, Francine.
6. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Marissa Meyer is everything I aspire to be. These books are fast-paced, fun adventurous, and take you everywhere you want to go.
7. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.” This opening line embodies everything we all love about Lewis. He’s funny, playful, and witty. His story-telling, unique names, and world-building is unrivaled.
8. A Curse so Dark and Lonely and A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
Congrats, Brigid. You made the cut. I just finished the second book in this series, and I lost a LOT of sleep over it. My reading was constantly being interrupted by the vast number of times I was highlighting text. Her dialogue was superb. Character development superb. Everything about it met my criteria for awesome.
9. The Never Hero by T. Ellery Hodges
Urban fantasy at its finest. The series was full of action, funny, thoughtful, and original.
10. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
No fantasy favorites list is complete without this series. Tolkien made us feel all the feels- adventure, fear, pain, excitement, hunger, thirst, and something even deeper that leaves almost everyone who reads this series spellbound.
11. A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas
Sarah, you don’t deserve this. I’m angry. But if it weren’t for my personal vendetta against you, I’m not sure I would have become a writer. These books would have been the next Twilight. Except for its R rating that was targeted for YOUNG ADULTS! I could never recommend this book for anyone under 18. I can hardly recommend it for anyone over 18. Yet the story, writing, and pacing are incredible. This series had me hooked.