MY TOP TEN YA BOOKS/SERIES (doesn't include Harry Potter or Percy Jackson because those are children's books). This is in no particular order
1)Circle of Magic series by Tamora Pierce-I know everyone loves Tortall more and I do heartily recomend those books too, but this series spoke more to me. It was more character driven, had awesome world building and frankly is what made me fall in love with fantasy books in the first place. If you have never read Tamora Pierce, pick up Sandry's book immediately as well as Alanna: The First Adventure.
2)His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillup Pullman-If you've only seen the movie version, please ignore that movie. It was woefully cut because of censorship rearing it's ugly head and it didn't explain the brillaince of Pullman's world well. While I do sort of think Pullman is an Arrogant ass, he at least has the skills to back up his arrogance. Seriously, the man can write. This trilogy deals with heavy topics that some (particularly the religious camp) may not thrilled with but if you are open to different ideas and don't mind beliefs being challenged, I strongly urge you to pick up this wonderful trilogy. If nothing else, enjoy it as a fantasy trilogy with excellent world-building and block out the religious stuff if it makes you uncomfortable.
3)The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins-Unless you've been living under a rock the past year you've probably heard about this trilogy. Well, believe the hype my friends, for once the bestseller list does actually deliver. I for one am pumped for the movie though if I hear one more ignorant reporter call it "the next Twilight" I will scream. Hopefully they won't screw it up. My lovely Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, and Stanley Tucci are in it though so it shouldn't totally suck.
4)The Book Thief by Markus Zusak-A brilliant coming of age story set in Germany during WWII and narrated by Death. There's a very good reason this book has gotten tons of awards and praise. I personally don't want there to be a movie because I'm sure it'd be bad.
5)Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson-Everyone should read this powerful book about a girl dealing with her rape. If you only read one YA book, make it this one. Bring tissues while reading.
6)Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver-A powerful book dealing with bullying and the pressure of fitting in and its consequences. Also read the author's more commercial but still well done dystopian novel Delirium. This author has become a favorite of mine pretty much from book 1.
7)The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray-I discovered this trilogy only last year and I must say, it is brilliant. It's got magic, feminism, historical accuracy, great writing, fascinating characters, a bittersweet first romance, and none stop guessing. I enjoyed every minute of this complicated fantasy and pretty much all of Bray's other books (haven't read Beauty Queens yet, I'm getting on it).
8)Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones-This was my first intro to Jone's books and yes, I read it because of the Miyazaki film and I am very greatful to Miyazaki for introducing me to this wonderful and vastly underappreciated fantasy author. Also read her Chrestomanci Chronicles series.
9)Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer-A engrossing dystopian novel about a girl living in a quickly changed world that is devasted when the moon is knocked closer to the Earth by a comet. A very scary premise as it could possibly happen and well written to boot.
10)The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot-I discovered Princess Diaries ten years ago when the movie first came out. It introduced me to Cabot who is one of my top authors period. Yes, her books are simple and sometimes predictable but they are nicely written, she knows how to have topics that concern teens in her books without being condescending while discussing it. Plus, her books are freaking hysterical. I have never not enjoyed a Cabot book. If Princess Diaries isn't your cup of tea, I rec The Mediator, 1-800-Where-R-U, All American Girl, the Airhead Trilogy or her adult books such as Insatiable or the Heather Wells mystery books.
So those are my top ten. Ones that aren't on here because I haven't gotten to them yet include the Uglies series by Scott Westerfield (I just got the first book though). If you have your own top YA book list feel free to drop a note. Maybe I'll discover something to new to read!
Next Week: Top Ten Childrens Books/Series