October 16, 2011

Best Adventure/Fantasy YA Books

I love paranormal, but I also love straight up action-adventure books, with a little bit of fantasy thrown in. There's usually a little bit of romance, but it doesn't take the front role like in paranormal books. I hope you enjoy my list, let me know what titles you think I should read!


1. Maximum Ride Series


In James Patterson's blockbuster series, fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride, better known as Max, knows what it's like to soar above the world. She and all the members of the "flock"—Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel—are just like ordinary kids—only they have wings and can fly. It may seem like a dream come true to some, but their lives can morph into a living nightmare at any time...like when Angel, the youngest member of the flock, is kidnapped and taken back to the "School" where she and the others were experimented on by a crew of wack jobs. Her friends brave a journey to blazing hot Death Valley, CA, to save Angel, but soon enough, they find themselves in yet another nightmare—this one involving fighting off the half-human, half-wolf "Erasers" in New York City. Whether in the treetops of Central Park or in the bowels of the Manhattan subway system, Max and her adopted family take the ride of their lives. Along the way Max discovers from her old friend and father-figure Jeb—now her betrayed and greatest enemy—that her purpose is save the world—but can she?




2. Song of the Lioness Series (and all the following series in this world: Protector of the Small Series, Trikster Series, and Beka Cooper Series)
"From now on I'm Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I'll be a knight."
And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Though a girl, Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Disguised as a girl, Thom heads for the convent to learn magic; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page.
But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies.
Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna's first adventure begins — one that will leard to the fulfillment of her dreams and the magical destiny that will make her a legend in her land.




3. Graceling (haven't read the second installment, so I'm only talking about this stand-alone book)


Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.
     When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.





4. 1-800-Where-R-U Series 


Just because her best friend wants to exercise, Jessica Mastriani agrees to walk the two miles home from their high school. Straight into a huge Indiana thunderstorm.
And straight into trouble.
Not that Jess has never been in trouble before. Her extracurricular activities, instead of cheerleading or 4-H, include fistfights with the football team and monthlong stints in detention -- luckily, sitting right next to Rob, the sexiest senior around.
But this trouble is serious.
Because somehow on that long walk home, Jessica acquired a newfound talent. An amazing power that can be used for good...or for evil.





5. Midnighters Series



A few nights after Jessica Day arrives in Bixby, Oklahoma, she wakes up at midnight to find the entire world frozen, except for her and a few others who call themselves 'midnighters'. Dark things haunt this midnight hour – dark things with a mysterious interest in Jessica. The question is why;
The Secret Hour is a compelling tale of dark secrets, midnight romance, eerie creatures, courage, destiny, and unexpected peril.




6. Guardians of Time Series 

Ethan lives a secret life as a Guardian of the Named. Under the guidance of Arkarian, his mentor, and with the help of Isabel, his unlikely but highly capable apprentice, Ethan has become a valued member of this other-worldly corps. As the only defense against the evil Order of Chaos, the Named travel through time to prevent the Order from altering history and thereby gaining power in the present and the future.
As the threat from the Order intensifies, secrets of the past are revealed and villains and heroes are exposed. This gripping fantasy is set in modern times, but is infused with intrigue from the past, super-natural characters and surprising plot twists. Curley has written a winner through to the end.




7. The Luxe Series (no fantasy elements, but a great gossip driven adventurous book with tons of superb plot twists)


Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City's elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone—from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud—threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future.
With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city's gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan's most celebrated daughter disappear...




8. Chronicles of Elantra Series
Seven years ago Kaylin fled the crime-riddled streets of Nightshade, knowing that something was after her. Children were being murdered -- and all had the same odd markings that mysteriously appeared on her own skin . . .
Since then, she's learned to read, she's learned to fight and she's become one of the vaunted Hawks who patrol and police the City of Elantra. Alongside the winged Aerians and immortal Barrani, she's made a place for herself, far from the mean streets of her birth.
But children are once again dying, and a dark and familiar pattern is emerging, Kaylin is ordered back into Nightshade with a partner she knows she can't trust, a Dragon lord for a companion and a device to contain her powers -- powers that no other human has. Her task is simple -- find the killer, stop the murders . . . and survive the attentions of those who claim to be her allies!




9. Fearless Series (great, but warning! There are about 35 books in the series, and once you start, you probably won't be able to stop - as one entire shelf in my bedroom is a testament too!)



Fearless introduces us to Gaia Moore, a girl born without the gene for fear. Gaia's mother was murdered, and her father, Tom Moore, a famous covert antiterrorist mastermind, is in hiding. Now 17 years old, Gaia is living in New York City with Tom's CIA friend, George, and his wife, Ella. Gaia is a prime target for terrorists and is in constant danger, but she is trained in all forms of combat so she can defend herself. Like Buffy and Xena, Gaia Moore is a force.
But she is also a high school student, trying to be like everyone else. As her friendships develop, we see that Gaia is in many ways a typical teen -- when she's not busy getting herself into and out of dangerous situations, righting wrongs, avenging hurts, and solving mysteries.







10. Warprize Series (warning - some very adult scenes, so not actually suitable for all young adult readers, but I loved it!)


The daughter of a Warrior King, Lara was trained as a healer, helping both friend and foe. And when the enemy warlord agrees to cease hostilities in exchange for Lara, she agrees to become the Warprize.







Notable Absence: The Hunger Games Series - I absolutely loved the first two books, but completely despised the last book. I don't think there needed to be a happy ending, but the entire book was completely morose and, by the end, all of the characters had completely changed from the ones I'd fallen in love with. I still suggest people read it, but it is not one I will reread.  


Do you have any suggestions for my next book??

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