What I’ve Been Reading: 7 Must Read YA Books

I have been reading a lot of great books lately. I think that Daniel thinks I’m crazy because I’ve been walking around hugging books and telling him how great the one I just finished was and reading parts out loud and telling him the latest developments in the stories. He so doesn’t care but he humors me. And I want to say that even though I receive some books for review all my reviews are totally 100% my opinion and all the books I read are ones that I would have borrowed from the library any ways.

So all that is to say my gushing is 100% genuine and trustworthy :) I just don’t want you to think I’m all rosey it just so happens that I’ve been on a ROLL with awesome reads and I definitely want to share them with you. If you want more description just click on the links to see a synopsis of each.

  • Entwined by Heather Dixon – Probably my favorite fairy tale retelling ever. The characters are so strong and interesting it was a tale that had me from beginning to end. If you like stories with hints of magic and historical flair this is great for you. It’s like a Shannon Hale story but better (yup I said it). Also it’s a stand alone so that’s a plus.
  • The Program by Suzanne Young – I just finished this yesterday. I listened to the audiobook which I do any time I can get my hands on that version just since there are SO many books that I want to read and it just lets me read more. For those of you who are audiobookpMay hobic I recommend giving it a shot I was wary until I tried and now I’m hooked. But back to The Program. This is a wonderful fresh dystopian. It’s got things I liked about Matched and Delirium but I think even better. This one just knocked me out with love. In short teen suicide has become an epidemic. To combat it kids are tracked and with any hint of depression they get sent to the program where their memories get taken from them in an attempt to save their lives. Everyone knows someone who has killed himself or who has come back empty from the program. The story is so fun but also I absolutely fell in love with the characters. This kept moving from beginning to end and was great.
  • Transparent by Natalie Whipple – I’m just going to say it. This may be my FAVORITE kid’s with powers book. Seriously it was phenomenal. I’ve been looking forward to hit for a while (which usually leads to a let down) but this stood strong and surpassed my expectations. Really I can’t say enough good things – wonderful friends, cute but not overpowering romance, non-stop action, and just plain fun. I picked this up and couldn’t put it down. It doesn’t come out until  May 21st but you should definitely put it on your library hold or pre-order it (it’s that good). Perfect for Harry Potter and Insignia fans. 
  • If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman – I see these books on must read lists all over and I’m so glad I got to them. They really are wonderful beautifully written stories with so much emotion. The subject matter is rough but it never felt hopeless or suffocatingly heavy like some books can get. I read them without reading what they were about and I actually preferred that. Just trust me pick it up and read.
  • Spellcaster by Claudia Gray – This was the one book I hadn’t read from the bunch who came through at Dark Days but luckily I was able to listen to the audiobook. I really liked it. A fun action filled, new spin on witches with a great contemporary feel. I definitely recommend this to fans of the Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia’s Beautiful Creatures books and the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead.
  • Parallel by Lauren Miller – I know this post is full of gushing already but I can’t help it this book was MADE FOR ME. Really if you interviewed me about all my favorite things you would get this (except maybe fighting but it didn’t even need fighting to steal my heart). It’s like Groundhog’s day but reverse. Every day she wakes up and her YESTERDAYS have changed. It’s a fun mix of awesome philosophical puzzles, fun contemporary and great romance. I’m a sucker for alternate realities and time puzzles so this one really hit home. But even if you’re not a philosophy nerd like me the story is so well told and unique if you have a sci-fi (not creatures just puzzles and time stuff) bone in your body you should pick this up. The closest thing I can think of was Forgotten by Cat Patrick but really this was it’s own awesomeness.

And while these were not to the gush level of the ones above I wanted to mention them

  • Requiem by Lauren Oliver – I was SO nervous about this book mostly because I am a happy ending/epilogue loving girl and I just have read enough of Oliver’s writing that I know she isn’t like that.  I absolutely loved hearing from Hana and the new perspective. It was beautifully written as all of Oliver’s books are and fun but for the the last book in the series there was just not enough resolution for me. I’m glad I read it and enjoyed it but I really wanted more. Also I listened to the audiobook which I definitely recommend.
  •  The Death Cure by James Dashner – I know people adore this book but it was just there for me. It may be that I’m so done with wandering in decrepit crazy people filled cities but this just didn’t do it for me. There was something I liked about The Maze Runner books that kept me reading but I never fell in love and I’m sad to report that this one just didn’t do it for me I was just kind of bored, didn’t care for the characters, and found the ending to be extremely anti-climatic. Those who have read the Kill Order should I check it out? The thing is I kinda like the world I’m very interested in the various twists but the way the story telling for this fell flat for me so I’m wondering if more back story would be fun or if I should skip it.

And to see the unabridged version of what I’ve been reading (and plan on reading) find me on Goodreads


  1. Thanks for posting this! I’m always looking for a good book and love YA books.

  2. I seriously haven’t read a single one of these. Adding them all to my list. I just started Delirium, and I am not sure why. I am LOVING it, but I know how much everyone disliked the last one. Not sure why I am setting myself up for disappointment.

  3. I really need to find time to read! I don’t know how you ever have time to do it with all the sewing you do. :) My son is a big reader, would you recommend any of these for a 9 year old (he’s read all the Harry Potter twice, and the Lightning thief series)?

  4. Thank you for the list. I was just trolling the library website trying to find something to read and not having any luck. Can you say overload sometimes? I am off to see if they have any of these. Thanks so much for your recommendations.

  5. I cannot express my love for Gayle Forman enough, and I’m SO glad that you got around to reading these. Didn’t they make you feel all the feels??

  6. Also, I’ve had Entwined on my TBR list for well over a year now. I think I need to get around to reading it.

  7. I just finished Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas it was really good. I also liked Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph from Robin LaFevers.

  8. Thank you so much! I’ve been looking for some good books!
    PS: Have you read Susan Collins “other books?” They’re called somethings with “Gregor”….

  9. Marissa, I am SO GLAD to know you are a fellow book lover! I love this list, thank you for posting. Can’t wait to get started! I’m addicted to audiobooks, too, btw. :)

  10. i REALLY liked the Kill Order… a lot more than the trilogy. I too liked the Maze Runner the most, though i enjoyed the whole trilogy. But yeah, i thought the Kill Order was pleasantly surprisingly good. If you read it, i’ll be interested to hear what you think. :)

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