23 Must-Read Books for Fans of High Fantasy, Twilight, D&D and More!

Dragons, magic, rabbit holes, medieval battles and vampires, OH MY! In recent weeks, fans of the fantasy genre have been thrilled to get their hands on a new book set in The Hunger Games universe, and excited for an announcement of a new Twilight novel to come. If you, like me, have already finished The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes and are looking for your next read while waiting for Midnight Sun, look no further! Check out some of the fantasy novels other booklovers just like you are recommending on HPB.com.

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The Starless Sea
“Like an adult Alice in Wonderland. Such an adventure from start to finish. Really captivating and unique, like an adult version of Alice in Wonderland. There’s mystery and romance and fantasy…really good for anyone who likes any sort of genre book! Definitely a new favorite.” Continue reading

Celebrate Sister’s Day! Top Six Sisters of Young Adult Literature

Have you ever hated someone with every last shred of your being, and then two hours later giggled with her until you both fell on the floor laughing? Have you ever simultaneously felt extreme jealousy, utter exasperation, fierce protectiveness, and undying allegiance toward one person? Yes? Let me guess: you have a sister. No matter how much sisters may argue and clash as kids, there are few people who will ever know as much about you or understand as completely where you’re coming from (literally) as a sister, and when you look back in life it’s hard to deny the extreme fortune of growing up with those built-in best friends. Let’s celebrate the inimitable sister-sister relationship by looking at our picks for the top six sisters of Young Adult Literature:

  

 

 

 (1) Laura, Mary, & Carrie Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie) (2) Meg, Jo, Beth, & Amy March (Little Women) (3) Jessica & Elizabeth Wakefield (Sweet Valley Twins/Sweet Valley High Series) (4) Beezus & Ramona Quimby (Beezus & Ramona) (5) Katniss & Prim Everdeen (The Hunger Games) (6) Kristy Thomas & Karen Brewer (The Baby-Sitters Club & Baby-Sitters Little Sister Series)

Of course, there are hundreds of other examples of sisters in literature (especially when you open it up to the brother-sister dynamic), and then there are those real-life sisters who actually created literature – such as English novelists Charlotte, Emily, & Ann Brontë, and the abolitionist Grimke sisters. Every sister (real or fictional) has her own story to tell about what it means to fill that special role.

Who are your favorite sisters of literature (YA or otherwise)? Jane Austen’s 5 Bennet sisters? William Shakespeare’s Katherine and Bianca? Eleanor Brown’s Weird Sisters? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Sister’s Day (August 5) to all those sisters out there!

— Kate

Countdown to Summer: 4 Dystopian Young Adult Series

The Hunger Games trilogy has made way for a whole host of new dystopian teen fiction series to be published, much in the same way that Twilight did for paranormal romance. The dystopian series generally don’t have as much romance, but a lot more action and therefore tend to be more appealing to both boys and girls of all ages (yes, adults too!). Next time you’re in HPB, be on the lookout for some of these series for either you or your kids.
 
In the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth, 16-year-old Beatrice, a.k.a. Tris, discovers that she is not like the rest of the people in dystopian Chicago. Instead of being chosen for one of five factions – Candor (the honest), Erudite (the intelligent), Amity (the peaceful), Dauntless (the brave), and Abnegation (the selfless) – like the rest of the population, she is worthy of three: Erudite, Dauntless, and Abnegation. At the choosing ceremony, she chooses to be part of the Dauntless faction, while her brother chooses a rival. Tris then has to go through the Dauntless initiation process, where she discovers that her world isn’t as perfect as she once thought. Divergent makes way for the next book in the series, Insurgent, which was just published in May.
 
The beginning of The Maze Runner series, by James Dashner, starts with a boy named Thomas awakening in an elevator, remembering absolutely nothing but his first name. Once the doors open, he discovers that he is not alone. He is surrounded by other boys who were also dumped in an elevator with no memory. The very next day, something even more peculiar happens and a girl arrives. Every day they run through the maze, hoping to find the end so that they can escape this unknown place and discover who they really are and where they came from. if you didn’t get enough of your questions answered by the last novel The Death Cure, a prequel to the trilogy, The Kill Order, is scheduled for release in August. It is expected to shed some light on to how the world became such a dark and terrible place. Check out a sneak peek at the cover art and an excerpt from the book courtesy of USA Today.
 
Delirium by Lauren Oliver starts out in a dystopia U.S. where love has been banned. The government claims that love is a disease, or a “deliria” for which a surgical cure has been discovered. It is required that everyone receives this cure once they turn 18. Shortly before she is scheduled to have the operation, Lena falls in love with a man who has not had the cure. Because of this change in Lena, she decides not to have the procedure and to escape instead. Lena goes to live in “The Wilds,” where she encounters a whole new set of challenges. The next book in the trilogy, Pandemonium, was recently published, and the third book, Requiem is expected to be published in February 2013. There are also whispers of a “Delirium” movie adaptation.
 
The Legend series by Marie Lu, is the quintessential dystopian thriller for teens. Also set in a dystopian America,  a.k.a. The Republic, Legend features a rich and beautiful 15 year old girl named June, who is destined for the military, and Day, the country’s most wanted criminal. Day becomes a prime suspect for the murder of June’s brother, and they meet only to discover that they are not each other’s true enemies. The Republic is hiding secrets The next book in the series, Prodigy is expected to be published in January 2013.

Want some more adventure? Stay tuned for the next “Countdown to Summer” reading recommendations — 4 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Teen Fiction Series. And if you missed the last one, jump back to see 4 Vampire Romance Teen Fiction Series to try this summer.

— Kristen B.

P.S. Get rewarded for your extracurricular reading! Kids 14 and under can earn $5 HPB Back-to-School Bucks during the Feed Your Brain® Summer Reading Program. Pick up your reading log at your local HPB today to get started!