Since 2000 there has been an explosion of Young Adult novels that have been released. These Young Adult novels have changed the movie industry as well as the book industry. These book series have encouraged kids to read more and has encouraged their imagination to grow.
Young Adult series novels aren’t like book series written for adults. These tend to have more fantasy in them and they can be read by not just adults but all ages. That’s what makes these books better because even adults read them and become passionate about them.
Here is a list of my top 10 books series that have been released since 2000. Most of which you will know and probably have read and loved. Some are book series that are becoming popular and might be worth the read.
#10 – Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
This is more of my ‘indie’ favorite. It’s an author that is relatively unknown but has been around for a little while. The Shiver trilogy is her first big work and the success has led to her success with the Raven Boys trilogy that she is currently writing.
It’s a story about werewolves, but not the giant beast kind that we saw in movies or in other books. These wolves are actual wolves. It centers around Grace who gets attacked by wolves when she is a young kid, but miraculously she doesn’t become infected with the ‘wolf’ gene. A wolf named Sam becomes almost obsessed with her since the day that he saved her from the attack, but not in a creepy way.
The relationship between Sam and Grace is very real and you can feel it jump off the page. It’s one of those love stories that has so many levels and the story is not actually about the love story. While the relationship between Sam and Grace was the main focus in moving the story, I think it was the struggle between who we are and who we want to be that really attracted me to the story.
The story of the wolves is considered a fantasy but I like it consider it a realistic fantasy. Yes it doesn’t exist, but it could exist and that possibility is very enticing in a story.
#9- Kayden & Callie Series by Jessica Sorensen
It is only a 2-book series, but it’s going to have probably a 2-book spin off of two other characters in the book. The story is told from both Kayden’s and Callie’s point of views as they meet, fall in love, and let that love help them deal with the demons of their past/present and learn to move on together.
Kayden has had/still has a rough upbringing. His father abuses him and his mother lets him. He doesn’t know how love anything and doesn’t think that he deserves it. Cassie was raped when she was 12 and she has been struggling with it ever since.
It’s a great story of these two meeting and falling in love. Their relationship forces them to confront everything they are afraid of and their love makes them strong enough to do it. It’s a very real story and it doesn’t shy away from the bad things in life.
Sorensen develops the characters in a way where it’s subtle but real. It’s not rushed and she shows that not everything can be done overnight. There are setbacks to recovery and that is in the story. I really enjoyed the characters and the story and it proves that love can heal all wounds.
#8 – Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
This series kind of snuck up on me. I had started reading it because it was being advertised at my library and the cover looked cool. 2 days later, I find myself wanting more. It involves religion and angels, being brought up Catholic, this kind of story interested me. I always loved angels and was interested to read a book about it.
This book came out at a time when vampires and werewolves and other creatures were popular, which is another reason why I liked it. The story has been done before: forbidden love, but this story is a little different. Patch is not like your everyday hero and Nora is certainly not like your everyday heroine.
This book is different then the other Young Adult books because it involves Angels. It has that forbidden love story but it’s a different kind. Patch and Nora are great as the characters in the story and I love the way that they are together. It’s a sweet romance as Patch changes his ways and does everything he can to protect the girl that he loves.
#7 – The Breathing Trilogy by Rebecca Donovan
This book series started as an e-book for Amazon and just was released as a hard copy this past June, and for good reason.
I had gotten this on my Kindle because was the best sold book for like 2 straight weeks and with it being only 99 cents at the time, I thought I’d give it a try. And it was one of the best purchases I ever made.
The story is about a girl named Emma who lives in a house where her aunt beats her, constantly. And unlike some of the other Young Adult novels, you read about the abuse and how it affects her in her everyday life.
The book grabs you right in the first chapter and never lets you go. It’s an amazing journey watching the lead character learn to grow from her abusive past and become a strong woman who is capable of loving someone and being loved in return.
The tale is gritty and emotional ride that will have you crying and laughing. The characters are so real and relatable that you will be talking to the book like they are actually real.
My favorite part of the story is Emma’s relationship with Evan. He falls for her almost instantly and he is so patient with her. It is his love that gives Emma her life back and the strength to be happy in her life. Of course there are bumps along the road in any relationship, but they stay true to one another and always try to do what’s best for the other, even if it’s not.
#6- The Thoughtless Trilogy by S.C. Stephens
The story centers around Kiera who moves across country to Seattle Washington with her boyfriend Denny. They move in with his friend, Kellan, and the instant that Kellan and Kiera see each other, sparks fly and drama ensues.
A lot of people don’t like this kind of love story series because there is cheating involved, but I liked it. Not all relationships start with the ‘eye contact’ across the room and instantly fall in love. Some happily ever afters are ugly at the beginning but grow to something beautiful, like this story.
Kellan has a lot of demons that he keeps inside and Kiera thinks little of herself, but when they are together, they make each other better. They have their own tough road as they have to learn to trust each other while Kellan follows his dream of being a musician and Kiera being a writer.
The story is just so sweet and the characters are realistic. They get upset over stupid things, joke around with one another, and talk like it’s a real relationship. I like those stories more because they are realistic. Some love stories are farfetched that it’s just funny to read and it’s not really enjoyable.
#5- Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
This series has probably some of the most passionate fans, whether it be love or hate, out there. For every fan that loves the book series and defends it, there is a person out there who hates and wants to bring it down every chance they get. It’s hard to know if the haters came because of the film adaptation or if they would have been there regardless.
The story is one that’s been told many times, the story of forbidden love and with a small love triangle involved, despite it being pretty obvious that Edward and Bella were going to end up together.
Vampire and werewolves love stories have always been popular because of the way that they are usually described in stories. They are the most beautiful, passionate creatures who love fiercely and have an element of danger because they aren’t humans.
When this book came out, it started off great. The first Twilight book was very enjoyable to read, albeit a little cheesy, but sometimes the best love stories are a little sappy.
#4- The Mortal Instruments/The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
These two book series are clumped together because they are essentially linked. They are about the same thing but with different core characters.
I started reading these books based on the recommendations on my Amazon account and it didn’t disappoint. I read the five books in one weekend, which is saying something considering how long they are.
The Mortal Instruments follow around a teenage girl named Clary who thinks she has a pretty normal life with her best friend Simon. After witnessing a group of other teens kill who she thinks is another human, her world gets turned upside down.
She meets Jace and he introduces her to a world of vampires, werewolves, and other worldly creatures. She learns that she is the key to helping the Shadowhunters take down the creatures that are trying to take over the world.
The Infernal Devices is about a girl named Tessa who goes to England to visit her brother but when she gets there, she learns that her brother is kidnapped and she is forced to marry a man because she is ‘special’. Tessa quickly learns what makes her special but she doesn’t know why her powers are so important to this mystery man.
She gets saved by these Shadowhunters who promise to protect her from this man. During the war, she falls in love with both Jem and Will and she struggles with her feelings why trying to help save the world.
Both books series have a lot of action, drama, comedy, and a little bit of romance that make them fun to read. The storylines have been thought out completely and I love it when the books come full circle because it makes you pay closer attention when reading. Cassandra Clare did an amazing job at creating this world inside our world and it’s fun to watch them protect us ‘Mundanes’.
#3- Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth
This book has been quietly been moving up the ranks with the Young Adult readers. A lot of people are comparing this book to Hunger Games, in the idea that it’s about a government controlling a society that is divided up into sections. A female hero rises to the challenge, and leads the rebellion against said government.
That’s pretty much where the similarities end.
This story has a lot of action and fast-paced scenes with a great love story to soften the rough edges of plot. Tris is a very frustrating character to follow but that’s what makes her so fun to read. You never know what she’s going to do next. The character of Tris is one of my favorites that I’ve read because she’s very complex and frustrating. I’ve found myself a few times yelling at my Kindle for some of the things she’s did, but I think that’s the point.
There is still one book left in the series set to come out in October with the film adaptation set to start coming out in 2014, it’s going to be at least a few more years of having this series around.
#2- The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
When I first heard about this book, I thought the same thing that probably everybody else thought: kids killing a kid, that’s just horrible. And it really is. For that reason, I stayed away from reading the series, not sure that I could read kids killing kids (because I always hated when the kids were the bad guy in anything I read or saw). It wasn’t until my college advisor told me about that got me to read. And I ended up reading all three books in a weekend.
The story is not about kids killing kids. That’s only a small aspect, a spark (pun intended) for the entire series. It’s about fighting against something that is wrong. It’s about standing up for what’s right, even if you don’t think that you can.
The heroine of the story, Katniss, is one of the best characters that I’ve read about. She is very complex and interesting and it’s amazing watching as she grows up in the three books. She goes from the young girl forced to grow up at a young age to take care of her sister, to being thrust into the limelight and leading the rebellion against the capital.
It was a nice change of pace having a female hero rather than the male-dominated hero that we usually see. In many books where there is a female lead, it’s story where love or romance is the main topic. This series showed that a female character can be the hero and can be successful as the hero.
#1- Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
This book series helped paved the way for other book series to be adapted to the big screen. Including The Lord of the Rings, Twilight, and The Hunger Games—all book successful book adaptations.
This book series changed not only the book industry, but also the movie industry. The series taught us a lot of life lessons and the importance of friendship and bravery and fighting against evil. The one-liners in the book stay with you because they are powerful and mean something (like my favorite from Book 1 when Dumbledore talks to Harry about the Mirror Erised: ‘It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live’).
While technically the first book came out in 1997, I think this series should qualify as a 2000 book series because the other 6 books came out in the 2000s and also this was the time when the book exploded. This book series changed the way people read books and it set the standard for pretty much every young adult novel to come out since. This is the series you compare it to and it’s highly unlikely that anything will compare to it. This is the only book series where it has an entire theme park dedicated to it and has dominated not only the books entertainment, but also the movies. It is currently the highest grossing film franchise of all-time.