My Favorite YA Series of the Decade

I’ve decided to make a short list of some of my favorite YA series of the decade with no definite number because I didn’t really put much thought into how many I’ve read. But I feel like if you have the time, pick up these series. They may be aimed at younger audiences but there are still themes and topics that we can find relevant to people at any age. So let’s get to it.

Heroes of Olympus – Rick Riordan

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Percy Jackson and the Olympians‘ is my favorite fantasy series of all time even over Harry Potter. The ‘Heroes of Olympus‘ series came out in 2010, but I hadn’t heard of it until 2012, when ‘Mark of Athena‘ came out. I couldn’t help but rush to the nearest bookstore to continue Percy’s story. Initially, I was shocked because Percy the main character of his original series, wasn’t the main character but one of seven. 

The series introduces us to five new main characters that readers grow to love over the course of this series. The series also introduces Roman mythology alongside the established Greek and Egyptian Mythologies from Rick’s previous series (‘Percy Jackson and the Olympians‘ and the ‘Kane Chronicles‘.) The series starts nearly a year after the end of the original Percy Jackson series, with its first book, ‘The Lost Hero’. It follows the adventures of three new characters, Jason, Leo and Piper who find themselves tangled in the center of a mystery that involves themselves and Percy who has gone missing, the Greek Gods and their Roman counterparts.

This series was a great continuation because it allowed the readers of Percy Jackson to continue on with the universe in a slightly more mature series that didn’t stray much from its origins.

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard – Rick Riordan

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You can tell by now that my love for Rick Riordan and all of his books is serious. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard was created after the success of the Heroes of Olympus series. Rick introduces his newest protagonist, Magnus Chase, who is Annabeth’s cousin, whom we were initially introduced to and followed in both the original Percy Jackson series and Heroes of Olympus series. But this series takes place in Boston, where the Norse Gods have taken up residency. We are taken on a wild ride that forces our main hero to interact with the creatures and gods of Norse mythology.

The series is very similar to Percy Jackson and the Olympians, however Rick does attempt different themes. Such as diving in and discussing LGBTQ topics with the character Alex Fierro, the shapeshifter, whose gender can change depending on their mood.

And explores the differences between Percy and Magnus. Magnus is first introduced as a homeless kid that lives on the streets of Boston, he’s naturally chooses not to fight while Percy jumps in and tries to protect everyone himself. So, if you loved Percy Jackson, I recommend Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard.

 

 

Arc of a Scythe Trilogy – Neal Shusterman

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The ‘Arc of a Scythe‘ trilogy has become my single most favorite series of the decade. The trilogy takes place in a future where humans have conquered death. All forms of government have been eradicated and everything is dictated by an evolved version of the cloud, called, the “Thunderhead.” Race and ethnicity are irrelevant except for those that still show some slight leaning in to a particular ancestry. People can no longer die because of the development of a way to be reverted to a younger age. However, the population has increased. “Scythes”, have to perform a nobel gleaning so that humans don’t run out of space.

The series is incredibly intelligent and discusses topics such as morality, human nature, worship, and fanaticism. The two main characters of the series are Citra and Rowan, two teenagers that find themselves thrust into the world of a scythe. Its tense, mysterious, fun and thought-provoking.

 

Throne of Glass Series – Sarah J Maas

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Assassins, kings, princes,knights and a plot for a throne. ‘Throne of Glass‘ has all the makings of a traditional fantasy series, however, led by a fierce female assassin, Celaena Sardothien, who found herself in the middle of a plot to help overthrow a tyrannical leader. The first book, titled, ‘Throne of Glass’ follows Celaena after her imprisonment because of a series of assassinations that terrorized the entire country. She is given an ultimatum by the prince, Dorian that she can either waste away in prison or potentially free herself by becoming one of the king’s private soldiers. To do so, she’d have to win a tournament and face off against other strong opponents, all the while, looking for an assassin that is making their way around the contestants.

There are around seven books in the series and involves everything from action, adventure, romance and everything else you could incorporate in a series. I love it for its simplicity and great characters.

 

Hunger Games Trilogy – Suzanne Collins 

The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset (Paperback Classic Collection)

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Now finally, the biggest name on this list. The ‘Hunger Games” trilogy. Now technically two of the three books in the trilogy came out in the previous decade. However, with the height of the series and the final book’s release in 2010, I can’t help but include the series in this decade’s list. The series was such a massive hit that it eventually got turned into a movie series that propelled rising actress Jennifer Lawrence into stardom. The films also featured stars such as, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks.  

The books follow the main character, Katniss Everdeen, a girl in a dystopian future after a great war destroyed most of America. And in its wake exists twelve districts and one capital. She lives in district twelve, with her mother who is suffering from the trauma of her husband’s death and her younger sister Primrose Everdeen. Every year the twelve districts are forced to offer one boy and one girl as tribute who will then be sent to the capital. From there they are to fight to the death in front of the entire nation in a game called, “The Hunger Games”.

After Primrose’s name is drawn from the potential tributes, Katniss offers herself instead and thus begins the events of the book that will eventually lead to a great revolution in their world. The book is told in the perspective of Katniss, so the reader is allowed to see the world through her eyes and where she struggles with her family, being offered as a tribute to entertain the pompous and flamboyant people of the capital and most importantly, trying to survive.

These books are a tense and wild ride that I would suggest everyone read because it tackles topics like trauma, stress, capitalism, imperialism and colonialism.  

Some Honorary Mentions: 

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor

Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth

YA series are a fun sub-genre, they have an ability to reach readers across a wider audience, while also discussing deep topics. It will continue to be popular, and for that we should continue to enjoy them as they come.

 

 

Featured Image via Read Riordan

 


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