Hello again! I hope you’re having a wonderful day today 🙂 Today (after a long break), I’m back with another YA Recommendations post! I thought what better time to resume this series than now, when many of us are getting back into reading as a result of all the extra time alone and at home. I’m someone who sometimes gets intimidated by long commitments, thinking twice about starting a show that’s say, eight seasons long, or a book series that’s over five books long, because I’m nervous I’m 1) going to get sucked in and let it take over my life until I’ve finished it, or 2) going to get bored and not finish it at all (I’m working on the self-discipline thing). Trilogies are kind of the perfect in-between for me: I get many of the joys of getting to know the characters at a deeper level than can be done in a single book, yet I don’t have to put in a very extended amount of time. That said, here are my top five favorite trilogies (one from every popular YA genre I could think of). I hope you enjoy and either relate to how much I love these books, or find a new trilogy to enjoy that suits your interests 🙂
Disclaimer: Two of these trilogies are now quartets, but I read them when they were *supposedly* completed trilogies, so I’m counting them as such!
1. legend by marie lu [dystopia]
This trilogy definitely deserves all of the hype it got in back in 2011, and it remains one of my favorites to this day. It takes place in a futuristic United States (now called the Republic) and follows June Iparis, a military prodigy, and Daniel (Day) Wing, the Republic’s most wanted criminal. Each book is beautifully written, well paced, engaging, and exciting. I think Lu did an amazing job creating a realistic universe, multidimensional characters (that I became way too attached to), and riveting dialogue. Also, I have to bring up the unique aesthetic appeal of the paperbacks–Day’s viewpoints are always written in the color prominent on the cover (gold for Legend, blue for Prodigy, red for Champion).
2. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han [romance]
You’ve most likely heard of this book, or at least the Netflix movie adaptations, after all the hype it’s been getting the last two years. It follow Lara Jean Song (honestly, she’s basically me but in another body) and how her life unfolds after the letters she’s written to every guy she’s ever loved (for the purpose of getting over them) get mysteriously sent to them. I read this series a couple of years ago, and it really stood out to me because unlike most of the other romance-focused novels I’ve read, it deals with issues that aren’t addressed in YA too often such as culture clash, growing up biracial in the United States, and shifting family dynamics over time. On top of that, it’s written by an Asian-American author, which I think makes it a pretty cool, diverse read.
3. the infernal devices by cassandra clare [fantasy]
Most of you have probably heard of Cassandra Clare and The Mortal Instruments, but this series holds a special place in my heart, primarily because it introduced me to my beloved William Herondale (if you go way back to my 2017 posts you can find some rants/playlists about how much I love him). TMI follows Tessa Gray, a New Yorker who finds herself in London and tangled up in the Shadow World (a world normal humans, or mundanes, can’t see) and its Shadowhunters (demon hunters), as a result of her pursuit to find her missing brother. I love that it takes place in Victorian London (my favorite time period to read about). I would still say it’s more urban fantasy than historical fiction (which is why it’s on this list) though because it doesn’t have a strong emphasis on historical elements, but the setting makes it a more unique fantasy series. Its main strength, in my opinion, is the character development–Clare does an amazing job of delving into each primary character, and many of the character arcs serve as all-too important reminders to not immediately judge books–or people–by their covers.
4. when dimple met rishi by sandhya menon [contemporary]
When Dimple Met Rishi was the first book written by an Indian-American author that I read, and it’s hard to even describe the impact it had on me. Reading a book where the protagonist look like you, comes from a similar background, and faces similar struggles may seem like nothing special to most people, but it was a first for me. Because of that, this book will always hold a special place in my heart. Although there were many parts I definitely couldn’t relate to (e.g. having an arranged marriage, getting into Stanford, etc.) it did represent a lot of the cultural issues I face being as an Indian-American teenager, and I recommend everyone read this book because not only does it represent one of the most underrepresented communities in YA, it’s a beautifully written, funny, and romantic piece of young adult literature. I haven’t read the remaining two books in the trilogy yet, but I’m hoping to over the next month 🙂
5. last survivors by susan beth pfeffer [science fiction]
Thinking about reading this series still gives me chills, even though I read the first book way back in middle school. Basically, a meteor knocks the moon closer to earth, which has disastrous consequences for life on the planet (obviously). It was an exploration of how humanity deals with crises, and although scary, definitely worth exploring and thinking about. It was told through the protagonist Miranda’s journal entries, and felt frighteningly realistic and gripping, as survival stories often are. It’s definitely very different from the mainstream YA dystopian/sci-fi, and I would recommend this to anyone looking for something more pure sci-fi with The 100–esque vibes. (Fair warning, it does get pretty dark and graphic as the series progresses).
Let me know down below if you’ve read any of these books or have any other YA trilogies you’d like to recommend; I’d love to hear your thoughts and hear about some new trilogies to get into while in quarantine 🙂
As always, sending you lots of love and support, and hoping you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy during this difficult time. <3 Feel free to shoot me a DM on instagram @book.noted, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment down below to talk about anything at all!
Thanks so much for reading!