Monday, October 5, 2015

Librarian's Favorite Books: Young Adult Action Series by Mary Ellen Valverde (

As a librarian, one of the questions I get asked often is, “Do you get to read books all day?” Unfortunately, the answer is no, but after receiving the question a number of times, I thought I would write a post on what my favorite type of books are when I do get a chance to read during my personal time.

It may sound weird to some people but some of my favorite books are usually YA (young adult) action fiction - specifically any that have sequels, trilogies, or more. I can really get into these because I feel like I get to know the characters and stories if there are a number of books in the series.

Although nothing can surpass my undying love for Harry Potter, over the past few years I’ve been reading more action or adventure based teen fiction. My first foray into this type of book was The Hunger Games (which I’m sure many of you have read, seen the movies, or at least heard about). After reading The Hunger Games, I was surprised by how much I liked them and wanted to find more books like that series.

I know classes just started but if you find the time and enjoyed The Hunger Games, I thought you might like a few other recommendations for book series in the same genre. Here are some of my favorites:

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Divergent - You may have heard of this series that is set in post-apocalyptic Chicago because they started making movies based on them but I really recommend reading the books. I actually love reading books and then going to see the movie… then complaining about the movie because the book was so much better. This series is my second favorite after The Hunger Games. For more info check out this summary.

Maze Runner - The first book in the series was especially good. I think I probably read it in one or two sittings because the premise was so different. A bunch of teen boys wake up with no memories and are trapped in a field surrounded by a maze from which they cannot escape.

The Testing - This series is about a post-war society that selects the best new graduates to become possible leaders of its slowly revitalizing civilization. All students want to be able to pass the test but they do not know the horrors in store for them if they are chosen.

The Looking Glass Wars -  The basic premise of the stories is that the books written by Lewis Carroll are a distortion of the “real story” of Alice (or in these books “Alyss”). It was very interesting especially because I read Lewis Carroll’s books as a child and was fascinated by all the characters. I think the author, Frank Beddor, does a good job re-imagining these characters.

When looking for books that could be in the same genre of books I have enjoyed in the past, I check out GoodReads for recommendations. On Amazon, I also use the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” for other suggestions.

Two other YA series that I have heard good things about are The Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Legend if you’d like to check them out as well.

Have you read any of these series? Have any other recommendations for me?

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