Today Molly E. Lee is joining us to answer the age old question…What’s your favorite YA series?
What is your favorite young adult series?
This question is always the hardest.
Wait, scratch that.
When someone asks you to pick your “all-time favorite book” is the hardest question but this is a close second! Picking a favorite book or series is nearly impossible as I tend to fall head over heels in love with new books every week! But, for this post, after some careful consideration, I’ve landed on a solid answer.
My favorite young adult series right now is the A Court of Thornes and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas.
A couple years ago, I was at the bookstore—it was one of those rare times that we were able to go as a family. My husband took the kiddos to their favorite section of picture books and told me to go browse and grab whatever I wanted. He’s pretty romantic like that. Anyway, it was such rare treat to have the time to soak up the covers and blurbs and smells, and naturally, I gravitated straight to the young adult section. It was during this time that I saw an intriguing red cover with an even more interesting back cover copy. I bought it and started reading immediately.
Now, I know this is a fantasy series and that I write contemporary. Contemporary is one of my absolute favorite genres, but I was between deadlines and had a week to read solely for me. That is a rare treat for any writer—I tend to read in the genre I’m writing in order to keep my skills sharp. Learning from all the amazing authors out there is really such a wonderful way to stay on top of your writing game. I chose a fantasy to help shake up my brain. Doing this helps me see characters, plot-twists, and settings in a different way, which also helps me with my own writing while also acting as a mini-vacay, so bonus! Plus, I’m not going to lie, I simply adore anything fantasy and PNR.
As you can guess from the title of this blog, I was immediately hooked. Maas created a fantastic world of characters and a stellar plot that drove the story page after page. I found myself staying up late to read (and with two toddlers that wear me out to the point of exhaustion every day, this was huge) And, luckily for me (since I was late to the Maas game) once I finished A Court of Thrones and Roses, I was able to immediately purchase A Court of Mist and Fury.
This book, y’all.
That book is what sealed the deal for me.
Maas handles so many relatable and realistic topics within her incredible fantasy world. One of which being depression and how it sneaks up on people. How one can seem perfectly content to the outside world and to themselves even, when in reality they are so far from it. Maas delicately handled this topic, unfolding the layers that come with depression over pages and pages of perfectly executed character interactions.
It was heart-wrenching and beautiful and stuck with me. There were so many more themes touched upon—women’s rights, empowerment, and recovery—all so wonderfully done. So well in fact, it was only after I was done reading that I felt the impact of every single thing touched upon, because I’d simply fallen in love with the characters and their journey.
And her characters.
She has an amazing way of shaping them, drawing out their arcs, and making them feel so real and tangible. Not one is perfect. Many are so very flawed. And it was in that regard that I felt the contemporary side of this story—minus the fantasy world—these characters were relatable. They had flaws and made mistakes and had a hard time adjusting to adulthood like so many of us go through. Maas had a character for everyone—ones who were dealing with depression or love or fear or regret or rage—and on and on. It’s in these multifaceted fantasy novels where I believe we find some of the most relatable characters imaginable, despite their unique abilities to fly or make ice from their fingers.
To me, that is what makes a book or series stand out. Pages and words that take the reader away from their real world all while allowing them to experience their own real-life emotions through the character’s journey.
It’s beautifully done and something I strive for in my own work.
I’ve re-read the series several times and each pass has taught me something new about the level of emotion in the series.
I simply adore the way everything was handled. Loved the characters, flaws and all. And I cherish any author who can take the darkness that haunts so many people’s realities, and reach out with it to comfort and soothe and say…you are not alone.
There are so many amazing books out there that do this and shed light on instances that were previously considered taboo. This book world is so wonderfully supportive and united, and I’m honored to be among these authors striving to offer readers an escape, some comfort, and companionship…one page at a time.
Don’t miss your chance to pick up Molly E. Lee’s Love in the Friend Zone for just 99¢ from 8/20 – 8/27!
The only thing worse than not being able to tell your best friend you’re head over heels in love with him? Having to smile and nod when he enlists your help to ensnare the girl of his dreams.
Braylen didn’t even want to go to Lennon Pryor’s epic graduation-night party, but when Fynn begs her to be his “wingwoman,” she can’t deny him. Talking up her BFF—how he’s magic behind a camera, with a killer sense of humor and eyelashes that frame the most gorgeous blue eyes in the history of forever—is easy. Supporting his efforts to woo someone so completely wrong for him? Not so much.
Fynn knows that grad night is his last shot before leaving for college to find true love. And thanks to Bray, he gets his chance with the beautiful Katy Evans. But over the course of the coolest party of their high school careers, he starts to see that perhaps what he really wants has been in front of him all along. Bray’s been his best friend since kindergarten, though, and he’d rather have her in his life as a friend than not at all.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains one epic party, complete with every high-schoolers-gone-bad shenanigan, and two best friends whose sexual chemistry is off the charts…if only they’d succumb to it.