It’s still early in this new year, with months and months of reading stretching out ahead of us. And there are lots and lots of great new books coming out this year, which you’ll definitely be hearing about from me. But for now, I want to suggest trying some great new-to-you series. Once you’re hooked by the first book, you have this brand new year to read the rest! Part one of the list is today, part two will be coming shortly.
If you loved Divergent try Enclave by Ann Aguirre – Teens who must make important decisions about how to categorize themselves, check. Excitement and adventure, check. Butt-kicking women, check. Really, Kelly Jensen at Book Riot says it best: “This series is more post-apocalyptic than it is dystopian, but it features many of the same appealing elements as Divergent, including a complex female character who proves herself such within the limited confines of her world.”
If you loved City of Bones try The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan – You’ll have to get this out from one of the other libraries in our system, but it really will be worth the wait. Nick and Alan are always on the run from their mother’s killers, who send demons after the boys to reclaim a charm their mother stole. When siblings Mae and Jamie come to Nick and Alan looking for help, things get complicated. Although there is less romance in The Demon’s Lexicon than City of Bones (there’s still some though!), the demons, the complex and fascinating magical systems in place and the exciting action definitely make the first book in this series a winner.
If you loved The Knife of Never Letting Go try Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi – Like The Knife of Never Letting Go, the world of Ship Breaker is bleak, violent, and poor. Nailer, the main character, must strip down ships and re-sell the parts to survive. Like Todd, Nailer finds a girl mysteriously entering his brutal world, and must decide what to do with her and whether to protect her. As harsh as both dystopian settings can be, I firmly believe if you can handle the absolute gut-wrenching-ness of The Knife of Never Letting Go, you’ll be able to handle whatever Ship Breaker throws at you.
If you loved Matched try Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta – Entangled takes a concept similar to matching to an entirely new level. Cade, who is totally alone in the world with only her guitar for affection or company, is shocked to find out that she was created in a lab to be entangled – intimately linked on a mental, spiritual, and atomic level – with Xan, a boy she has never met. Cade must fight to save Xan and the only chance she’s ever had at real human connection, and figure out her own feelings about love and connection.
Honorable Mentions (aka some good humorous series starters that I couldn’t quite fit in): Bumped by Megan McCafferty; Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock; The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones; Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger; The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde; The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett.