Your Turn: Tell Me About Your Favourite YA SF and Fantasy

Just a quick post today, because (a) it’s my first day back at work after a six-month sabbatical, and (b) we had a huge rainstorm and I got caught in it on my way home, so I’m wiped!

You may have noticed that I post regularly about children’s and YA fiction…but it’s all older stuff. That’s because I’m recalling it from my own days as a young reader. Nowadays I gravitate towards adult SF&F.

But I keep hearing that this is an exciting time in YA SF&F — boundaries are being pushed, topical themes are being explored, and an awful lot of high-quality books are hitting the shelves. YA isn’t just for teens anymore (if it ever was).

I’ve read a little bit of the new and improved YA:

But that list barely scratches the surface. I’d like to read more.

Here’s where you come in. What are your favourite YA SF&F novels from the last five years?



11 responses to “Your Turn: Tell Me About Your Favourite YA SF and Fantasy

  1. I’ve noticed that I haven’t been reading as much YA SFF lately, either–most of my YA reading tends to be straight YA, and the YA SFF has been a bit disappointing lately–a lot of duds. There are a few good ones in the mix, though.

    I really enjoyed Holly Black’s Curse Workers trilogy — White Cat, Red Glove, and Black Heart. Very intense, absorbing, gripping.

    I also /highly/ recommend Jacqueline Carey’s Santa Olivia and Saints Astray–I’m not sure if they’re shelved as YA, but they have teenaged characters and I’ve recommended them to younger readers who’ve loved them.

  2. Victoria, thanks for the recommendations! I’d also love to hear about any non-genre YA you’ve liked recently…a lot of it I’m not interested in, but if you liked a book I probably will too.

  3. Mieka Tilley

    I really love Tamora Pierce. I read her first series, The Song of the Lioness quartet, when I was in junior high and have read just about everything she’s written. Her most recent series, the Beka Cooper series, is set in the distant past of the world of her first series.
    It’s all pretty standard fantasy: magic and knights and evil plots. But with strong female protagonists, something that is often lacking is SFF . . . now I want to read them all again!

  4. Mieka Tilley

    And for old school YA SF you can’t get any better than Monica Hughes.

  5. Mieka, I’m a Monica Hughes fan from way back! Devil on my Back and the Isis trilogy were my favourites. I didn’t discover Tamora Pierce until much later, and by then I think I was too old…though I could see the appeal for my 12-year-old-self!

  6. Welllll, since you asked: My favourite of the non-SFF YA I’ve read recently is Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. It’s stunningly funny and real. (Levithan seems to mellow out Green’s tendency towards shallow storytelling.)

    Mieka: I’m another longtime Tamora Pierce fan. I loved the first two Beka Cooper books, but the third one seemed a bit overlong and plodding to me. 😦 Haven’t read any Monica Hughes, though.

  7. I haven’t read any SF in the last 5 years but I like Jumper by Steven Gould. It’s about a boy discovering his teleporting ability. The book is much better than the movie.

  8. Thanks for the recs, Victoria and Cynthia!

  9. A few years ago I read the “Five Ancestors” series by Jeff Stone and liked it a lot. Great fun with martial arts and mythic China 🙂

  10. Mike, looks interesting…thanks!

  11. K.A. Applegate’s Animorphs.

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