1. The Mortal Instruments By Cassandra Clare
(And the spin offs: The Infernal Devices & The Dark Artifices!)
This is my number one pick for this genre. Every time one of her books comes out I consume them in a day or two no matter what the length. It’s a testament to her writing style and ability to keep the reader engaged.
The Mortal Instruments is my favorite of the Shadowhunter world, but Infernal Devices and The Dark Artifices are a close second and third.
What makes these books so great is the world building Cassandra Clare has created. She makes you want to be a Shadowhunter! She has strong female leads that can take care of themselves. Sure, there’s a bit of the “help, save me, boyfriend” syndrome, but mostly, the female characters are the ones doing the saving, and that’s something I can get behind.
Freeform airs the TV show version and it’s going into its third season. Personally, I feel like the show went off the rails a bit. It helps to think of it as an alternate universe, not as good, but good enough. The actors are great, anyway!
But I definitely recommend the books!
2. Bloodlines (spin off of The Vampire Academy Series) by Richelle Mead.
Yes, I know Bloodlines is the spin-off of the Vampire Academy series, but I like it better. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Vampire Academy books! Rose is one of the best and baddest characters in the teen/paranormal genre, but Sydney is my girl. And don’t get me started on Adrian! (Though to be fair, his self-loathing can get on my nerves a bit, especially when it endangers other characters!) But I love the guy, I can’t help it. Spirit users have a harder life, right?!
Another amazing world builder, Richelle Mead creates a whole new spin on vampires. Throw in some good teen drama and you have a recipe for a nail-biting-love-story-crazy-ride. I plowed through these books very quickly as well.
The reason I love Bloodlines more than Vampire Academy is that I find the Alchemists so interesting, especially at how they fit into the vampire world. It’s a fascinating dynamic that the Alchemists clean up vampire’s messes, yet they hate all vampires, even the good ones. I’d go into the differences of vampires in this series, but it would take too long. To sum it up briefly: Moroi vampire = good, Strigoi vampire = bad. One has a soul and the other doesn’t. Moroi are mortal and Strigoi are immortal.
I love the fact that Sydney learns magic as well. I’m always a sucker for girls with superpowers and magic is my favorite power. (Willow all the way!)
I highly recommend reading both Vampire Academy and Bloodlines. In fact, Bloodlines wouldn’t be as good if I hadn’t read the Vampire Academy books first, so if you’re going in, you should probably start with the first series. You won’t be disappointed and you can look forward to reading Bloodlines later on.
3. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer.
I know, I know. I get such a hard time for liking the Twilight series! But as much criticism as they get, they’re highly entertaining books! And if you love this genre, chances are pretty high that you’ll love these books too.
Like the others, I read these really fast. In the first couple of books, Bella, definitely gets rescued a lot from the men in her life, but by the fourth book, she kicks some butt. To be fair, in the earlier books she's a human against vampires, and there's not much a normal teenage girl can do to fight a super-being (unless you have superpowers yourself!). But as a vampire, her powers end up saving them all, so it evens out.
Another reason the Twilight Series is in my top three is because this was the first time I had ever read books from this genre before. I was mainly a fantasy/sci-fi kind of girl, but the series was recommended to me by one of my favorite people in the whole world (I’m looking at you, Ruby!), so I gave it a shot. I wasn’t disappointed and the books actually inspired me to write my own series, The Riser Saga. Basically, the Riser books would most likely not exist if I hadn’t read Twilight, so I’m grateful for that!
I'm a writer of YA fiction, fiction, comics, television and movies. I try to make all my stories full of jumbly goodness :-)