So a lot of things have happened in the past decade.* Like, we honestly went from Hannah Montana to modern day, gender fluid Miley Cyrus and okay I’m kinda diggin’ it?
But for real, so much has changed! And, in my opinion, most of it has been for the better. I mean, just look at the state of YA literature. We’ve started to (finally!) move towards more diverse books and opened the doors for #ownvoices authors. We went from love triangle Cassie Clare books to books where she has an openly polyamorous throuple! We left the “girls in gowns” cover trend in the past and have moved on to gorgeous illustrated covers!
So, it’s clear we’ve made some progress, though we’ve definitely got miles to go! But nevertheless there are still some absolutely unforgettable books and series from the past decade! And today I’m here to celebrate my favorites…
*And oh my god I cannot believe it’s the end of the freakin decade?!!!! Like, where did it all go?!!!
T O P 1 0 B O O K S O F T H E 2 0 1 0 S
The An Ember in the Ashes Series by Sabaa Tahir
✎ What It’s About: A rebel disguised as a slave-girl, a soldier questioning the cause, and a loyal soldier navigate the ups and downs of a martial empire which has been thrown into political turmoil and may be on the brink of collapse.
♥ Why I Loved It: Are you looking to have your heart ripped out over and over and over again? Or perhaps you just want a good ol’ anxious sobbing meltdown session to release all that tension you’ve been holding in? Then, boy oh boy, is this the series for you! I’ll admit is: the first book was just on the upper side of average for me, but by book two, Tahir had me hooked BIG TIME! A pulse-pounding, heart-wrenching, action filled adventure full of intrigue and moral complexity, the An Ember in the Ashes series has claimed my heart. Definitely put this series on your “must read” list!
The Daevabad Trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty
✎ What It’s About: A Cairo conwoman accidentally summons a djinn warrior and finds herself at the center of an ancient djinn conflict.
♥ Why I Loved It: Oh, would ya look at that! Another series that’ll leave you screaming in agony which I consider my all-time favorite! Coincidence? I think not! The Daevabad Trilogy absolutely takes the cake for most intense emotional rollercoaster I’ve experienced at the hands of literature. And I’m a sucker for it. If you enjoy complex, action-packed books full of political intrigue all sprinkled with a hint of romance, then check this series out!
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
✎ What It’s About: An ambitious, bisexual, Cuban starlet’s rise to fame in the 1950s and the marriages and affairs she had throughout her life.
♥ Why I Loved It: Where to begin? The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is perhaps the most inspiring fiction book I’ve read in my adult life. Yes, it’s a good story, full of drama and romance and heart-wrenching moments, but more than that, the characters just grab your heart and won’t let go. The number of times I’ve thought to myself, “What would Evelyn Hugo do?” since reading this book is innumerable. It sounds dramatic, but I’d be lying if I said this book hasn’t changed me as a person. And I can’t think of a higher recommendation than that. So yeah. Read this book.
The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
✎ What It’s About: In a Russian inspired fantasy world, a seemingly ordinary young woman discovers she has the power to decide the fate of an epic war between light and dark.
♥ Why I Loved It: This is an OG Young Adult trilogy and I think when people read it now, they often forget that many of the tropes in the book that they now see as tired and overused were pretty new on the market at this series’ time of publication and that for a YA author of that time, Bardugo really played with readers’ expectations. But I digress. I read the Shadow and Bone trilogy in 2014 and just fell completely in love! The trilogy is a great “classic YA” fantasy, with tons of adventure and magic and a sprinkling of romance. It’s a super fun time and many of the characters are incredibly compelling and endearing. Definitely put this series on your TBR if you want a fun time!
Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
✎ What It’s About: Kady and Ezra are mid-breakup when their small planet is attacked, launching them into a galactic corporate war, complete with deadly plagues and zombies plus a crazy AI.
♥ Why I Loved It: Um, hello?! Space zombies and a crazy AI?! What’s not to love?! But for real, this book is an action-packed whirlwind of a ride! And! Even cooler is the format and the audio edition! The Illuminae Files is a “mixed media” series, which basically means it’s not your standard text, but rather is filled with “digital” files like video transcripts, spaceship maps, diary entries, and more! And the auduiobook is equally as good with a full cast and incredible sound effects! From what I’ve heard, the best way to take this series in is to listen to the audiobook while reading the physical text. Regardless of what route you go, this is a series you don’t want to miss!
The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor
✎ What It’s About: A blue hair girl in Prague has been raised by a demon, who she works collecting teeth for. She soon discovers she’s part of a conspiracy larger than she could’ve imagined.
♥ Why I Loved It: Apart from the fact that the story of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy is absolutely enchanting, Taylor’s gorgeous prose and writing just takes the series to an entirely new level. Imaginative and entrancing, this series will will take your breath away! With star-crossed romance, action, adventure, magic, and more, this trilogy deserves to be a must-read for anyone and everyone!
The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski
✎ What It’s About: When a noblewoman buys a slave, the pair find themselves at the center of a brutal conflict that will test them like they’ve never been tested before.
♥ Why I Loved It: This is a quiet, elegant, yet intense trilogy and that’s part of why I enjoy it so much. It’s pages are full of intrigue and betrayal and the book keeps you on edge, wondering what’s next. All of the characters are morally gray and you find yourself simultaneously rooting for the to win and rooting for them to fail. If you’re looking for a book that’ll keep you gripped, pick this one up!
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (The Rise of an Empress Duology #1) by Julie C. Dao
✎ What It’s About: An East Asian inspired, fantasy retelling of the origin story of the Evil Queen from Snow White.
♥ Why I Loved It: Do you want a delightfully diabolical story starring an unabashedly ambitious and terrifyingly evil young woman? Well, honey, this is the book for you! I loved everything about this book, from the East Asian inspired setting to the fairy tale-esque storytelling and magic and the undeniably wicked main character! This book kept me hooked from beginning to end and I can’t give it a high enough recommendation!
The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
✎ What It’s About: In Victorian London, a young woman finds herself thrust into a mysterious, supernatural world full of monsters, paranormal creatures, and devilishly dashing demon hunters.
♥ Why I Loved It: I think this this definitely the Cassandra Clare series that made most people fall in love with her Shadowhunters world and I gotta say: there’s a reason why. This series will have you alternating between being on the edge of your seat and swooning! It’s romantic and dark and just all-around amazing. My recommendation is if you’re looking to start anywhere with Cassandra Clare’s (numerous) works, start here!
✎ What It’s About: A magical, romantic, epic retelling of Shahrazad from the famed Arabian Nights.
♥ Why I Loved It: Okay so I may be a tad biased since Shahrzad has been my favorite fairy tale since I was a kid, but even so, this dulogy is amazing! With a smart, brave, independent heroine and a romance that is The Romance To End All Romances, the The Wrath and the Dawn duology absolutely kills it in every way! Ahdieh’s goegeous writing is icing on the cake in this delectable fantasy and she masterfully paints elegant scenes before readers’ eyes. I could rave forver about this series but I’ll boil it down to this: read the book asap!
T E L L M E A L L A B O U T I T
- What are your favorite books from the past decade?
- What do you think of my choices? Do you agree or disagree?
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