Seven Deadly Wicked YA Books to Read: My Seventh Heaven of YA

{This post written by Madison Ward, Intern}

Photo by  Tom Hermans  on  Unsplash

Photo by Tom Hermans on Unsplash

Time and time again, my sister Kennedy and I discuss which books we believe are superior to all the hundreds of other books we’ve read, but we always find it nearly impossible to decide. How does someone decide what is their favorite song or favorite movie? Each story has its own ‘feel’. Some authors write more flowery-like, some more harsh. Some stories are romance based, some supernatural, some dystopian. Others, like Marvel and DC, compete with friend connections, some with independence.

They all have parts that I love and they all have parts that I despise; they all move me and they all placate me. Entertainment comes in different packages and it just ends up feeling like I am picking my favorite child. There is no number one, or number two, or number ten. They all have their own ‘thing’. The best I can do is grouping and comparing, like this favorite Young Adult (YA) book list. I do have an odd number and there is one more Fantasy/Science Fiction/Dystopian book than the Contemporary/Contemporary Romance section. To me, Fantasy/Science Fiction/Dystopian books are more surprising and cultured because of the ‘other world’ societies they have had to build, but all seven made my list, so that means they were all great, unbiasedly speaking, of course (wink). 

And remember: this list is MY list. My sister’s may be different, my friends’ may be different, but these are the seven YA books that I, in my entire reading career so far, have enjoyed the most and still enjoy to this day. I hope you all enjoy them as well!

Fantasy/Science Fiction/Dystopian

  1. The Summoning (Darkest Powers series)... This book was the second book I ever read from Kennedy’s reading list on my internet tablet. Beginner’s luck! I cannot count the number of times I have re-read this series; I love it. It may have something to do with it having such a strong connection to my first good experiences with reading, but it is also a well thought out series with strong teen characters and ‘dark powers’ no less! Chloe Saunders is fifteen when she starts seeing people that no one else can. It ends up getting her into some trouble and she is soon placed in a troubled teens home with some interesting others that may be more troubled than they originally seem. Who can resist that?! It may be a bit old by now, but age is not a factor for me for reading; I just read it a couple months ago. It definitely makes my top YA book list of my reading lifetime.
  2. Relentless (Relentless series)... I believe I started reading the Relentless series about one or two years ago, but I had been putting it off for a couple before that. When I would look at recommended books on different websites it was usually there, but I just couldn’t push myself to read some random vampire book. Let me tell you this: it is not a vampire series. Seventeen year old Sara Grey has been living with her uncle for two years after her father was murdered. Convinced he was killed by a vampire and knowing herself there are more creatures out there than humans know, she meets a man while out with her two friends and she starts to see that the supernatural society is even more complicated than she realized. It is much, much more than than just some random vampire series, and vampires are hardly the only monster to grace these pages. This series is dynamic and complex with a spectacular female lead that will never cease to entertain. Don’t hesitate to read it.

  3. Demons at Deadnight (Divinicus Nex series)... This series was also recommended to me by my sister and because I trust and love her (for the most part) I read it right away. I was not disappointed. Relentless has characters that constantly entertain, but the Divinicus Nex series takes it to the next level. Not only is the main character amusing, but the friends she meets will keep you coming back for more and more--not to mention the specials talents they all possess. Aurora Lahey is also seventeen and she and her family have just moved back to their hometown after many, many years. So many in fact, she forgot about the group of boys that used to be her best friends growing up. Aurora has been seeing demons for what seems like forever and she has learned to keep it secret, but the boys seem to have secrets of their own and she’s not sure who she can trust when the demon attacks start coming faster and harder to run away from. I have read the first three books of this series, but there is still three more to come and I can hardly wait!.

  4. Shatter Me (Shatter Me series)... Oh. My. Gosh. Shatter Me is like the champagne of dystopian series. I have read the Divergent series, but I have not read the Hunger Games series; however, I will promise you that this series is ten times better--at LEAST--than both of those and all the other ones that you can imagine, combined. The Shatter Me series is my favorite series of all time, which is saying a lot! Juliette is seventeen and she has been locked up for 264 days. Her touch kills people. Literally. Filled with self-hatred and slowly diminishing hope, Juliette finally receives company in the cement prison that has held her captive, but who is this man and can she trust him when even her own family has betrayed her? This series takes place in an apocalyptic-type time, where the sky and earth have become sickly from chemicals and The Reestablishment, a new government, has taken over as humanity's last hope. I may enjoy collections like Divinicus Nex that are truly entertaining in a funny, casual, and comfortable way, but this series is developed, it is mature, and it is a MUST read. Tahereh Mafi may be the most talented writer I have ever come across and that includes you, Shakespeare, and all those other old dudes. Maybe that is just my opinion, but I have had reluctant friends read it, including my mom, and they were blown away. The series is entertaining and intense, along with exquisite character development. Don’t doubt me on this.

Contemporary/Contemporary Romance


  1. Love Me Never (Lovely Vicious series)...Different than almost all of the other books, my sister Kennedy did not really enjoy this one.. She did not connect as well as I did with the writer’s voice and, though I still slightly shun my sister for it, it’s fine. I know not everyone loves the same banter and humor as I do, but if anyone understands my taste it would be Sara Wolf, Love Me Never’s author. Her writing is flipping hilarious and, along with The Summoning series, I re-read this series all the time, although it is not as old as The Summoning. Isis Blake has just moved and been welcomed into a new high school after getting away from her mom’s ex-boyfriend. She and her mom are better off alone and Isis accepts that. She makes random friends here and there, but socializing is more for show than for actual feelings, that’s what she tells herself at least. Soon though, people start tearing down her walls, most of all Jack Hunter, the famous ‘Ice Prince of East Summit High’. This series is both entertaining in the funny, casual way, but also entertaining in the intense, more mature, internal struggling type of way and may cause sensitive readers discomfort, but don’t shy away for that reason! This is my favorite contemporary series.
  2. The Sea of Tranquility... Most GOOD contemporary romances do include sensitive subjects --sorry to break it to you-- and this does sit in that category. Nastya Kashnikov just moved and joined a new school as well and plans to be as antisocial as possible. She has some demons in her past that only leave her mind, enough to even sleep, after running, and so she goes every night. One night she falls upon a garage with a boy inside of it she recognizes from her carpentry class and is drawn enough to keep visiting. The Sea of Tranquility is a harder, more painful book than I usually read. Not that I do not respect actual pain, but because when I read, I read to entertain myself, and sometimes books get so tragic it is hard to just relax. This book did have some of that, but obviously it was amazing or it would not be on this list. This book is very insightful and I think it is a great YA romance to read. So do it!

  3. Vain (The Seven Deadly series)... Vain. Where do I even start? This book is the first in the Seven Deadly series, followed by Greed, Fury, and so on. Each book includes new characters and they are all well done, but the first one is by far my favorite. This book does contain a limited amount of drugs, alcohol, and violence, but it is worth wading through. This series focuses on a group of ‘friends’ who were brought together because their parents are all extremely rich. They party and participate in illegal acts, until the main character, Sophie Price, gets caught and is finally properly punished. Sent to Africa, she must help out at an orphanage until her services are up. A must read for all teenagers, and a highly recommended read for everyone else!

Titles that almost made the list:

  1. Throne of Glass
  2. Immortal Beloved
  3. Night World
  4. Born at Midnight
  5. Stupid Girl
  6. Chase the Dark
  7. Morganville Vampires
  8. Obsidian
  9. Significance
Kristin Shaw