Summer Reading Picks

Reviews of popular YA series for easy summer reading


The Cruel Prince Series

Author: Holly Black

Genre: Fantasy

Plot: Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered, she and her two sisters were taken to live in the High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong in Faerie, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans, especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. To win a place at the Court, she must defy him and face the consequences. In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deception, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as a civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself with the help of her enemy.

Rating: 4.3/5 The Cruel Prince Series is a good read if you want to read something a little different and not realistic. The books really focus on Jude but they also show the difference between her world and the real world when she goes back and forth a few times.

The Red Queen Series

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance

Plot: Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own. To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and plans to marry her off to his youngest son, Maven. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

Rating: 4.9/5 This is probably one of my favorite book series of all time. The first book does start out a little slow but later in the series it does get better. There are some sad scenes, deaths, and cliffhangers between books but it’s a great series. 

The Selection Series

Author: Kiera Cass

Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult, Romance

Plot: A group of girls from across the country compete for a chance to live amongst the wealthy, where a rebellion is brewing. For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime and provides an opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering crowns and priceless jewels. America Singer is forced to participate in the competition to help her family stay alive, and faces the reality of wealth, lies, and deception. 

Rating: 4/5 I really enjoyed the Selection and the plot of it. I like how it focused on her and how much effort she put into trying to help her family even though she didn’t want to be there. The entire storyline is very entertaining and I really enjoyed it.

The Messenger (Giver Series)

Author: Lois Lowry

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction

Plot: 14-year-old boy Matty serves as a message-bearer between his community and the outside

Rating: 4/5  “I like my book because of the action in it compared to the rest of the series,” sophomore Axel Willis said, “The Giver lacks action, and Gathering Blue is just kinda boring. I would still recommend going through the series for The Messenger as it is an amazing book.”  Messenger ties together the series in a web-like way, making everything come together in an enjoyable finale. 

The Darkest Minds Series

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian

Plot: As teens and young children start gaining mysterious powers, the government turns on them and declares them dangerous. Ruby, one of the most powerful, joins a ragtag group looking for safety.

Rating: 5/5 The Darkest Minds Series presents a wonderful balance of action, heartbreak, and reality. The romance involved in the story does not overpower the general plot, which most books tend to fail at. The gradual progression of trust between Ruby and her group flows in a realistic way, making the story truly come to life. By the end of the first book, however, a LOT of tears will be shed. Overall this is truly an amazing read for anyone wishing to blow off some free summer time.

Divergent (Divergent Trilogy)

Author: Veronica Roth

Genre: Young adult, Dystopian, Romance, Science

Plot: Tris Prior lives in a world where people must enter one of five factions into adulthood. Tris joins the dauntless, a faction known for bravery, but finds out she is indeed divergent, a person who can’t fit into one faction. She must hide her identity as divergent while a war pends on.

Rating: 3.9/5 The first book by itself proves an excellent quick read. As the series continues, however, the plot gets rickety and the ending ruins the last book for me. The first book is still worth a read through, and even though the rest of the books lack much enjoyment they are still decent reads. Overall, the series is good and still presents a good time despite its flaws.