Top 40+ YA Book Series For 2023 – YA Fantasy, SF, Chick-lit & YA Thrillers
YA Fantasy and Science Fiction series are a dime a dozen, but there are a few gems in the mix. These book series have captivated readers with their intricate plots and well-developed characters.
One such series is The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Another popular YA Fantasy/Sci-fi is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. What we really loved in these series are the uniqueness of the story. Not another grab a sword and kill everybody story or at least with an important twist.
One of the most important aspects of writing a book series is creating a believable and compelling fantasy world for your characters to inhabit. This means spending time crafting the history, geography, and culture of your imaginary realm. It can be helpful to think of your world as its own character, with its own motivations and desires.
When building a fantasy or futuristic world, there are always a lot of questions.
- What is the overall climate?
- What are the major geographical features?
- What is the social balance? Is the world an utopia or dystopia?
- Who is the ruling power?
- What creates power conflicts in this world?
Once the author have a general idea of what the world will look like. He or she can start filling in the details. Creating an actual a map helps always for readers. Visualizing events in space and time is always a nice gesture from the author.
Also writing down the backstory of how the world came to be, and think about what kinds of political and social systems exist in the realm.
Are you interested in some special YA book categories?
We found a lot of interesting YA book genres in the last years, which typically connects the below collection, feel free to check some of them:
- YA urban fantasy
- YA dragon fantasy
- YA historical fictions
- YA contemporary literature
- YA thrillers
- YA horror
- YA crime thriller
- YA military romance
- YA alien books for sci-fi lovers
- YA K-dramas
- Video game novels
- YA choose your own adventure
Long story short we collected the best YA book series, focusing on those you may not seen on TV or the book series may add a highly different blend to the story.
Some quick links for the following list:
- BEST YA FANTASY BOOK SERIES
- BEST YA SCI-FI BOOK SERIES
- BEST YA MYSTERY & THRILLER BOOK SERIES
- BEST YA ROMANCE BOOK SERIES
BEST YOUNG ADULT FANTASY BOOK SERIES
Crescent City, by Sarah J. Maas (2020-2022)
A new book series Crescent City is set in a contemporary fantasy world of magic. The story follows the journey of a half-Fae, half-human Bryce Quinlan, when her friend is brutally murdered, Bryce is left hopeless. The only viable option for her is to seek revenge on the evil. With a unique setting and compelling characters, Crescent City is sure to captivate readers of all ages.
House of Blood and Earth is the first book in this NA/YA series, the second book came out in 2022. The series will continue with a 3rd installment most likely coming in 2023.
Mortal Instruments, by Cassandra Clare (2007-2014)
If you are a fan of dark fantasy series Cassandra Clare's books will hook you in.
Clary Fray, 15, attends a Pandemonium Club show in New York City, and scarcely expects to witness a murder, much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered in strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. A body simply vanishes, making it impossible for the police to investigate.
Reading City of Bones not only inspires you year after year but has changed how you will see the world. It is a book you will either love or hate.
The Folk of the Air, by Holly Black (2018-2019)
Jude Duarte is the main character of The Cruel Prince and the whole The Folk of the Air series. When Jude was seven years old, her parents were slain and she was taken to the High Court of Faerie, a place where darkness takes place. The Cruel Prince elaborates on the topics of truth, strength, and identity.
Graceling, by Kristin Cashore (2008-2022)
As the novel begins, Katsa is sneaking into a dungeon, planning to overpower a group of guards around. Katsa has the ability to manifest her “Graced power.”
This high fantasy novel explores the depths of strong friendships and the power of bravery.
King of Scars, by Leigh Bardugo (2019-2021)
Ravka and Fjerda are the setting of the chapters of Nikolai and Zoya that describe their quests to conquer their monstrosity, and Nina's chapters in Fjerda are about her quest to find answers to missing girls and unambiguously toxic rivers.
The author packs a lot of effort into The King of Scars. Exploring the depth of religion and politics, the fantasy adventure is rife with love affair and espionage.
If you are looking for a strong sword and sorcery YA fantasy book series, this one is a perfect choice for you.
Throne Of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas (2013-2023)
Celaena, a 18-year-old master assassin, was a prisoner in the salt mines for a year because of her crime. Celaena was the greatest of assassins during the period she stayed in a death camp over a year, but that left her wit intact. But one day a prince came to save her.
I like the way the author and plays with her ego as she is clambering to recover her old abilities. After the first book of the YA series you will be full of open questions which makes the following books unavoidable to read, so pick up only the Throne Of Glass books only if you are ready thousands of pages of fantasy.
Sands of Arawiya, by Hafsah Faizal (2019-2021)
A fresh breath of epic Arabian fantasy book series.
In this fantasy world, Zafira, a young female pretending to be a male named Hunter, venturing into the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her townspeople.
Among the first impressions I had about this new series was that it nailed a great world building. It's extremely well done, incorporating all relevant themes related to the story.
Entangled with Fae, by Tessonja Odette (2021-2023)
We might just be the lovers of retellings, but these stories leaved positive impressions on us. Maybe it was an the effect of the author.
Starting your journey back to Faerwyvae, or heading up for your first time, select from this lovely compilation of timeless tales, like A Beauty and the Beast or Cinderella retelling. Each book in the YA series comprised of Entangled with Fae Chronicles offers a particularly appealing retelling of a popular fairytale. This YA series can be read entirety as a collection of stand-alone stories.
Legacy of Orisha, by Tomi Adeyemi (2018-2019)
Tomi Adeyemi creates a mesmerizing world of the fantasy series Legacy of Orisha in which a dark magic and danger mix with West African influences. Zélie Adebola remembers the time when the magic of Orïsha hummed from the soil before a violent king ordered that all maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her family devastated.
Atlas, by Olivie Blake (2022-2024)
This dark fantasy series introduces readers to a mystical Alexandrian Society, which chooses six of the world's finest magicians to compete in initiation. The first YA book, The Atlas Six features everything we want as a reader. A fascinating magical system, dark academia setting, engaging main characters with a twisting plot. This brand new series has just started it's journey, we are looking for the new episodes.
The Cursebreaker, by Brigid Kemmerer (2019-2021)
The terrible curse is broken, however Prince Rhen of Emberfall still struggles with different troubles. Rumor has it that he is not the true heir. The book is a sequel to author’s New York Times Bestseller called A Curse So Dark and Lonely, which became a true sensation. In new book amazing lush world of Emberfall returns, but with new problems, where friends become enemies and love is found in hopeless places.
Beauty and the Beast retelling has always been a popular topic. Over the years, there have been many different versions of this story. Some are faithful to the original while others are completely different.
Although we are fans of retellings, Brigid's story is sure to be a future favorite for many readers. It uniquely mixes the imaginary world with the real one and this unique blend is fascinating.
Songs of Magic, by S.A. Patrick (2018-2021)
First of all this YA series is full of fun, it's humorous and relatable.
Your interest in the story makes you feel certain reaches the characters and holds you interested throughout. The author is so gifted that the characters you love in the story keep engaging you during the whole YA book.
This fascinating world is different from our own in many respects, but the author makes you feel like this world really exists-where dragons have their own government, sorcerers use their dark magic.
This magical realism series is ideal for younger mostly for middle grade readers.
The Crafter Chronicles, by Matthew B. Berg (2019-2020)
This is the first release of the series belonging to a new coming of age fantasy. Yes, this is going to be a long saga by Matthew B. Berg. The author attracts the reader towards the story’s ‘what next’ curiosity instead of keeping them focused on the characters’ sensational traits. The plot is well visualized with a few educating moments on how to live life.
The main hero is Breeden Andehar who is selected for learning at the local monastery but soon two brother gods enter into a conflict to terrorize the entire Land. Breeden, being unaware, has some rare abilities.
The Last Hours, by Cassandra Clare (2019-2023)
Chain of Gold, the first book of the series is nearly 600 pages of intense pain, and your heart will be broken twice per chapter on average. The whole thing is both soap opera, dark reality and beautiful.
The relationships are quite unfollowable, starting with the central love. But the friendships and family relationships are not easier either. Secrets, suppressed emotions, past hurts and traumas everywhere. Every character is so complex and chaotic!
The Lone Valkyrie, by Martha Carr and Michael Anderle (2020)
Mila as a Valkyrie is gaining her wings by shooting the monsters who have seized her sister. However, she finds herself on the path of an unforeseen discovery. Right now, she is in Idaho where a plot of horror packed with spite and nightmares is about to strike.
No, she cannot run, as Valkyries are cowards, no matter what the risk is. So, what Mila will do?
Scions of Magic, by TR Cameron, Martha Carr and Michael Anderle (2019-2020)
This is the story by TR Cameron wherein all types of dealings are ongoing: Worrisome attacks, funeral preparation, hidden plans, mysteries and martial arts in action, loyalties on test, direct confrontations, and search for the last pieces of the family sword. After all, the Atlantean and the Zatoras are on the battleground.
Usha and Rion plan to slay down one another. Beneath these violent effects, Empress Shenni is using political skills to keep Styrris against Cali and her pals.
The Kingston Cycle, by C. L. Polk (2018-2021)
The world described in this series is magical, unusual, full of love affairs. It will definitely keep hooked up until you finish reading. The story goes around the dame Grace Hensley, who helped her brother to get rid of the violence that strained the nation. But now she’s facing the consequences of her actions.
If you are a fan of gaslamp fantasy books, this series will definitely your taste.
The Founders Trilogy, by Robert Jackson Bennett (2018-2022)
A unique epic fantasy story about two characters, who work for Foundryside firm, suddenly accomplish unbelievable things by encoding sentience into everyday objects. But, of course, after that they start facing pressure of competition from rival’s company.
In this series, you will learn about the struggle of Orso Igancio and Sancia Grado along with the whole Foundryside with finding the origins of scriving before the rival burns everything down.
The Daevabad Trilogy, by S.A. Chakraborty (2017-2020)
This historical series contains cultural heritage and epic fantasy marks.
In the story a con-woman and prince join military forces in order to save the kingdom from the civil war. In this story, the main characters are commander Dara, Nahri and Ali, who struggle with a mission to remake the lost world. They realize, in order to do that they have to fight those who they once loved and cooperate with the ones they had hurt previously.
BEST YA SCI-FI BOOK SERIES
The Lunar Chronicles, by Marissa Meyer (2012-2015)
This series is set in the future, when humans have colonized the moon. The protagonist, Cinder, is a cyborg who must navigate the politics of the moon kingdom while hiding her true identity.
Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (2009-2010)
In this series, children are chosen to participate in a deadly competition that takes place in an arena. The protagonist, Katniss, must fight for her life against other participants from all over the country.
Nyxia Triad, by Scott Reintgen (2017-2019)
Emmett Atwater is leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is incomprehensible, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him on their lightship and hoping for return to Earth with enough assets to take care of his family.
Emmett soon discovers that he is also one of the ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must receive the right to travel down to the planet of Eden (a hidden planet) where they will mine a substance known as Nyxia that has been quietly the most valuable substance in the universe.
Nyxia Triad is a compelling space opera series for teens.
Divergent, Veronica Roth (2012-2016)
In the distant future, in a dystopian version of Chicago, it has been divided in five factions called Abnegation, Candor, Amity, Dauntless, and Erudite. Beatrice Prior, the main character and narrator, is a 16-year-old girl in Abnegation.
Beatrice worries that her brother Caleb will remain in Abnegation, which values selflessness and modesty above all else. She is troubled, however, by the possibility of joining Dauntless, whose members prefer to display bravery.
This three book YA series is a great read for those who are fans of post-apocalyptic societies. The vision of the author is broad and touching in many senses.
Legend, by Marie Lu (2012-2019)
The mythical narrative is told from the perspective of two central characters that are Day and June.
Day learns that his younger brother is infected with the “Plague”, a disease that periodically devastates parts of the US. Day breaks in a Los Angeles Hospital to steal medicine for his beloved brother. Later that night, June is informed, by an officer that her brother Thomas was murdered. She is devastated by her brother's death, but June investigates the scene of the crime anyway and concludes that Day was stealing medication from the same Hospital.
This far future dystopian YA series, features situations which has an important political or sociological message for the readers.
The Aurora Cycle, by Amie Kaufman (2019-2021)
Trapped in cryonic storage for two centuries, Auri is a girl from a whole different era and from her depth. But she may be the root cause that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler's band of losers, disciplinary cases, and misfits might just be the answers to the entire galaxy.
The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey (2013-2016)
16-year-old Cassie Sullivan tries to survive in the devastation caused by The 5th Wave aliens who have already triggered a catastrophic civilization.
Cassie is headed to a place called a “training camp” established by The Others, the aliens, in order to save her 5-year-old brother, Sam, who was kidnapped at Camp Ashpit.
BEST YA MYSTERY & THRILLER BOOK SERIES
One of Us is Lying, by Karen M. McManus (2017-2023)
Bronwyn, Addy, Nate, and Cooper were presented as suspects by the police in the murder of Simon Kelleher. Each one of the four high school students hides something, but how far would they go to ensure their own secrets are safe?
The Inheritance Games, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (2020-2023)
A young girl must solve a series of complex problems in order to figure out why she was awarded a billionaire’s heritage.
Avery is a superb character to follow. She is a steadfast, strong, and self-directed woman but she also has an obscure weakness that makes her a truly fascinating character to follow. I also found that the personalities involved in such plots tend to be morose, but Avery wasn't like that at all. She didn't wallow in her misfortunes, but I appreciated her outlook and character.
Overall we really enjoyed reading her story.
Fear Streets, by R.L. Stine (1985-2021)
Fear Street book series takes place in Shadyside and tackles average teenagers who are older than the typical Goosebumps preteens, and they often encounter malevolent, often paranormal, adversaries.
Most of the paranormal events take place directly on fear Street, in the woods nearby the street or on Fear Island that sits in the middle of Fear Lake.
R.L. Stine's YA book series is more like a collection of scary mysteries for young readers, with popular titles like The New Girl and Runaway.
The Merciless, by Danielle Vega (2014-2019)
Brooklyn Stevens captured and tied up in basement a place what nobody would find. Sofia Flores knows it was wrong of her to get involved with Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at work. When they admired her hair and her strong-girl ways, they liked her, so they decided to help her. Sofia was not aware they thought Brooklyn was possessed.
Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn but they’ve chosen a revolution instead of salvation. All Sofia needs is to get out of this house, but there's no way out. Sofia can't go against the other boys and girls. Unless she wants to be next.
BEST YA ROMANCE BOOK SERIES
American Royals, by Katharine McGee (2019-2022)
This story is set in some alternate reality that's a constitutional monarchy of sorts. Essentially, George Washington became the first king instead of the first president in this reality. The family line continued by his grandsons up until recently when a law changed things.
King George IV is the current president of his native country. He and his wife, Queen Adelaide, have three children named Beatrice and the twins Samantha and Jefferson. Beatrice is the oldest, and she is the first descendant to fall under her grandfather's rule. Therefore, she will be the first ruler of US.
Lux, by Jennifer L. Armentrout (2012-2016)
The first book in the YA series, Obsidian is about the story of Katy. A 17 year old girl who has recently moved to West Virginia. She tries to befriend her neighbours, Dee and Daemon Black. However, they are not very welcoming at first. Katy begins to feel like she doesn't fit in anywhere. She is eventually able to make friends with Dee and Daemon, and they all become close. Katy tells them about her life and her struggles. They help her through everything, and she grows to love them like family.
Significance, by Shelly Crane (2011-2014)
Maggie is a 17-year-old girl who has had a difficult year. Her mom left, her father is despondent, she is graduating, barely, and her boyfriend of three years dumped her for an opportunity to play college football. She feels life is hanging by a thread and is clinging tight with everything she's got.
She then saves Caleb and want to know more about this blue eyed guy.
The Selection, by Kiera Cass (2012-2016)
35 girls dream of participating in the Selection. This is their only chance to escape from their miserable life, live in a palace, and compete for the heart of Maxon, appealing prince.
This historical romance story is the ultimate fight for love. The series of Kiera Cass is more than just a love story, it's a combination of dystopian settings and a last man standing show.
Slammed, by Colleen Hoover (2012-2013)
Slammed, a YA novel by the best selling author Colleen Hoover. The series is about the struggle of eighteen-year-old Layken Cohen to cope with her mother's terminal cancer, and her love for Will Cooper, her English teacher and neighbor.
Six months have passed since Layken's father passed away. Through considerable difficulty, Julia, Layken's mother, and Kel, Layken's younger brother, leave Julia's hometown in Texas and move to Michigan, where Julia can have an easier time working.
Serpent & Dove, by Shelby Mahurin (2019-2021)
Serpent & Dove is a hate to love fantasy story taking place within an imaginary, romantic France in the past. There is a war occurring between the witchcraft community and the Church since the previous king seized the land from the witches and subsequently started killing the people of witchcraft due to their status. Lou and Coco are witches who also steal to survive.
In terms of romance I would suggest this historical series more like for New Adults.
Unearthly, by Cynthia Hand (2011-2013)
Clara Gardner found out recently that she is part angel. Having angel blood coursing through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (an observation that she has come to no longer expect to apply to her), but it means she has a purpose, something that she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, is not simple.
This three book paranormal romance series is recommended for those who are looking for an engaging and easy to read story.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before, by Jenny Han (2014-2017)
When Lara Jean's love letters are sent out, she thinks her life is over. She expected to be embarrassed, but she never expected to have her family fall apart. Her father leaves, her sister moves away, and her mother is a mess. Lara Jean has to figure out how to put her life back together and deal with her potential boyfriends.
If you missed the Netflix series created about Lara Jean this contemporary YA love story is definitely for you.
Once Upon A Broken Heart, by Stephanie Garber (2021-2023)
To stop the engagement of her stepsister, Evangeline wishes a prince. Her crazed boyfriend, Luc, has just proposed to her. Evangeline fears that Luc has been coerced into marriage through this curse and attributes Jack, the Prince of Hearts, to save her.
Readers do not need to be familiar with the Caraval series in order to experience Once Upon a Broken Heart, but the three books are set in the same world, and feature a number of the same characters.
The Curvy Girl Club, by Kelsie Stelting (2020-2022)
Tired of always struggling to lose weight, best friends Katie, Ellie, Pixie and Jane start a social club where people of all sizes feel welcome. It quickly becomes London's most popular social club. Members enjoy themselves instead of counting carbs, and their lives begin changing in surprising ways.
A body positive HEA romances for teens.
Final Thoughts on Outstanding YA Book Series
In conclusion, there are many great young adult book series that can keep you entertained for hours on end. In a sense YA reflects a new wave of authors with a fresh approach in stories.
Whether you are looking for a series to read for fun or to help you improve your reading skills, there is something out there for everyone. Still not sure which ya book series to grab, just close your eyes and click one after a random scroll! Get started on one of these amazing series today!
If you are looking for sci-fi books instead of fantasy, check our ultimate list of the best sci-fi books.
My profession is online marketing and development (10+ years experience), check my latest mobile app called Upcoming or my Chrome extensions for ChatGPT. But my real passion is reading books both fiction and non-fiction. I have several favorite authors like James Redfield or Daniel Keyes. If I read a book I always want to find the best part of it, every book has its unique value.