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The Best Fantasy Books for Young Adults

recommended by Zoe

Fantasy novels, with their limitless scope for possibility, appeal to children with vivid imaginations. Here 14-year-old Zoe, who lives in the US and is a big fan of the genre, recommends her current favourites.

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As a young adult, why do you like reading fantasy books?

I find fantasy novels very entertaining and interesting to read. I like how the events in them are unusual, unlikely or even impossible.

Do you read a lot of books?

Yes, I read a bunch, though the amount changes day to day. Sometimes I’ll read three books in a day, other days I won’t even read one.

Where do you find all the books you’re reading?

I usually get books from the library, though if the library doesn’t have them I order them online. I also read a few electronic books and comics on sites like Webtoons and Wattpad.

OK so first on your list of your favourite young adult fantasy books is Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the first in a trilogy. Why did you like this book and why do you think other teenagers might want to read it?

I like a lot of books, but this series really stood out for me. The writing is exceptional and the story really grabs your attention and holds it. You find yourself attached to the characters and after I finished the first book I immediately looked to see where I could find the other two.

Who is the ‘daughter of smoke and bone’?

Karou, the main character is, but I can’t tell you why because that will spoil the book.

Book number two on your YA fantasy books list is the Unfortunate Fairy Tales series. Why are you recommending this?

I’m recommending the series because I was seriously addicted to the series while I was reading it and some time after. The storyline is very original and intriguing and the characters are lovable and flawed. There are many plot twists that you don’t see coming, but when you look back make absolute sense. I really loved this series.

Is it at all like A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket?

No. It’s about a girl who is related to the Grimm brothers. Her family has a curse on them that they have to go through all the Grimm fairytales in the real world, and if she dies trying, the curse gets put on the next family member in line.

Number three on your list is The Sisters Grimm. You’re into young adult fantasy books generally, but why are you so into fairytales specifically?

I really don’t know. They’re interesting and you can really add layers around the stories or incorporate them into a storyline. Really, I just like them for no clear reason.

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So tell me about The Sisters Grimm and why you like this series.

The Sisters Grimm is about, as is pretty obvious from the title, two sisters who are descended from the brothers Grimm. They try to figure out where their missing parents are while navigating a whole new world full of fairytale creatures. The series is addicting and you can’t help but love everything about it, be it the characters or the plot.

OK, moving away from the Grimm brothers, you’ve got the Red Queen series next. What is this about and why do you love it?

The Red Queen series is about a girl living in a world where the colour of your blood determines your status. She has red blood, which means she is powerless and about as important as dirt. She runs into a guy with silver blood, which means that he has powers and is way more important than her. By powers I mean powers quite literally, some people with silver blood can control water, others can control fire. Some are very agile and some can bend light. The list goes on. This encounter sparks an event that changes her whole life, and reveals closely guarded secrets that could change the whole world.

OK, and last of your top young adult fantasy books we have Mirrorworld. What’s it about and why do you recommend it?

These books are mostly about boys, for a change. The older brother, Jacob Reckless, goes through a mirror to the, you guessed it, Mirrorworld. The Mirrorworld is a place where fairytale creatures are real and the impossible is possible. Problems arise when his younger brother follows him through the portal and has an unfortunate encounter. The book is very well written and the story it tells is captivating. Once you’ve started reading the book, it’s very hard to put it down.

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Zoe

Zoe is fourteen years old and lives in the USA.

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Zoe

Zoe is fourteen years old and lives in the USA.