For this list, highly popular series like Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Harry Potter are not listed, because most likely you all have heard of them.
(10) The Testing Trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau. A Hunger Games and Divergent rip-off, Malencia Vale finds herself competing for admission to the University. Soon she finds that her perfect view of The Commonwealth challenged. It’s badly written, and as I said above a rip-off, but I found myself liking it anyway. I feel like it also missed out on a really good plot-twist at the end.
(9) The Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant. Creepy book but very interesting concept and good build up to the ending.
(8) The Calling by James Frey. The end is coming, and for centuries one member of various families have been preparing. This story has lots of interesting characters, and the second book is on my to-read pile.
(7) The Paladin Prophecy by Mark Frost. Will West has lived his life by the rules, and soon he finds them being put to the test at a new boarding school. Life isn’t what it seems. The second book is seriously boring, but the first one was very interesting.
(6) The Rule of Three/Fight for Power by Eric Walters. This is a trilogy, but I’m not recommending the third book just because I haven’t read it yet. The story starts when all technology just stops working. As the world descends into chaos, teenaged Adam finds himself leading his community alongside his mom – a policewoman – and his neighbor Herb.
(5) The Gone Series by Michael Grant. This series is depressing, but has good character development as well worldbuilding. The first book Gone starts with every adult disappearing, and soon animals evolve and the left over teenagers find themselves with powers. The main character Sam finds himself in a politic struggle with Caine, a charismatic leader from a boarding school in the area. Both having powers, the struggle soon turns to war.
(4) The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. This series follows a young girl named Miri who finds a love for learning. In the first book of the same title, Miri and several other girls from Mount Eskel participate in the Princess Academy after the kingdom decides their prince will find a wife there. However, the teachers find a bunch of uneducated, unrefined girls. Not caring about the prince but hoping to prove herself Miri throws herself into the education ad competition. The prize? A beautiful dress and being the first girl to meet the prince.
(3) Memory’s Wake by Selina Fenech. Memory is a sixteen-year-old-girl who wakes up in a foreign, magical land with no memory what-so-ever. She soon teams up with the mysterious Eloryn, the thief Roen, and rogue Will and is wrapped up in a fight for the throne.
(2) Books of Bayern by Shannon Hale. This series isn’t fast-paced or action-focused, but has great character development and many strong female leads. The story starts in Goose Girl, based off of the fairy tale by the same name. Princess Ani was married off to a prince in a neighboring kingdom called Bayern, but along the way her maid rebels and takes her spot. She is forced to work as a goose girl. The next book, Enna Burning, follows her new friend Enna; River Secrets follows Razo, the sheep boy during Goose Girl; and Forest Born follows Razo’s sister Rin, who believes she is cursed with people speaking – a power which only the antagonists seem to have.
(1) The Reckoners by Branden Sanderson. This series, starting with Steelheart, has great action, characters, plot, and worldbuilding. The story takes place in a world where superhumans called epics have taken over America. The plot follows David Charleston, whose farther was killed by Steelheart, as he tries to get a position on an anti-epic team called The Reckoners. After proving that he had tremendous knowledge of epics, most of all Steelheart, they eventually let him join. From there, chaos ensues.