Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, the brilliant fashion bloggers from Go Fug Yourself, just published a new young adult novel called Spoiled , which features a teenage girl named Molly Dix who moves from Indiana to sunny LA when she reunites with her celebrity dad. The book is hopefully the first of many from the duo, and is definitely worth picking up on your way to the beach. With this in mind, we’ve come up with a list of 10 contemporary YA series that you can read in transit or under a large umbrella without breaking a mental sweat. Dostoevsky they ain’t — but isn’t that point of summer reading?
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman
The trio includes The Golden Compass , The Subtle Knife , and The Amber Spyglass , and the first was made into a film that unfortunately didn’t do very well on our shores at least. This shouldn’t spoil your enjoyment of the series, however. It has demons, humans, and a mysterious Dust which may or may not be able to unite the universe(s), which is exciting, right? When Pullman isn’t writing, he’s drawing. Some of his Amber Spyglass illustrations are here.
Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
If you haven’t read these yet, you really should, since the first movie of the series comes out next March and everyone you know will be talking about the books all over again. It’s summertime. Sit down, relax, and enjoy some dystopian fiction about a young girl who has to fight her peers as well as evil government forces in order to remain alive. May the last youth standing win.
Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth
The first in the series came out last month; the premise is that in a future Chicago, each person pledges to one of five groups, which determines your lot in life. They are: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). When our young protagonist, Beatrice Prior, makes a surprise decision about her fate, it sets the novel in motion. Critics have complained it’s a little too close to the Hunger Games trilogy, and they’re right. However, if you’ve already read Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novels, then why not move on to Roth’s?
The Luxe Series by Anna Godbersen
This is pretty much Gossip Girl set in the Gilded Age; class, power, and beauty duke it out in Manhattan in the late 1800s, so there are lots of elaborate outfits involved and a romp in the hay with a certain stable boy. Or you could try Bright Young Things — Godbersen’s crack at taking on New York in the Roaring Twenties — where two girls, Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey, make their way to Manhattan and are, unsurprisingly, seduced by the nightlife.
Pretty Little Liars Series by Sara Shepard
“Got a secret, can you keep it…” This series of four novels arguably owes a lot to one of our favorite ’80s movies, Heathers. Four rich girls are totally creeped out once their BFF, Alison, is found dead, and the murderer is nowhere to be found. The quartet all start receiving threatening text messages from “A,” which freaks them out even more, natch. So who is A? And why does A know all their secrets? Don’t you want to find out? We won’t tell…
The Au Pairs Series by Melissa De La Cruz
In this series from former Marie Claire fashion writer Melissa de la Cruz, Mara, Eliza, and Jacqui want desperately to be away from the city and the Hamptons is their ultimate destination. They decide to apply together to become nannies to a wealthy family who summers there. (See that? We used “summer” as a verb. Will you let us in your timeshare now?)
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Series by Ann Brashares
Ann Brashares’ best-selling Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants stars four teenage friends who magically fit into the same pair of jeans, which they send to each other in order to stay attached during their summer apart. The rest of the books in the series track their time from high school to college, as their relationships strain and eventually deepen. Sisterhood Everlasting is Bradshares’ attempt to track the four friends as adults, when things get really messy now that they each have spouses, children, and other grown up worries.
After a tragic car accident with her family, Mia looks back on her life while in a coma. The next book, Where She Went, follows up on what happened to Mia in the three years since the accident. She’s now a successful cellist, but a visit from her ex-boyfriend causes her to revisit her past. It’s worth reading for a little summer heartbreak, perhaps.
The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld
Westerfeld’s series involves a (depending on your view) dystopian society where youth are initiated by a surgical process in which they become “perfect” (e.g., their faces are made symmetrical, and everyone looks similar). However, the downside to this coming-of-age surgery is a lil’ brain damage, which is kept a secret from the general population, of course. A girl named Tally Youngblood tries to fight the system from the inside, as she moves up the ranks.
The Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater
Grace Brisbane is a girl in love with a werewolf. One night in the summer, she meets his human form: Sam Roth. But can Sam reject his werewolf past so easily? This trilogy (Shiver, Linger, and Forever) debuted #9 on the New York Times Bestseller List, and the last book in the series (Forever) is coming out on July 12th, so get ready for a summer of yellow-eyed furry beasts, kids.