I started writing down the books that I read in middle school, back at the start of the decade (!!). However, in a not at all surprising turn of events, I have no idea where that notebook is, so I’ll be making this post based on memory, at least up until the end of the decade. The books that I have reviewed will be linked, and all of the titles will be linked back to their Goodreads pages!
What were some of your favorite books to read this decade? Let me know in the comments!
In the blink of an eye, everyone disappears. Gone. Except for the young.
There are teens, but not one single adult. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what’s happened.
Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day. It’s a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your 15th birthday, you disappear just like everyone else…
I don’t remember exactly when I first read this series, but I know that it was one of my favorites growing up. The last book in the six book series (prior to the companion/sequel trilogy that was released in the last few years) came out in 2013, so I’m still counting the series as part of this decade! I remember in 8th grade, which would’ve been 2012-2013, we had a project in my social studies class where we had to choose people to run our ideal fictional government. (I regret to say that I chose Donald Trump to run the business side, but I was 12 and couldn’t have predicted our own dystopian future! Oops!) I wish I could find the project now, but I remember choosing Sam to run everything.
I was lucky enough to hear Michael speak at my high school about 4 or so years ago, and was able to have him sign my copy of “Light.” As you can tell from the synopsis, this book isn’t a romance book! There are romances within it, but that’s not what the series is about. I hope to read the new trilogy soon, but feel as though I should re-read the “Gone” series first! So we’ll see when that’ll be able to happen. I really hope that the Gone TV series will get greenlit and be produced soon!
To newcomer Ellie, Avalon High seems like a typical American high school, complete with jocks, nerds, cheerleaders, and even the obligatory senior class president, quarterback, and all-around good guy. But it doesn’t take Ellie long to suspect that something weird is going on beneath the glossy surface of this tranquil hall of learning. As she pieces together the meaning of this unfolding drama, she begins to recognize some haunting Arthurian echoes, causing her to worry that she has become just a pawn in mythic history. A powerful novel by the author of The Princess Diaries.
Although it was originally published in 2006, again, I have no idea when I first read it. I just know that it is one of my favorite books of all time. When I was younger, I would finish reading it, and want to immediately start over and read it again, which has never happened to me before with any other book! I made a post a few months ago with some tentative comparisons between the book and the Disney Channel movie (yikes), but I’m so glad that I was able to have this book be a part of my life!
Anna is dreading another tourist-filled summer on Dune Island that follows the same routine: beach, ice cream, friends, repeat. That is, until she locks eyes with Will, the gorgeous and sweet guy visiting from New York. Soon, her summer is filled with flirtatious fun as Anna falls head over heels in love.
But with every perfect afternoon, sweet kiss, and walk on the beach, Anna can’t ignore that the days are quickly growing shorter, and Will has to leave at the end of August. Anna’s never felt anything like this before, but when forever isn’t even a possibility, one summer doesn’t feel worth the promise of her heartbreaking…
This is one of my favorite books of all time. It’s such a sweet summer romance, and looking back, it’s probably one of the books that made me fall in love with contemporary romance books. Like with “Avalon High,” I’ve read and re-read this book countless times, and it remains one of my absolute favorites.
About three things I was absolutely positive.
First, Edward was a vampire.
Second, there was a part of him—and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be—that thirsted for my blood.
And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.
Deeply seductive and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight is a love story with bite.
I know everyone loves to hate on Twilight, but I adored these books throughout middle school. I wonder how I would like them if I read them now, as an adult, but the fact of the matter is that they were some of the defining books of the 2010s for me!
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…
“The Mortal Instruments” series was one of my favorite finds of this decade. I was originally introduced to the books by one of my friends in middle school, and proceeded to binge-read them right away. I talk more about the adaptations in my “Best/Worst Book Adaptations of the 2010s,” but overall I loved the book series. Jace and Clary are my ultimate OTP out of any book that I’ve ever read.
In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Timesbestselling Mortal Instruments series.
The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…
I actually liked this series better than the “The Mortal Instruments” series. Maybe the 2020s will bring us an adaptation! Will Herondale (and Jace, for that matter) is one of my favorite book boyfriends, I absolutely adore him, and Tessa and Jem are amazing characters too.
You can’t stop the future. You can’t rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret. . . is to press play.
Clay Jensen doesn’t want anything to do with the tapes Hannah Baker made. Hannah is dead. Her secrets should be buried with her.
Then Hannah’s voice tells Clay that his name is on her tapes– and that he is, in some way, responsible for her death.
All through the night, Clay keeps listening. He follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his small town. . .
. . .and what he discovers changes his life forever.
I first picked up this book in 7th grade. I bought it at the Scholastic Book Fair, and I had heard about it because of my obsession with Selena Gomez that I had in middle school. Although many of you know that she’s a producer on the Netflix series, what you may not know is that she was originally set to star in it as Hannah Baker. Obviously, that ended up not working out, but that’s where I first heard of the book. I’ve read it multiple times, and definitely enjoyed it better than the Netflix show. As a side note story that is sort of but not completely relevant…I actually let one of my sister’s teachers borrow my copy of 13RW back in high school. When she finished it, she asked if she could pass it on to another one of Arden’s teachers to read. I said yes, which, reader, was a horrible mistake. The second teacher ended up losing my book (how??), and after months of following up about it, she sent me a new copy from Amazon. Which was nice, I guess, considering she lost it, but I’m still mad about it. I’m an extremely sentimental person, and I remember buying the book at school in 7th grade, so to know that the copy that’s sitting on my bookshelf is a replacement and not my original makes me extremely angry. 🙂 That being said, I still love the book, and I’m sure I’ll re-read it sometime in the future. You can read my review here.
This is a world divided by blood – red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.
I will admit that I haven’t finished reading the series — it’s another one of those instances where I want to re-read all of the other books first, and I just haven’t had the time. (Plus, the second one kind of broke my heart, so…) However, the first one was amazing, and I hope the adaptation (directed by Elizabeth Banks!) moves forward in this next decade. I first read it my sophomore year of high school, when one of my friends in my chemistry class let me borrow it! I was lucky enough to meet Victoria at the signing for the sequel, “Glass Sword,” as well.
“When I met Oliver Perry, I had no clue he was the lead singer for The Heartbreakers. And he had no idea that I was the only girl in the world who hated his music.”
Stella will do anything for her sick sister, Cara—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD…for four hours. She’s totally winning best birthday gift this year. At least she met a cute boy with soft brown hair and gorgeous blue eyes while getting her caffeine fix. Too bad she’ll never see him again.
Except, Stella’s life has suddenly turned into a cheesy love song. Because Starbucks Boy is Oliver Perry – lead singer for the Heartbreakers. And even after she calls his music crap, Oliver still gives Stella his phone number. And whispers quotes from her favorite Disney movie in her ear. OMG, what is her life?
But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver — dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band — when her sister could be dying of cancer?
I remember when I first saw this book at Target…and then bought it as an impulse buy. Turns out, that was a great decision because it’s one of my favorite books! I’ve re-read it a few times, and I’m waiting (not at all patiently) for the third book to come out! It’s been over two years, and no official news yet. It, like Ali’s other books, originated on Wattpad, as you can sort of tell from the synopsis. Still, it’s a lovely book, and I really enjoy Ali’s writing style. You can read my review here.
Love is everything but expected.
Eden Munro came to California for a summer of sun, sand, and celebrities—what better way to forget about the drama back home? Until she meets her new family of strangers: a dad she hasn’t seen in three years, a stepmom, and three stepbrothers.
Eden gets her own room in her dad’s fancy house in Santa Monica. A room right next door to her oldest stepbrother, Tyler Bruce. Whom she cannot stand. He has angry green eyes and an ego bigger than a Beverly Hills mansion. She’s never felt such intense dislike for someone. But the two are constantly thrown together as his group of friends pulls her into their world of rule-breaking, partying, and pier-hanging.
And the more she tries to understand what makes Tyler burn hotter than the California sun, the more Eden finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn’t love…
I first heard about this book when I borrowed it from my sister’s creative writing teacher back in high school. I fell in love with it, and was around to pre-order the rest of the (U.S. versions) of the trilogy. Now I know that Estelle’s books are released in the U.K. about a year or so before they’re released in the U.S., so the Book Depository has become my best friend. The picture that you see above is the U.S. cover of DIMILY that I have — they actually ended up altering the covers for the U.S. versions to be a little bit different, but I love this cover so I can’t bring myself to replace it! This decade I’ve been lucky enough to read all four books (and the little e-book “Did I Mention It’s 10 Years Later?), and I can’t wait to see what books Estelle has in store for us in the next decade! (Fingers crossed for a DIMILY movie series!) You can read my review here.
Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.
But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?
I’ve re-read this one a few times, and it remains my favorite Miranda Kenneally book! It’s another book that I first found out about because of Arden’s creative writing teacher, and I’m so glad that I got to read it. I’ve now collected the rest of the Hundred Oaks series, and I swear I’ll finish reading them sometime! You can read my review here.
It feels like there’s no ground beneath me, like everything I’ve ever done has been a lie. Like I’m breaking apart, shattering. Who am I? Where do I belong?
Jasmine de los Santos has always done what’s expected of her. Pretty and popular, she’s studied hard, made her Filipino immigrant parents proud and is ready to reap the rewards in the form of a full college scholarship.
And then everything shatters. A national scholar award invitation compels her parents to reveal the truth: their visas expired years ago. Her entire family is illegal. That means no scholarships, maybe no college at all and the very real threat of deportation.
For the first time, Jasmine rebels, trying all those teen things she never had time for in the past. Even as she’s trying to make sense of her new world, it’s turned upside down by Royce Blakely, the charming son of a high-ranking congressman. Jasmine no longer has any idea where—or if—she fits into the American Dream. All she knows is that she’s not giving up. Because when the rules you lived by no longer apply, the only thing to do is make up your own.
This was the first ARC (I think…) that I ever got. It was from Seventeen magazine, and although they ultimately ended up not posting my review on their site, I’m still grateful for the opportunity! You can read my review here.
His world is music. Her world is silent.
Ali Collins was a child prodigy destined to become one of the greatest musicians of the twenty-first century—until she was diagnosed with a life-changing brain tumor. Now, at seventeen, Ali lives in a soundless world where she gets by with American Sign Language and lip-reading. She’s a constant disappointment to her father, a retired cop fighting his own demons, and the bruises are getting harder to hide.
When Ali accidentally wins a backstage tour with the chart-topping band Tone Deaf, she’s swept back into the world of music. Jace Beckett, the nineteen-year-old lead singer of the band, has a reputation. He’s a jerk and a player, and Ali wants nothing to do with him. But there’s more to Jace than the tabloids let on. When Jace notices Ali’s bruises and offers to help her escape to New York, Ali can’t turn down the chance at freedom and a fresh start. Soon she’s traveling cross-country, hidden away in Jace’s RV as the band finishes their nationwide tour. With the help of Jace, Ali sets out to reboot her life and rediscover the music she once loved.
I’m going to have to make sure that I take the time to re-read this book in 2020, because I love it so much. It definitely deserves a media adaptation. Do yourself a favor and read this book! It was also the very first review I ever posted on my bookstagram or my blog! You can read my review here.
Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like… until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything
Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen heartthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated.
Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule… Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?
Following along the lines of “Tone Deaf,” this is another one of my favorite musician reads! You can read my review here.
If fate sent you an email, would you answer?
When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O’Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.
Then Graham finds out that Ellie’s Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?
This is one of my favorite books of all time (obviously!)! Although I’d love a full sequel to the book, there is a short e-novella titled “Happy Again” available. Hopefully I’ll get to re-read it soon. You can read my review here.
“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”
The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.
As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?
A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.
This is another book that I can re-read over and over and never get tired of. It’s such a sweet, romantic story. Jase just might be the ultimate book boyfriend, and I love the chemistry between him and Samantha. You canread my review here.
Meet Oakley Ford-teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, hottie with millions of fangirls… and restless troublemaker. On the surface he has it all, but with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley’s team decides it’s time for an intervention. The result: an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he’s settled down.
Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett-devoted sister, part-time waitress, the definition of “normal.” Under ordinary circumstances she’d never have taken this gig, but with her family strapped for cash, she doesn’t have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley’s team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley’s a shallow, self-centered jerk? It’s not like they’re going to fall for each other in real life…right?
Oh, look, another book that I said I would re-read this year but didn’t! Even though the main protagonist is 17, the content of the book always made me think that it was more new adult than young adult. You can read my review here.
Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings Abby isn’t going to take any chances.
Which is where the list comes in.
Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being. But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems… and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself.
This is the first in a set of three standalone books with crossover characters.
“Love, Life, and the List” should be closely aligned with its companion novel, “Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss.” Both of them reignited my love for reading. You can read my review of “Love, Life, and the List,” here, as well as my review of “Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss.”
Debut author Alex Evansley delivers a sweet summer romance in this inventive novel about a young heartthrob and teen author falling in love.
Teddy Sharpe is kind of famous. He might actually be on his way to being really famous, especially if he’d nailed an audition for the lead role in the movie adaption of the newest bestselling young adult book series. There’s just one problem: He totally blew the audition. And he’s stuck in a tiny North Carolina airport. And his maybe-ex-girlfriend kind of just broke up with him.
The weekend isn’t exactly looking good until Bennett Caldwell, author of the very book series he just auditioned for, takes pity on him and invites him to her family’s lake house. Away from the glitz and glam of Hollywood for a few days, Teddy starts to relax . . . and somehow he and Bennett just click. But dating is hard enough when you aren’t the subject of several dozen fanblogs, and the Internet is full of juicy gossip about Teddy and Bennett . . . gossip that Bennett might not be prepared to handle.
Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, Alex Evansley’s debut novel, written from both Bennett and Teddy’s perspectives, will have teens laughing, swooning, and falling in love along with these fantastically relatable characters.
This is one of my favorite Wattpad books of all time! It was originally titled “Between Takes,” but the name was (sadly) changed when the book was published by Swoon Reads, It remains one of my favorite books, and I hope that the sequel, “Outtakes,” will eventually be published! You can read my review here.
Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…
Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.
When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…
Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts.
This was one of the few books that made my jaw drop with its ending. The sequel is out now as well, but you can read my review of FMB here!
The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it.
When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.
One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.
As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.
Although I have the sequel, I haven’t read it yet! I want to wait until the final book in the trilogy is released next year before I destroy myself with the second one. The book is phenomenal! You can read my review here.
What started out as a joke— seduce Coach Wilder—soon became a goal she had to score.
With Olympic tryouts on the horizon, the last thing nineteen-year-old Kinsley Bryant needs to add to her plate is Liam Wilder. He’s a professional soccer player, America’s favorite bad-boy, and has all the qualities of a skilled panty-dropper.
• A face that makes girls weep – check.
• Abs that can shred Parmesan cheese (the expensive kind) – check.
• Enough confidence to shift the earth’s gravitational pull – double check.
Not to mention Liam is strictly off limits . Forbidden. Her coaches have made that perfectly clear. (i.e. “Score with Coach Wilder anywhere other than the field and you’ll be cut from the team faster than you can count his tattoos.”) But that just makes him all the more enticing…Besides, Kinsley’s already counted the visible ones, and she is not one to leave a project unfinished.
Kinsley tries to play the game her way as they navigate through forbidden territory, but Liam is determined to teach her a whole new definition for the term “team bonding.”
A fun & sexy New Adult Romance (age 17+)
I love this book! Another one that I hope to re-read next year. It was my first R.S. Grey book that I ever read (actually a recommendation from Jessica Pennington!), and I proceeded to binge-read a bunch of her other books right after. You can read my review here.
Only a true best friend can protect you from your immortal enemies . . .
Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.
After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger . . . and the Strigoi are always close by.
Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever . . .
I love love LOVE this series! It definitely deserves a re-read. (It’s not another Twilight.)
Check out my Top 2017 reads here!
Check out my Top 2018 reads here!
Check out my Top 2019 reads here!