I am of the personal opinion that there’s nothing better than a good book series to curl up with when it starts to get cold and I don’t want to go outside and start shivering. But let’s be real — a good book series is sorely needed at any (and every) time of the year. Thankfully, there are several very industrious young adult authors who are happy to fill up our shelves with their new YA series.
Here are eight amazing YA series that you should snap up this fall. And once you’re done reading them, head on over to this article about young adult romance reads or start listening to the Hey YA! podcast — currently on episode 102! — to keep you occupied.
Alrighty, now let’s get into the books!
Forestborn by Elayne Audrey Becker
This is the first book of a debut YA fantasy series about shifters and magical illnesses. Rora and her brother are both shifters, and Rora uses her abilities to work as a spy for the royal court. When one of the kingdom’s young princes — who is also Rora’s one and only friend — catches a magical illness that has been killing people, Rora and her brother are sent off to hunt down the rare cure which can only be found in the Vale, a magic-infused forest that they grew up in.
Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
This is the first book in a young adult fantasy romance series inspired by the fairytale “The Six Swans,” among others. Young princess Shiori’s magic goes awry at her betrothal ceremony, which at first seems like a blessing in disguise, because it halts the proceedings. But when it all leads to her stepmother banishing her and cursing her brothers, Shiori finds herself seeking aid from her would-be betrothed in order to save her family and her kingdom.
Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
This is the first book in a history-inspired science fiction series about giant transforming robots. (If you thought Pacific Rim, kinda…but not really). Each Chrysalis requires a pair of pilots to operate it, and one of them takes on the lion’s share of the mental strain — usually the girl. When 18-year-old Zetian gets her chance to pilot, she uses it to get revenge and kills her co-pilot, an action that causes her to be paired with the strongest pilot in the land, in the hopes that he’ll keep her in line.
Phantom Heart by Kelly Creagh
This is the first book in a YA paranormal series that — true to the name — is heavily inspired by The Phantom of the Opera. Stephanie Armand has no time for her younger sister’s ghost stories — she doesn’t believe in that kind of stuff, and she’s busy with the boy at school who’s started showing an interest in her. Plus, she’s been having vivid dreams about a British 18-year-old boy that seem oddly real. But as the rumors about their new home and the odd events that surround them get worse, she starts to wonder if she might be wrong.
The Lady or the Lion by Aamna Qureshi
This is the first in a historical fantasy series that retells “The Lady or the Tiger?” Crown princess Durkhanai has her hands full trying to hunt down the person who has framed her grandfather and almost caused a war between the tribes. When their borders are opened and a new (annoying) ambassador arrives, she’s torn between smacking him and keeping her temper in order to gain him as an ally. It doesn’t help that everyone at court has a hidden agenda that she must uncover in order to stay ahead.
The Freedom Race by Lucinda Roy
This is the first book in a series about a dystopian world that was created following a civil war. In this new world, slavery is alive and well and Ji-Ji, an enslaved girl who has been raised in captivity, is determined to escape and find a better life. The only way for a slave to earn their freedom is to run the annual Freedom Race and win it. Warning: this book delves deep into the atrocities of war and slavery and contains sexual assault, harm to children, and explicit violence. Please keep yourself safe while reading.
Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean
This is a great start to a contemporary romance series about an unexpected princess. Izumi has struggled with trying to find her place for the longest time, and when she finds out that her father is the crown prince of Japan, it seems like she might finally be about to get a happily ever after. But life’s rarely that kind, and arriving in Japan brings with it new scheming family members, intrusive photographers, and a whole new set of rules that she’s suddenly meant to learn and obey.
How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao
This is the first book in a new YA thriller series set at a cutthroat school (heh). Nancy Luo’s former best friend being found dead is shocking enough even before she finds out that she and the rest of her friends are being viewed as the prime suspects, because they were all so close with Jamie at one point in time. Worse, there’s an anonymous account posting their deepest, darkest secrets all over the school’s social media, and it seems like The Proctor knows everything — even things that the friends don’t know about each other.
And there you have it! Happy reading and have a book-filled fall. If you want even more recommendations, you should absolutely also take a look at these amazing YA fantasy reads as well as these 48 fall 2021 YA paperbacks.