10. Gothic: There are two series I must mention here. Firstly, is the Vampire Kisses series by Ellen Schreiber.
Description (books 1, 2 and 3):
"A new guy in town.
Rumors of vampires.
Dangerous first love.
This is where it all begins. . . .
The mansion on top of Benson Hill has stood empty for years. But one day it seems to be occupied, and its mysterious, handsome inhabitant Alexander Sterling becomes the source of much talk around town. Raven, a vampire-obsessed Goth-girl who has always considered herself an outsider in "Dullsville," is determined to uncover the truth surrounding the secretive Alexander. As she gets to know him, and their spark intensifies, Raven finds herself in some unanticipated situations. Can Alexander make her lifelong dream come true? But love always has its complications—especially when it can only be awakened at nightfall."
Recommendation: This series was really fun to read. It's lighthearted in the way of dark storytelling and a good series when you're looking for a paranormal quick read. The first book The Beginning is three books in one: Vampire Kisses, Kissing Coffins, and Vampireville. Raven, the main protagonist is gutsy and quirky, in the sense that she has a fascination for all things dead. She likes to hang out in her town's cemetery (at night no less), dreams of becoming a vampire, and wears black 24/7 among other things. Overall, it's a fun read, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the last book.
Secondly, I must tell you about The Nevermore Trilogy by Kelly Creagh (pronounced Cray).
Description (book 1):
And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!
— from "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe
"At once an homage to one of America's greatest writers and a page-turning psychological mystery that is equal parts horror, humor, and romance, NEVERMORE is the story of Varen — a Poe-fan and goth — and Isobel — a cheerleader and unlikely heroine. When a Lit. project pairs the two together, Isobel finds herself steadily swept into Varen's world, one that he has created in his notebook and in his mind, one where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life. Isobel slowly learns that dreams can be much more powerful than she'd ever expected, and that pain and despair come in all shades. As labels of "goth" and "cheerleader" fade away, she sees more in Varen than a tall, pale outcast, and a consuming romance is braced against the ever-clearer horror that the most terrifying realities are those within our own minds.
When Isobel has a single chance to rescue Varen from the shadows of his own nightmares, will she be able to save him — and herself?"
Recommendation: Once I started reading Nevermore, I was hooked. I believe my inner goth was born that day (thanks Kelly). Anyone who enjoys reading YA novels and is a fan of Edgar Allen Poe will really enjoy this series. I thought all the characters were very believable, especially Varen. I loved delving deeper into his mind as Isobel slowly unraveled his secrets. Despite their opposite personalities and friends, it was really compelling to watch them connect.
Want to read: I'm super excited to read Enshadowed book two in the Nevermore trilogy.
11. Historical Romance: I probably should have put The Luxe series here. Please refer to those for this section too. I haven't read any other YA historical romance, but I can suggest Ransom My Heart by Princess of Genovia Mia Thermopolis with help from Meg Cabot.
"Mia Thermopolis, Princess of Genovia and star of Meg Cabot's insanely popular #1 New York Times bestselling Princess Diaries books, has "penned" her first historical romance novel . . . with help from Meg Cabot
He's a tall, handsome knight with a secret. She's an adventurous beauty with more than a few secrets of her own. Finnula needs money for her sister's dowry, and fast. Hugo Fitzstephen, returning home to England from the Crusades with saddlebags of jewels, has money, and lots of it. What could be simpler than to kidnap him and hold him for ransom?
Well, for starters, Finnula could make the terrible mistake of falling in love with her hostage.
Princess Mia Thermopolis, Meg Cabot's most beloved character, has always been an outspoken animal-rights activist and committed environmentalist. In keeping with Mia's true spirit, Meg will be donating her advance to Greenpeace."
Recommendation: Granted, this is definitely an adult book, but if you want to take a leap from YA to adult fiction in the historical romance department, this is a pretty good book. The main protagonist, Finnula is as fiery as her red hair. She prefers wearing men breeches (aka pants) rather than dresses. I mean, who can ride a horse the way a man does without hiking up one's dress for all to see what's underneath? Although wearing pants doesn't keep anyone's eyes off of Finnula either.
Anyway! Finnula is a leader, and takes charge where no one else will. She won't take crap from any man, until she meets Hugo. Cue a mix of frustration and passion (coming from both parties). Set in England, way back when, this historical romance is definitely a steamy read, with equal parts action and murder mystery. Also, buying this book will help a good cause. Just beware you younger readers. I will admit I found myself blushing every so often while reading this book.
Want to read: I honestly don't know. Haven't really perused this section of the bookstore. I don't know....is it just me, or does everyone else feel really embarrassed even walking past the romance section of the bookstore? Got any YA suggestions for me?
12. Mythology: Yay! I love mythology. Sadly though I haven't read much in this sub-genre. *sigh. But! I will recommend Meg Cabot's Abandon.
Description: "Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.
But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.
Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.
But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld."
Recommendation: I've always had a fascination with mythology, so this book was a fun read. For most stories, I think I have a feel for where they are going...more like, I'm not surprised by the choices a lot of characters make. But this book had lots of surprise. It's a good "making choices" book...about analyzing what's most important in life (or death), figuring out what your heart wants, and whether or not you should follow it. I enjoyed Pierce's journey, and her struggle to escape or accept the hand and the heart of death.
Want to read: Well, I definitely have Underworld (the sequel to Abandon) on my list of books to read. I also want to read The Goddess Test by Aimée Carter and Everneath by Brodi Ashton.
So that's all for now. Next on the list is...Pirates, Sci-fi, and Steampunk. That sounds like fun!
-Hope your day is bright