Obvious ones that I hardly need tell you about:
Harry Potter by JK Rowling
Basically the books that started me reading. I think. I know I got the first two for my eleventh birthday and I can distinctly remember reading them sat under my desk. Goddess knows why, but I did!
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
A big and popular series but I only read them because my younger brother had them! And, as the rules say, I had to read the book before watching the movie.
The slightly less obvious ones:
Cat Royal by Julia Golding
I've been a fan of this series for years and I honestly believe that it was this series, read when I was about 14/15, that got my interested in history. I even used the third book in the series as a text for my dissertation!
It tells of a young girl, an orphan, who has grown up in the Theatre Royal. Living in the late eighteenth century London, Cat gets into all sorts of adventures, including helping a run-away slave, hanging out with a gang and getting into fights with another, trying to find a diamond - and this is just the first book! She also runs from the law and has to hide in plain sight at Eton; goes to Paris during the French Revolution and nearly gets lynched; gets stuck on a Navy ship and is forced to hide as a sailor; goes to Jamaica and is swept up in the slave revolution; and goes to Scotland and finds her family. What I adore about this series is that even with all her extravagant adventures, Cat is so easy to read and get a great sense of history.
Georgia Nicholson by Louise Rennison
There are six things very wrong with my life:
1. I have one of those under-the-skin spots that will never come to a head but lurk in a red way for the next two years.
2. It is on my nose
3. I have a three-year-old sister who may have peed somewhere in my room.
4. In fourteen days the summer hols will be over and then it will be back to Stalag 14 and Oberfuhrer Frau Simpson and her bunch of sadistic teachers.
5. I am very ugly and need to go into an ugly home.
6. I went to a party dressed as a stuffed olive.
In this wildly funny journal of a year in the life of Georgia Nicolson, British author Louise Rennison has perfectly captured the soaring joys and bottomless angst of being a teenager. In the spirit of Bridget Jones's Diary, this fresh, irreverent, and simply hilarious book will leave you laughing out loud. As Georgia would say, it's "Fabbity fab fab!"
Although I can't remember how I got into this series, I have loved it for years and it still makes me laugh out loud!
Demon Trappers by Jana Oliver
I read this series recently and did a massive all-in-one review for it here. Anyone who knows me knows I love a good and gritty urban fantasy but what I loved about this series was the emotional depth and its spunky heroine. Riley was given a tough lot in life and she sticks with it, never giving up even when she really wants to, because she can't. It's not what her parents would want of her and she still has friends that need her help. Plus with four books, Oliver had a great scope for developing storyline, which she did, and characters, which she did!
Undead by Kirsty McKay
Out of sight, out of their minds: It's a school-trip splatter fest and completely not cool when the other kids in her class go all braindead on new girl Bobby.
The day of the ski trip, when the bus comes to a stop at a roadside restaurant, everyone gets off and heads in for lunch. Everyone, that is, except Bobby, the new girl, who stays behind with rebel-without-a-clue Smitty.
Then hours pass. Snow piles up. Sun goes down. Bobby and Smitty start to flirt. Start to stress. Till finally they see the other kids stumbling back. But they've changed. And not in a good way. Straight up, they're zombies. So the wheels on the bus better go round and round freakin' fast, because that's the only thing keeping Bobby and Smitty from becoming their classmates' next meal. It's kill or be killed in these hunger games, heads are gonna roll, and homework is most definitely gonna be late.
A duology (that a word?) about zombies. It was very gross and fast-paced and funny and I loved it! Quite possibly the only books I've managed to read about zombies. And considering I loved it, that's saying something!
Waiting for series to finish:
Daylighters - book fifteen in Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine. Sophie can share in my pain of the ending of this series, it is so incredibly amazing and you should all read it for proper vampire drama! To be released November 2013.
Raging Star - book three in Dustlands by Moira Young. I adore this series, with its stand-offish protagonist and her daring adventures, its abundance of boys to drool over and bad guys to fight with. To be released April 2014.
Allegiant - book three in the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth. By the time this goes up, in theory I should have this book but won't have read it yet. I'll admit to being a little apprehensive because I can't really remember much of the first two books but I'm sure I'll slip right into the world again when I start Allegiant! Released this week!
Up From The Grave - book seven in the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost. I adore Frost's writing, and her stories of Cat and Bones are so incredibly good! To be released January 2014.
Dreams of Gods and Monsters - book three in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor, even though I haven't read the second one yet. Don't care, I'm counting it because the first book was that good! To be released April 2014.