A modern retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" from the point of view of a vain Manhattan private school student who is turned into a monster and must find true love before he can return to his human form.
Why we love it: Old story reborn, showcases the importance of morality and the power of love, excellent characterization (with both physical and emotional metamorphosis).
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
In a small South Carolina town, 16-year-old Ethan is powerfully drawn to Lena, a new classmate with whom he shares a psychic connection and whose family hides a dark secret that may be revealed on her sixteenth birthday.
Why we love it: Poetry, Southern Gothic atmosphere, Civil War history, complex mythology, boy’s point of view, strong descriptions, cool librarian, small town feel.
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Suddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, 15-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizzare world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.
Why we love it: Plot twists, good laugh-out-loud dialogue, complex romance, interesting characters and mythology.
Evermore by Alyson Noël
Since the car accident that claimed the lives of her family, Ever can see auras and hear people's thoughts, and she goes out of her way to hide from other people until she meets Damen, another psychic teenager who is hiding even more mysteries.
Why we love it: California, tulips, great dialogue, engaging back story, sisters, no creatures—just a cool psychic girl.
Firelight by Sophie Jordan
When 16-year-old Jacinda, who can change into a dragon, is forced to move away from her community of shapeshifters and start a more normal life, she falls in love with a boy who proves to be her most dangerous enemy.
Why we love it: Strong heroine, love/hate sister relationship, romantic leads endanger each other, and oh yeah—she turns into a dragon! A dragon!
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Orphaned Mary seeks knowledge of life, love, and especially what lies beyond her walled village and the surrounding forest, home of the Unconsecrated, aggressive flesh-eating people who were once dead.
Why we love it: Page-turner, hope, depressing but enthralling, highlights consequences of a break with conformity, The Village + I Am Legend.
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
Sam LaCroix, a Seattle fast-food worker and college dropout, discovers he is a necromancer, part of a world of creatures and a threat to another necromancer’s lucrative business of raising the dead.
Why we love it: So funny, male lead that boys can relate to, surprise ending, talking head in a bowling bag!
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
After learning that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea, Percy Jackson transfers from boarding school to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods, and becomes involved in a quest to prevent a war between the gods.
Why we love it: Funny, plenty of action, realistic dialogue, more friendship than romance, great for boys.
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
When a dark prophecy begins to come true, 16-year-old Evie of the International Paranormal Containment Agency must try to stop it and uncover its connection to herself and the alluring shapeshifter, Lend.
Why we love it: Refreshing heroine who gets excited to do normal teenage stuff, vampires and faeries plus original supernatural beings keeps things interesting.
Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
In late nineteenth-century New York state, wealthy 16-year-old twins Lia and Alice Milthorpe find that they are on opposite sides of an ancient prophecy that has destroyed their parents and seeks to do even more harm.
Why we love it: Fighting sisters (one mostly good, one mostly evil), strong secondary characters, great plot, different paranormal abilities.
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Mackie Doyle knows that he replaced a human child when he was an infant. When a friend's sister disappears, he goes against his family's and town's deliberate denial of the problem to confront the beings that dwell under the town, tampering with human lives.
Why we love it: Disturbing and gruesome yet beautiful story; pure, refreshing lead character; power of love and selflessness.
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
After Chloe starts seeing ghosts and is sent to Lyle House, a mysterious group home for mentally disturbed teenagers, she soon discovers that neither Lyle House nor its inhabitants are exactly what they seem, and that she and her new friends are in danger.
Why we love it: Non-stop action, fun and exciting, great creepy scenes.
The White Cat by Holly Black
When Cassel Sharpe discovers that his older brothers have used him to carry out their criminal schemes and then stolen his memories, he figures out a way to turn their evil machinations against them.
Why we love it: Family dynamics, male protagonist, tragic love, good and evil are jumbled up, attention-holding, silly but brilliant concept (two words—supernatural mafia).