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My Regular Rereads

If you know me you know I am quite the voracious reader. Though it wasn’t like this when I was a kid, I have grown to love getting stuck on a story. In fact, I have loved reading so much I created a little book club in 2022 that’s based in Riverside, California called Stuck on a Story. Rereading my most cherished stories is one of my favorite things to do, especially via audiobook on long drives to weddings. After reading over 100 unique books in 2022, I’ve been slowing down with the comfort of many amazing rereads in 2023. Here is the list of the brain candy, I have enjoyed reading and reading and reading again.

The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld

Young Adult dystopian, adventure, coming of age

The series that shocked me the most with how much I have fallen in love with it is Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. I have owned this 2005 released series in paperback since middle school. Yet, somehow I do not remember reading the full series. Since it was sitting on my shelf, I decided to pick it up again and I got lost within the inspiring story of Tally Youngblood. The novel’s world is a dystopian future of earth where all cities have been eradicated of disease through a series of operations that make people “pretty”. When you turn 16 you receive the first operation that takes you from an Ugly to a Pretty. It’s something everyone, including Tally Youngblood, dreams about their whole childhood. But, when Tally makes a friend, Shay, who opens her eyes to the possibility of running away to a city not locked within the bounds of an aesthetics based society, everything changes. Westerfeld writes a riveting journey of Tally Youngblood waking up to the faults in her cities systems and the journey to self discovery. It’s got romance, friendship, adventure and a whole lot of bubbly-making fun. Since reading this series again, I have re-read (or re-listened) to all four books 6 times since 2022.

The Mara Dyer Series by Michelle Hodkin

Young Adult contemporary, horror, romance

If you’re looking for a spooky, unreliable narrator led story that blends romance, memory gaps and unknown supernatural powers, the Mara Dyer series is for you. From the first time I read this, I couldn’t put it down. This story follows a high school aged girl named Mara Dyer. After a tragic accident that led to the death of her best friends and boyfriend, her family moved her to a new city to start fresh. With the use of flash backs, we slowly get a picture of Mara Dyer’s spiritual ties to her maternal grandmother and how fishy her role in this accident is. Of course, she can’t remember what happened and finds herself in even closer proximity to deaths in this new town. This wouldn’t be a reread for me if it didn’t have a love interest, so welcome Noah Shaw to the story. Noah is introduced as an aloof player that seems to have a deep interest in Mara. This tale of romance, death, and kidnapping unwinds as Noah and Mara try to solve the mystery of death-filled accidents together.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Young Adult fantasy, romance

This series should be listed first, but I am slightly embarrassed to admit how much I love it. Twilight is a cult classic for the middle to late 90s babies that experienced the rise of this series in real time. While the writing is truly subpar at best, it’s as my mom says “brain candy”. Twilight follows an almost 18 year old Bella who moves from sunny Arizona to dreary Forks, Washington to live with her dad for her senior year of high school. As a child of divorced parents, she did grow up coming every summer to Forks, but it’s been a while since she’s been back. Upon her arrival to this tiny, tight knit town, she’s intrigued by the other social outcasts, the Cullens. Through a series of events the mysterious Edward Cullen takes special interest in Bella and so starts a four book series filled with love, vampires, werewolves and special powers. If you’re looking for a series to add to the brain rot, this is the one. Even if you hate it, it’ll give you some great laughs.

The Crave Series by Tracy Wolff

Young Adult fantasy, adventure, romance

I never thought I would find my second twilight, yet here we are. The Crave Series by Tracy Wolff was the series that reignited my love for reading YA. I stumbled upon the first book, Crave, after getting my kindle in 2021. It was a recommended amazon read with one two of the books out and a third on the way. We begin our story, yet again, after a tragic loss. Grace, an orphaned high school student, is shipped up to Alaska to her uncle Finn and cousin Macy after the sudden death of both her parents in a car accident. Her uncle is the headmaster of a remote boarding school that Grace will begin attending for her senior year. However, it is immediately evident that this school is far from normal. Grace finds herself on a journey filled of self-discovery, supernatural beings and powerful love that she never expected to find. This book has everything I wanted and more. From fated mates to epic adventures with dragons, witches, vampires and werewolves, Grace and her friends undertake saving her world as she knows it. Since this is a 6 book series, plus a novela, it’s the perfect binge read for vacation.

The Summoning Series by Kelley Armstrong

Young Adult horror, fantasy, romance, adventure

She sees dead people. No really, she does. Chloe Saunders has lived a relatively normal teenage life. Her mom passed when she was young and her dad is a wealthy businessman that is never home, but her nannies and her aunt have always been everything she’s needed. Until the day everything changed. The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong is a horror, fantasy trilogy that uncovers the hidden lives of paranormal teenagers that were never told they are paranormal. Can they trust the people looking after them? If you love twists and slow burn YA romance, this series is the BEST I have ever read. In fact, I re-listen to these three books once a month because I love the character arcs, friendship building and journeying they do.

XOXO by Axie Oh

Young Adult contemporary, Asian American culture, romance

Have you ever wondered what life would be like to move to Seoul, Korea and meet the boy that ran into you all the way in LA a few weeks prior? Cheeky, sweet, and rooted in Korean culture, XOXO by Axie Oh is by far one my favorite stand alone books (though a spin-off came out this year and I love it as well!). Usually I am one to read the physical book on my kindle first, XOXO is one recommend for audiobook because the narrator does such an incredible job at bringing these characters to life. We begin the story with Jenny, an American high school student and award winning cellist. During her shift at at her uncles karaoke bar in Korea town LA she runs into a mysterious boy her age that seems to be hiding in one of the karaoke rooms. After a night of adventure that leads to them never speaking again, Jenny is told she will be transferring to a performing arts school in Seoul, Korea for the semester while her mother takes care of her halmeoni. Over the next semester, we watch as Jenny finds her footing in the world of k-pop idols and performing artists, while balancing friendship, love and family responsibility. This coming of age story is one that tugs on my heart strings every time. If you love k-pop, good character arcs and the sweetness of growing up, this is the book for you.

As you can see, I am quite the YA fan. When I find a book that feels like home it will stay in my rereads for years, probably decades, to come. I hope that you give one of my favorites a try. If you do, let me know over on instagram: @oliveandoath

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