Best Book Ever: Series

We've got a whole bunch of new "faces" this week at Best Book Ever!  We're very pleased to welcome some of the Lucky 13s, a group of debut children's and young adult authors with books arriving in 2013.  So not only are they new faces, but they've also got a lot of awesome books that I'm already looking forward to reading.

This week on Best Book Ever, we're talking about our favorite series.  Because sometimes one book, or three books, just isn't enough.  Series are great for engrossing you in a whole new world, for a very long time.  Here are some of our favorites.

Now I will admit from the off here guys that I couldn't narrow it down any further than two. I love them both so very much.

Firstly, there is MEREDITH GENTRY by Laurell K Hamilton. Oh My Goodness!! What a series. Let me warn you now, it's not YA. There is no way at all it could ever be YA. The amount of raunchy, sexy, provocative (you get the picture) scenes in these books. I was seriously having to fan myself to cool myself off. Don't get me wrong, it's not all sex. There are some amazing storylines and truly marvellous characters, all put together in a darkly paranormal world where anything goes. I really love books about the Fae and these did not disappoint. I think LKH is a fantastic author and I am a definite fan for life!

The second series is SOUTHERN VAMPIRE MYSTERIES or SOOKIE STACKHOUSE. I think Charlaine Harris is a tremendous author and these books are truly some of my all time favourites. My all time favourite bad-boy/love interest/vampire has GOT to be Eric Northman. Oh how I do love me some Eric. I really found it difficult to like Bill when she was dating him. I don't know what it is, I can't quite pin down the moment I started to hate him. All I know is, cut Bill out of the series and give me more Eric, any day of the week. These books were truly some of the most entertaining I have read and I am looking forward to reading the latest installment when I get a chance!

Keren @ Gothic Angel Book Reviews

My favorite series pick is the Bloody Jack books by L. A. Meyer. I adore the Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix, and The Song of Ice and Fire by Martin, and many others, but I've spent the last two years listening to all nine, nine, of the Bloody Jack books on audio (with Katherine Kellgren's brilliant narration) and enjoyed every gosh darn second of it. Jacky is a reckless extrovert, a dancing, singing, crying, flirting, fully fleshed character that I can't get enough of. Are there impossible coincidences? Yes. Are there many young beautiful men? Yes. There is also high adventure and high seas and pirates and madness and steamboats and theatre and floggings and nudity and Jacky kissing boys and girls, and so much more. Till death do us part, I love you Jacky Faber.

April Tucholke, debut author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (2013, Dial/Penguin)

In tackling this week’s theme for BBE, I discovered that picking a favourite series is no easier than picking a favourite book. I love so many, and each of them for different reasons. But in the interest of this post, I am going to choose just one, and it’s a series I just finished reading. The CHAOS WALKING trilogy by Patrick Ness is made up of THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO, THE ASK AND THE ANSWER, and MONSTERS OF MEN, and I’m so very glad I finally got the chance to read it. Each book alone is fantastic; together they will blow your mind.

I fell in love with Ness’s writing style from the very first sentence in THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO. It’s both elegant and powerful, and it gives Todd one of the most unique voices I’ve ever come across in YA. And the world he creates for Todd—a world filled with the noise of constant information—is eerie and haunting and lends such a fresh twist to characters and how they interplay. Ness truly does a wonderful job making all his characters as multi-faceted and layered as the world he’s created in CHAOS WALKING. I also really appreciated how the arc of Todd and Viola’s friendship is complex without being contrived, authentic without a hint of insta-love. You guys, Todd and Viola together will break your heart. By the end of MONSTERS OF MEN, I was a mess because I wholly believed in these two and their story and how much they felt for each other. It’s a sure sign of an incredible series—wanting more and knowing it’ll probably never be enough.

Elsie Chapman, debut author of Dualed (2013, Random House)

For Best Series, I have to go with Percy Jackson and the Olympians. It really surprised me when this choice popped in my head after hearing what the category was but I think it's more about how I read these books than the books themselves (although they are really great!) My middle son loves to read as much as I do, so when he was ready to move into middle-grade aged books, we went to the book store and found this series. We read them together and it was a wonderful experience - we talked about the characters and the plot and what we thought would happen. I loved every minute of it. And because of that experience - these books will always be special to me.

Ashley Elston, debut author of The Rules for Disappearing (2013, Disney Hyperion)

My best series ever vote goes to THE PENDERWICKS, an as-yet-unfinished middle grade series by Jeanne Birdsall. The books follow four sisters—Rosalind, Skye, Jane, and Batty—and their beloved dog, Hound, through a series of hijinks and misadventures. As with any truly great series, the thing that makes these books so spectacular is the characters; though the plots are wonderfully twisty and exciting, it barely matters to me what happens as long as I get to spend time with these girls. (Let's be honest, I'd probably read a book called THE PENDERWICKS WAIT IN LINE AT THE DMV.) Romantic Rosalind tries so hard to act the part of the responsible adult, but she's constantly reminded how little she really understands about being a grown-up. Skye is energetic and headstrong and refuses to be pigeonholed into any role she doesn't believe in one hundred percent. Dreamy Jane aspires to be a great writer and spends much of her time in the thrilling imaginary world inside her head, where her heroine defeats villain after villain. And shy little Batty, who has a heart ten times too large for her body, selflessly combats her fears in order to help her sisters and make them proud. Jeanne Birdsall's writing is poignant and hilarious and nothing short of delightful, and the relationships between the sisters are wonderfully complex and heartfelt. Before reading the Penderwicks books, one sister had always been enough for me... but now I sometimes find myself longing for a few more.

Alison Cherry, debut author of Red (2013, Delacorte Press)

Wow, favorite series...that's a hard one. I'm going to go with the Ender's Game series by Orson Scott Card. I loved the original Ender's Game series and have also thoroughly enjoyed the Ender's Shadow series as well. It's amazing how he can take a story I already know and love and make it interesting and new again just by changing the perspective like that. If you haven't read these, I highly recommend checking them out!

J.R. Johansson, debut author of Insomnia (2013, Flux)

My choice this week for BBE is easy. My favorite series is The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. With a blog named Once Upon a Twilight, how can it not be. Now let me explain to you why I choose this series. This series has brought to my life so many amazing and wonderful moments. Thanks to Twilight I became familiar with reading young adult books. I haven't looked back since. Thanks to Twilight and Stephenie Meyer, I found a group called and have met my friends I consider family. Thanks to Twilight I have traveled and met new places, new friends and of course all the actors from the movies but the best part of it all, has been every time I see and talk to Stephenie Meyer. Some might think that the books are not all that, but when a book or series provokes so many great things in my life, I can only consider it the best!!! Thanks to The Twilight Saga I am where I am today, if not the blog wouldn't even exist. As far as the story itself this is what I feel: I fell in love with a Vampire who broke my heart to protect me. I leaned on my best friend, who turned into a wolf. I had a fairytale wedding, and a not so fairytale pregnancy, but in the end I was blessed with a happily ever after.

Yara @ Once Upon a Twilight

Oh wow, so my debut on BBE had to be about something almost impossible to nail down - a favorite series. I think a great standard for how "good" a book can be is the grueling test of time. Books that are sweeping across library desks and bookseller's counters today might be a flash in the pan compared to the staying power of books that our parents read, we read, and that we'll read to our kids someday.

With that in mind my favorite series is going to have to A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle. You can read that book as a kid and be sucked in to the magic, the fun, the plot, the danger and excitement... even the idea of an ever present kitten on Meg's bed. When you read that book as an adult you're blown away by how well it's written, the many, many layers wrapped up in that onion of a book, and the lessons that continue to inform us as adults.

Who doesn't get a chill from the line, "Wild nights are my glory?

Most of us know the first in the series, but don't forget to pick up A Swiftly Tilting Planet, A Wind in the Door, and the often overlooked Biblical-based adventure of the twins Sandy and Denys - Many Waters.

Mindy McGinnis, debut author of Not A Drop To Drink (2013, Katherine Tegen)

I feel pressured to choose something other than Harry Potter for best series ever, because I’m sure others will pick it, and it already has tons of praise heaped on it—all rightfully deserved. I love those books! But I did not have the pleasure of growing up with Harry, Hermione, and Ron. The experience of exploring a rich world for the first time and encountering exciting characters over the course of a multi-book series is one of the great joys of childhood reading, which is why the Oz books by L. Frank Baum have such a warm place in my heart.

I’m not entirely certain that I’ve read every Oz book. There are fourteen by Baum, and I haven’t read any of those written by other authors. But I vividly remember the ones I read as a child, which remain among my favorites: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Marvelous Land of Oz, and Ozma of Oz. I still have the editions of the latter two that I acquired from the Scholastic book club when I was a kid. The Land of Oz in particular was very trippy, with a plot twist that blew my young mind for a loop. I can’t get enough of clever twists like that in fiction, and I never saw it coming. No matter the book, I always enjoy revisiting Baum’s colorful world, even in alternative works like Geoff Ryman’s heartbreaking novel Was, and of course, Gregory Maguire’s Wicked. In fact, now that I’m reminded the original series is in the public domain, and I have a shiny new tablet, I think it’s time to read and re-read some of these classics of children’s literature. I hope you also will decide to return to Oz soon!

E.C. Myers, debut author of Fair Coin (2012, Prometheus Books)

My favorite series is the City of Ember Series by Jeanne DuPrau. I still remember that I picked up the books for an assignment in elementary school and boy am I glad that I picked it up. The City of Ember series was one of the first dystopian series I read. The premise of the series is totally different from all the books I read. Each of the books was unique and distinct in its own way. The series didn't continue in a straight line. The books were full of adventure, mystery, and suspense. The characters, Lina and Doon, were downright kickass; they were the original Katniss and Peeta to me! When I heard that there were going to make a movie out of the City of Ember in 2008, I was so happy. Too bad it was not as good as I expected. The books were 100000000000000000x better than the movie. The City of Ember series will forever be a part of my childhood and will be my favorite series...until I find the next one. :) Let's all continue our quest in finding our new and eternal series.

Ashley @ FireStarBooks

Choosing a favorite series is like choosing my favorite child: the answer changes daily. Today I'm feeling the love for the OUTLANDER series, by Diana Gabaldon. These books are filled with time travel, rich historical detail, and a smokin' hot Scotsman who loves only, I mean Claire, the protagonist. I love this series so much that I'm willing to forgive Diana for that nasty cliffhanger at the end of book seven. Bring on number eight, baby!

Melissa Landers, debut author of Alienated (2013, Disney Hyperion)
This week was hard. I've already used my top series in answers to other weeks. Harry Potter (Magic, week 5). Vampire Academy (Vampires, week 2) The Sisters Grimm (Wolves, week 3) etc, etc...

The Gallagher Girls got a mention in Week 4, Boarding Schools but since they haven't had their own post, I've finally settled on them!

The Gallagher Girl novels are my go-to for when I'm having a horrible day. I love Ally Carter's writing style, it's so comfortable and engaging. A few pages in and you're completely absorbed in the world of Cammie and her friends feel like you're part of life at Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. Sidenote: if I could go to spy school, I totally would! I'd be the worst spy ever, but man, does Carter make it sound like fun. Cammie's story arcs are fabulous, the secondary characters are fun and well-developed. And the heroes? They make my list of favorites too.

Tiffany Schmidt, debut author of Send Me a Sign (2012, Walker-Bloomsbury)

What about you? What's your favorite series?

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