Hey everyone! Today, I am going to be tier-ranking the 10 most popular YA books I’ve ever read. For those of you who don’t know what tier-ranking is, it’s basically just ranking how much I like books on a scale of S, A, B, C, D, and F (going from best to worst). I thought it might be more fun than just talking about my opinions, so you can enjoy the little graphic too! To pick out the “most popular” books, I sorted my Goodreads and found the books with the most amount of ratings.
I do have some unpopular opinions, so be prepared haha. Yeah so no hate, I totally respect if you liked these books, since many of the ones I disliked had positive ratings. And I hope you’re able to get a laugh out of my opinions if you don’t agree! So let’s get started!
Here’s the final list just as a summary for what’s to come! I’ll just be talking about why each book is in what category :)!
1. The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle)
I read this series a while back, and I really enjoyed it! I mean, we’ll get to my opinions on Shiver later on, but this was just so much better than that series in every way possible. The story felt original, especially with the psychic/ley lines elements, since I feel like we usually don’t get much of that in YA books! I absolutely loved the main cast of characters as well as the relationships and interactions between them. They all had such interesting personalities and quirks that made them easy to love throughout the series.
I absolutely love Legend, and I feel like it’s such an underrated book! I never really hear many people talk about it, but it’s one of my favorite reads. I usually don’t read dystopian, but I fell in love with both Day and June. The alternating perspectives worked well in the story, and I loved getting a glimpse of what each character was thinking. I also enjoyed how the plot was executed with the corrupted government, and it made for a fun read!
I actually haven’t read the fourth book, Rebel, yet because I’m honestly a bit scared of where it’s going to go. I feel like I loved the original trilogy so much and it was wrapped well enough to conclude the series as a whole :). Someone tell me if it’s good or not if you read it, because I’m scared it might ruin the series for me haha. Anyways, that was a little tangent, so let’s go back to the list!
3. A Court of Thorns and Roses
Honestly, I love this series in more of a comfort read way instead of a “really well written way” if that even makes sense? It’s a little bit of a guilty pleasure for me, but I loved it regardless. It definitely peaked at A Court of Mist and Fury and I fell in love with all the characters. I feel like the characters really made the story, and the Inner Circle is definitely one of my favorite “found families,” “friend groups,” or whatever you may call it! I always love books with fae in them, and I liked the concept of the courts. The multiple reincarnations bothered me, but it wasn’t enough to take away from everything else I enjoyed.
4. Six of Crows
Six of Crows will forever be my go-to recommendation for anyone who wants to get into YA fantasy (so if you haven’t read it, go do it)! It’s such a good duology, and it’s not a super long series, so it’s not a big commitment at all. I love the diverse cast of characters, found family, and the heist concept! There will never be enough heist books, and this is definitely my favorite from books that use that plot device.
I love that Kaz, one of the main characters, is morally-gray, since I’m always a huge fan of that trope! There also isn’t too much romance compared to a ton of other YA books, and I feel like it went well with the book to place more emphasis on the characters themselves and the plot (though there is some romantic tension, which I really liked)!
1. The Cruel Prince (Folk of the Air)
I absolutely loved this book the first time I read it. It had the enemies to lovers romance I needed, and I fell in love with Cardan. However, the more I thought about it, the more problems I found with the book. I know, I’m like such a negative person.
I felt like the relationship between Jude and Cardan was a little too problematic for my tastes. There was a little too much hate in there for me without any reason for them to love each other. It wasn’t your typical book where the girl breaks the boy’s hard shell, and it becomes a fairytale romance. No, Cardan was mean all the way through, yet there was still romance between them. But other than that, the court politics in this were amazing, I loved the faerie setting, and there were enough plot twists throughout the series to keep me intrigued. So, A tier!
1. Shadow and Bone
I actually just reread this one recently after forgetting 90% of what it was about thanks to my horrible memory. I liked this one, but it wasn’t really like an S tier book. The plot was interesting enough, but I just didn’t really care for most of the characters, except the Darkling, who will forever be one of my favorite YA villains.
Mal was just so boring and I wish there was more *spice* to him. He’s literally equivalent to a saltine cracker. I feel like it was like a ⅘ star read…nothing mind blowing but nothing I don’t regret. I wish there was like an AB tier to this, but I’m going to round down to a B tier since it’s no something I would feel incredibly motivated to reread.
2. Shatter Me
I honestly loved the first three books, and I absolutely loved the relationship between Juliette and Warner, but the series progressively got worse. I felt like the series should have stopped after the original trilogy, but it kept going and created a brand new plot. Many of the characters began to fall flat, and Imagine Me was probably one of my biggest disappointments of this year.
Especially in Imagine Me, there was so much filler, and little to no actual plot. The series honestly peaked at Ignite Me, which is probably one of my absolute most favorite books, but went downhill from there. If I could rate just the original trilogy, it would be going up on the S tier, but since I hated the 4-6th books, so I’m putting it as a B tier.
3. Throne of Glass
Throne of Glass is SUCH A LONG SERIES! I literally felt like I was reading 23482304 books while reading it, but it definitely got better throughout the series. The first few books honestly bored me (and I wish there was more POC representation), but it improved a lot starting from Heir of Fire. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Aelin and Rowan, but I really loved the other characters (my favorite was Chaol)!
1. The Hunger Games
Okay so unpopular opinion time. I felt like the Hunger games was a really mediocre read, especially when I reread it. I remember absolutely loving it the first time I read it. Like at the end when Peeta was like do you love me real or not real, I was literally crying. Actual tears were streaming down my face, as I seriously reread that page over and over again about ten times that day until I eventually had to return it to the library. But when I thought about it more and reread it, it really wasn’t that good. It was just sooo mediocre. I feel like I only liked it because it was one of the first YA books I read, and I really didn’t have much to compare it to.
The series got weaker as it progressed, and I didn’t really like any of the characters that much. Katniss was pretty annoying too. Sooo, I probably upset a lot of people with that. But for the actual rating, I’m giving it a C. It introduced me to the YA genre, and it would have been an S tier book years ago, but it kind of fell flat once I reread it.
I didn’t like this series. There, I said it. I actually even read the sequels to see if the series got better, but it got worse? I feel like it’s mostly because I hate characters falling in love with animal-like characters. Like mentally, that just bothers me. That’s like if you fell in love with a rat from the sewers just because it shape-shifted every once in a while. Like, no. The characters were also a little too dull for my tastes, and I didn’t like the prose too much. Sorry everyone!
I hope you all enjoyed this blog-post! I had fun making it, since I usually talk about newer releases on here, with my reviews and everything. I hope I didn’t write too much in this post, and I actually cut the list down from 15 books to 10 (also for the sake of me not having to write that much)! Let me know what you thought about some of these books in the comments below, as well as if you agreed or disagreed with me! Have a great day everyone!