Who says that people nowadays don’t read anything anymore? True, maybe they don’t necessarily read what was written centuries before our time, but isn’t that sort of understandable? It’s only natural that we’d seek to read something that we can immerse ourselves into. Especially in the case of young adults, the niche supporting one of modern literature’s biggest genres – immersion is the keyword. If developed right, we can become the center of any story that is found in the pages of a book. And, you know what? The more, the better.
This is why some of the biggest successes rest not in one book, not in two books, but in stories that have been told through three books, at least – a series. Searching for the Top 10 Best Book Series, we tried to balance popularity, quality, and uniqueness.
#10 James Dashner, “The Maze Runner”
In The Maze Runner, protagonist Thomas wakes up on a rapidly ascending elevator with no memories or knowledge about his identity. He surfaces in a place called the Glade, where he finds many other teenage boys. Thomas discovers that they’re all trapped there, held back by the constant changing maze full of traps and deadly monsters.
The first book was published in 2009, the original trilogy being completed in 2010 and 2011 by The Scorch Trials and, respectively, The Death Cure. Dashner has continued the franchise with a series of prequels kicked off by The Kill Order in 2012. Its successor, The Fever Code, has yet to be published.
#9 Clive Staples Lewis, “The Chronicles of Narnia”
The concept of stumbling upon a magical realm hidden in the back of your closet was popularized by this series. With a total of seven books in the series, the franchise tells the stories of a magical faraway land that is constantly torn by wars and conflicts.
The most popular installment, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was published in 1950, and it follows four British children who enter Narnia from their wardrobe.
#8 Rick Riordan, “The Heroes of Olympus”
After the success of Percy Jackson & The Olympians, Riordan found success again with this sequel series. Picking up on a prophecy introduced in the last Percy Jackson book, the five total books present the alliance of seven demigods that have united to protect Earth against goddess Gaea.
The Lost Hero, the first book in the franchise, was published in 2010. The rest of the books (The Son of Neptune, The Mark of Athena, The House of Hades, and The Blood of Olympus) were published in the follow-up years, the series concluding in 2014.
#7 Erin Hunter, “Warriors”
What’s the first thing you think of when reading the title? I bet that it’s not wild cats, that’s for sure. However, this is exactly what Warriors is about, following the adventures of four distinct Clans of wild cats – ThunderClan, ShadowClan, RiverClan, and WindClan.
The series is rich in material, with plenty of content having been released since the publishing of the first book in 2003.
#6 Jeff Kinney, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”
Not all of the best book series need to be, at core, epic fantasy adventures. Kinney managed to hit the jackpot by writing a series that depicts the struggles of middle school, basically. All of the ten books were created to look like diaries written by main character Greg Heffley, being hand-written and full of scribbles and drawings.
The online versions of the books have been released in 2004, making them accessible to a wider audience. Ever since, the series has been receiving praise and positive reviews to the point where it’s nearly impossible to find a library without Diary of a Wimpy Kid on the shelf.
#5 Rick Riordan, “Percy Jackson & the Olympians”
Riordan’s first big success, Percy Jackson is a hugely successful series despite the mostly negative reactions its movie counterpart received. The plot is full of big-scale action, masterfully intertwining teenagers, modern days, and Greek mythology.
Since the release of the first book, The Lightning Thief, in 2005, the series has been climbing hierarchies. As for 2011, the series has been on the New York Times Bestseller list for a grand total of 223 weeks, in the Children’s Books section.
#4 Suzanne Collins, “The Hunger Games”
Suzanne Collins re-wrote the dystopian genre with her Hunger Games franchise, which is deemed by many publications as one of the best young adult series of all time. Set in the futuristic world of Panem, 17-year-old Katniss Everdeen volunteers to participate in the annual Hunger Games. Caught in a competition to the death where only one may survive, she makes the sparks that will ignite a fire.
The series has managed to sell a total of 65 million copies in the US alone – almost half of them with The Hunger Games, over 19 million copies with Catching Fire, and over 18 million copies with Mockingjay.
#3 George R.R. Martin, “A Song of Ice and Fire”
The books that inspired the Emmy-winner show Game of Thrones, they separate themselves from the rest of the series on this list through its sheer lack of any filters. Full of profanities, immorality, and violence, the books offer perspectives of various characters in a setting where everyone is craving to sit on the Iron Throne.
The franchise is still ongoing, being due to end at seven books. So far, five of them have been published – A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance of Dragons. The last two books are allegedly going to be called The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.
#2 J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Lord of the Rings”
The famous tale that depicts an unrelenting battle between the forces of good and evil in one of the best fictional universes ever created needs no introduction. Who isn’t familiar with Frodo, Sauron, Mordor, The Ring, Gollum, Legolas, Boromir, and all the other things that are definite The Lord of the Rings trademarks?
Having sold over 150 million copies worldwide since its publication in the 50’s, The Lord of the Rings is the best-selling book of all time.
#1 J.K. Rowling, “Harry Potter”
The seven books in the famed Harry Potter franchise have left a huge mark on modern literature. Depicting the adventures of protagonist Harry Potter and his friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardly, the series is a staple of fantasy writings.
The series stands at number four in the list of the best-selling books of all time, with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone having managed to sell alone over 107 million copies worldwide.