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YA Fantasy TBR recs #IfYouLikeThese...

Do you have a favorite trope? A beloved book that you reread a thousand times wishing something else could scratch that same itch? If you're like me, perhaps you even have a few favorite authors who you would nearly make a deal with a devil, simply to have them put books out faster.

I've been really MIA for 2021, partly because I don't always have inspiration on what to post and partly just because this year has already been so busy. But I've been reading a lot of amazing books this year, and I finally got on TikTok.

What do these things have in common? Totally valid question. I've noticed, between Booktok and Booktube, that people seem to recommend the same incredibly popular books (whether a decade old or a brand new release) over. And over. And over.

On the surface, there's nothing wrong with this. I've read a lot of those popular books and love them, too! But there are two complications:

  1. It leaves people who have read those still wondering, what now though?

  2. Marginalized authors (neurodivergent, disabled, BIPOC, LGBTQ+) rarely make these lists

And so came the idea for this series (which will hopefully get me posting more regularly again!)

If you like ____, you might like these!

I'll be choosing popular books according to a specific subgenre and making recommendations of books with similar tropes that deserve to be on everyone's TBR even though they don't make the round on Booktok and Booktube, taking special care to try to highlight books by marginalized authors as well as indie authors.

Without further ado, I'm going to kick this off with YA Fantasy!


If you're a fan of series by Leigh Bardugo, Sarah J. Maas, Holly Black, or Cassandra Clare ...

I absolutely recommend you go check out:

  • The Gilded Wolves (trilogy) by Roshani Chokshi

    • Found family, heist, decolonization

    • The chemistry between these characters is incredible, the banter is so captivating, and the world building is so much fun. I adored this book from the very first chapter and am so excited to start the sequel, The Silvered Serpents. The characters have so much depth, and I honestly cannot recommend this one enough

  • The Belles (duology) by Dhonielle Clayton

    • Teacup animals! bodyguard, decadent court, dark secrets, fairytale motifs

    • Incredible world building. This book is so much fun and so beautiful, but with so much depth and darkness--much like the fictional city of Orleans. I love the characters, and it has a sweet romantic sub-plot.

  • The Bone Witch (trilogy) by Rin Chupeco

    • rivals to lovers, brooding bodyguard, decadent court, dark secrets, found family

    • I'm on the final book in this trilogy, and the storytelling is just so good. In fact, it's told in a dual timeline, with one timeline heavily featuring the bard tasked with telling our main character's story. The audiobook is great, and the bard actually narrates his timeline. The main character is flawed but immensely relatable, and omg the romance in this one. I'm dead. Good thing the bone witches are a type of necromancer.

  • A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (duology) by Roseanne A. Brown

    • gilded cage, star-crossed lovers, opposites attract, rebellious princess

  • An Ember in the Ashes (series) by Sabaa Tahir

    • enemies (sort of?) to lovers, betrayal, heroic vow, impossible choice

    • I binged this entire quartet at the end of last year. It's told in multi POV, and I love the characters (even when they're being infuriating). The magic is a ton of fun, the stakes are so high, and parts of this series are truly heartwrenching. Sabaa Tahir is a master at tearing out your heart and making you keep reading for more.

  • We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya series) by Hafsah Faizal

    • big bad / bigger bad, approaching doom, artifact, enemies to lovers

  • Spin the Dawn (duology) by Elizabeth Lim

    • forbidden romance, heroine posing as a boy to compete to save her family

  • These Violent Delights (duology) by Chloe Gong

    • Romeo and Juliet retelling in 1920's Shanghai where the characters belong to rival gangs?! Need I say more?

  • Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

    • love triangle, magical secret society, arthurian legend

  • Tantalize (series) by Cynthia Leitich Smith

    • this one's a bit old (2007?!) but it's perfect for fans of Twilight and Twilight-era paranormal YA romance

  • The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

    • curse, grave-diggers, Welsh folklore

  • Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

    • mysterious vanishings, generational story, secret past, slow burn, friends to lovers, magical realism


That's all for this round! What are some of your favorite books? Leave me recommendations in the comments (or, better yet, on Instagram or Twitter <3 ), or leave some of your favorite books that you wish you had recommendations based on.

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