The best action-packed offbeat sci-fi & fantasy YA books

Who am I?

To me, a good story is where things happen. I like fast-paced action, grand adventures, snarky banter, and happy endings. I especially like books that don’t take themselves too seriously. Being an author of non-stop action adventure, offbeat science fiction and fantasy books, I write easy-to-read, compelling stories with just as much conflict and danger while maintaining an overarching atmosphere of levity and hope. Suburban mom by day and author by night, I love to live vicariously through my characters. They don’t have to vacuum all day long and are almost always guaranteed to survive any fantastical or thrilling incidents, no matter how treacherous I write them.


I wrote...

Save Yourself

By S. Breaker,

Book cover of Save Yourself

What is my book about?

The Selfless series is a fast-paced YA sci-fi portal fantasy adventure about a teenage girl who stumbles into a parallel world and gets mistaken for her genius scientist "alternate self" whose life is in danger. And the hottest guy in school who never noticed her before is now a brooding genius ninja spy scientist who can't stop risking his life for her. Swoon alert.

If you are a plot-driven reader and love real, detailed scientific information, non-stop action adventure, high-tech gadgetry, and portal nerdiness you won't want to miss this! Mistaken identities. Parallel worlds. Government conspiracies. Out of time. Save the multiverse. Save yourself. Don't get erased. Ready?

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Ready Player One

S. Breaker Why did I love this book?

Having grown up in the nineties, all the 80s/90s pop culture references in this book got me hooked right away. The conflict is gripping, the story is fast-paced and exciting, and the world-building is immersive and excellent. You are literally in a video game. I especially love an easy-to-read geeky science fiction book where I don’t have to struggle to learn through new terms, words, or languages introduced before I get to enjoy the story.

By Ernest Cline,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Ready Player One as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY STEVEN SPIELBERG

It's the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We're out of oil. We've wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that…


Book cover of Good Omens

S. Breaker Why did I love this book?

I have quite an offbeat, dry sense of humor and this gets into all my books. Good Omens is a terrific blend of fantasy, adventure, and irreverent parody. I really like how the authors took on these well-known characters and events and gave them an unexpected twist. It’s the classic battle of good versus evil except nobody is on the side you think they are. The Apocalypse has never been so exciting!

By Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Good Omens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE BOOK BEHIND THE AMAZON PRIME/BBC SERIES STARRING DAVID TENNANT, MICHAEL SHEEN, JON HAMM AND BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

'Ridiculously inventive and gloriously funny' Guardian

What if, for once, the predictions are right, and the Apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea?

It's a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon, now find themselves in. They've been living amongst Earth's mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse.

And then there's the small…


Book cover of A Thousand Pieces of You

S. Breaker Why did I love this book?

I love when stories start right where the action is! Very effective narrative, very vivid worlds–I felt like I was actually there. I was so blown away by the research that must have gone into the settings and locations in this book. The action is fast-paced, the conflict is compelling, and the dash of forbidden love was the cherry on top. I’m a total sucker for romance spanning across parallel worlds and alternate selves. I find the concept of portals and multiverses so incredibly fascinating that this element is in most of my books too.

By Claudia Gray,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Thousand Pieces of You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father's killer through multiple dimensions. Marguerite Caine's physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes-and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite's father is murdered, and the killer-her parent's handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul-escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him. Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through…


Book cover of Howl's Moving Castle

S. Breaker Why did I love this book?

This was such an entertaining, feel-good fantasy adventure read, and so much more playful than the movie version. I adored the push-and-pull relationship of the two main characters and how their couple dynamic develops into that sweet, perfect ending. The book also has an ensemble of wonderful and quirky characters and quite a unique, distinctive magic system. Being a big fan of Japanese animation, I had seen the Miyazaki film first so certain things caught me by surprise, such as the "portal fantasy" element in the actual story. But of course, that just made me love it even more!

By Diana Wynne Jones,

Why should I read it?

16 authors picked Howl's Moving Castle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Now an animated movie from Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki, the oscar-winning director of Spirited Away

In this beloved modern classic, young Sophie Hatter from the land of Ingary catches the unwelcome attention of the Witch of the Waste and is put under a spell...

Deciding she has nothing more to lose, Sophie makes her way to the moving castle that hovers on the hills above her town, Market Chipping. But the castle belongs to the dreaded Wizard Howl, whose appetite, they say, is satisfied only by the souls of young girls...

There Sophie meets Michael, Howl's apprentice, and Calcifer…


Book cover of Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians

S. Breaker Why did I love this book?

This book was action-packed and hilarious! Such a whimsical and fun adventure about an "orphan" boy who discovers he's got incredible (if unorthodox) powers and a much more prestigious lineage than he ever knew about. A common premise but with a refreshing execution. I also found the narrative highly entertaining with its breaking the fourth wall. It gave a personal insight into the author’s excellent sense of humor. This was my first Brandon Sanderson read. I'm off to read Skyward next. I'm sure I will love it too.

By Brandon Sanderson, Hayley Lazo (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Experience the action-packed first book in #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson's laugh-out-loud middle-grade fantasy series like never before—now in paperback with all new covers!

AN ANCIENT RIVALRY REAWAKENS.

Everything I'd known about the world was a lie.

On my thirteenth birthday, I, Alcatraz Smedry (yes, I got named after a prison, don’t ask) received my inheritance: a bag of sand. And then I accidentally destroyed my foster parents’ kitchen. It’s not my fault, things just break around me, I swear!

I thought the sand was a joke until evil Librarians came to steal it. You’re probably thinking,…


You might also like...

Book cover of The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven

Jennifer Ivy Walker Author Of Winter Solstice in the Crystal Castle

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author French teacher Avid reader Lover of medieval romance European traveler

Jennifer's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

As the sole heir to the crown of Ireland, Issylte must flee her stepmother (the wicked queen who seeks her death), finding shelter with a fairy witch who teaches her the verdant magic of the enchanted forest. Fate leads Issylte to the otherworldly realm of the Lady of the Lake and the Elves of Avalon, where she must choose between her new life as a gifted Celtic healer or fight to save her ravaged kingdom.

The chivalrous hero of this medieval romance is Tristan of Lyonesse, a Knight of the Round Table who must overcome the horrors of his past and defend his uncle, King Marke of Cornwall, against the Morholt, the indomitable Black Knight who commands the Viking forces of the ruthless Irish queen. When Tristan becomes a warrior of the ancient Tribe of Dana, a gift of Druidic magic might bestow upon him the power he needs to ally with Issylte and confront the Black Widow Queen, who threatens them both.

Haunted and hunted. Entwined by fate. Can their passion and power prevail?

By Jennifer Ivy Walker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this dark fairy tale adaptation of a medieval French legend, Issylte must flee the wicked queen, finding shelter with a fairy witch who teaches her the verdant magic of the forest. Fate leads her to the otherworldly realm of the Lady of the Lake and the Elves of Avalon, where she must choose between her life as a healer or fight to save her ravaged kingdom.
Tristan of Lyonesse is a Knight of the Round Table who must overcome the horrors of his past and defend his king or lose everything. When he becomes a warrior of the Tribe…


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