The best nostalgic YA urban-fantasy novels of the 2000's

Who am I?

I’m an author of contemporary/urban fantasy, and an avid reader of the genre for over twenty-five years. I can still remember my very first vampire read, Secret Vampire by LJ Smith. I don't get to read as many books as I would like, partly because I take my time to ensure I don’t skim over details. This way, the story sinks in and its meaning becomes deeper and clearer. I also apply this to my own books to give the reader an immersive experience. As a British author, all of my writing is set in the UK, which I think brings a different dimension to a market that's flooded with novels based in the USA.


I wrote...

Sorceress Of Truth

By J.D. Groom,

Book cover of Sorceress Of Truth

What is my book about?

Tory Harper wants nothing more than to fit in. Her relentless classmates made her school life hell, so a family relocation and change of schools was a welcome relief. Adopted into an eclectic group, she is enraptured by the spirited Pepper, a student with boundless energy, and Kylan, the 'big brother' with a troubled past of his own.

When a house party becomes a feeding frenzy, and no one is what they first appeared, she is plunged into a world of magic and mystery. With vampires intent on raising a demon, threatening the balance of life as we know it, will Tory unravel her truth before it's too late?

The books I picked & why

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Glass Houses

By Rachel Caine,

Book cover of Glass Houses

Why this book?

The Morganville Vampires Series was one of the first series I read with more than three books to it's name. You could say it sunk it's teeth into me.

Glass Houses centres around Claire Danvers' need to strike out on her own, to step out of the college dorms and away from the harsh treatment of the popular kids.

It's such a normal situation. We all know that living in the real world is nothing like the shiny bubble of a college or university campus. But, what would you do if you discovered that your new home, and housemates, weren't quite what you thought?

What makes this book is the quirky characters—one of which inspired one of my own characters—that are equally hilarious and insane. The story really pulled me in and made me feel like I was uncovering the towns secrets.

Glass Houses

By Rachel Caine,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Glass Houses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation, where the popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks in the school's social scene: somewhere less than zero. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life, but they come out fighting when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood...


Vampire Academy

By Richelle Mead,

Book cover of Vampire Academy

Why this book?

I absolutely loved this book from the start. Back when I first read them, the concept was so original that I found myself hanging on every word. With two types of vampires at war, a royal line on the cusp of being eradicated, and a reliance on 'half-breeds' for protection, it was full of action.

I think what got me the most was the close bonds and friendships. I was reading them at a time when I didn't have many connections due to moving areas with my now husband. There is a big undercurrent of love through the pages, including an exciting forbidden love that gets the heart racing.

Vampire Academy

By Richelle Mead,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Vampire Academy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a major TV series on SKY & NOWTV

ONLY A TRUE BEST FRIEND CAN PROTECT YOU FROM IMMORTAL ENEMIES . . .

Lissa Dragomir is a mortal vampire. She must be protected at all times from the fiercest and most dangerous vampires of all - the ones who will never die.

Rose Hathaway is Lissa's best friend - and her bodyguard.

Now, after two years of illicit freedom, they've been dragged back inside the iron gates of St. Vladimir's Academy. The girls must survive a world of forbidden romances, a ruthless social scene and terrifying night-time rituals. But above…


City of Bones: The Mortal Instruments #1

By Cassandra Clare,

Book cover of City of Bones: The Mortal Instruments #1

Why this book?

City of Bones is a great introduction to the world of the Shadowhunters, an organisation of demon hunters. And you don't just encounter demons, there are vampires, werewolves, warlocks, faeries, and ghosts, to name but a few. It can be a bit overwhelming to begin with as there is a lot of back-story at times, but stick with it.

Just thinking of The Mortal Instruments makes me feel warm and fuzzy. It's like a comfortable fluffy blanket, candle, and a pumpkin-spiced latte all rolled into the pages of a book. I really felt a part of the action and enjoyed the playful banter between the friends. There are lots of twists and turns, especially in the last three chapters.

City of Bones: The Mortal Instruments #1

By Cassandra Clare,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked City of Bones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Discover this first installment of the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series and “prepare to be hooked” (Entertainment Weekly).

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he…


Marked

By P. C. Cast, Kristin Cast,

Book cover of Marked

Why this book?

I remember finding this book so intriguing at the time. For a start, it's written by two authors, a mother and daughter team. Growing up I used to write with friends and family, each taking in turns to write a page and then passing it to the other for their turn. It was great fun, but ultimately ended in a mess as we were each fighting to take the story in the direction we wanted. So I enjoyed that the partnership in Marked worked.

The magic and ritual element also drew me in. As someone who dabbles in the spiritual, with card reading, candles, and the like, it was interesting to see how it could be brought into fiction in a different way while also introducing some Cherokee wisdom.

Marked

By P. C. Cast, Kristin Cast,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Marked as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The House of Night" series is set in a world very much like our own, except in sixteen-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres have always existed. In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampyre - that is, if she makes it through the Change. Not all of those who are chosen do. It's tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling. She has been…


Fallen

By Lauren Kate,

Book cover of Fallen

Why this book?

This book seems to divide opinions, but for me it was love at first sight. It was the first book I had read where they delve into the battle of the fallen. I was mid writing my own book at the time, which also features my version of events, so it was fascinating to read another author's take on the history of angels.

I found the story quite dark and atmospheric, and I enjoyed unravelling the past along with the main character, Luce. There's also a romance laced through the pages with two love interests where I found myself rooting for the 'bad guy'. Perhaps this is where I gained my enjoyment of a love triangle in books. 

Fallen

By Lauren Kate,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fallen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SOME ANGELS ARE DESTINED TO FALL.

Instant. Intense. Weirdly familiar . . .

The moment Luce looks at Daniel she knows she has never felt like this before. Except she can't shake the feeling that she has . . . and with him - a boy she doesn't remember ever setting eyes on.

Will her attempt to find out why enlighten her - or destroy her?

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic. Fallen is a thrilling story about forbidden love.


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