The best YA fantasy full of rich alternate worlds and characters you’ll fall in love with

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a former middle school teacher and high school athletics coach. I’ve spent so much time trying to nurture many students as they try to navigate growing up and figuring out who they are. I draw from their tragic stories in hopes of showing students that they’re not alone in their struggles. I also draw snippets from my challenging childhood that, in recent years, I realized I had to cut my father and stepmother out of my life because of how psychologically abusive and manipulative they are. The upside is my self-worth has significantly improved. I hope to empower others through my books.

I wrote...

Mia Evers and the Demon's Curse

By Angela Guajardo,

Book cover of Mia Evers and the Demon's Curse

What is my book about?

Mia Evers never expected school to be easy, but the demon-haunting homeroom totally complicates things.

Going to a new school sucks. Trying to fit in as a Dark sucks more. All the other alignments enjoy an easy, normal life of wielding the elements or communing with plants, animals, and spiritual beings. But Darks? Ghosts and demons give them zero personal space, not to mention the creeps. Right as things seem to be getting normal, the homeroom demon spreads a deadly curse. With no one to turn to for help, Mia's the only person in the whole school with the power to fight demons and save her classmates. Can Mia find the courage to embrace her totally not-normal demon-slaying powers before the demon decides she's next on the menu?

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Ragnarok Unwound

Angela Guajardo Why did I love this book?

Ragnarok Unwound by Kristin Jacques is an incredible storyteller that paints vivid pictures and builds an engaging cast of characters.

I love how her stories compel me to keep reading to find out what happens next. The stories are real, raw, and relatable. You’ll find yourself rooting for the hero to overcome all obstacles.

By Kristin Jacques,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Prophecies don't untangle themselves.

Just ask Ikepela Ives, whose estranged mother left her with the power to unravel the binding threads of fate. Stuck with immortal power in a mortal body, Ives has turned her back on the duty she never wanted.

But it turns out she can't run from her fate forever, not now that Ragnarok has been set in motion and the god at the center of that tangled mess has gone missing. With a ragtag group of companions-including a brownie, a Valkyrie, and the goddess of death herself-Ives embarks on her first official mission as Fate Cipher-to…

Book cover of Pemberley: Mr. Darcy's Dragon

Angela Guajardo Why did I love this book?

You don’t need to have read any Jane Austen books to fall in love with Maria Grace’s fantastical spin on the old classic.

You can’t go wrong with adding dragons to a good story, especially when they exhibit catlike behavior from time to time. Her stories are rich in detail and backstory that really make her books sing.

By Maria Grace,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

England is overrun by dragons of all shapes and sizes. Most people are blissfully unaware of them and the Pendragon Treaty that keeps the peace between human and dragon kind. Only those born with preternatural hearing, like Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are able to hear and converse with dragonkind.When the first firedrake egg laid in a century is stolen from Pemberley, the fragile dragon peace teeters on collapse. Darcy has no choice but to chase down the thief, a journey that leads him to quaint market town of Meryton and fellow Dragon Keeper, Elizabeth Bennet. Elizabeth shares a unique…

Book cover of Fablehaven

Angela Guajardo Why did I love this book?

Fablehaven was a huge hit for good reason. It’s an alternate reality story where fantastical creatures, like fairies and satyrs live right under our noses.

The series follows a brother and sister who take very different paths to protect this hidden magical world. Brandon Mull has other equally creative and engaging books that are hard to put down.

By Brandon Mull,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Fablehaven as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

"The dialogue snaps and sizzles. . . like Harry Potter, Fablehaven can be read aloud in a family with as much pleasure for grownups as for children. . . Do yourself a favor, and don't miss the first novel by a writer who is clearly going to be a major figure in popular fantasy." — Orson Scott Card, New York Times Bestselling Author

"Imagination runs wild in Fablehaven. It is a lucky book that can hold this kind of story." — Obert Skye, Author of Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo

For centuries, mystical creatures of all description were…

Book cover of Tithe

Angela Guajardo Why did I love this book?

This series grabbed me from page one. I don’t make a habit of reading books including the Fae, but I absolutely fell in love with everything she’s written after that.

You can tell she does her research on fae mythology, yet adds her own touches to it, including blending their world with ours.

By Holly Black,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the realm of very scary faeries, no one is safe.

Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces the sixteen-year-old back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms—a struggle that could very well mean her death.

Holly Black's enormously powerful voice weaves teen angst, riveting romance, and capriciously diabolical faerie folk into an enthralling, engaging, altogether original reading experience.

Book cover of Legendborn

Angela Guajardo Why did I love this book?

Her series in progress is such a delightfully unexpected and unpredictable tale. Every time I thought I knew what was going to happen next, the story pivoted.

I love the blend of a present-day setting in North Carolina and Arthurian legends, and then a primal addition of African American history.

By Tracy Deonn,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Legendborn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Instant New York Times Bestseller!
Winner of the Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe for New Talent Author Award

Filled with mystery and an intriguingly rich magic system, Tracy Deonn’s YA contemporary fantasy reinvents the King Arthur legend and “braids together Southern folk traditions and Black Girl Magic into a searing modern tale of grief, power, and self-discovery” (Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles).

After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill…

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Book cover of This Animal Body

Meredith Walters

New book alert!

What is my book about?

Neuroscience PhD student Frankie Conner has finally gotten her life together—she’s determined to discover the cause of her depression and find a cure for herself and everyone like her. But the first day of her program, she meets a group of talking animals who have an urgent message they refuse to share. And while the animals may not have Frankie’s exalted human brain, they know things she doesn’t, like what happened before she was adopted.

To prove she’s sane, Frankie investigates her forgotten past and conducts clandestine experiments. But just when she uncovers the truth, she has to make an impossible choice: betray the animals she’s fallen in love with—or give up her last chance at success and everything she thought she knew.

By Meredith Walters,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Frankie Conner, first-year graduate student at UC Berkeley, is finally getting her life together. After multiple failures and several false starts, she's found her calling: become a neuroscientist, discover the cause of her depression and anxiety, and hopefully find a cure for herself and everyone like her.

But her first day of the program, Frankie meets a mysterious group of talking animals who claim to have an urgent message for her. The problem is, they're not willing to share it. Not yet. Not until she's ready.

While Frankie's new friends may not have her highly evolved, state-of-the-art, exalted human brain,…

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