Teenagers usually have a heightened imagination, which lets them enjoy comic books, graphic novels, and fantasy and adventure stories. The best fantasy books for teens cater to this imagination. They let the teen delve into the story and imagine themselves being part of it.
From alien invasions to murder mysteries, inter-galactic travel to superhero stories, fantasy books are a portal for teens to indulge in something beyond real life. If you want to give your teenage child something wonderful, fantasy books would be a great option. Let’s look at some great choices of books you can get.
Our Top Picks
13 Best Teen Fantasy Books
When your teenager has an option of watching a movie or reading the book the movie was based on, always encourage them to read. Because when they read, their imagination is active and unrestricted. So here are some of the best fantasy books for teens you should buy.
By Cassandra Clare
The Mortal Instruments is a series of six books written by Cassandra Clare. The story revolves around Clary Fray, who leads her life like any other ordinary teenager until she finds out that she is anything but ordinary. A chance encounter reveals that she, like her mom, is a shadow hunter, and has angel blood. The story takes you through Clary’s life as she faces the biggest truth of her life, her transformation into a demon fighter, her relationships with her best friend Jace, and her new friend Simon. The book boasts over 5,000 rave reviews on Amazon.
The theme of the book and its prequels is about accepting who you are, with all your strengths and flaws, and about making decisions and accepting the consequences.
By Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games is one of the many popular teen fantasy books made into a motion picture. While the movie was good, the book is better. The Hunger Games series ranked as the second best teen fantasy novel for teenagers after Harry Potter.
The story is set in the dystopian country called Panem, which has 12 poor districts and one wealthy Capitol. The Capitol hosts a televised death match called the Hunger Games, in which two teenagers from each district participate. Among the participants is 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who along with her admirer Peeta Mellark, wins the annual series. In the process, she unknowingly triggers a rebellion against the Capitol, which angers the authorities.
The second and third books take you through the events of the revolution and how Katniss is forced to bring that under control to protect her family and friends. The books are loved by many and have more than 20,000 reviews on Amazon.
By Stephanie Meyer
There were a lot of books and movies on vampires, but none were as successful as the legend of Dracula. Until Stephanie Meyer decided to write the Twilight Saga.
The Twilight Saga is a series of four books, chronicling the life of teenager Isabella “Bella” Swan, who moves to Forks, Washington. There, she meets a mysterious guy named Edward, who is a 104-year-old vampire, who drinks animal blood. Bella falls in love with him, in the process creating enemies from another vampire coven, and endangering herself. The series is about Bella’s love story with Edward, her encounters with James and his mate, her friendship with a werewolf called Jacob. It is popular amongst teenagers and has over 10,000 reviews on Amazon.
The plot of this fantasy novels is intriguing, leaving the readers to wonder if there is even a chance that a vampire and a human can have a happy ending together! Makes you curious now, doesn’t it?
By Sarah J. Maas
Teenagers who like kick-ass characters will love the Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, one of the many good fantasy books for teens. The book is about an 18-year-old assassin named Celaena Sardothien, who is imprisoned by the king for her crimes.
A smart, witty, and arrogant assassin that she is, Calaena strikes a deal with the King’s son and gets out of jail. The rest of the story is about how she faces her opponents, deals with two men who love her, gets drawn into a conspiracy, and how she gets out of it, only to discover a greater destiny waiting for her.
By Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson’s stories are mythological fantasies, which set them apart from the dystopian stories of the Hunger Games or Divergent Series. There are no wizards or vampires. Only gods – the Olympians and the Titans! A series of five books, Percy Jackson & The Olympians is about a teenager’s transformation into a demigod.
The first book is about Percy’s quest to prove that he did not steal Zeus’ lightning bolt, while the second book is about saving Camp Half-Blood, a demigod school. The books continue to tell you Percy’s story as he fights the evil forces while ensuring that the Olympians are in power. The last book tells readers about the Great Prophecy that Percy has to fulfill.
By Ransom Riggs
Peculiar children? Isn’t that enough to make you wonder what this book is about? Also a motion picture now, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is an interesting story about the adventures of Jacob Portman. On his quest to find out about his grandfather’s past, he meets Miss Peregrine and peculiar children with powers that make them invisible, control fire, and have incredible strength! And, they live together in a time loop!
Makes you curious what that is, right? The narrative style of the book is fantastic, for the writer also uses a series of photographs to support the story. If your teen loves mysteries and fantasy, he or she will enjoy this book.
By Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Beautiful Creatures is a heartwarming story of an ordinary boy and a “caster”, who fall in love but cannot be together because of their family history. The story begins with Lena Duchannes, a caster, who moves to South Carolina and meets Ethan. Ethan and Lena fall in love with each other, but soon realize that their ancestors had a similar relationship, which resulted in the death and curses.
The rest of the plot is about which way Lena’s power will lean (white or dark), Ethan’s influence on her magic, and the evil forces compelling her to go dark. While the movie, starring Alive Englert, Jeremy Irons, Alden Ehrenreich, and Viola Davis is a good watch, we recommend you get the kid to read the book first.
When it comes to fantasy like this, it is best to leave our imagination free and wild.
By Laini Taylor
One of the top teen fantasy books, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is about Karou, an art student living in Prague. She is like any other teenager who spends a lot of time with her best friend, Zuzana. Only she is not your average teenager. Raised by four chimeras, Karou lives in a dusty workshop that acts as a portal between the Earth and the Eretz, the land of the chimera. There are several such portals around the world, managed by Karou’s father figure, Brimstone.
As time passes, Karou finds black hand marks on these portal doors. An investigation reveals that the Seraphim, who are at war with the Chimera, made those marks. The rest of the story is about Karou’s quest to find out who she truly is and how she gets caught up in the war between the Seraphim and the Chimaera.
By Neal Shusterman
Where do people go when they die? Hell or Heaven?
In this fantasy fiction by Neal Shusterman, souls of young children usually end up in Everlost, a realm between life and death. Allie and Nick die in a car accident and find themselves in Everlost, where they become “afterlights” (departed souls). They make friends with a boy named Lief, who warns them of the evil monster called the McGill.
Nick and Allie go to New York (or the city’s version in this realm) and meet Mary Hightower who lives with other “afterlights”. Eventually, they find out that The McGill and Mary Hightower are siblings and McGill is not the monster he is. Mary, is also not who she seems to be.
The rest of the story is how Allie gets home with the help of her friends.
10. Watership Down
By Richard Adams
A classic tale of adventure and fantasy, Watership Down is a tale about a group of rabbits fleeing their habitat, soon to be destroyed by humans. Fiver, a rabbit seer, has a vision that their warren will be destroyed by people soon, but only a few in the colony believe him. Fiver, along with his believers move out of the colony in search of the ideal warren where they can live in peace and flourish.
The rest of the story tells you how the warren of rabbits deal with more threats from human beings, attacks by predators, and absence of does (female rabbits), all in an attempt to reach Watership Down, their ideal home.
11. Poison Study
By Maria V. Snyder
Poison Study is an exciting story about a twenty-year-old girl called Yelena, who gets a new lease of life when she accepts to become the king’s food taster. To keep her from running away, the Commander of Ixia, who she has to protect, feeds her Butterfly poison. Yelena needs to get her antidote every day to escape a slow agonizing death.
As she fights enemies to keep the commander and his family alive, she develops magical powers, for which she can be executed in Ixia. While she handles disasters and learns to control her magical powers, she also falls for Valek, the commander’s right-hand man who tries to protect her.
The plot gets interesting as mysteries unfold and Yelena learns the truth about the commander and his devious acts. If your teen picks this book up, we believe he or she will not put it down until the end.
By Rae Carson
The Girl of Fire and Thorns is the first book of the Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson.
The book is about Elisa de Riqueza, the princess of Orovalle, who is also the chosen one. But Elisa has never been anything but a failure, let alone a savior. Regardless, she secretly weds a handsome and worthy king who needs the chosen one. With word out that she is the chosen one, dark forces are also looking for her, fearing she will become the death of them. The rest of the story is about whether or not Elisa tries to find the strength and power within her to protect herself and help her kingdom.
Interesting, isn’t it?
By Robin McKinley
Aerin grew up listening to the story of her mother, the witch, who had cast a spell on the king and married him. When her mother gave birth to a daughter (Aerin) instead of a son who could be the heir of Damar, she dies of shame, leaving Aerin alone to fight for herself. The king and a few other royals support Aerin, who secretly makes a fireproof ointment that helps her become a dragon slayer.
Eventually, Aerin yields the Blue Sword and becomes the hero that the kingdom needs.
How To Choose The Right Fantasy Books For Teens?
Here are a few things to consider before buying a fantasy book.
- Theme: The fantasy genre covers various themes, including magic, mystery, mythology, supernatural beings, and more. Consider your teen’s interests and choose a book accordingly to keep them engaged.
- Language: Pick a book your child can easily understand that is not so complicated that they lose interest. However, the book should be challenging enough to help them learn new words and phrases to develop their skills.
- Reviews and recommendations: Considering the recommendations of fellow readers can make it easy to pick a suitable fantasy book. Check the reviews about the characters, plot, and writing to narrow down your options.
Why Trust MomJunction?
Wedetso Chirhah has a Masters in English Literature and writes extensively on books, kids, and more. He also has experience editing school books for children, and prioritizes readability and quality. If your teen enjoys lucid language with powerful imagery, Wedetso recommends Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson & The Olympians series. Combining the modern world with the lores and myths of Gods, this series takes you on several adventures that will leave you wanting more.
If your child loves getting lost in the worlds of fantasy and adventure, these fantasy books for teens will keep them engrossed and engaged for a long time. The series mentioned in this list are highly recommended for their intriguing plotlines and character development, not to mention the popularity of the author. Reading these stories can be a great way to stir your child’s imagination and nurture the sparks of creativity within them while keeping them entertained in the best possible ways.
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