Mid-2010s Fantasy Books Teens Should Read

Mid-2010s Fantasy Books Teens Should Read

The mid-2010s were dominated by fantasy books such as The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner. As these stories topped NYT bestseller lists and became prominent movie series, many novels fell into the shadow of their more successful counterparts. This is not to say though that these other stories were bad – most are just as good or even better.

Nowadays most adolescents are absorbed by their electronic devices. But, by taking some of these books and introducing them to new readers, they will help pry phones and tablets out of your children’s hands and instead replace them with tangible stories. There are three series being explored in this article, but there are many more fantasy books to choose from, especially during the mid-2010s when the dystopian and fantasy genres were enormously popular. These series are The Young Elites by Marie Lu, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, and Half Bad by Sally Green.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

the young elites

The Young Elites is not Marie Lu’s first young-adult series, nor is it forgettable. The first novel, titled the same, was published in 2014. The story boasts a deadly disease that kills nearly all of the population but those who survive it, especially children, become marked with powers not of their world. The books all follow the main character Adelina Amouteru as she struggles to find her place in a world that despises marked children versus a group that fights for them – The Young Elites. 

As Adelina dives deeper into the dystopian world she lives in, she begins to discover how powerful and dangerous her abilities truly are, along with how her traumatic past with her father will influence who she is in the future. 

These books are a perfect example of a main character who is more villain than hero, and who will go to any lengths necessary in order to get what she wants – validation. Readers should enjoy these books as they are a good length – around 350 pages per book. The language is also not too daunting, so each and every chapter shines on its own with rich descriptions alongside a map in the beginning of the book.

If these fantasy books interest your child, then perhaps check out more of Marie Lu’s books, as they all contain unforgettable characters placed in unique worlds that are dystopian in nature.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver


What if you lived in a world where love was forbidden? This is the defining question in the book Delirium, where love is a dangerous disease that is “fixed” at 18 years old with a procedure called the “Cure.” Lauren Oliver takes something that is so entwined into our own lives and turns it into something to be feared and destroyed.

Each book follows the main character Lena Haloway as she approaches her 18th birthday, determined to get the procedure done like everyone else, unlike her mother who fell in love. But fate has another plan for her once she meets Alex, a boy from the “Wilds” who gives her a new perspective on the thing she feared for so long. 

In the spirit of not spoiling the first book, the following novels continue Lena’s story and the choices she makes after meeting Alex for the first time. Needless to say, these events change her life dramatically and bring her full-force into a battle for and against love. This is a series for those who ask the “what if” questions, but also those who love the books The Hunger Games and Divergent because Oliver has placed the setting of this series in an alternate United States of America, exactly like these best-selling series.  

Similar to The Young Elites series, these books all hover around the 350 page mark and encourage quicker reading. If your child is a fast reader, they may even be able to complete the book in a day if engrossed enough in Lena’s story. 

Lauren Oliver has several other books published as well, ranging from young readers to young adults and adult audiences. There is a book for everyone in her collection, and if you like Delirium then perhaps her other fantasy books would also fall onto you or your child’s reading list.

Half Bad by Sally Green

half bad

Last but certainly not least, Sally Green rounds out this mini-list with her magical series Half Bad. In these three novels, two warring factions of witches battle against each other in modern-day England, living amongst regular humans. The main character of this book is Nathan, illegitimate son of the world’s most dangerous witch Marcus, who begins his story trapped in a cage away from society. 

As these books move forward, readers are introduced to several witches on both sides of the war and the rules of their magic. Nathan does in fact get released from his original prison, but he must decide who he is to become, especially as his father’s influence hovers in the back of his mind. This series is quite dark, but it recognizes the trials that Nathan must endure and there are lighter moments interspersed throughout the series. 

Green’s series is not well-known, but is one of those golden treasures readers find as they dive down a wormhole full of book recommendations. These novels turn a modern-day world into something more, and pull the reader in with complex relationships between characters and the ever-present feeling of someone hiding just around the corner to attack Nathan.

Each book is similar in length to the other two series, possibly even being slightly shorter. This length is perfect for adolescent readers as they dive into longer fantasy books, managing to keep their attention long enough to finish the series and exposing them to the world of fantasy. 

Other than the Half Bad series, Sally Green has also written a series titled Smoke Thieves that readers should check out if they enjoyed the magical world Nathan lives in.

The Importance of Fantasy Books

Hopefully with this article, you can find a series to recommend to your child to encourage them to explore the world of reading. It is better to pick up a book rather than an electronic device, and in the age of technology this cannot be stressed enough. Enjoy these recommendations, as they

Alexandria is a News Editor, writer, and reader of all things literature. She graduated from the State University of... More about Alexandria Wyckoff

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