This week's Top Ten Tuesday was open-ended, so we here at Crazy for YA decided to take it in a direction we find is rare in YA--to outer space! Because interplanetary exploration is slightly rare in YA novels these days, we may have recommended slightly fewer than 10 books this week, but all of our recommendations feature some of the most unique YA settings out there.
1. Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I know this book got a lot of hype when it was initially released, mostly because of its unique format, but I think it deserves every bit of attention and a little more, which is why I'm including it in today's post. Not only is the format intriguing, the story of Illuminae, is gut-wrenchingly suspenseful and its characters are insanely entertaining. The whole book (along with its sequel, Gemina) reminds me of an episode of Doctor Who, which is a good thing.
2. Starflight (Starflight #1) by Melissa Landers
This book recieved slightly less hype than Illuminae did, but I think it was every bit as exciting and the setting was absolutely entrancing. The main character, Solara, is on a journey in a futuristic world to travel to the edge of their universe, 'the realm,' and her adventure and the setting made this book an absolute must-read for anyone who enjoys outer-space themed novels.
3. Across the Universe series by Beth Revis
This series is a little older, but still great nonetheless, although the series is quite a bit similar to the other books I've mentioned so far. The main characters in this series face a tumultuous journey on a spaceship to a new planet, but main character Amy has a specific issue--instead of awaking after being frozen to arrive on the new planet, she accidentally is awoken 50 years too early. In terms of futuristic technology, I think the Across the Universe series had some of the most interesting.
4. The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyers
Even though not all of this series is set in space, some of the most important events happen in the deep dark hole of space. This series jumps around to different settings, from China and Paris all the way to outer space. I fell in love with every single one of the characters, but it was the unique setting that really caught my eye. I loved how the story is set in the future where space travel is common and Eartherns must deal with the aliens on the Moon. Add in a kick-butt cyborg, adorable prince, and a sassy android to get the perfect setup for a great series.
5. Beyond the Red by Ava Jae
This is one of my more recent and underrated favorites. Jae's debut novel blow me away, all the way into outer space! Her story follows the paths of an alien queen who must figure out what is best for her and her kingdom, as well as a half-breed who is just trying to keep his people and himself alive. Many extraterrestrial adventures follow, with just the right amount of swooning.
6. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner
I have been told SO many times to read this series over my blogging career, but I only recently finished the first installment. But now I know what everyone was so insistent. I loved the setting and the characters really grew on me. Basically, a boy and a girl from completely different backgrounds are stranded on a seemingly deserted planet. It sounds rather simple and maybe even cliche, but don't let that fool you. Nothing is ever normal or boring in the vast realm of outer space.
What is your favorite setting in books? Do you have any recommendations for books set in outer space? Did you read any of the novels that we suggested? If so, what did you think about them?