teen reads

It’s hard to believe it’s technically fall when my air conditioning is still working on overtime. It feels like we’re permanently stuck in triple digits. I’m not sure I’ll ever truly adjust to the “fall” season here in Arizona, even though it’ll be my twelfth!

However, with fall on the brain despite the temperature, I thought I would look back at my favorite YA reads I managed to squeeze in this summer while taxiing my jr. higher to his every social-demanding locale. Here are my top five reads, the ones that stuck with me and moved me the most. (all titles are links to the Amazon page)

Number 5: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
This book is many things–a romance, a crime mystery, and a high school drama all with supernatural undertones. It’ll keep you guessing through the end.

Number 4: The Kiss of Deception By Mary E. Pearson
Don’t you just love to read about royalty? This exciting book takes you to another world reminiscent of the kingdoms in the Game of Thrones. Trust me, it will leave you wanting the next installment STAT!

Number 3: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Not actually in the YA category, more like NA, but truly an epic read I had to mention. It amazes me this fellow Arizonan author (yay for AZ authors!) wrote this book for fun. She said it was for practice and not meant for the public. Ha! I wish I could write this well “just for fun.” Well worth the 800+ pages.

Number 2: We Were Liars By E. Lockhart
Warning, this book is brilliant, but will hurt your heart. It is uniquely written, will grab you by its prose, and will surely surprise you.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Not many authors can make you like a second installment in a series more than the first, but that is exactly what happened with this book. I loved the dual perspective in this 2nd book and the overall romance between the main characters. I want to live in their world.

Other notable mentions if you want to get your intergalactic read on are:

Alienated by Melissa Landers and The Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman

I hope you enjoyed my summer reading recap. Let me know if you agree with my list and what books grabbed you. As always, happy reading!

Many readers ask me who I see playing Trent and Cassie in my YA fantasy romance series: REMATCH, DOUBLE FAULT, and the conclusion DEUCE (to be released soon). I have given this enormous thought because, well, because it’s fun! So here is a more detailed description of the main characters from The Vortex Series as we meet them in book one and the celebrities I picture playing them.


Meet eighteen-year-old Trent Astor, AKA Jeremy. He’s the reluctant hero of this series with an extraordinary secret he must keep hidden from the world for his family’s safety. This secret, involving a supernatural power, forces Trent and his younger sister, Lorelai, to be on constant alert, ready to run again. The orphaned siblings move every six months with a new identity so the ones after his power cannot find him. This makes teenage life almost unbearable. Lonely and ultra private, Trent knows making friends will only put them all in jeopardy. His saving grace is his love for his sister and his music. He’s mastered the guitar and allows himself to perform with local rock bands as long as he keeps them at arm’s length. Trouble is when you have a body and face like Trent, people tend to notice you. But because of the powers he was bestowed with, he knows a normal life will never be in his future. Allowing anyone, especially a girlfriend into his heart, is unthinkable.



Now enter the heroine of this story, Cassie Moore. At eleven-years-old, Cassie was in a horrific shooting that tragically scarred her for life. The once promising tennis prodigy, throws all hope of a future in tennis away, unable to play again after the shooting. As she enters her senior year of high school, she struggles to find herself, her self-esteem at an all time low. When Jeff Tanner, a football god at her school, wants to date, she’s thrilled until he begins to manipulate her and treat her altogether badly. If she could only somehow recover from her past, she may have a chance to get her groove back. She never imagined that could be possible, though, until she meets the gorgeous new student in her PE class, Jeremy.


About Janine

YA Author of The Vortex Series. REMATCH, DOUBLE FAULT, DEUCE. Secret drummer & avid reader.