Looking for ya fantasy found family books? Here are 15 insanely good ya fantasy books to read right now
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There is something so comforting about books with the found family trope. A random group of people who come together and become close friends. It’s guaranteed to make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The only issue is finding books with this trope when there are SO many incredible books to choose from. So, I’ve narrowed down the 20 best ya fantasy found family books I’ve personally read.
This post is all about ya fantasy found family books
- This post is all about ya fantasy found family books
- What are the best ya fantasy found family books?
- 9. Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
- 10. When we were magic by Sarah Gailey
- 11. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
- Good Reads lists you might like…
- Other posts you might like…
What are the best ya fantasy found family books?
These are the best ya fantasy found family books that I really recommend.
The following list includes books that you NEED to read
1.Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
If you’re looking for a long series with fae, assassins and enemies-to-lovers romance.
Throne of Glass follows Celaena Sardothien who is imprisoned in a horrific prison called Endovier. She is an assassin. And one day she is summoned by the Prince to fight in a competition. The winner will become the king’s personal assassin.
I love Celaena. Some reviews describe her as arrogant. But I find her confidence refreshing. It’s really nice to read a female lead who knows how incredible she is.
The first book has an amazing love triangle with great enemies to lovers romance. But later in the series is the most perfect, slow burn enemies to lovers romance. I personally think Sarah J Maas is really good at writing a captivating slow burn ‘hate at first sight’ romance.
The other characters in the series are also amazing. I particularly love Nehemia as she’s so intelligent.
It opens with a punch and hooks you in instantly. The concept of an assassin competition is excellent. Reading about the different rounds kept me hooked.
But there is also a long term plot that develops slowly throughout the course of the series. If you haven’t read this series – I highly recommend it. There are 16 books in the series – so plenty to get stuck into it. And you can pick them up from Amazon – check it out here.
2. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
If you love a magical heist, the found family trope and a twisty plot
There is so much to love about Six of Crows – magic found family and super sassy banter. But it also features an excellent enemies to lovers romance between Nina and Matthias.
It six teenagers living in Ketterdam. Kaz Brekker, a criminal prodigy, is one of the teens. He is offered a deadly heist for a huge payout.
But it’s an impossible heist. And Kaz will need all the help he can get to pull it off. So he assembles five other teens to help him.
Six of Crows is like a fantasy version of Oceans Eleven. If you’re a fan of the friendship group in A Court of Mist and Fury you should read this. There was plenty of banter between the friendship group.
Nina and Matthias are both fully developed characters with flaws and plenty of growth. After reading their backstory it’s almost impossible not to root for them. Nina is incredibly feisty and sassy while Matthias is really grumpy.
There is also an angsty, slow-burn romance between Kaz and Inej. There is a definite ‘will they, won’t they’ vibe And Kaz is a dark, brooding figure.
Magic is incorporated throughout and it’s developed very well. I really enjoyed reading about the unique magic system.
The cast is also really diverse which I really appreciated. And Jesper is an excellent example of a bisexual character. You can get this conveniently on Amazon- you can buy it here.
3. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
If you are into friendship, magic and unforgettable characters
The Raven Boys follows Blue. Each year in the churchyard, Blue watches her psychic mother see those who are going to die that year. Blue never actually sees them herself. Until this year. When she speaks directly to a boy.
He is called Gansey and is a student at Aglionby school. The students there are known locally as Raven Boys.
So many people recommended this book to me. And I’m glad it lived up to the hype! It has a lot of paranormal elements woven into the plot. And that makes it a really autumnal read.
It also has dark academia vibes. It’s set in a local private school. Gansey is also obsessed with researching Welsh mythology. And it even references Latin.
The series features a perfect cursed romance. And the romance touches on a lot of interclass issues. Blue Sargaent has many preconceptions about the rich students who attend Aglionby school.
The characters are what make this book. On the surface, it seems like a quirky loner meeting rich boys. But it’s so much more than that! The characters are all fully developed with fleshed-out (and tragic) backstories. The relationships between them are some of the best I’ve read in YA Fiction.
4. A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth
If you’re a fan of Crescent City
If you’re a fan of Crescent City you definitely need to read a Dark and Hollow Star. This is one of my top books in 2021! A Dark and Hollow Star is an urban fantasy, with fae, queer main characters and a wlw romance.
A series of gruesome murders threatens to expose the faerie world to humans. Four queer teens – Nausicaä, Arlo, Vehan, and Aurelian – each hold a piece of the truth. And they must track down the mysterious killer.
There are not one but two romances in this book. And the characters are what make them so perfect. I personally love Arlo and Nausicaä. Nausicaä is a grumpy, chaotic and sarcastic lesbian. Arlo and Nausicaä have a perfect grumpy/sunshine slow-burn vibe.
The other pairing is Vehan and Aurelian. Vehan is the perfect cinnamon roll character ( a character who is super sweet but faces more hardship than they deserve). He is Prince of Seelie court and just wants to protect others. Aurelian is his incredibly grumpy and stoic protector
I listened to the audiobook version which you can find on audible. It features a full cast of narrators which made it really engrossing. The voices of Vehan and Nausicaä are so spot on! And you can listen to it on Audible with a free trial. Or you can buy a physical copy on Amazon – you can buy it here.
5. Spellhacker by M.K. England
If you’re looking for a fantasy heist with witty banter and a memorable friendship group
Spellhacker is one of the most similar books to Six of Crows that I’ve read. It has so many of the elements that make Six of Crows great – a diverse cast of characters, a high stakes heist, criminal mastermind main character and plenty of banter. The characters were also really diverse – including non-binary, queer and POC characters.
It’s set in a world where magic ( known as maz) was once freely available. But an earthquake unleashed a deadly plague. And now maz is a tightly controlled and expensive commodity.
We follow Diz who runs an illegal maz siphoning business with her three best friends. They get offered one last massive heist that could change everything.
This was a well written standalone. The book opened with a bang and it was fairly fast-paced throughout. It felt like a cross between Ready, Player One and Six of Crows. The world-building around the magic was also really excellent. You can buy Spellhacker on Book Depository with free shipping worldwide.
6. Lore by Alexandra Bracken
For Fans of Percy Jackon or Greek Mythology
Greek Mythology meets The Hunger games. Lore features Greek mythology, an urban setting and a strong female lead.
Every seven years Greek Gods are hunted by descendants of ancient bloodlines. If the hunters succeed they seize their immortality. It follows Lore Perseus who has turned her back on this world. But as the next hunt dawns, two participants seek out her help.
The plot of Lore is quite complex but it’s executed perfectly. Bracken did a great job of building the concept. I was intrigued and hooked from the first chapter.
It has a really great revenge storyline. So if you liked the revenge elements in Six of Crows then this is a great book to read.
7. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
If you like retellings, the found family trope and enemies to lovers romance
This series has one of the best enemies to lovers romances. If you love the friendship group in Six of Crows then you should read this series. The found family trope is executed particularly well in this series.
A Court of Thorns and Roses is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. It follows Feyre. She is really poor and lives with her father and two sisters. She has to hunt to care for the family.
One day she sees a deer and can’t resist killing it to sell. But it was actually a faerie she murdered. And the owner comes to kidnap her to live at the castle as punishment.
It is a bit slow. Sarah J Maas does dump a lot of information about the fantasy world on you. But stay with it – I promise you it gets so much better. The second book is definitely the best in the series where many of my favourite characters are introduced. And conveniently you can buy it on Book Depository with free shipping worldwide – get a Court of Thorns and Roses here.
8. The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
If you’re looking for a high fantasy novel about feminism
The Gilded Ones was one of my most highly anticipated books in 2021. And I’m really glad it lived up to my expectations.
It follows 16-year-old Deka. She lives in a village where all the girls undergo a blood ceremony. If their blood runs gold – they are impure.
Deka has lived in fear of this ceremony. And on the day – her blood runs gold. And Deka must face consequences worse than death.
But then a mysterious woman comes to her rescue. And offers her the chance to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her.
There is so much to love about this book. The found family trope works really well. There was so much diversity in the army of Alaki. The magic system was really intriguing and the world-building was excellent.
This book is not for everyone – it has a lot of violence. Please check the trigger warnings before reading.
9. Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
If you’re looking for a book with superheroes and a sapphic romance
Not Your Sidekick is a superhero-themed novel featuring a bisexual Chinese-Vietnamese protagonist, a trans character and a f/f romance. And it’s written by an own voices author.
It follows Jessica Tran, a bisexual high school student who is resigned to a life without superpowers and decides to start an internship to improve her college applications. However, she quickly discovers it’s for a supervillain with her crush Abby.
Not Your Sidekick is another light, fluffy and fun read. It takes superhero tropes and gives a really refreshing take on a superhero story. I love how the superheroes and supervillians storyline is woven into modern, everyday life.
It also manages to tackle a lot of issues while still staying fun. There is a whole series of these and I’ve already added Not Your Villain to my TBR list as I really loved Bells in Not Your Sidekick.
Read the Good Reads Summary
10. When we were magic by Sarah Gailey
If you enjoy books with magic and wlw romance
When We Were Magic follows Alexis. She has always been able to rely on her best friends and magic powers. On prom night, accidental magic goes wrong and someone ends up dead. Alexis and her friends have to try and fix a terrible wrong.
The writing in this book really made me laugh. I knew I would love it one page in and the opening was fantastic.
The relationships and friendships in this book were really powerful. Also, the parents in this book were really supportive which I always appreciate.
Buy When We Were Magic here
Read the Good Reads Summary
11. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
If you’re looking for a wlw fantasy book
I’ve seen Girls of Paper and Fire everywhere online! Firstly, the cover is absolutely stunning and I’m a little bit in love.
It follows Lei. She is a member of the Paper Caste. And the people of Ikhara persecute her. She sees the royal guards take her mother. Afterwards, Lei suffers with trauma. They return and try to take Lei.
She has to learn skills fitting of a King’s Consort. But she falls in love. An excellent fantasy book. The plot is quite dark but it also features a f/f romance.
Buy Girls of Paper and Fire here
Read the Good Reads Description here
12. The Divergent by Veronica Roth
If you’re looking for a fast-paced read
Divergent is wildly popular, successful and slightly ridiculous. But it’s also entertaining so I’m including it.
If you enjoy books like the Hunger Games chances are you’ll love this one. In Divergent the world is divided into 5 factions. Each faction is based on a personality trait which that faction embodies – Candor (honesty), Dauntless (bravery), Amity (peaceful), Erudite (intelligent) and abnegation (selfless).
Each sixteen year old must choose a faction. To help them decide, they take a test telling them which faction they belong to. Those who don’t fit into one faction are divergent.
Divergent seems to divide fans a lot. But it’s a fun premise and fast-paced book. I would take this as a standalone. The rest of the series just isn’t as good as the original.
Buy Divergent here
Read the Good Reads Summary
13. Ms Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
If you like anything fantastical and the found family trope
Ms Peregrine’s home for Peculiar Children follows Jacob. His grandfather escaped the Holocaust and grew up at an orphanage for children with strange powers. He even has photographic evidence.
As he grows up, he stops believing the stories. But one day a horrible tragedy occurs. And Jacob starts to wonder – could it have been real?
The story is really gripping. It also has very dark and mysterious elements to it. And I love the way antique photographs were woven into the plot. The photographs and the imagery gives it real academia vibes.
The book also uses the gound family trope – one of my favourites. And Ransom Riggs executes is really well.. And it what makes this book so enjoyable.
Read the Good Reads Summary here
13.Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan
If you’re looking for a popular book series merging Greek mythology with the modern world
Growing up I was a huge fan of the Percy Jackson series. And it’s still one of my all time favourites. The concept is that the Greek Gods are real. And they occasionally fall in love with mortals. They have children who become demigods.
The book follows Percy Jackson. He is having trouble focusing on his schoolwork. When one day his maths teacher turns into a monster.
And so mum decides it’s time to tell him the truth. His father is a Greek God. And she sends him to camp Halfblood – a summer camp for demigods.
Greek Mythology is woven seamlessly into this book. And I love how it balances Greek mythology with the real world. There are quite a few books in the Percy Jackson series. So if you haven’t read this yet there are plenty for you to add to your tbr list.
If you’re looking a cute friendship group and a summer camp
I read the LumberJanes series on Scribd. The graphic comic book series follows five pals at a summer camp. They are determined to have an incredible summer and not let supernatural critters or quests get in their way.
The incredible drawings instantly gave me an emotional connection to the characters in the books.
The first novel opens with a bang and the plot really engaged me. The graphic novel format and short length make them really easy to read. If you’re looking for lighthearted LGBTQ+ YA Books then you should pick this up.
Buy The Lumberjanes here
Read the Good Reads Description
15. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
If you’re looking for a retelling with a sci-fi twist
The main character Cinder is an android. She had an accident when she was younger. And she now has a cyborg hand and ankle. But the world she lives in shuns androids.
There is also a deadly plague that is affecting the world (sound familiar…heh).
She meets and falls in love with the Prince. But she can’t tell him that she’s an android.
The pace was perfect and I couldn’t put this one down. It opens straight away. And you gradually learn more about the world..
The world building was really unique. The modern setting and sci-fi elements work perfectly. There were also so many intriguing elements at the start that I kept reading to see what would happen.
This is one of the most unique retellings I’ve ever read. If you’re a fan of retellings like A Court of Thorns and Roses, The Cruel Prince or a Curse so Dark and Lonely – then you need to read this one
Those were my picks for the best ya fantasy found family books
Whether you’re looking for a ya fantasy found family book with fae, witches or magic – I hope you found some books for your reading list.
Let me know what ya found family books you recommend in the comments below. Check out the related posts for even more YA Fantasy book recommendations