When I looked up my top five most read authors on Goodreads, two of these came as a surprise. I had no idea I had read so many books by these authors.
Meg Cabot (39 books)
This does not surprise me at all. Meg Cabot was the author that got me through middle school and the early years of high school. I even read some of her books as an adult. There are books she has written that I have not read yet but I still want to. Meg Cabot is also an author I can say I did not love every one of her books.
The Mediator series: My favorite books by Meg Cabot and one of my all-time favorite series in general. The Mediator is what got me into the young adult paranormal genre. Jesse da Silva was my first book boyfriend. I have not read the unofficial seventh novel, Rememberance, yet—mainly because I’m not sure if I want to check it out of the library or bite the bullet and buy it because I love the series so much.
The Queen of Babble trilogy: I love this trilogy so much! It’s about an aspiring wedding dress designer/planner whose big heart and bigger mouth gets her into awkward situations. I related so much to the main character, Lizzie, and they are the perfect kind of books to read when you need a pick-me-up.
Boy trilogy: is a trilogy of adult chick-lit companion novels following three women working in different departments at the same fictional newspaper in New York City. They are told entirely through email form. All the stories are fun and comedic: a reporter falls in love with another journalist who is posing as her neighbor’s nephew after said neighbor is found dead in her apartment; an HR rep is sued by a lunch lady and falls for her lawyer; and a comic-strip artist has to deal with an arrogant travel journalist in order to make their best friends’ wedding in Italy a dream come true.
Plus, these books have three of the swooniest men in women’s fiction: John Trent, Mitch Hertzog, and Cal Langdon.
Heather Wells Mysteries books 1-3: A former teen pop star takes a job as a resident assistant in a New York college dorm and rents an apartment from her ex-boyfriend’s PI older brother, whom she has a major crush on. I love this mystery series and I love Heather Wells as a main character. There are two more books in this series but I have no idea why I have not read them yet. And Cooper Cartwright…drool….
She Went All the Way: All I remember of this book is that two Hollywood divas get in a helicopter crash and have to survive in the wilderness until help comes. I gave it four stars on Goodreads, but I can’t remember why I did.
Teen Idol: This is the book that introduced me to Meg Cabot. It is about a teenaged girl enlisted by her school to show a former child star real-life high school as he does research for his latest movie but has to keep it a secret from her classmates. I identified so much with Jenny, the main character, and I loved her friendship with Luke, the movie star she has to escort around her high school. I have so much nostalgia with this book; there is no way I could give it away.
Avalon High: A retelling of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. I have not seen anything like this since its publication. I could not part with this one either and I want to reread it, hopefully someday.
Jinx: After The Mediator and Teen Idol, Jinx is my all-time favorite Meg Cabot books, as well as one of my all-time favorite fantasy novels. It’s about a girl who reluctantly finds herself midst a battle with her jealous cousin to determine who is the family’s next witch. I can’t see myself parting with this one, either. I want to reread it…once my TBR pile is at a “reasonable” size.
Meg Cabot Books I’ve Read but Gave Away
All-American Girl and its sequel, Ready or Not: All-American Girl was OK; it’s about a girl who saves the President of the United States from a gunman, becomes a national hero, and then falls in love with the President’s son. But I definitely did not like Ready or Not. I did not see the purpose of it. Well, maybe now I do—it discussed teenagers having sex and conflicting family values. Still, I remember being ridiculously bored.
Victoria and the Rogue: One of Meg Cabot’s historical romance novels. I gave it three stars on Goodreads, but I can’t remember if I actually liked it or not.
1-800-Where-R-You series: I didn’t like this series much, either. In theory, I should have: it’s about a girl who is given psychic abilities after being struck by lightning and uses her gift to find people.
How to be Popular: I HATED this book! I could not relate to the main character at all. Plus, the title is just wrong on so many levels.
Pants on Fire: Cheating is NOT OK! Enough said.
Airhead and Being Nikki, books 1 & 2 of the Airhead trilogy: the first book was OK and the second one was meh. That is why I never finished the series. And I do not plan to, either.
Ransom My Heart: an adult historical romance that was terribly boring. That is all I can say.
The Princess Diaries series: I am probably one of the few people on the planet that did not love The Princess Diaries series. This is mainly because of Mia Thermopolis, who was so overly dramatic about EVERYTHING it was annoying. I hated Michael after something he said to Mia in the eighth book Princess on the Brink (if you read the books, you likely know what I am referring to). Basically, I think what ruined this series for me was the characters.
Kelley Armstrong (28 books)
Kelley Armstrong is an author I found in middle school, who helped me find my writing niche: paranormal and urban fantasy. Of all the authors on this list, she is the one I hold more sentimental value to specifically for that reason.
I have read books 1 through 12 of her Women of the Otherworld series; the only book I have not read is Thirteen, literally the final book in that series. I have also read two of the bind-ups connected to that series, Men of the Otherworld and Tales of the Otherworld, plus one novella she released online titled Framed. But there are still other bind-ups and graphic novels related to the Women of the Otherworld series that I have not read yet. I hope to, after my first reread of the series, hopefully next year.
Kelley Armstrong also has two young adult fantasy trilogies: The Darkest Powers trilogy and the Darkness Rising trilogy. They are interconnected; both follow supernatural teenagers that are experiments created by an evil organization now bent on killing the former subjects because they grew to be too powerful. I have also read the novellas and short stories from that world, too.
Francine Pascal (24 books)
Because I was so obsessed with Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley franchise (many of the books ghostwritten FYI), there is no way I have read only 24 of them. But I only recorded that many books on Goodreads because those are the ones I remember reading. I’m sure if I took the time to browse, it would jog my memory. (Except I don’t care to do that.)
The Sweet Valley books—Kids, Twins, High, and University—were literally 90% of what I read throughout elementary school into middle school. Looking back on it now, I don’t know what made me so obsessed with these books. They were more of teenaged soap operas in paperback form.
V.C. Andrews (12 books)
I came upon V.C. Andrews in the most random way: her book, My Sweet Audrina, was recommended to me to read for Halloween after I took a quiz on a website when I was fifteen. Like Sweet Valley, her books were hard to find because they were older—published in the late 1970s and early 1990s. My mom had even read them.
My high school library came to my rescue when it came to reading her books. I read Heaven, the first book in the Casteel series, and the Flowers in the Attic series, which follows four children locked in the attic of a mansion for five years by their selfish mother. Both of them thoroughly disturbing in their own ways, particularly since both involved incest. Then, I read her only stand-alone novel, My Sweet Audrina, and that was a total mind-f*k.
Though there are many books published under V.C. Andrews, the real author died of breast cancer in 1986. The only books actually written by her are My Sweet Audrina, the Casteel series, and the Dollenganger series (otherwise known as the Flowers in the Attic series). A ghostwriter was hired by her family to complete all the manuscripts she left unfinished—and, frankly, he’s not as good as the original. That is probably why I have not read all her books.
Of all these authors on this list, V.C. Andrews is one I definitely want to reread.
Cassandra Clare (11 books)
Cassandra Clare will probably be on a lot of people’s most read authors lists. Like Kelley Armstrong, she has been an influence in my writing in the young adult urban fantasy genre, introducing me to angels, demons, and fairies when before I mainly focused on witches and vampires. Of her books, I have read all six of The Mortal Instruments, the entire Infernal Devices trilogy, Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, and Lady Midnight. I’m probably one of a few people who have not read Lord of Shadows yet, and I have no idea when I will get around to reading The Bane Chronicles.
Have you read any of these authors?