My Best YA Sci-Fi Recommendations + Sci-Fi TBR // My blogging burnout

Hey everyone! As you can tell from the title of this post, I don’t have much motivation to blog. The only thing I can make myself finish are book tags, which I’ve been posting instead of other things. I had another tag scheduled for today, but I don’t think you guys would like reading another one of those.

I’m currently forcing myself to write this post. And I can barely bring myself to comment on other’s posts. I’m really sorry about that, by the way. I try and comment on all the posts that appear in my reader. But I’ve only been commenting on a couple, so I apologize. I promise I’ll catch up soon.


A lot of people know that I’m obsessed with science fiction. Movies, TV shows, books, I’ll try everything and anything in that genre. I know that’s a kind of unpopular opinion, as most readers prefer fantasy. But there are so many amazing sci-fi’s out there and I don’t think they get enough attention.

And one more thing. I just thought that it would be nice to include a quote in each of my posts. These quotes aren’t mine, but I just think that they can sometimes help if you’re have a bad day.

Now I’m gonna shut up and get onto this post already.

YA Sci-Fi Recommendations

Skyward (Skyward, #1) by Brandon Sanderson

We must not cower in the dark because we’re afraid of the spark within us. The answer is not to put out the spark, but to learn to control it.

From Brandon Sanderson, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Reckoners series, Words of Radiance, and the internationally bestselling Mistborn series, comes the first book in an epic new series about a girl who dreams of becoming a pilot in a dangerous world at war for humanity’s future.

Spensa’s world has been under attack for hundreds of years. An alien race called the Krell leads onslaught after onslaught from the sky in a never-ending campaign to destroy humankind. Humanity’s only defense is to take to their ships and combat the enemy. Pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race.

Becoming a pilot has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring above Earth and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father’s–a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa’s chances of attending flight school at slim to none.

No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, but she is determined to fly. And the Krell just made that a possibility. They’ve doubled their fleet, which will make Spensa’s world twice as deadly . . . but just might take her skyward.

Series: Skyward Quartet

Final Rating: 5 Stars

I read this on my kindle and highlighted way too much of it. But there were so many lines that I loved.

Skyward follows 17 year old Spensa (“Spin”) Nightshade, a girl whose pilot father was labeled a coward for deserting his flight in the midst of a battle between them and the Krell. Spensa grew up being called the daughter of callsign: Chaser, “The Coward of Alta”. She wants to become a pilot, despite how it seems like the whole world is against her.

Spensa was an amazing protagonist. She was so confident, so snarky, so brave, and yet she was still realistic, with the crushing pressure of flight school and the strain of her thoughts of her, being a coward like her father. She pushes against this throughout the entire novel, and it’s fascinating to read about her thoughts on her father, and just bravery versus cowardice in general.

I think one of the main things I loved about this book, other than Spensa, was the dynamic between her flight, and just how awesome the side characters were in general. I loved all of her flight-mates, and they were just so fun to read about.

And I think I’m seeing the beginning of an enemies to lovers romance. I’m loving it so far. It’s such a perfect transition from hating each other to beginning to care about each other. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next books.

Overall, an amazing read. This is such a great way to get into the sci-fi genre, and I feel that a lot of people will enjoy Spensa’s character and her relationships.

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1) by Marissa Meyer

“Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.”

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless Lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg.

She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Series: The Lunar Chronicles Quartet

Final Rating: 4 Stars

This is what happens when the fairy-tale of Cinderella meets an epic science fiction retelling.

Cinder is Marissa Meyer’s debut YA sci-fi novel. It takes place in a futuristic world where the moon is a place called Luna, and is crowded with lunars, people with mind controlling powers. And also, there are androids. And spaceships and hovercrafts and cyborgs.

Our main character, Cinder, is a cyborg. And the thing is, cyborgs aren’t treated well in New Beijing, which is where Cinder lives. Cinder is treated unfairly by her stepmother, Adri, and one of her stepsisters, simply for not being fully human. When she’s forced into the cyborg draft, which is basically a conscription for cyborgs to volunteer themselves to find an antidote for Letumosis, a deadly plague, she’s thrown into a mystery about herself, the world, and lunars that may or may not be the thing that saves the world. And Meyer adds in a charming prince and sassy android sidekick to boot.

I loved the characters. Cinder was sarcastic, brave and has her priorities in order. Even though Kai is the sweetest charming-est prince ever, she’s like Look, I know you’re a prince and all, but this thing and this thing is happening, so I can’t go to the ball with you.

And Iko was the best sidekick ever. If this is what an android with a “faulty” personality chip is like, someone needs to get me a couple dozen of them. (Yes, I realize how incredibly cringey that sounds. Please don’t bother me about it. I’m tired and hungry.)

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

“But they have not seen their sun die. Their people burn. Their world end. And they do not know, yet, that there are some breaks that cannot be fixed.”

From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

Series: The Aurora Cycle Trilogy

Final Rating: 4 Stars

Does anyone else think that the Lunar Chronicles is similar to this? At first glance, no, but there’s a space crew going on an impossible mission and there’s humor and even some old-school tropes which I loved.

I was so engrossed in both this story and the characters, though the characters had to be my favorite part of this book. Aurora wasn’t my favorite, but I still love her. She’s so strong and I loved learning more about her background. Kal— oh my god he was awesome. He was so oblivious to the human sayings and agh he’s so sweet. Tyler, who could have easily been written off as the handsome and 2 dimensional one, was honestly one of my favorite characters. Scarlett— how does one not love a sassy, smart-ass queen who is also super protective of her cinnamon roll twin brother and best friend. Cat wasn’t loved by a lot of readers, but I actually liked her. And she deserves way better. Finian is a king. No one can argue with me about this. And finally, Zila. I loved her. So, so much. We stan an introverted, smart girl who loves her gun.

The story was so engaging. I loved reading about the different places the crew went to and the people they met. The world is so creative and I loved exploring it.

And finally, that ending was heartbreaking.

Renegades (Renegades, #1) by Marissa Meyer

“There are many dangerous people in this world. but there are also many good people. Brave people. No matter how bad things get, we have to remember that. So long as there are heroes in this world, there’s hope that tomorrow night might be better.”

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

Series: Renegades Trilogy

Final Rating: 5 Stars

Gatlon City was once ruled by Ace Anarchy, prodigy, villain, visionary— and Nova Artino’s uncle. When Nova’s family is killed by a hitman, the Renegades promised the would come but didn’t protect her family when it mattered. She’s been raised by the Anarchists, and known around the city as the villain Nightmare due to her power of putting people to sleep by touch. She’s on a mission for vengeance.

Adrian Everheart’s mom, the famous Lady Indomitable, was killed by an unknown villain when he was a little kid. He grew up in the Renegades, and now is one himself. He also wants for his mother’s killer to get justice.

When Nova goes undercover as a Renegade on Adrian’s team, they’re both thrown into something much bigger than themselves, something that ties right back to Ace Anarchy.

As with most of these books, the characters were one of the main reasons I loved them. Renegades is no different. Nova was confident, determined, brave, and could also kick ass. Adrian was so sweet, and charming and I loved him as well. The side characters were also well done. I swear, if any one hurts Ruby, Oscar or Max they will have to deal with me . . .

I also loved the beginning of romance. Unlike a lot of YA books, Renegades didn’t have a huge focus on romance, at least in the 1st book. By the end, the feelings are only forming and it sets up for a great relationship in the following books.

Warcross (Warcross, #1) by Marie Lu

They think that you won’t hit back – that you’ll just lower your eyes and hide. And sometimes, to protect yourself, to make it go away, you do. But sometimes, you find yourself standing in exactly the right position, wielding exactly the right weapon to hit back. So I hit. I hit fast and hard and furious. I hit with nothing but the language whispered between circuits and wire, the language that can bring people to their knees.

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire. 

Series: Warcross Duology

Final Rating: 4.5 Stars

Virtual reality, Tokyo, hacking and Hideo Tanaka. What more does a book need?

Warcross is a virtual combat game that was created by 21-year-old Hideo Tanaka. Over 90% of people around the world play. People play in a virtual reality arena using technology created by Tanaka when he was only 13.

 18-year old Emika Chen is a bounty hunter and incredible hacker. Since her father died Emika had been struggling to stay off the streets. But one day, when she’s desperately in need of cash, she tries to hack into a Warcross game— and succeeds. Well, kind of. She accidentally makes herself known to the entire virtual— and real worlds. Instead of being arrested (and not for the first time), she’s hired by Hideo to be his spy in the Warcross games to stop something that will affect the entire Warcross world.

The world-building in this book was absolutely phenomenal. I know that virtual reality isn’t the most unique idea, but Marie Lu spins it into an incredible book. A virtual world where anyone can be anyone, where anyone can do anything is so gripping, and the author did it perfectly.

Did I mention that Emika is an amazing character. Even after her mom left and her dad died, she’s still staying on her feet. She’s stubborn, smart, sharp-tongued and a hacker and bounty hunter.

And her ]teammates; Asher, Roshan, Hammie, were all so great and supportive. I loved it when Emika started becoming closer with them all.

Anyways. Read the book. It’s awesome.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The universe owes you nothing [ . . . ] It has already given you everything, after all. It was here long before you, and it will go on long after you. The only way it will remember you is if you do something worthy of remembrance.

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra — who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents — including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more — Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Series: The Illuminae Files Trilogy

Final Rating: 4.5 Stars

Illuminae will make you laugh, break your heart, and destroy your being. Oh, and it’s great for entertainment.

One of the main things that stands out about Illuminae is the format. It takes a while to get into, but once you do, you realize it’s a brilliant way to tell a story. It’s so unique and actually helps with the suspense of the story.

The characters were amazing. Kady was smart, sarcastic, and just a queen in general. Ezra was brave, and selfless. They’re so different yet have realistic character arcs. If you couldn’t tell, these 2 were amazing. I loved reading about them.

Perhaps the best character wasn’t Kady or Ezra, but AIDAN, the AI. His character is so fascinating, pushing the line between hero and villain, human-like yet a monster. AIDAN was so complex, so unique, so unlike anyone I had ever read about before. Kaufman and Kristoff weren’t afraid to push boundaries.

The vibe of this book was just epic. It was hardcore but also lighthearted and funny. Illuminae ticked off all the boxes. The only con I can think of is the format can take some getting used to, but once you do it’s an amazing experience.

My Sci-Fi TBR

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza–but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys–an old flame from Asha’s past–reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heros will fall, and hearts will be broken.

From bestselling author duo Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff comes the exciting finale in the trilogy that broke the mold and has been called “stylistically mesmerizing” and “out-of-this-world-awesome.”

Series: The Illuminae Files Trilogy

Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta

Two girls on opposite sides of a war discover they’re fighting for a common purpose–and falling for each other–in Zoe Hana Mikuta’s high-octane debut Gearbreakers, perfect for fans of Pacific Rim, Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Saga, and Marie Lu’s Legend series.

We went past praying to deities and started to build them instead...

The shadow of Godolia’s tyrannical rule is spreading, aided by their giant mechanized weapons known as Windups. War and oppression are everyday constants for the people of the Badlands, who live under the thumb of their cruel Godolia overlords.

Eris Shindanai is a Gearbreaker, a brash young rebel who specializes in taking down Windups from the inside. When one of her missions goes awry and she finds herself in a Godolia prison, Eris meets Sona Steelcrest, a cybernetically enhanced Windup pilot. At first Eris sees Sona as her mortal enemy, but Sona has a secret: She has intentionally infiltrated the Windup program to destroy Godolia from within.

As the clock ticks down to their deadliest mission yet, a direct attack to end Godolia’s reign once and for all, Eris and Sona grow closer–as comrades, friends, and perhaps something more… 

Series: None

Crownchasers (Crownchasers, #1) by Rebecca Coffindaffer

A deadly competition for the throne will determine more than just the fate of the empire in this duology opener.

Alyssa Farshot has spent her whole life trying to outrun her family legacy. Her mother sacrificed everything to bring peace to the quadrant, and her uncle has successfully ruled as emperor for decades. But the last thing Alyssa wants is to follow in their footsteps as the next in line for the throne. Why would she choose to be trapped in a palace when she could be having wild adventures exploring a thousand-and-one planets in her own ship?

But when Alyssa’s uncle becomes gravely ill, his dying wish surprises the entire galaxy. Instead of naming her as his successor, he calls for a crownchase, the first in seven centuries. Representatives from each of the empire’s prime families—including Alyssa—are thrown into a race to find the royal seal, which has been hidden somewhere in the empire. The first to find the seal wins the throne.

Alyssa’s experience as an explorer makes her the favorite to win the crown she never wanted. And though she doesn’t want to be empress, her duty to her uncle compels her to participate in this one last epic adventure. But when the chase turns deadly, it’s clear that more than just the fate of the empire is at stake. Alyssa is on her most important quest yet—and only time will tell if she’ll survive it.

Series: Crownchasers Duology

Navigating the Stars (Sentinels of the Galaxy, #1) by Maria V. Snyder

Terra Cotta Warriors have been discovered on other planets in the Milky Way Galaxy. And Lyra Daniels’ parents are the archaeological Experts (yes with a capital E) on the Warriors and have dragged her to the various planets to study them despite the time dilation causing havoc with her social life.

When one of the many Warrior planets goes silent, and looters attack her research base, Lyra becomes involved in discovering why the Warriors were placed on these planets. And, more importantly, by who.

Series: Sentinels of the Galaxy Trilogy

Defy the Stars (Constellation, #1) by Claudia Gray

She’s a soldier – Noemi Vidal is willing to risk anything to protect her planet, Genesis, including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.

He’s a machine – Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel’s advanced programming has begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.

Fast-paced, romantic, and captivating, Defy The Stars is a story about what it means to be human, about deciding what you truly believe in, and about finding your place in a dangerous world.

Series: Constellation Trilogy

The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

Don’t miss this spectacular debut novel… Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves forbidden pop music work together to save humanity? This road trip is truly out of this world! A beautiful and thrilling read for fans of Marie Lu and Veronica Roth.

Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.

Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. With humans deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, emotional expression can be grounds for execution. Music, art and books are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.

Born in a lab, M0Rr1S was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for the love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.

Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while creating a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.

Series: None

Not Your Sidekick (Sidekick Squad, #1) by C.B. Lee

Welcome to Andover… where superpowers are common, but internships are complicated. Just ask high school nobody, Jessica Tran. Despite her heroic lineage, Jess is resigned to a life without superpowers and is merely looking to beef-up her college applications when she stumbles upon the perfect (paid!) internship—only it turns out to be for the town’s most heinous supervillain. On the upside, she gets to work with her longtime secret crush, Abby, who Jess thinks may have a secret of her own. Then there’s the budding attraction to her fellow intern, the mysterious “M,” who never seems to be in the same place as Abby. But what starts as a fun way to spite her superhero parents takes a sudden and dangerous turn when she uncovers a plot larger than heroes and villains altogether.

Series: Sidekick Squad Trilogy

That dream was planted in your heart for a reason.

– Unknown

This was quite a long post, sorry about that.

But those are my recommendations! What do you think? Have you read any of these? Anything I should add to my TBR? What is your opinion on science fiction? Leave your thoughts on this post in the comments below!

32 thoughts on “My Best YA Sci-Fi Recommendations + Sci-Fi TBR // My blogging burnout”

  1. I keep feeling a lack of motivation to post recently too and I usually find just taking a step back for a few days and not forcing myself to post can help me find my focus again ❤ also love your sci fi recs!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow I loved the recs! I have read Renegades and Aurora Rising out of your list. While Renegades was good, Aurora Rising was AWESOME, and I gave both the Aurora Cycle books a full 5 stars and I still can’t stop hushing about them. Ohh and I recently bought a copy of Skyward, I can’t wait to read that. Great post🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great recs!!! I just realised I’ve never actually read any of these books unfortunately now my tbr is going to kill me. Sci fi is one of my favourite genres (although nothing can best fantasy) so I really enjoyed reading this post😆😃😃💛

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great recommendations! I’ve been reading a little more sci-fi lately and I’m finding that I like it more than I thought. A bunch of these books sound really cool! Great post, Ritz!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really want to read the Cinder series now! But I can’t bring myself to:( Anyways, cool post. And remember, you don’t have to force yourself to post something. A tag post will do, if you want 2 post that. Don’t worry.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this post Ritz! The Illuminae Files are amazing, as is The Lunar Chronicles — and The Sound of Stars is on my TBR!! AND OMG YOU HAVE TO READ DEFY THE STARS ASAP!!! Sorry for the all caps but I’m so excited because nobody ever talks about that book and it’s such a shame because it is so! good!! 🤩

    And I’m sorry to hear you’ve been struggling with motivation 😥 I don’t really have any sage advice to give, but I’ll just say that no matter what you choose to do, we’ll always be here for you! ❤️

    Great post Ritz!! 💖


  7. I love Cinder and the lunar chronicles so much!!! I literally binge-read the entire series for the first time last week and it was SO good! This post was awesome, and I’m adding all of these to my TBR list *right now!*

    Liked by 1 person

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