Welcome to 2023!
It's time for a list! No, it's not a list of New Years' Resolutions; it's even better!
Everyone has that list of authors they always return to — whether it's for the characters, the plot, the romances, or the ultimate feeling of reading a fun, feel–good book. Here's my list!
I've compiled a list of authors (alphabetized by last name) whose work I've consistently loved — even if I've only read one book by them! 🤣🤣 I do want to note that just because I love another author's work doesn't necessarily mean I'd want to spend money on every book by them. However, since I've still enjoyed their work, I've added them to an honorable mentions list at the bottom.
I'll probably be updating this periodically throughout the year, so keep your eyes peeled for some more auto buy authors and honorable mentions from me! :)
The first book I read by Celeste was an ARC of Cinders of Glass. I can't even remember how I came across her books, but I found a listing for Cinders of Glass on StoryOrigin, and being the glutton for punishment that I am, I couldn't resist requesting an ARC even though I had next to no time to read it.
Boy, am I glad, though, that I did. Cinders of Glass is easily one of the best books I've read in a long time. It even earned the top ranking on the top tier on my most recent indie tier ranking! It wasn't perfect, but who cares?! It didn't need to be because I absolutely LOVED it!
I've only read Cinders of Glass so far, but I have bought all of her other released books (as of 7 January 2023), and I fully intend to read all of her books.
Sometimes you need multiple books to cement an author as a auto buy author, but for me, one book was all it took for me to fall in love with Celeste's writing style! I highly recommend checking out her work!
When I got the entire The Folk of the Air trilogy, I was sure I would love it! It was fantasy, and it sounded extremely interesting! All it took was reading a bit of The Cruel Prince for me to know that I would love it just as much as I'd hoped!
Now, The Folk of the Air is probably in my Top 10 series, and dare I say maybe Top 5? (I'm not actually entirely sure, and I don't think I want to actually do a ranking, especially after trying to rank indie books. Maybe in the future though? Drop a comment if you'd like to see that ranking!)
Not only does Holly nail world building, character growth, and foreshadowing, she is literally the Queen of engaging YA fantasy. I absolutely LOVE how she wrote Jude and Cardan, not just as a couple but as individuals. (By the way, if you like enemies to lovers, Jurdan is one of the BEST enemies to lovers ships I've seen in a while!)
I will literally get every book she writes, and I'm not even joking. Alas, there is a thing called "money," so feasibly I can't. I haven't gotten Book of Night, nor have I gotten any of her earlier catalog, but I've been keeping up on all her recent releases since finishing The Folk of the Air series! I just received my copy of The Stolen Heir, and I simply cannot wait to return to Elfhame!
If you've seen Holly Black's name swirling around various bookish circles, I HIGHLY recommend giving her books a try!
I'm sure you're well aware how big of a YA fantasy sucker I am, so you shouldn't be too surprised when I got Caraval and flew through it.
I've seen the reviews, and I'll admit that Caraval is a bit magical and over–the–top, but that is the exact reason why I love it so much! Stephanie's really captured the magic, and it bleeds through in her incredible purple prose!
I've read all of the Caraval trilogy, and let me tell you that the magic is all there. However, there's more than just magic. The plot is captivating, and it's made better by the stellar cast of amazing characters! (I LOVE Legend and Jacks!!)
Then, Stephanie released Once Upon a Broken Heart, and can I just say how good it was?! It's set pretty much immediately after the events of the Caraval series (but can be read as a standalone), and the magic is still there!
I really think that it's the magic that captivated me and made me so enjoy Stephanie's books! Unfortunately, I haven't gotten around to reading The Ballad of Never After even though it's taunting me on my bookshelf, but I have high hopes for it especially with A Curse for True Love releasing this September!
Anyway, if you're into magic and mystery, check out Stephanie Garber's work; I highly recommend it all!
Although a ton of my auto buy authors (as well as my honorable mentions) write fantasy or fluffy romances, M.G. Hernandez is a bit of an outlier. Her novels, while still YA, are a bit grittier. Her debut novel, The Night Orchid, is a YA romantic suspense. And let me tell you this — she did NOT fail on any account. The romance is spot on, and the mystery was quite intriguing.
The Night Orchid though isn't perfect, but like many of my favorite books, they don't have to be! I'm perfectly fine with flawed books, but what I need is just a really enjoyable book with engaging writing. The Night Orchid had both, and Followers of the Owl was just the same! It is solely for those two books that M.G. clinched a place on my auto buy author list (as opposed to the honorable mentions list).
If YA mysteries that combine serious and grittier topics (without being too dark — yes, I'm a chicken) with swoony romances and plenty of suspense and intrigue, then I highly suggest checking out this amazing indie author! Her third book is dropping this September, and you do NOT want to miss out!
These honorable mentions go to authors I wouldn't necessarily spend money on to buy every single book because unfortunately money does not actually grow on trees, lol. 🤣🤣 However, these authors are well on their way. It may take more books for me to move them up, but they are still great authors and are always on my radar! Just like above, these authors are alphabetized by last name.
When I read M.C. Clay's debut YA fantasy A Sword of Greed and Envy, the vibe was very reminiscent of The Selection series. It had all of that feel–good trash that I love, and I mean that in the best way possible.
Her entire Nokturn Rising series carries this same vibe. It's got great characters, an interesting plot, great world building, and prose that I absolutely devoured. However, it is not an epic, but that's fine with me. Not every fantasy needs to be as densely detailed as others.
However, I'm a cheap, broke student, and I have to be picky with my book spending (or at least most of the time), so M.C.'s books just aren't something I'll buy automatically, but she is most definitely on my radar. She's recently released two other YA fantasy series, as well as a NA romance series, and I would LOVE to get all of those books as soon as I can justify spending the money.
Perhaps, once I read more of her work, she'll move up with my other auto buy authors, but as it is now, she's still an honorable mention. Nonetheless, I very much recommend checking out this incredible indie author!
At this point, Marissa Meyer has become almost a staple when it comes to YA fantasy retellings. Her incredible The Lunar Chronicles series was one of the most inventive intertwined sci–fi x fairy tale retellings I've ever read. Like seriously, it's amazing; you need to read it. I also need to reread it, and soon! I also fully intend to, as well!
What makes it so interesting — besides how the plot intertwines — is how she added a fun sci–fi spin on beloved fairy tales and got something so incredible and fun, while also being so accessible to both younger and older readers.
And don't even get me started on her Renegades trilogy. It's also YA sci–fi fantasy, but make it super! The whole trilogy just appeals to the superhero–lover in me. Plus, it's got a stellar cast, captivating plot, and an adorable romance worth rooting for!
I've just ordered her Gilded duology (another YA fantasy retelling), and I have such high hopes for it. I've yet to read Instant Karma and Serendipity, and I'm not entirely sure why I haven't yet. . . . Maybe I'll get those sooner rather than later. (And yes, I did read Heartless, and it was gut–wrenching. It's kind of an Alice in Wonderland retelling, but it's actually a prequel story for the Queen of Hearts! You need to read it.)
While you're waiting (as I know you are lol 🤣), go get yourself some of her books, curl up somewhere comfy, and start reading! I dare you to tell me I was wrong.
Resistance is an inventive YA fantasy set in the land down–under . . . but not for long! Twins Lia and Tyler soon meet Coen (who, yes, is still my spirit animal 🤣) who whisks them off to another land called Gaea. The whole world building, character growth, and plot make for an incredible interesting novel. Pair all of that with some pretty stellar writing, and you have me sold!
I think what makes C.E. an honorable mention author for me is really her writing. It's so accessible and easy to read. I love how her writing literally flows right off of the page.
However, I have only read one book by C.E., and for this particular author, I'd like to read more by her before I move her up with my other auto buy authors. Good for me, though, I have an ARC of Ruin that I just can't wait to get to! Take a chance on this incredible indie author, and go get her debut!
Last year, The Paid Bridesmaid was listed as part of Amazon's Prime First Reads program, and boy, am I endlessly glad that I picked it!
Sure, it's one of the fluffier, cheesier, and slightly predictable rom coms I've read in a while. However, I actually liked it, and the fact that I did is important because I can be really picky with my romances. While it was clean, the romantic tension was more than palpable, and the character interactions were so cute.
I have since acquired The Seat Filler, Roommaid, and her upcoming release, The Chemistry of Love, and I'm really hoping for a swoony romance with an amazing cast of characters — just like with The Paid Bridesmaid. Her other romances also look really interesting, so based on how I feel about the three books I have, she may become another auto buy author for me!
Regardless, I still highly recommend checking her books out for yourself, especially if you prefer your romances sweet and clean with just a hint of spice!