Monthly Recommendations is a Goodreads group created and hosted by Kayla Rayne @ Kayla Rayne and Trina @ Between Chapters. I used to do these videos when I was on BookTube, and I really miss them, so I’ve decided to try to do them on the blog every month. March’s topic is our favorite duologies. I wasn’t sure I’d have enough picks this month for an entire post, but once I started looking at my Goodreads, I realized that I’ve actually read and loved quite a few duologies! Duologies are one of my favorite series formats, and I’m excited to share some of my favorite completed and ongoing duologies with y’all.
(Covers link to Goodreads)
Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton // I read this duology in 2017 and was floored by how much I loved it! It features some of my favorite things: a boarding school setting, characters involved in the arts, ambitious (often morally ambiguous) protagonists, and no shortage of drama. I’m also a sucker for books about ballerinas, despite having NO connections to that world personally. It also provides awesome representation (2/3 of the POV characters are women of color) and discusses important topics like eating disorders, prescription drug addiction, and sexuality. This duology reminded me of why I love YA contemporary, and I couldn’t get enough.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo // You knew this series would be here, right? The Six of Crows duology is one of my favorite series of all time. These books are masterclasses in plot and pacing. The cast of characters in SoC is full of flawed, messy people, which makes them feel all the more human. They are all my children and I will protect them with my life. Plus, who doesn’t love a good heist story???
Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin // I picked up Wolf by Wolf on a whim last year because my library had the audiobook and I vaguely remembered a couple people talking about it. I ended up loving this duology! It takes place in an alternate history where the Axis Powers won World War II, but unlike a lot of portrayals like this, I thought this one was done sensitively. I ended up connecting to these characters way more than expected, and both books took turns I wasn’t expecting. This series tugged at my heartstrings– I was bawling as I listened to the end of book two. But READ IT IT’S GREAT.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman // The OG YA duology. This series tends to get mixed reviews, but I adored both books. They felt refreshingly honest and realistic because the characters had to make difficult, often unfair choices. Plus, the main character’s love of music was really relatable for me. I also enjoyed Forman’s other duology, Just One Day, but in that case I definitely preferred the first book to the second.
River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey // THIS SERIES IS SO MUCH FUN. It’s another alternate history, but this one imagines that a plan proposed by a Senator in the 20th century wherein the US would import hippopotamuses into Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternate meat source (yes, a lawmaker actually proposed this plan) was actually enacted. In River of Teeth, you get FERAL HIPPOS and a wonderfully diverse cast of characters (there’s a nonbinary character, a fat character, a few queer characters, and a pregnant Latina woman in our main squad). And did I mention the HIPPOS??? It’s amazing. And both books are under 200 pages, so you have no excuse not to pick them up.
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris // In case you haven’t seen me screaming about MFTIM for the past six months (which, where have you been?), volume one of this two-part graphic novel made it into my top two reads of 2017. It’s an absolutely brilliant, gargantuan graphic novel illustrated in a unique and beautiful pen art style. The story is massive in scope and contains so many layers. I just ADORE our main character, Karen Reyes, and her friends and family. Volume two comes out in October, and you BET I’ve already preordered it.
Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller // Mask of Shadows was one of my favorite fantasy reads of last year! It follows a tournament to become one of the Queen’s assassins, features a genderfluid protagonist, and has a romance I really enjoyed. I can’t wait to see how this story wraps up in the end! I already have an ARC of Ruin of Stars (which comes out in October), so, like what am I doing with my life? (Also, can we talk about how beautiful these covers are together???)
Vicious by VE Schwab // Vicious is probably my favorite Schwab book– which should not be taken lightly, since she’s one of my all-time favorite authors– and I’m so excited that there’s a sequel!! And it comes out this year!!! And look at these gorgeous covers!!! There aren’t enough exclamation points to adequately convey my excitement!!!!!!
Have you read any of the duologies on my list? Do you have any other favorites that I didn’t mention? Let’s chat in the comments!