Teen-Focused Tuesday: Mythical Creatures

Happy Tuesday! If you love YA books you have come to the right post! Every Tuesday I feature a new YA theme featuring 5 books that you should check out! Explore different genres of YA including Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Horror, Non-Fiction, and more.

This week’s Teen-Focused Feature Theme is Mythical Creatures! Look for books featuring dragons, fairies, mermaids, and more!

A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

Summary: Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Never mind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes.

But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she’s also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either

My Thoughts: I love diversity in magical creatures! This tale focuses on two black girls who also happen to be sirens! They deal with the struggles of keeping it a secret. This tale tends to be more magical realism dealing with real life issues of racism and injustice with a siren twist.

Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz

Summary: Lana Torres has always preferred dragons to people. In a few weeks, sixteen countries will compete in the Blazewrath World Cup, a tournament where dragons and their riders fight for glory in a dangerous relay. Lana longs to represent her native Puerto Rico in their first ever World Cup appearance, and when Puerto Rico’s Runner—the only player without a dragon steed—is kicked off the team, she’s given the chance.

But when she discovers that a former Blazewrath superstar has teamed up with the Sire—a legendary dragon who’s cursed into human form—the safety of the Cup is jeopardized. The pair are burning down dragon sanctuaries around the world and refuse to stop unless the Cup gets cancelled. All Lana wanted was to represent her country. Now, to do that, she’ll have to navigate an international conspiracy that’s deadlier than her beloved sport.

My Thoughts: A sports book featuring dragon riding as the sport! Sign me up! I would actually play more sports if they involve dragons. The mystery element is just an added bonus!

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Summary: Everyone knows what happens in the end. A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss. But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends. One feared, one royal, and one already dead.

Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch.

A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain. 

My Thoughts: Witches and mermaids in one book who could ask for more! This is a fun look at a unofficial origin of Ursula, the Sea Witch and a twist of the little mermaid tale. Plus if you like this it has a sequel already out! Sea Witch Rising which continues the tale even further.

Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

Summary: In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.

Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.

Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.

My Thoughts: Phoenixes don’t get enough books about them. I love this tale of two sisters, animal best friends, and secrets uncovered!

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

Summary: Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?

My Thoughts: Mythical Creatures can come from any where. The most popular might be from European culture, but other cultures have plenty of their own. This book features several mythical creatures based in West African mythology with the author’s own twist. Check out and see what a Raybearer is and what other mythical creatures lurk in this amazing book!

Let me know in the comments below which books interested you, what books should be on this list, and what themes I should do next!

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