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The Best Boys & Girls: In Honor of YA’s Unforgettable Pets

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The Best Boys & Girls: In Honor of YA’s Unforgettable Pets

The Best Boys & Girls: In Honor of YA's Unforgettable Pets

Now, we didn’t conduct any official studies, but if you were to ask us, we’d say that the venn diagram of book nerds and people who stop to say hello to pets they pass on the street would be practically a circle. That might be because we’re all introverts by nature (and so obvs. love every animal we see), but it also might just be because they’re so freaking cute. And good. And we can’t help but let out a squeal of excitement every time one of these lil’ guys shows up in a book!

So, yes, dear reader, this is a post in honor of all the best boys (and girls) to show up in YA lit. While we wish there were more and this list was endlessly long, we realize that certain settings (read: every apocalyptic circumstance) might not bode well for man’s best friend. And so, instead, we’ll celebrate the ones we have! Scroll down for this list of some of our favorite good boys and girls.

 

The Best Boys (& Girls)

14 OF YA’S UNFORGETTABLE PETS

 

1. Abraxos

📚 Throne of Glass: From Manon’s very first interaction with her wyvern, we were sold. Their bond exceeded anything expected and we’ve definitely gone back and re-read that scene in the battle pit, and, okay, the sky battles, and, well, all of them, okay?! Can you blame us?

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

 

2. Church

📚 City of Bones: This little rascal of a cat has become a staple in the Shadowhunter Chronicles, hopping hands and crossing the sea between series. And the fact that he literally only likes Jem? Listen… we get it.

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons.

And she’s more than a little startled when the body disappears into thin air. Soon Clary is introduced to the world of the Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of warriors dedicated to driving demons out of our world and back to their own. And Clary is introduced with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque monster.

How could a mere human survive such an attack and kill a demon? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

 

3. Bernie Kosar

📚 I Am Number Four: Shapeshifting? Obviously the coolest ability a pet can have. But we’re going to be honest and say that we prefer Bernie Kosar in his beagle form. It might just be all that time we spent with it, but it might also just be those floppy ears. We’re suckers for ’em!

John Smith seems like an ordinary teenager, living a normal life with his guardian Henri in Paradise, Ohio. But for John, keeping a low profile is essential, because he is not an ordinary teenager.

He’s an alien from the planet Lorien, and he’s on the run.

A group of evil aliens from the planet Mogadore, who destroyed his world, are hunting anyone who escaped.

Nine Loric children were sent to Earth to live in hiding until they grew up and developed their Legacies, powers that would help them fight back—and help them save us. Three of them are now dead. John is Number Four, and he knows he’s next….

 

4. Jamie Fox Pickle

📚 To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: As if we needed another reason to love Kitty… along with being an impossibly lovable, scheming sister, she’s also a fabulous dog namer.

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only.

Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly… Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

 

5. Camden

📚 Three Dark Crowns: Camden is the perfect familiar, and you cannot change our minds. Trying very hard to remain spoiler-free here, but watching Fennbirn’s fiercest cat struggle alongside Jules’s own character arc nearly broke our hearts.

Three dark queens are born in a glen…

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose… it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

 

6. Chainsaw

📚 Call Down the Hawk: The only thing more metal than Ronan’s ability to conjure things from his dreams is his skill when it comes to naming those things.

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Raven Boys, a mesmerizing story of dreams and desires, death and destiny.

Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality.

Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it.

Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer… and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed…

 

7. Orpheus

📚 The Devouring Gray: Speaking of pets with great names, Violet’s cat is right up there. And there’s definitely more than meets the eye (as is the case with everything in Four Paths), but we’ll let you discover that side of Orpheus on your own.

On the edge of town a beast haunts the woods, trapped in the Gray, its bonds loosening…

Uprooted from the city, Violet Saunders doesn’t have much hope of fitting in at her new school in Four Paths, a town almost buried in the woodlands of rural New York. The fact that she’s descended from one of the town’s founders doesn’t help much, either—her new neighbours treat her with distant respect, and something very like fear. When she meets Justin, May, Isaac, and Harper, all children of founder families, and sees the otherworldly destruction they can wreak, she starts to wonder if the townsfolk are right to be afraid.

When bodies start to appear in the woods, the locals become downright hostile. Can the teenagers solve the mystery of Four Paths, and their own part in it, before another calamity strikes?

 

8. Nailah

📚 Children of Blood and Bone: If we hadn’t read this book for ourselves, we might not believe you that Zélie’s lionare is almost as fierce as she is. But every mention of Nailah on the page got us hype, and in an epic world of complex magic, redemption, and survival, she managed to be one of our favorite parts.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

 

9. Chairman Meow

📚 City of Bones: Magnus’s tiny, easily spooked lil’ guy is a very different breed of pet than Church, but that doesn’t mean we love him any less. Can we attend one of his birthday parties, please?

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons.

And she’s more than a little startled when the body disappears into thin air. Soon Clary is introduced to the world of the Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of warriors dedicated to driving demons out of our world and back to their own. And Clary is introduced with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque monster.

How could a mere human survive such an attack and kill a demon? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

 

10. Atheria

📚 Furyborn: Rielle’s chavaile, aka WINGED HORSE (!!!), is everything we’ve ever wanted in a godsbeast, a pet, a friend… Seriously, need we say more?

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.

 

11. Blueberry

📚 Truthwitch: Mountain bats are just one of the Witchlands’ mystical creatures, but Blueberry is a mountain bat like no other. For one thing, he and Owl are bonded, so he can strike fear into the hearts of her enemies AND give her cuddles at the same time. For another, he probably ships Iseult and Aeduan as hard as we do. Probably.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

 

12. Fleetfoot

📚 Throne of Glass: Fleetfoot might not be as kickass in battle as Abraxos is (we were seriously stressed during Crown of Midnight‘s battle), but you bet we pumped our fists in the air every time Celaena’s dog showed up otherwise. We just want to snuggle in bed and read with her all day.

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

 

13. Bieber

📚 Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda: Nothing but respect for the best golden retriever in all the land! … Even if Love, Simon had some other ideas.

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: If he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing with, will be jeopardized.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated.

Now change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out-without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

 

14. Shara

📚 Black Wings Beating: Brysen’s falcon is as sleek as this book cover. And, we’re going to be honest—we’re not usually bird people on Team Epic Reads. But this epic tale reeled us in and made us want falcons of our very owm.

The people of Uztar have long looked to the sky with hope and wonder. Nothing in their world is more revered than the birds of prey and no one more honored than the falconers who call them to their fists.

Brysen strives to be a great falconer–while his twin sister, Kylee, rejects her ancient gifts for the sport and wishes to be free of falconry. She’s nearly made it out, too, but a war is rolling toward their home in the Six Villages, and no bird or falconer will be safe.

Together the twins must journey into the treacherous mountains to trap the Ghost Eagle, the greatest of the Uztari birds and a solitary killer. Brysen goes for the boy he loves and the glory he’s long craved, and Kylee to atone for her past and to protect her brother’s future. But both are hunted by those who seek one thing: power.

 


Who are some of your favorite pets in YA? Let us know in the comments!

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