It’s hard to recommend a trilogy these days because books seem to default in sets of three nowadays, especially in YA. Sometimes this works, but sometimes it comes across as a main story with a weaker two-part secondary story tacked on to it. Exhibit A: “Hunger Games” was awesome, “Catching Fire” was good but started to do some odd things with Katniss’s character, and “Mockingjay,” well, let’s not even talk about it. I’m reading the “Delirium” trilogy now, but the third book isn’t out yet and I haven’t been able to read “Pandemonium” yet, so the jury is out on its success as a coherent story.
Is it too cliche to recommend “Lord of the Rings?” Are there still people who haven’t read it yet? Because they should. Now there’s a trilogy with a sweeping, cohesive story, of which no single book can stand alone.
How about “His Dark Materials” by Philip Pullman? It’s a hard trilogy to classify: its 12-year-old heroine should place it cleanly in YA, but the issues it tackles – first love, organized religion, and ethics in science – are challenging at any age. Throw in some steampunky tech, armored warrior bears, and immortal witches, and you’ve got a good story.
Obviously there are a gajillion trilogies to read – what do you recommend?