Top Ten Underrated Books in YA (In My Humble Opinion)

Posted September 8, 2014 by Cristina (Girl in the Pages) in Top Ten Tuesday, Weekly Features/Memes / 30 Comments

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the fantastic blog The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic was “Top Ten Underrated Books or Authors” so I chose to focus on YA. They’re in no particular order!

1) Obsidian (Lux Series) by Jennifer L. Armentrout- Aliens, people, aliens! I feel like this concept is still vastly under-written compared to all of the over-done concepts in paranormal YA fiction. Plus there’s very swoon-worthy aliens and a book-blogging heroine!

2) Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick- I KNOW this book receives so much hate by many readers and bloggers alike, but it’s my guilty pleasure read. Does it have its issues? Sure. Is Patch not the ideal boyfriend for real life? Definitely. But I think we’re all allowed once book boyfriend who’s less than perfect, and I’m a sucker for the angel genre.

3) Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge- I don’t know why I haven’t seen this book receiving the fanfare it deserves. It only came out this spring and it’s the most FANTASTIC fairytale retelling I’ve read. Ever. You can see my gushing review of it here.

4) Trouble by Non Pratt- I’ve been promoting this book every chance I get because it’s the most raw, uncesored and honest YA contemporary I’ve come across, and I love that it’s so authentic and shuns the sugar-coating in many contemporaries. You can read my review here.

5) Revolution by Jennifer Donnely- It is an absolute tragedy that I have never seen another blogger talk about this book nor come across anyone who’s read it. It’s part historical fiction part paranormal thriller, and features angsty teens, creepy catacombs, and the heart of a little prince (literally). This book stuck with me and was a fantastic stand alone novel that tells history in such a thrilling and adventurous way.

6) The Mediator by Meg Cabot- I know this series came out a while ago (early 2000’s) but it’s really brilliant and features a protagonist who can interact with ghosts. This is a really fun and creative series (also it’s set in gorgeous Carmel, California) and I feel like it gets forgotten next to Meg Cabot’s more well-known works. She does paranormal really well with her usual sassy and sarcastic narrative style.

7) Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake- This book also features a protagonist that can see and interact with ghosts (you can see a theme in my reading interests) but it’s a male protagonist (of which there are far too few in YA!) and it has its horror moments without being completely traumatizing (and I don’t have the highest scare-threshold, I assure you). He also kills the bad ghosts, and the haunting weighs heavily on his purpose in life.

8) Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas- There’s nothing more to be said than what’s been already said about this underrated thriller. Check out the extent of my obsession here.

9) Angelfall by Susan Ee- This is also another book that I will shamelessly promote every chance I get. It’s SO good. It has all of the interesting elements of the angel genre with the dystopian feel of a book like The Road, with a dash of Hunger Games gore. Also, it has a slow-simmering romance and a really great protagonist who shoulders maturity and responsibility gracefully in the face of major adversity. It also references a lot of actual biblical history and the amount of research is really evident! Read my review here.

10) Dreamland by Sarah Dessen- This is my favorite Sarah Dessen book and one that I never hear mentioned. It’s darker than her other books, and it deals with an abusive relationship, showing the entire process of how one can be consumed in a destructive partnership and not realize it until it’s too late. I think it’s a really important read and can be really insightful about when relationships are not what they should be. It’s a book many teens and young adults alike can really learn from.

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30 responses to “Top Ten Underrated Books in YA (In My Humble Opinion)

    • The Lux series definitely has its good and bad points, and I loved the concept of aliens. And I’m glad to have found another Mediator fan! Are you planning on reading the new Mediator book that’s coming out next year?

    • I agree! I remember hearing some initial buzz about it but it seemed to drop off into oblivion (hence why I picked it up several months later). I’ve seen Angelfall on many lists today, which makes me really happy that it’s generating more buzz!

  1. I’m sorry to say I’ve never heard of Revolution, but based on your description it sounds worth checking out. You’re right, Anna Dressed in Blood is a really great book that deserves more buzz.

    • I thought the Anna series was really refreshing, and I loved the protagonist and how dealing with ghosts was a family profession. I wish it had been a longer series! The ending was bittersweet though

  2. I keep hearing about Dangerous Girls, maybe it’s about time I pick it up. I love love love Angelfall. I haven’t picked up World After yet, but it’s been on my shelf whispering to me.
    My TTT

    • World After was even BETTER than Angelfall, although I highly recommend picking it up when you have a lot of nice, uninterrupted reading time! Dangerous Girls is definitely worth the read!

  3. cmfought

    You know, I wouldn’t have thought of Dreamland since Sarah Dessen is one of my all time favorite authors… but I get that. I do see why that would be included on a list like this. It’s not one of hers that gets a lot of attention due to the subject matter. I need to read Cruel Beauty. I own it because I own anything/everything that has Beauty and the Beast themes to it. I’ll definitely start that one soon.

    Great list!
    – Chelsea @ Books Turn Brains

  4. Good list! So many of these are on my to-read list. I’ve read Angelfall, Hush Hush, and Cruel Beauty. Angelfall is one of my favorites. I really need to read Trouble since I’m a sucker for teen pregnancy books and Dreamland is the one Sarah Dessen book I want to read the most.

    • What did you think of Hush Hush? I think Angelfall is better and more unique, but I’m a sucker for all things angel genre related and I loved the dark atmosphere of the books!

      • I remember liking the first one a lot. I know a lot of people don’t, but I loved it at the time I read it. I was completely sucked in for at least that one. I binge-read the rest. I still need to read Finale because that one wasn’t out when I binge read it. I’m kinda curious what I think now. It’s sort of been severed by the hatred it gets now.

  5. Can’t say I’ve read the lot of these but surprisingly, I feel like I’ve seen many of these being raved about; particularly Obsidian, Cruel Beauty, and Angelfall! You make some hard cases for some of these to be added to my TBR, with Pratt’s Trouble being the likely addition (because it sounds like it’d garner great discussion haha).

    Cheers,
    joey via. thoughts and afterthoughts

  6. I completely agree on Hush, Hush. I love Patch and the idea of angels to death. No I wouldn’t want him as my boyfriend but the book and their relationship was still an exciting read!
    My TTT

  7. So happy to see Trouble and Dreamland on here! Both fabulous books. Dreamland definitely seems to be one of Dessen’s lesser known novels and I can understand why because it’s a little more serious than the others but it bowled me over, I felt so hollow and sad after finishing it.

    I’m definitely going to try and give Cruel Beauty a go! And well, I’ll forgive you for Hush Hush because it is almost so bad it’s good. Almost. 😉

    • I thought of you when I added Hush Hush to the list, since I know you’re opinions on it haha! 😉 It’s my guilty pleasure read, plus the covers are pretty additions to my bookshelves! I’m glad you’ve read Dreamland, a lot of people haven’t but I think it really showcases Dessen’s range as an author to cover such a heavy topic but still keep her kind of trademark contemporary-summery voice.

      And I really think you’ll like Cruel Beauty!

  8. Brilliant picks! 100% agree that Dangerous Girls is so underrated, Haas is overall. She writes the greatest YA psychological thrillers, she serves so much more love. Most of the others are ones I haven’t read, but I have quite a few of them on my TBR!

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