Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hidden gems: Underrated YA reads

I just love to discover the hidden gems of YA, so today was the perfect day for me to join in nd share a diverse mix of underrated YA with you dear readers.

Today The Broke and the Bookish asked their readers to share much loved underrated books. Underrated is defined by B & B as books with less than 2000 ratings on Goodreads. Non of my top underrated reads has more than 1500 ratings(most of them way below that), so I'm well within the definition with my picks.

(Title link takes you to Goodreads.)

Secret diary(Lou #1) by Julien Neel - 581 ratings on Goodreads

This graphic novel series by French author Julien Neel is just hilarious. The stories will make you smile and laugh even on a rainy day. Teenager Lou lives with her slightly 'crazy' science-fiction-author-to-be mum, and we read about their everyday life and their journey to love. I promise you won't regret picking it up.

Chain Mail: Addicted to You by Hiroshi Ishizaki - 484 ratings on Goodreads

Things get really scary when the lines between reality and fantasy is blurred in this novel. Four lonely girls in Tokyo, an email and a yet to be written thriller novel with available slots for four leading characters. Add a stalker into the mix, and you're there. In addition to being a thriller, this book gives insight into what everyday life might be like for young adults growing up in Japan.

La Línea by Ann Jaramillo - 1026 ratings on Goodreads

I tried remembering where I first discovered La Línea and I think it was quite by accident. It is rare to read a young adult novel that in such a true way evolves around a human crisis, social and political challenges. No, this is not a boring story, it is a very dramatic and painful story, It is an important one, when it comes to being able to see life from different perspectives. In this novel we meet Miguel and his sister, they were left by their parents to live with their grandmother. The plan was that the parents would work and save up money to build a new life for all of them in USA. Years have passed and Miguel is tired of living in a village in Mexico without any prospects for his future. So Miguel sets out on an extremly dangerous journey to be reunited with his parents. This is the authors debut novel, written in 2006, but is still very much relevant.

Butterflies in May by Karen Hart - link to my review - 95 ratings on Goodreads

Perhaps some where scared off by the unfitting cover? I know it did not speak to me, but the content did. This is a contemporary YA where the subject is teen pregnancy. The author treated the difficult issue with respect and without moralising or draging politics in to it. I loved that. There is no sugercoating, just realism. Every character in this story has depth, even the minor ones.

The book was originally published back in 2006 it now seems like the author might have been given back the rights to the work and selfpublished it later on.

The Intern by Dillon Kahn - link to my review - 66 ratings on Goodreads

I loved reading every page of the Intern, eventhough I never imagined myself as interested in the 'behind the scenes' of the music industry. Wonderful humor, great characters, a story of what working as an intern might be like and last but not least a lot of great and diverse music(at least for me who was a YA in the 90's and 00's)!

Waiting For Gonzo by Dave Cousins - 100 ratings on Goodreads

This British YA is laugh out loud funny and has an incredibly charming main character called Oz. Oz and his family has moved and starting a new school can be quite challenging, especially when you fall out with someone on the very first day. This was a great read, not all fun and games but also a story touching upon some serious issues.

The Last Full Measure by Ann Rinaldi - link to my review - 217 ratings on Goodreads

Ann Rinaldi has written over 40 books, most of them historical YA. In this novel the setting is in Pennsylvania during the American Civil War. This is the story of the people who lived when the Battle of Gettysburg commenced, told through the experiences of a young girl named Tacy. The story is fiction, but some of the characters are people who actually did live at that time and place. Rinaldi's writing is so genuine, the littlest paragraph could make me sob. This is also the story of the 200-400 free black Americans living in Gettysburg, according to the author this is the first work of fiction that have addressed important piece of fact.

Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner - my review - 1306 ratings on Goodreads

Carrie is a quirky character and a girl who just does not care about doing things to fit in. On a negative note, for Carrie, she is a person with some serious people issues. She actually reminded me quite a bit of Holden from J.D. Salinger's Catcher In The Rye. As the pages go along and you settle down with Carries way of viewing the world you will fall in love, laugh and most certainly build your vocabulary, Carrie is just that kind of character. This one is more for the mature YA readers, or at least those who doesn't mind that sex is being mentioned.

All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield - my review - 1126 ratings on Goodreads

A contemporary YA from Australian author Wakefield. About 16 year old Mim who dreams about a better life, and most certainly she will NEVER be like her mother. All I Ever Wanted is a story about dreams and hope, family and friends that will keep you turning pages into the wee hours. This book has earned a place on my keeper shelf, not many books get to go there.

The Fiddler's Gun by A.S. Peterson - my review - 740 ratings on Goodreads

Back in 2010 I claimed that this book should have a place among the classic YA/MG reads, six years later on and I stand what I said back then. This book has it all; adventure, America on the brink of war with England, piracy, friendship, love and redemption. I fell head over heels, so any fault in the story telling would be missed by me, it was just one of the books that was impossible to put down.

I noticed that the novel was marked as Christian fiction, which kind of put me off before I ever picked it. I do not like books that I suspect is written to preach me any kind of religion. Luckily I can say that this was not the case with The Fiddler's Gun,

I do hope you will check out at least one of the titles on my list!
Have you read any of them perhaps? Or do you want to?


  1. Cant say i read any of these books. But i am glad you liked them.
    I got a post my self but only got 5 books.
    If you like come over and see which one i got in this post.


  2. Hi Mariska, Thanks for stopping by :) I could have included more books, but since it was only ten.. ten it was. You should give one of them a go some day. Can't wait to check out your five picks.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts =)