Underrated and Forgotten YA Books You Should Read
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10 Underground YA Books You Haven't Read Yet And Need To Put On Your Shelf Immediately

Or maybe you do know about them; either way, you should read these 10 books.

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YA, or Young Adult, is an expansive genre that encompasses so many different sub-genres it can be hard to keep track. With so many novels covering so many topics released every year, it is impossible for good books to not fall through the cracks and miss the attention they deserve. Here is my list of ten YA books (of multiple sub-genres and interests) that I don't think get enough attention.

1. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan


Read the summary here.

John Green's novels are well known and well loved by readers everywhere. This one, co-written with David Levithan, is arguably one of his most under-appreciated works to date. The story is split in alternate narrations from each Will Grayson, both very different from the other. The novel, like all Green's and Levithan's, deals with serious and heavy topics. The story's true highlights, though, are in the comedic moments of the characters' lives. Will Grayson, Will Grayson is perfect for readers looking for an emotional novel that still doesn't seem to be drenched in weight. It is also great for readers who want touching moments rooted in an every-day-life setting.

2. The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall


Read the summary here.

This one surprised me the first time I read it; while I don't typically love books with romance and fashion, this one is GREAT. It is thrilling and action-packed and just plain fun. It is equal parts fashion queen, love triangle, world domination, and international whirlwind mixed in one book about a high school student whisked into a new life. The book's use of setting is vivid and welcoming, inspiring and surprising. The fast pace keeps the reader hooked even when the plot seems to be a standstill. This one is light and fun and mysterious enough to keep you reading. It's perfect for readers looking for an interesting love triangle that actually has something to do with the plot. It's also a great pick for mystery and action readers. If there is one book on this list you try, it should be this one.

3. The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova


Read the summary here.

Another fun choice, the Vicious Deep takes the teen-mermaid-in-the-mortal-world concept and adds some flair to it. The story is set on Coney Island and follows typical teen boy Tristan, who lives his life flirting and partying normally until suddenly he has a little more to worry about. The story follows mermen, which aren't nearly as common as they should be in YA fiction. The book (and its' sequels) is fun, fresh, and funny without seeming like its' trying too hard to be anything. It's perfect for readers looking for a fun fantasy pick, and for readers who like their plot with a heaping side of fun and relatable characters.

4. Antigoddess by Kendare Blake


Read the summary here.

This one is for all the mythology lovers. Blake's story places once all-powerful Greek gods and goddesses in America and shows them dying slow, painful deaths. This part is intriguing enough- immortals trying to understand death is always a good read- but the story doesn't stop there. The story also follows Cassandra, ancient prophetess who is now an "ordinary" human girl, as she unwittingly becomes a pawn in the games of the gods. The book is gritty and dark, full to the brim with angst, distrust, bitterness, and full to the brim with references to the ancient myths. It is perfect for those looking for a dark take on the modern myth concept. If you're looking for an "older" Percy Jackson, pick up Antigoddess.

5. Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman


Read the summary here.

YA historical fiction is some of the best, in my opinion, when done well. Grounding the events associated with coming-of-age and teen life in the events of real world tragedies and horrors can make such horrors seem poignantly human. This is beautifully apparent in Prisoner of Night and Fog. The book is set in 1930s Berlin and its' main character is the niece of the infamous German leader of the time period. Gretchen must grapple with the mysterious death of her father while finding herself in a friendship with a Jewish reporter. The novel is a beautiful examination of personal will, faith, and love set against one of the darkest times in global history.

6. A Tyranny of Petticoats


Read the summary here.

Another great historical fiction choice, this one is actually an anthology of stories from great YA authors. The all-women lineup each contributes one story, all from different points in American history, and all about young women. This anthology is as heavy on the female empowerment idea as it is on the great storytelling idea. It's perfect for readers looking for some reads full of girl power with a historical element. Each story is short, too, so it's perfect to pick up, put down (although you won't want to), and pick up again at your own pace.

7. The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron


Read the summary here.

No YA list would be complete without at least one dystopian novel. The Forgetting fits that bill and so much more. The book has a surprising sci-fi element to it as well, which sets it apart in the sea of dystopian that has swept into the YA genre. The story takes place well into the future in a setting that seems familiar and brand-new all at once. This one is another great choice for readers looking for great character relationships; it's also great for romance readers and those looking for mystery and action. Bottom line, The Forgetting is a book that has something for most readers, and a slew of plot twists and surprises to keep you guessing until the very end.

8. Partials by Dan Wells


Read the summary here.

Partials is another dystopian/sci-fi choice for readers looking for a little more adventure than romance. This one is heavy on the science, as it deals largely with topics such as genetic engineering and bio-warfare. It is also set on Long Island, giving the setting of the action an eerie familiarity for some East Coast readers. It is light on romance but heavy on the connections between family and humanity in general. This is a great option for readers looking for a dystopian novel that is rooted mostly in science and all of its potential consequences. If you're looking for a lighter dystopian pick, this one isn't for you.

9. Mosquitoland by David Arnold


Read the summary here.

In all honesty, I am not a huge fan of most "realistic" YA books. I much prefer the adventure and science of the dystopias mentioned above to the so-called everydayness of much that YA novels offer. Mosquitoland completely took me by surprise. The story is a beautiful tale of loss and betrayal that is actually fun to read. The main character and her narration are refreshingly honest, and the supporting characters give the story depth and nuance. Mosquitoland is great for readers looking for a real world tale but also for readers tired of dystopians but unsure of what to read next.

10. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green


Read the summary here.

An Abundance of Katherines is, in my opinion, the most underrated of all of John Green's novels. The book is fun from start to finish without ignoring the serious topics Green is known to discuss. The absolute best part of this novel is the cast of supporting characters the reader meets as the story progresses. They are funny and charming and relatable without seeming overly one-dimensional or stereotypical. This one is great for readers looking for a refreshing read that doesn't require a lot of intense focus. It is also great for readers who want a coming-of-age or road trip/journey story.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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