Top Literally Underrated YA Books on GR

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Let’s not pretend I’m going to have anywhere close to ten books on this list. Here are books I rated five stars on Goodreads with less than 2000 ratings. They need your love and support.

Also, just FYI, this is like the most depressing TTT ever. If you can swing it, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE buy one of these. Or more.

Just Visiting - Dahlia Adler

Just Visiting – Dahlia Adler: Okay, so I know I’m good friends with this author but even if I hated every fiber of Dahlia’s being, I would love this book. In fact, I would hate her more for how much I loved it. Thankfully, she’s great and you totally DO want to support her. Seriously, though, this book is full of romance, strong female friendship, great messages about sex, banter, humor, and teens dealing with real life stuff as they cross the bridge from young adult to new adult. I recommend it especially highly for teens who are preparing for whatever comes after high school. The fact that this book has under 500 reviews is a fucking travesty to be quite honest. Also, all her books are great so read those too while you’re at it. This one’s my tippy top favorite though.

Because Dahlia is the best (as I’ve said before), she’s even offering a giveaway of Just Visiting for one US blog reader today. Scroll to the bottom for a chance to win!

Song of Summer - Laura Lee Anderson

Song of Summer – Laura Lee Anderson: For the most part, these ebook only releases from major pubs don’t seem to do that well, which is a damn shame, since there are some brilliant books hidden here. Song of Summer is a contemporary with A+ characterization, banter to the max, and an amazing ship. Also, the love interest is deaf. It’s a really beautiful, feelsy contemp, and I’m sorry I forgot it in my initial post. Whoops!

The Awesome - Eva Darrows

The Awesome – Eva Darrows: Noooooo, I’m on book two and I am already so fucking sad. This book is hilarious and edgy and dark comedy at its best. You will either love it or be offended by it, if you’re offended by badass ladies with shame-free sex lives. Basically, I think this is one of those books where if you love the author’s twitter (Hillary Monahan), then you will love the book. It’s also not really as scary/gruesome as the cover makes it out to be because it’s so fucking funny.

The Painted Boy

The Painted Boy – Charles De Lint: Okay, so I decided to include all the ones I rated five stars at the time, but I read The Painted Boy after I got it at my first ALA in 2010. You guys know my memory, and it is FUZZY. What I do remember is it having really awesome world building, diverse characters, and obviously strong characters if I loved it.

House of Sand and Secrets - Cat Hellisen

House of Sand and Secrets – Cat Hellisen: When the Sea Is Rising Red was really good, but it didn’t hit me in the emotional spot at the time I read it. The self-published sequel which has a tragic number of reviews, though, was fucking fantastic. Also, for those of you who are into this, like I am: BISEXUAL LOVE TRIANGLE HEYO. If you’re into completely atypical YA that pushes boundaries, definitely read this series.

Never Enough - Denise Jaden

Never Enough – Denise Jaden: Again, I think this was maybe from my first BEA or something, so I do not remember it well, but Never Enough was one of those darker contemporaries that actually worked for me because of the voice and characterization. From what I recall, it’s a really strong contemporary on family and sisterhood, as well as eating disorders.

Cat Street - Yoko Kamio

Cat Street – Yoko Kamio: Look, I know most of you are probably not into manga, but there is really no excuse for how few people know this one. Cat Street is one of my favorite manga series of all damn time, and it’s got like a thousand ratings. I know manga people don’t use GR as much, but I’m willing to bet that Boys Over Flowers, by the same author and vastly inferior, is doing just fine. Cat Street is about a bunch of misfits who wind up at a community college and band together as they try to figure out their issues. It’s got a truly amazing ship and wonderful friendship feelings.

Don't Fail Me Now - Una LaMarche

Don’t Fail Me Now – Una LaMarche: I read two LaMarche novels on audio last year, and they were both completely brilliant. Diverse, feelsy, character-driven contemporaries. LaMarche does such an amazing job, and it makes me so sad to see the low number of reviews on this one. Interracial romance, folks! Also, if you’re an audiobook person, the ones for Don’t Fail Me Now and Like No Other were both really great.

Velveteen - Daniel Marks

Velveteen – Daniel Marks: Another dark comedy. I’m wondering if perhaps, as a genre, those are not appreciated as much as they should be. Set in the afterlife, it’s both shippy and funny. Bear with me because I lied and I also read this one ages ago.

Every Breath - Ellie MarneyEvery Word - Ellie Marney AustralianEvery Move (Every #1) - Ellie Marney

Every Breath/Every Word/Every Move – Ellie Marney: J’ACCUSE. This is un-fucking-acceptable. Not a single book in this trilogy of PERFECTION has over 2000 reviews. I’ve tried a few of these YA Sherlock books and this one is by FAR the best one. I haven’t seen the show or read the actual books, but people I know who love them LOVED THIS SERIES. If you’re into Sherlock and YA and you haven’t read these, you are doing yourself a disservice. FIX THIS. Also, fyi, if you’re into romance, best ship and literally some of my favorite kissing scenes of all time.

Not Otherwise Specified - Hannah Moskowitz

Not Otherwise Specified – Hannah Moskowitz: Oh my god why. I was sure this one would have over 2000 reviews but it actually has under 1000. Why people why???? The writing is gorgeous, and it’s really accessible. The voice was one of the strongest I have ever read in a book. EVER. Also, it’s a diverse LGBT book that isn’t tragic. PLEASE READ.

The Boy in the Black Suit - Jason ReynoldsWhen I Was the Greatest - Jason Reynolds

The Boy in the Black Suit – Jason Reynolds/When I Was the Greatest – Jason Reynolds: I am just so disappointed in humanity right now. Jason Reynolds is so cool and his books are so good. It’s really disappointing that, though diverse books are popular right now, a lot of the books on this list are diverse. For both, I read the audiobook, which was fabulous. When I Was the Greatest has strong family feels and The Boy in the Black Suit might be more up your alley if you’re looking for romance.

The Art of WishingThe Fourth Wish

The Art of Wishing/The Fourth Wish – Lindsay Ribar: *sobs* Another dear author friend on this list. You people are killing me. I know paranormal got completely burned out post-Twilight, and I think readers are still hesitant to give it a shot, but the genre has been making a comeback, championed by Lindsay. These are about genies but also about real life, with strong voice, humor, and musical theater. Also check out her latest, Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies, which just came out but needs more fans because it’s great.

Touching the Surface

Touching the Surface – Kimberly Sabatini: Though about the afterlife, Touching the Surface was such a sweet and shippy book. It’s really way more uplifting than you might think. The love interest was massively adorable, and I’m pretty sure people who don’t usually do fantasy/paranormal would enjoy this one.

2016 Titles

I decided to break out the books that have come out in 2016, because some of the ones I’ve LOVED so far this year have under 2000 ratings so far. Though some came out in the last two months, I know a big number of the sales happen really fast, so I want to hold them up to force on you. I won’t do the full pitch, but I encourage you to get these as much as the others. Elevator pitches, go!

The Long Game (Fixer #2) - Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Long Game – Jennifer Lynn Barnes: Sequel to The Fixer, which truly was like Veronica Mars. The Long Game is more intense than Veronica Mars.

Shuffle, Repeat - Jen Klein

Shuffle, Repeat – Jen Klein: Adorable shippiness in the form of car rides to school and a competition to decide who gets to choose the music for the trip.

Up to This Pointe - Jennifer Longo

Up to This Pointe – Jennifer Longo: A ballerina’s life doesn’t go how she expected and she finagles her way to Antarctica. Very strong voice.

Wanderlost - Jen Malone

Wanderlost – Jen Malone: Adorable, massively shippy contemporary novel set against the backdrop of a European tour.

These Vicious Masks - Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas

These Vicious Masks – Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas: Historical paranormal ala The Dark Days Club, which does have over 2000 reviews. Get These Vicious Masks there, guys! It’s so close and also did I mention SHIP.

Girl Against the Universe - Paula Stokes

Girl Against the Universe – Paula Stokes: Oh hey, look, it’s another shippy contemporary. Girl Against the Universe has one of my favorite love interests ever and it’s got an excellent portrayal of anxiety to boot.

Did you love any of these? Are you going to give any a chance now?


To totally be a broken record here, Dahlia’s really wonderful. I’ve read all six of her books and I’ve enjoyed them all. She’s such a talented writer and she promos for other authors like no one else. Let’s give Dahlia love and attention today. If you can’t afford the YA books, her new adult is also fabulous and they’re 4 bucks (though the first book may still be on sale for .99 cents). Check her out on Amazon or your fave book retailer is what I’m saying.

Dahlia’s offering up a signed copy of Just Visiting, which, again, YOU VERY MUCH DO WANT. US only because she’s a dear but she is not made out of money, which sucks for the shipping of things but is good because she’s less flammable this way. Just fill out the Rafflecopter for a chance to win!

For more giveaways, check my Twitter today, as I’m planning to give away some books, if you guys let me. 😉



15 responses to “Top Literally Underrated YA Books on GR”

  1. Joanne Levy says:

    There are so, so, so many books out there that inevitably good ones go unnoticed, so thank you for this list. Thanks to an earlier post, I have SHUFFLE, REPEAT lined up and have more to look at now (sobs about already-toppling TBR, but whatever). You have two of my fellow Class of 2k12ers here, which rocks. 🙂
    Joanne Levy recently posted…How to Show Love to an AuthorMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Yayyyyyyy! I’m especially proud to sell people on these books, because I want all the books I love to do well. 😀

  2. I’ve actually seen Just Visiting on a couple of lists today. 🙂 There are a couple here that I’m going to have to look into. Have a great week!

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

    • Christina Franke says:

      Just Visiting is SOOOOOO AMAZING. Everyone should read ittttttt. At least all contemporary YA readers should. :-p

  3. I’m loving today’s TTT topic, even though I don’t do these lists myself. So many interesting-looking books to add to the good ol TBR list!

    Just visiting looks pretty good! I know one kid in particular would would probably just devour it. Thank you for hosting this giveaway. Crossing my fingers!
    looloolooweez recently posted…The Awakening by Kate ChopinMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      It’s a really great topic idea. The Broke and the Bookish add such creativity to the book world!

      I hope they get to read it one way or another!

  4. Jo says:

    I haven’t read any of these, but the Every series is on my TBR.
    Jo recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #64My Profile

  5. Christina R. says:

    Oh I LOVE Dahlia Adler’s first YA, it was awesome!!!! Love how her characters feel like real people, people you could meet, which makes the plot interesting too!

    Wanderlost is one of my all time favorites – love the main character and her mistakes but it was such a relatable thing to do, to switch with her sister, I was rooting for her the whole way 😉

    Paula Stokes rocks!!! Her contemporary novels are shippy (Micah!!!) and her thriller is one of my favorites and I also loved her Fiona Paul trilogy, her depiction of Venice was wonderful and the whole secret society thing had me hooked 😉

    thank you so very much for the giveaway!!!!! I have a US address but rafflecopter might show my location outside the US as I’m doing a semester abroad.

  6. These Vicious Masks and The Awesome are great! I also want to try Every Breath – I’ve heard so many good things about it! 🙂

    And, thanks for the giveaway!

    Check out my TTT and my current international giveaway.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    You know, I’m not sure why I haven’t read any of Dahlia Adler’s books yet – I freaking love following her on Twitter because she has a lot of great things to say. So clearly I need to get on this (and thanks for hosting a giveaway!) This list is full of things I think I’ll like – I’m saving this list for future reverence!

    And I love that we are always championing Cat Street haha! (Although your description is much more coherent than mine ha!) I will never understand why Boys Over Flowers is more popular *grumps*
    Elizabeth recently posted…Top Ten Books Under 2000 RatingsMy Profile

  8. Lauren says:

    I adored NOT OTHERWISE SPECIFIED for the same reasons you did. Also — Jason Reynolds! He is such an autobuy for me after I read THE BOY IN THE BLACK SUIT.

    The one on this list I’ve really been meaning to read is UP TO THIS POINTE. I’ve heard nothing but good things, and ballet + travel + dealing with failure is reading catnip for me. OK, off to go use some of my Amazon credit…

  9. Zoey says:

    I also put The Long Game on my TTT today. I was so surprised to see it had less than 2000 ratings. This book was just *so good*. I’m pretty sure my heart nearly stopped with all the action and twists and turns.
    More people should read it, because it was just so good! (:
    I haven’t yet read A girl against the universe but I’m planning to – very soon. I heard nothing but amazing things.
    As for the rest of the books… well, I don’t know them. But the whole point of this is to make underrated books known (:

    My blog:
    Zoey recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday – Books under 2000 ratings on goodreadsMy Profile

  10. Jonathan G. says:

    Just bought the first book in Dahlia’s new adukt series and I’m so so excited to read it! I definitely need to get my hands on Just Visiting.

  11. Bonnie Regan says:

    I also included The Awesome! Seriously fantastic book, I sure hope she gets the opportunity to write more about Maggie. And it looks like I have several books to add to my list. I actually just saw Every Breath at the library yesterday… whoops. Next time. 🙂

  12. Carrie says:

    I definitely want to read The Long Game & These Vicious Masks! My TTT

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