Books by Theme: Underrated and Amazing Young Adult Books Vol. 2

In making the other lists, I realized that there were so many more I wanted to add!  Here are a few of no particular type that I truly love and want the world to know more about.  We'll start with a high fantasy, end with a high fantasy, and throw a few other gems into the mix.  

Underrated YA Books

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Ananna will do anything to avoid marrying an allied pirate and losing her freedom--even if it means running away from everything she's known.  In the process, she meets Naji, an assassin sent to kill her.  When she inadvertently saves his life, his curse activates and he must protect her, or die.  The story of their journey to break the curse reminded me of Erroll Flynn movies or Pirates of the Caribbean meshed with Tamora Pierce.  Badass heroine, sexy but understated companion, unique magic system, nonstop twisty plot, Narnia-like world.  Yeah, I can't say enough good things about this book.  It's the book every high fantasy obsesser has been waiting for--and it should get way more credit for that. 
Learn more

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
Min and Ed broke up--and in this book, she tells him exactly why with humor, pathos, and  the objects of their relationship that frame each chapter.  Read Series of Unfortunate Events?  Well, imagine that snarky wit ramped up to teen level and combined with a girl who loves old films, a sheepish basketball player, and the myster of an aging film star.  It's a twist on a story that we've all been through at some point or another.  And it's funny as hell.  The use of art is brilliant, and takes the breakup box concept to another level.  What do those objects really mean?  What are the stories behind them?  And how do they lead you to the end?  Clever, witty, and genuine.
Learn more

Firelight by Sophie Jordan
One of the first books I reviewed on S&L, and though I haven't read the sequels yet, it's not for lack of desire so much as book ADHD.  Jordan takes something I hate--romance-focused plots--and turns it into something I loved with good writing, deeply portrayed characters, and a vibrantly original plot.  Jacinda is a draki.  That's a dragon, sort of, with special powers fire powers that her clan hasn't seen for many years.  Only the draki live in our world and must hide in human form to avoid being hunted by those who wish to study and exploit them.  Jacinda almost jeapordizes their entire world when huntersn early catch her, until a handsome human boy saves her life.  Now hidden as a human in a human high school, she crosses paths with her savior.  Her attraction to him is the only thing keeping her unused dragon form from withering, but being in love with a hunter has its own dangers.  It's seriously a clever book and the romance is well done and not saccharine or sappy.  Also, come on.  Dragons!?
Learn more

The Wish List by Eoin Colfer
I came across this again the other day and remembered just how much I loved it.  Colfer is better known for his wicked amusing Artemis Fowl series (which I still must finish; fail), and this book is often forgotten.  It doesn't deserve to be.  Enter Meg.  She's a teen caught up with the wrong people and the wrong fun--the kind that gets her killed.  Now Meg's spirit is in limbo, and the only way to get herself to heaven is to help the old man whom she died robbing.  That means helping him to complete his bucket list, and learning a few things about herself along the way.  It's clever, deep, and as usual with Colfer, irreverently funny. Yeah, I said it.  It'll surprise you and leave you with a smile.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
I know this book has gotten a lot of attention, but I still think it should be bigger than it is. It took one of my favorite genres, YA high fantasy, and put new life back into it.  It also happens to be beautifully written and contain some really swoon-worthy characters.  Okay, yes, sometimes I'm a hopeless romantic.  Shove it.  Anyhoo, the story is of Celaena, the kingdom's best assassin, and her one chance for freedom--to compete in a contest of cutthroats and mercenaries and come out the champion.  Only things get complicated when someone is killing champions with old, forbidden magic and the prince sponsoring you is charming and won't leave you alone.  Everything I love about high fantasy is here:  the strong hero, the magic, the mystery, the beautiful writing, the romance, the twisty plot that leaves you craving more.  I can't wait to see it up with Cassie Clare some day. 
Learn more 

Click the book titles to find out more! 

What are some YA books that you think deserve more press and more reads?  


  1. Thanks for the suggestions, I agree with what you said about Throne of Glass. I've also found another book, Firelight to add to my TBR list.