10 YA titles I loved (that you probably haven’t heard of, but should have)

This list isn’t of famous books that everyone agrees are amazeballs and have sold twenty gazillion copies. Those books don’t need me to squee over them. So… in no particular order:


10. Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt

9. When the World was Flat (and We Were in Love) by Ingrid Jonach

8. Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

7. Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

6. This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

5. Ultraviolet by R.J Anderson

4. Twisted by Amity Hope

3. The Education of Bet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

2. Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel

1. Living Violet by Jaime Reed

I adored all of those books for different reasons. You can page through the widgets to find out why, in brief.  NOTE: I will physically fight you if you come up in here and tell me any of these books are bad. Feel free to squee about them in comments, if you check them out! If you’ve already read them, feel free to weigh in down below. I’d also appreciate recs of little known books that have amazed you recently.

Finally, I’ll give one lucky commenter a copy of their choice of these books, in either digital or paper format. Book talk commences now!


Posted in book club, books, contest, YA

37 Responses to 10 YA titles I loved (that you probably haven’t heard of, but should have)

  1. Paige says:

    Thank you! I love book recs and especially YA! Looking forward to checking these out!

  2. Rachel C. says:

    I loved Another Little Piece! It was so refreshing and different. The slowly building mystery and the poetic snippets of the girl from before. I ended up giving my copy to my husband’s librarian aunt!

    One of my favorite YA novels will always be Howl’s Moving Castle. The Miyazaki movie does an okay job translating it to the screen but he just had to insert emo goo monsters instead of keeping to Howl being a sassy procrastinating student.

    I did just read Victoria Scott’s The Collector. It read like a wonderful, nostalgic, 90’s teen movie and I loved every minute of how cheesy it was.

  3. Rebecka says:

    I’ve read Living Violet and liked it well enough, but apparently not enough to read the sequel.
    Brightly Woven on the other hand, oh I loved it!

    Haven’t heard of the others I think. At least not to the extent that I remember the titles. But they’re so going on the to read list! Thank you!

    I’m not good when it comes to knowing about how well known books are (except of course the crazy famous ones). But an author I’ve recently discovered is Andrew Kaufman. Weird, different and wonderful. I’d really recommend The Waterproof Bible by him.
    My favourite book that might not be big abroad is The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren. It’s super famous in Sweden, and she’s a famous children’s author abroad, but I don’t think that actual book has had much impact in the US for example (unlike Pippi Longstocking). It’s about death and even if it was written for children (I’ve heard she wrote it for sick children to make them not being afraid of death) it’s a great read for adults.

  4. I’m not entering the contest, but I thought I’d leave my two cents: I’ve only read Ultraviolet, Another Little piece and This is Not a Test from your list but I loved all three. I ordered When the World Was Flat today, per your recommendation. :)

    I just finished a UK release not many people know about: Night Witches by L.J Adlington. It’s a YA fantasy inspired by Soviet female fighter pilots from WWII, and Russian lore. I thought it was elegantly written and really unique. I reviewed it today with great pleasure.

  5. sandyg265 says:

    I read Dust Girl and really enjoyed it.

    Another YA book I read and really enjoyed is Summer of Wolves by Polly Carlson-Voiles. It’s about a young girl and her brother who are sent to live in a remote section of Minnesota to live with an Uncle they’ve never met who studies wolves.

  6. Zee says:

    Alas, I don’t have the time to check those books out. Maybe later.
    But books that amazed me lately are The Fault in Our Stars, Revenants series, and Razorland series (not to be biased, but I really loved it. I’ve reread it just lately and planning to read it again before Horde comes out. I’m hopelessly addicted).

    Have a good day! :)

  7. Eleanor Halbauer says:

    XVI was pretty hip and spoke about the sexualization of teen girls.

  8. Jocelyn says:

    Oohhh haven’t seen any of these will have to check out Another little piece looks good.

  9. I loved Brightly woven and Another little Piece :) Goes and adds the others to my to read pile :)

  10. Galena says:

    I read Dust Girl based on your recommendation and do not regret it! For the most part, by the time I get to read a book it isn’t little-known, so I don’t really have any good obscure titles to add to your list. However, I will give some love to the Leviathan trilogy by Scott Westerfeld (alternate-history steam/bio-punk!) and the Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy by Carrie Ryan.

  11. Catherine says:

    Thanks for the list, I’m always looking for new good books to read!

  12. ashley says:

    I had another little piece as a wow on my site one week and I have brightly woven on my shelf but haven’t read it. I loved her the darkest mind book so I’ll have to read bw.

  13. Sullivan McPig says:

    I agree with you on This Is Not A Test. Loved it. I’ll have to check out the others.

  14. evening-green says:

    I’ve wanted to read “Ultraviolet”, I’ve had it on my whislist for a while.
    The other titles are pretty new to me. “The Education of Bet” sounds really good, thanks for the post!

  15. Lea Krnjeta says:

    Nice choices, most of them are on my tbr list. I dont remember when I last read a little known book, maybe Devil drinks coffee.

  16. Jennzah says:

    i loved THIS IS NOT A TEST! it was brilliant :)

  17. Pingback: The weekly web ramble (9/13)

  18. flchen1 says:

    Thanks for the recommendations, Ann! Always looking for good reads :) I’ll have to see which ones might also be appropriate for my kids :D

  19. Ellie says:

    Oh I LOVED Brightly woven! I was so excited when Alex came out with more books. But Brightly woven was SUCH a great one shot. Haven’t read the rest though. *goes to add them to goodreads list*

  20. Regina says:

    I haven’t read any of these titles. I did read Rush by Eve Silver this year and loved it.

  21. Bethany C. says:

    I’ve made a note of most of these- if you love them that’s reason enough for me to check them out!

  22. Chris E. says:

    Thank you for the recommendations. I’m a young adult librarian, so I’m always looking for unusual YA books to read. I liked Katurah and look forward to trying the rest on your list.

    Have you tried Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph by Robin LeFevers? (Medieval killer nuns who are daughters of St. Mortain, aka Death.) I also liked Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross. (A young woman in Belle Epoque Paris joins an agency of foils, plain women paid to stand next to rich ladies and make them look better by comparison. It’s based on an Emile Zola story.)

  23. fishgirl182 says:

    I read Living Violet and, while I didn’t love it, it was definitely interesting and different than some of the YA fare out there. I always recommend Unwind by Neal Shustermann to people. I know it’s popular but I always meet people who have not read it yet.

  24. Ashfa Anwer says:

    Those books look amazing! I’ve heard amazing things about This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers and Another Little Piece and I’m really dying to get those books.
    I recommend Ordinary Beauty by Laura Wiess and the Otori series by by Lian Hearn.

  25. I forgot to give you a rec!
    The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle: Amish and vampires!
    I LOVE it. Reading the sequel The Outside atm

  26. Wow I’ve never heard of any of these!! Thanks for the great list!!

  27. Juliana says:

    Man, I’ve only heard of two of these and read one! one of my favorite books of recent that mot everyone seems to have heard of is the Sea of Tranquility :)

    Thanks for the great list!

  28. kitkat9000 says:

    I’ve never cared for YA/NA or more accurately the forays I’ve made into the genres haven’t panned out. That said, having checked the descriptions of your recs I’ve got to say most of them sound really good. Thanks for adding interesting suggestions to my TBR, which can never have too many good choices available.

  29. venus velvet says:

    The Sherwood Ring and The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope are two of my favorites from childhood. Drawing on Revolutionary War and Elizabethan England periods respectively, the stories are evocative with historical detail and vivid characters. The faeries in The Perilous Gard were the most haunting and otherworldly I’ve ever read; very Spenserian. I wish she’d written more books. I tracked them down decades after first reading them, and reread them occasionally still.

  30. Marissa says:

    I loved This is Not a Test! It was so intense and amazing! I was a giant ball of nerves the entire time I was reading it, and for some time afterwards, too!

    I cant wait to check out some of these other books on your list!
    Thanks for the rec’s!

  31. venus velvet says:

    Site hijack? (Who is Jorge Hinestroza and does Mr. Aguirre know about him?)

  32. venus velvet says:

    Finished Living Violet yesterday; will get to Burning Emerald tonight. Good story and fresh characters.

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