Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blog Blitz! The Best YA Books You Haven't Read

Well, I did something similar for my 2009 book lists, but amazing blogger Kelly of YAnnabes has put together a massive blog blitz, in which thirty-something book bloggers with LibraryThing accounts will post today about The Best YA Books You Haven't Read! Now, most people in the blogosphere use Goodreads, and it's certainly an excellent platform if you're looking for livestream updates of what your friends are reading, but LibraryThing focuses more on comprehensive individual book stats, the similarities of your reading tastes to other LTers, and so on and so forth. She has done an incredible job of helping thirty-something bloggers figure out which of their highest-rated books in their LT account are the most overlooked, and is helping everyone spread the word about these worthwhile titles.
Since I did a similar post in my Most Overlooked list of from my 2009 book lists, I'll keep this one shorter and sweeter, with quick summaries and "mini-reviews." So, without further ado...

Steph Su's List of the 7 Best YA Books You Haven't Read

1. Fat Cat by Robin Brande
Random House / Oct. 13, 2009 / Hardcover / 336pp. / $16.99

One-sentence synopsis: Plus-size Cat embarks on a caveman diet as part of her year-long science project, hoping to beat Matt McKinney, her ex-best friend who broke her heart years ago.

Why You Can't Miss It: Brilliance like this unfortunately still rarely exists in YA lit, and it’s a real shame, because YA lit needs more authors like Robin Brande. It’s the kind of book that makes you smile as you remember why you still enjoy and read YA contemporary realistic fiction. Brande does not dumb down her fictional teenagers, with the surprising yet joyful result that they will end up appealing to everyone. FAT CAT is a story you catch yourself thinking about randomly even weeks after reading it.

[see my full review here]

2. Good Girls by Laura Ruby
HarperCollins / Jan. 2008 (reprint) / Paperback / 304pp. / $8.99

One-sentence synopsis: Someone takes and circulates a picture of snarky good-girl Audrey in a compromising position with a boy.

Why You Can't Miss It: GOOD GIRLS is a gem of a good read. It’s raw and explicit, yet hilarious and touching. Audrey is a great, strong protagonist with a wonderful voice. Not everyone has been in Audrey’s particular situation, but I’m sure that everyone can empathize with how it feels to be hurt, and then to rise above it with spectacular results.

[see my full review here]

3. Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty
St. Martin's Press / Jan. 2002 (reprint) / Paperback / 288pp. / $14.99

One-sentence synopsis: Strangers Elizabeth and Christina became fast friends through their schools' pen-pal system, and via notes and letters, they unravel one another's problems, most especially those involving Elizabeth's erratic best friend Celia.

Why You Can't Miss It: It’s impossible to sum up this amazing book in a few sentences. Let’s just say that this is one of my all-time favorite books, and I’ll never get sick of it. FEELING SORRY FOR CELIA will make readers laugh, cry, and wish they could be part of Elizabeth’s crazy but wonderfully interesting life. It's a celebration of uniqueness, personal dreams, and the sustaining love of friendship over distances.

4. As You Wish by Jackson Pearce
HarperCollins / Aug. 2009 / Hardcover / 300pp. / $16.99

One-sentence synopsis: When Jinn, a genie, comes to the heartbroken and lonely Viola to grant her three wishes, neither is prepared for the emotions they end up feeling for one another...nor the obstacles they must overcome if they want to have any hope of ending up together.

Why You Can't Miss It: The development of Viola and Jinn’s feelings for one another was extraordinarily well done, subtle and likable. It is rare nowadays to find a romance that doesn’t start off from insta-connection and physical attraction, so their relationship stands out to me in the best way. Also, how many authors can tell a truly charming story out of a concept that rides the fence on being sweet and too saccharine? This is magical realism at its best, completely worth the list price, and one of the best love stories I’ve read all year.

[see my full review here]

5. Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman
Penguin / Dec. 2008 / Hardcover / 544pp. / $19.99

One-sentence synopsis: Crippled Eon--who is actually Eona, a girl disguised as a boy--trains for and is chosen to be a rare and powerful dragon's Dragoneye apprentice, thus entering a dangerous world of politics, conspiracy, and magic.

Why You Can't Miss It: If you want a hardcore fantasy set in a deliciously elaborate and complex world, pick up this majestic tale, which will bring to mind the works of fantasy masters like Garth Nix, Robin McKinley, Diane Wynne Jones, and more. Alison Goodman weaves for readers a multisensory setting that’s a treat to experience. I'm salivating in anticipation for the sequel, so that I can read more about Eon/Eona and his/her adventures in this magnificently complex world.

6. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
Alfred A. Knopf / May 2006 (reprint) / Paperback / 256pp. / $8.95

One-sentence synopsis: Francesca must work the ups and downs of her new school while dealing with her mother's severe depression and its effects on the rest of the family.

Why You Can't Miss It: Australian author Melina Marchetta's second book is jam-packed with wit and poignancy. It will make you laugh over and over, and also draw tears to your eyes. A colorful and eclectic cast of supporting characters keeps things fresh and interesting. SAVING FRANCESCA is nearly perfect; now it just needs a large fan base.

7. Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
Penguin / April 2009 (reprint) / Paperback / 320pp. / $8.99

One-sentence synopsis: When her musician ex-boyfriend writes about her breakup with him in a chart-topping hit song, Audrey must navigate false friends and publicity if she wants to find happiness, love, and peace.

Why You Can't Miss It: I loved Audrey in this refreshingly exciting novel! Audrey is the kind of cool and witty character who doesn’t get enough attention in the young adult genre. This book will make you laugh and cheer out loud in places where you shouldn’t be snort-laughing at Audrey’s hilarious narration. Read in public places at your own risk of embarrassment by laughing out loud.


That's it! I hope you keep these incredible titles in mind the next time you take a trip to the library or bookstore. Trust me: they're all well worth the money and time. And don't forget to check out YAnnabe's post to see what other oft-overlooked YA books other bloggers think you shouldn't miss!


  1. I just posted my review of Audrey Wait the other day! I said too that more people need to read this book because Audrey is such a brilliant character, so much so that I laughed so hard I nearly cried! loved it and hope more people pull their socks up and give it a try.

    The others sound good too, especially fat cat. Brilliant list

  2. Thank you for this list! I am never out of great books to read. I just discovered Library Thing yesterday and joined. It's a great site.

  3. Great list! I still need to read Eon and I just added Feeling Sorry for Celia to my priority wishlist. The way you described it makes me think I'd fall in love with it too.

  4. Audrey, Wait was one of my fav..I think I will add As You Wish to my " Wishlist"

    Thanks for the list:)

  5. Thanks for sharing. I hadn't heard of a lot of these books. Most are now on my wishlist!!


  6. Oooh I'm most intrigued by this list- I've read and really liked Audrey, Wait! and Feeling sorry for Celia but I think I'll have to look for Eon because that sounds right up my street!

  7. I haven't read any of these!

  8. These look like some great picks. Thanks for sharing! :)

  9. Saving Francesca is one of my favorite books! I am also kicking myself b/c I just saw Audrey Wait at the library book sale, but since it had an older pub date and different cover I thought it wasn't the same book. Now I see that this one is a reprint! Argh!

  10. I had Saving Francesca and Audrey, Wait on my list today, too. And I definitely need to read Fat Cat and Feeling Sorry for Celia!

  11. Great list! I also LOVE Eon - I would have put it on my list, but to keep my post from going overboard I used a stricter guideline (under 150, I think.) That book blew my mind.

    I added Good Girls to my wish list - it's not the type of book I would pick up based on the cover, but your review makes it sounds like something I'd love!

  12. I just adore Saving Francesca it is beyond my why it isn't huge! It was NO 1 on my unsung list.

    I also loved Audrey Wait, so much fun.

    Feeling sorry for Celia sounds great. I'll look out for it, thanks.

  13. Hey, Feeling Sorry for Celia is on my list, too! I read it long before my blogging days began, so my memories of it are a little on the foggy side, but I remember laughing a lot and *loving* it. Glad to see it getting some love today! =)

  14. I love this post because I found new books to read and I hate this post because I found more books to read.

  15. Loved "As You Wish" and "Audrey, Wait" -- both fabulous books.

    And I just put "Fat Cat" on hold at the library. I'm looking forward to when it gets here!

  16. Oh, I loved a bunch of these (especially AS YOU WISH, which was on my list, too!). Also EON and AUDREY WAIT!

    Great list! :D

  17. My list would include:
    HEX HALL by Rachel Hawkins because it is making me laugh so hard.
    THE SECRET YEAR OF ASSIGNMENTS by Jaclyn Morriaty (I think thats how you spell her last name) because it kept me awake, curious and interested. It made me laugh too. :)

    And WAIT, AUDREY! was great. I loved it :) :)

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  19. Saving Francesca's on my list too! And Feeling Sorry for Celia almost made it. Loved that one too.

    (Don't you just LOVE the romance in Saving Francesca? Something about the way that's written just does it for me.)

    I love how you laid out your easy to read!

  20. I want to read Good Girls and As You Wish. They both sound fun

  21. I'd really like to read Audrey Wait, it sounds like a great story.

    I also *loved* Eon: Dragoneye Reborn for the strong characters and the very cool Asian-inspired setting. I really hope the sequel is coming soon because I'm dying to see what happens next!

  22. Great post - I don't use Library Thing so had no idea about this. A few of those are books I've been meaning to read, and now I'm more convinced than ever. Melina Marchetta and Jaclyn Moriarty are two authors I really can't excuse myself for not having tried yet.

  23. I adore Jackson Pearce's blog but I have yet to read her book! Whoops. :x

  24. I just added Feeling Sorry for Celia. You sold me!

  25. This is a GREAT list. I've been trying to track down Good Girls, but I can't find it at the bookstore or the library. I loved Audrey, Wait, too, and I have Saving Francesca in my pile. I loved Jellicoe Road, so I'm excited to get to it.

  26. Great picks! I loved Audrey, Wait! too, and the rest all sound brilliant. I'm actually reading Fat Cat right now -- because of your earlier review! :) I grabbed it at the library as soon as I could. I'm about 100 pages in after just one night and definitely love it... Cat's winning me over for sure!


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