Young adult novels are some of the most well-recognized books in the world. But for every Harry Potter and Divergent, there are dozens of underrated novels that just haven’t become popular for one reason or another. Many novels have a very niche fanbase, but this list is comprised of five great novels that deserve your attention.
The Espressologist by Kristina Springer
Millennials are obsessed with quizzes that tell a truth about their personality based on arbitrary interests (such as favorite movie, favorite color, or favorite dog breed). Imagine you had the ability to tell anyone’s personality based off of their coffee order. Seventeen-year-old Jane has this ability, and uses it to set up patrons at her job. The premise is silly, but this book is a lighthearted and fun change of pace for anyone needing an escape. Plus, you do see some of Jane’s inner turmoil as she is thrust into the limelight, her gift exploited for more business.
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
Looking for a thriller? The Good Girl should be your next book of choice. For proof, read no further than this Goodreads description: “One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. At first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life.” With books like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train gaining popularity, The Good Girl has fallen to the wayside but holds its own as a contemporary mystery.
Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult is a familiar name to many, and for good reason; she penned the critically acclaimed My Sister’s Keeper. However, she has writtens tons of novels that are worth reading, and none more so than Leaving Time. This novel shows Jenna, a thirteen-year-old girl, on her mission to find her mother, whom many thought abandoned her. Helping her are psychic Serenity Jones and Detective Virgil Stanhope, an unlikely duo. Will Jenna find the truth, or will she retreat home to the elephants her mom studied?
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
Lisa See’s novels may be on the older end of young adult fiction, but her books are loved and cherished by many within this age range. Shanghai Girls is the story of two sisters, Pearl and May, who leave their homeland of China for America in the 1930’s after a Japanese invasion destroys everything they love. Based off of historical events, this novel gives insight to the horrors many Chinese immigrants faced. Plus, there is a sequel that returns the family to China during the Communist Revolution and paints a realistic picture of the suffering of the Chinese people. If you are interested in historical fiction and learning about another culture, Shanghai Girls is a perfect novel for you.
Feed by M.T. Anderson
It wouldn’t be a YA list without a post-apocalyptic novel about technological takeover, and Feed gives us just that. Tackling issues of consumerism and reliance on technology, you’ll begin to question whether those recommendations from Amazon are a little too personalized. This novel is heartbreaking, and a warning of the dangers of technology. Although the technology-hating trend can seem outdated, M.T. Anderson’s world makes us realize this kind of reliance could be coming for us soon.
Young adult fiction has many positives, and many of them are found in underrated novels. For more information on young adult fiction, visit: ThomasTedrow.net