So, I get asked for book recommendations a lot. And I always tell people to read the amazing YA staples, like SPEAK and TWENTY BOY SUMMER and THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE and THIRTEEN REASONS WHY and LOOKING FOR ALASKA and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.
And then, some people will ask me for my favorite indie or (used to be) indie titles, and I recommend BEAUTIFUL DISASTER and DOUBLE CLUTCH and SLAMMED and FLAT OUT LOVE.
But there's eleventy billion amazing books out there that a lot of people overlook. Sometimes, I think there's no rhyme or reason to which books fly to the top of the charts. Not to say that they aren't deserving, but *sometimes* there's a lot of luck that goes into a books success and not just a good story with great writing alone.
There's incredible writing out there that is overlooked everyday. Awesome stories just waiting to be read. Some fly under the radar, some aren't reviewed by the right people, some are just quiet stories- waiting to be found.
So, if you haven't already, give something that isn't at the top of the charts a shot. Add these to your TBR list, or buy them now! :)
Here's a few that I loved that don't get nearly the attention they deserve:
Laura Bradley Rede
If you know me, you know I'm not a huge paranormal fan. I make exceptions, though. And DARKRIDE is a phenomenal book. Laura Bradley Rede is not only an amazing person, but a fantastic author with gorgeous writing that can tell a great story. Even my daughter, Hailey loved this book.
THE SECRET YEAR
THE SECRET YEAR is everything I love about contemporary YA. It's dark and haunting and romantic and edgy and the writing is exquisite. It was touted as The Outsiders meets Romeo and Juliet. What more do you want from a book?!
I don't even know where to begin with this book. I've heard ALBATROSS called the "anti-Twilight," and that makes sense. (Disclaimer: I totes loved Twilight.) But it takes that co-dependent, a bit unbalanced relationship and strips it of its paranormal bits and shows what a relationship with some of those characteristics might look like in the real world. The writing is clean and simple and the concept is all sorts of brilliant. The relationship is destructive and creepy and unsettling. And also, those things make it important to read....
So, it's no secret that Jolene and I are friends. But I say this as a reader, this book that she wrote (as all of her book are, but particularly this one) are beautiful. The writing is flawless, the story draws you in and the characters are memorable. NIGHT SKY is one of my favorite books for all of those reasons. It's romantic and fun and one of those books that you finish and sigh, knowing that you just read a fantastic book that will stick with you.