Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Some Great YA Books You Might Have Missed

January 21st, 2010 by Debbie's World of Books

Kelly at YAnnabe has this great post about unsung YA books that were great but might have gotten missed with the influx of so many great new YA books.  Here are some of my favorites that I haven’t seen around the blogging community as much as I would like.


Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Description: A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers. When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she’s worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.


City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Description from When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing — not even a smear of blood — to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .


The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

Description from Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated polygamous community without questioning her father’s three wives and her twenty brothers and sisters. Or at least without questioning them much—if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that Kyra must marry her 60-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family.


Willow by Julia Hoban

Description from Seven months ago, on a rainy March night, sixteen year- old Willow’s parents died in a horrible car accident. Willow was driving. Now her older brother barely speaks to her, her new classmates know her as the killer orphan girl, and Willow is blocking the pain by secretly cutting herself. But when one boy—one sensitive, soulful boy—discovers Willow’s secret, it sparks an intense relationship that turns the “safe” world Willow has created for herself upside down.


Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Description from In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would “unwind” them.

Connor’s parents want to be rid of him because he’s a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev’s unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family’s strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can’t be harmed — but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.
In Unwind, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award winner Neal Shusterman challenges readers’ ideas about life — not just where life begins, and where it ends, but what it truly means to be alive.


The Outsiders by SE Hinton

Description from According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for “social”) has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he’s always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers–until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy’s skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser. This classic, written by S. E. Hinton when she was 16 years old, is as profound today as it was when it was first published in 1967.

Editing to add one more!  I can’t believe I forgot about…

the secret circle

The Secret Circle series by LJ Smith

Description from The circle’s power has lured her home

Forced to move from sunny California to gloomy New England, Cassie longs for her old life. Even so, she feels a strange kinship to a terrifying group of teens who seem to rule her school. Initiated into the coven of witches that’s controlled New Salem for hundreds of years, she’s drawn into the Secret Circle, a thrill that’s both intoxicating and deadly. But when she falls for the mysterious and intriguing Adam, Cassie must choose whether to resist temptation or risk dark forces to get what she wants—even if it means that one wrong move could ultimately destroy her.

Posted in Books, Young Adult

21 Responses

  1. Carla aka LovesSam

    Ohhh Willow made my top reads of 2009!! and City of Bones starts off the Mortal Instruments series, which is my favourite YA series. Seriously, I am Team Jace all the way! Love Cassandra Clare, she is an amazing writer. Perfect Chemistry was a five star read for me and Alejandro is so so hot :-) great picks, I have unwind too, not read that one yet!

  2. Pam

    I saw Willow on a couple of other blogs. I thought City of Bones was uber popular..shows what I know haha.

  3. Lenore

    I recommend The Chosen One to a lot of people. Great reading~

  4. Erin

    The Outsiders by SE Hinton is a classic. I’ve seen Willow on a couple of lists. It’s new to me. A companion book to Willow might be The Perfect Cut by Julie Bertinshaw, which appears on my list of “Unsung YA.”

  5. dsuzuki

    Carla-I love Jace too :) Hopefully since you liked my other picks you will enjoy Unwind.
    Pam-I noticed only recently the Mortal instruments series appearing on blogs. Maybe it’s just the ones I follow. LOL.
    Lenore-it’s such a good read.
    Erin-I’ll have to check out The Perfect Cut. Thanks!

  6. Carrie K.

    I totally double City of Bones – I’m loving this series! My sister just sent me book three, and I’m starting it tonight. :)

  7. Christina

    I have City of Bones and Chosen One on my “To Read” list. I hear good things about both of them! Thanks for the other recommendations….will have to check them out!

  8. Angela

    Unwind is a fantastic book that I recommend all the time. With haunting images that I still think about. And I loved City of Bones.

  9. The1stdaughter

    I love The Mortal Instruments series! But I really do think City of Bones is my favorite because you just get to spend so much time getting to know everyone. And the 4th one will be out before you know it! I can’t wait! As for the rest of your list, I think I may have to get them all! I’ve read the Outsiders, in high school, but would love to read any of your other choices. Great List!

  10. dsuzuki

    The Mortal Instruments is an awesome series and I love the cover of City of Bones. I’ll admit it was the cover that first made me pick up that book.

    Angela-I enjoyed Unwind but it was pretty disturbing.

    Christina and The1stdaughter-I hope you enjoy the rest of the books!

  11. Amanda

    I have Perfect Chemistry on my shelf and cant’ wait to read it!

  12. The1stdaughter

    PS…did you watch the trailer on Amazon for Perfect Chemistry? I’m glad there are so many recommendations to read it, because that trailer is terrible! Quite funny, but terrible!

  13. Kelly

    Love this list! Thanks for putting it together on such short notice. :)

    A lot of the Unsung YA lists have had The Chosen One. I wouldn’t be surprised if that topped the charts on Monday’s uber-list!

  14. dsuzuki

    The1stdaughter-ugh! I hadn’t watched the Amazon trailer before and glad I didn’t. I couldn’t even make it through the whole thing it was so bad.

    Kelly-glad to see The Chosen One has been mentioned a lot! Great idea for putting this together.

  15. Jenn

    I cannot say enough about the Mortal Instrument series. I absolutely loved it and strongly encourage everyone to give it a read!

  16. Lana

    I literally just finished The Chosen One – and I definitely see why you’ve included it here. I thought it was a really powerful novel – and heartbreaking!

  17. Anastasia

    I’ve never read any of these, though I have heard of a few. And I had no idea LJ Smith wrote any other books besides The Vampire Diaries!

  18. dsuzuki

    Jenn-I totally agree!
    Lana-I’m so glad you liked The Chosen One.
    Anastasia-lol. That’s why I had to add it here. I loved her other books too and The Secret Circle was probably my second favorite but most people only know the Vampire Diaries thanks to the tv show and the vampire craze.

  19. Caroline

    Thank you so much for this list! This is my new favourite blogging trend, reading all of these titles, many I may not have heard about before! I added Perfect Chemistry and Willow to my To Read list!

  20. Melissa Walker

    Great list!

    The Cover Story for THE CHOSEN ONE is up on today!

  21. dsuzuki

    Caroline-I hope you enjoy Perfect Chemistry and Willow.

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