Winter Driving Best Books of the Month Valentine's Day Shop Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon King easycohice_2016 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grocery Valentine's Day Cards Create an Amazon Wedding Registry Amazon Gift Card Offer chiraq chiraq chiraq  Amazon Echo All-New Fire Kindle Paperwhite Shop Now SnS
Customer Discussions > Young Adult forum

Obscure gems in YA fiction

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-25 of 34 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 26, 2012 7:25:40 PM PDT
Agnes says:
I've come across quite a few books that seemed (to me) under read and not getting the recognition I thought they deserved. So with the intention of sharing some obscure gems that I've come across, here's a chance for anyone else to contribute their lists as well (especially in the hopes of other readers finding something new to enjoy). Who knows, perhaps a certain book will spark interest or a discussion. :)

***This is not an opportunity (or invitation) for self promotion or spamming.

The Goblin Wood [Mass Market Paperback] by Hilari Bell
The Maze in the Heart of the Castle by Dorothy Gilman
The Shadow Warrior by Pat Zettner
The Island and the Ring by Laura C. Stevenson

Short story collection:
The Umbrella Man and Other Stories by Roald Dahl

My Life and Death by Alexandra Canarsie by Susan Heyboer O'Keefe
The Only Alien on the Planet by Kristin D. Randle

Posted on Mar 26, 2012 8:11:48 PM PDT
Wayward says:
Runemarks -- I'm still hoping for a sequel!
Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot -- I'm not usually an epistallary novel lover; but these are sublime. Victorian England, magic, and a bit of YA adventure with a dash of romance.
Empty -- My daughter brought it home last year, and I think of it every single time I see them changing the numbers at the gas station. It's not great literature, but it's so relevant to what's happening now it's a good read.
Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos Not really YA; but not quite 'fast' enough for younger kids. Really engrossing, though. Set just past the turn of the century, a young girl studies Egyptian mythology.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2012 10:40:08 PM PDT
Kribu says:
Isn't this the sequel to Runemarks? Runelight

Sorcery and Cecelia sounds interesting, but no Kindle version, it would seem. Hmph. Maybe in the future. *wishlists in hope*

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 12:02:25 PM PDT
Agnes says:
I read Sorcery and Cecelia or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot some years back and enjoyed the read. And it does have the word chocolate in the title, so I had to read it :P

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 12:48:51 PM PDT
Wayward says:
YAY!!! Last time I went through my "waiting for a sequel" list I didn't even find a name. (Although it looks out of print already? That can't be right!)

Posted on Mar 27, 2012 12:58:47 PM PDT
Kribu says:
Are you in the US? It looks like a UK edition; perhaps there is no US edition yet. I've noticed that other books that haven't been released in the US show "out of print" sometimes on It's certainly available on Amazon UK.

Posted on Mar 27, 2012 1:18:26 PM PDT
Wayward says:
That must be it. Yes, I'm in the US. At any rate, I'm excited that it's out there! (And still consider Runemarks a hidden gem. It didn't get much acclaim in my circles, but I really enjoyed it.)

Posted on Mar 28, 2012 8:16:54 AM PDT
Patricia Wrede's A Matter of Magic - this is actually the eBook compilation of Wrede's Mairelon the Magician and The Magician's Ward. Loved these - mystery, magic, a bit of romance, but it is lighter than a lot of today's YA.

Martine Leavitt's Keturah and Lord Death - fairytale-ish, very well done

Kate Milford's The Boneshaker- Mid school/YA, has a "Something Wicked This Way Comes" vibe; one of my favorite books I read last year.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 8:47:50 AM PDT
Agnes says:
Kindle-aholic, Something Wicked This Way Comes was my very first Bradbury (and it was love at first read - I've never come across another writer who has a style like his). The Boneshaker sounds like a great book. I think I'll have to pick this one up.

I read Keturah and Lord Death and found it similar to a modernization of the story of Persephone and Hades, only with Death. Interesting read and much like a fairy tale, as you say.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 9:14:37 AM PDT
Agnes - I loved Bradbury as a kid too, probably why I loved The Boneshaker so much. :) There is another book set in the same world (but with different MC's) out in Sept. I can't wait. This book works as a standalone, but I'm glad to get more.

Posted on Mar 28, 2012 10:00:41 AM PDT
Kribu says:
The Boneshaker sounds interesting; something I might even try one of these days!

Posted on Mar 28, 2012 7:54:21 PM PDT
plasmageek says:
Wow the Island and the Ring, and the Only Alien on the Planet. I haven't read those since middle school, but I loved them. Thanks for making me remember them :) Time to hunt them down and reread them

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 8:49:41 PM PDT
Agnes says:
I am so surprised that someone else actually read both of these books and liked them as well. I have these on my keeper shelf. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 11:22:43 AM PDT
I participate over on the Children's Books forum too and there are lots of posts like that, where someone mentions a book that you loved as a kid but have forgotten. I love threads like that. :)

Posted on Mar 29, 2012 5:35:17 PM PDT
A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan I found to be really good. It's sort of a dystopian future retelling of sleeping beauty.

Posted on Mar 30, 2012 4:29:09 PM PDT
Hazel says:
Hi Agnes,

When you mentioned Dorothy Gilman, I was immediately intrigued. I used to read the Mrs Pollifax mysteries, and I especially enjoyed The Clairvoyant Countess (not a 'Pollifax'). And it really is the same Gilman. I had no idea she had ever written something like this. After reading some of the reviews, I'd really love to read it, but unfortunately, The Maze in the Heart of the Castle is only available through Marketplace at an exorbant price. I suppose I have to wait, until I come across a more affordable copy.

Anyway, thank you very much for starting this discussion.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2012 6:11:51 PM PDT
Agnes says:
Hazel, you might want to try your local libraries, which is where I first came across The Maze in the Heart of the Castle. I've been wanting to buy it ever since then, but I've only ever seen it for sale online (and at a very high price...).

You're welcome. I'm glad people are enjoying the discussion.

Posted on Apr 1, 2012 8:06:04 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 3, 2012 7:55:15 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 2, 2012 5:42:20 AM PDT
4 out of those 5 are huge hits in YA. The 5th, I suspect, is yours or written by a friend. While we welcome everyone here on the YA forum, please be aware that spam and sock puppetry are not permitted by Amazon. You should edit/delete your posts and try promoting that book at the Meet Our Authors forum instead. Thanks.

Posted on Apr 2, 2012 6:23:12 AM PDT
Kribu says:
I don't really know how "obscure" is defined, but I haven't seen nearly enough mentions of Frances Hardinge around. Granted, I've only read her Fly By Night, but I have some friends who swear by everything she's written. Probably sort of in-between middle grade and YA, fantasy fiction.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 2, 2012 11:20:52 AM PDT
Agnes says:
I would define an obscure read as one that isn't widely read, and one which others hardly (if ever) mention. The book by Francis Hardinge fits this perfectly.

Reads that do not apply to this thread are well-known, popular, and might even have movies based on them (a little obvious, this one). But, a particular author may have written a very popular book and another book which was hardly read. Ex: Franny Billingsley has a new book called Chime (which is too popular for this thread), but she wrote another book years ago called Well Wished (while being a children's book, this one is obscure enough to be mentioned) that does fit this thread (despite being a kid's book).

Also, some books had a nice start but were later forgotten. I remember that when Keturah and Lord Death came out others would mention it quite often. Now that a few years have passed, I rarely see anyone mention this read. There are some hugely popular genres in YA fiction right now, and someone out there may know of some obscure reads that fall into those genres, thus allowing other readers to discover something new.

Hope this helps. There is a difference between listing a popular book that you think should be more widely read and a book that is truly not read by many people.

Posted on Apr 2, 2012 12:54:57 PM PDT
Agnes says:
Another one I forgot: The Snowbird by Patricia Calvert. The author's writing style had me rereading paragraphs, and this is one of the few instances where the heroine of a historical fiction actually had grit (instead of being a Mary Sue). Great main character; reminded me a little of Maddie in Charles Portis' True Grit.

Posted on Apr 3, 2012 7:40:52 AM PDT
S. Reading says:
I just downloaded The Kingdom of the Seven Shields (Isle of the Four Kingdoms) because it was free through the library kindle program or whatever it is called. I"m not sure if it qualifies as an obscure gem though. I have never heard of the author or the book before. I'm about half way through it so far and I really like it. The main character Tooter is funny, sincere, and interesting. Her greatest quality is also the same quality that gets her into trouble- she always try to see the best in people - she has sometimes blind trust and faith. Though I haven't finished the book yet I really like the author's style of writing and would recommend it so far.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 10, 2013 7:35:58 AM PDT
Bluedove says:
CODE HUMANCode Human by N. Paige. If you liked Divergent and Hunger Games, you should like this one as well.

Posted on Oct 13, 2013 5:32:16 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 13, 2013 5:33:26 PM PDT
V. Floyd says:
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (The Mara Dyer Trilogy) and The Evolution of Mara Dyer (The Mara Dyer Trilogy).

I loved both of these. I haven't read The Retribution of Mara Dyer (The Mara Dyer Trilogy) yet, but can't wait to do so. I haven't really heard anyone talking about these books which is surprising to me. The characters were likable, the dialogue was full of humor, they were really fun books to read.

Just checked and the 3rd book doesn't come out until June 2014.
‹ Previous 1 2 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in

Recent discussions in the Young Adult forum


This discussion

Discussion in:  Young Adult forum
Participants:  21
Total posts:  34
Initial post:  Mar 26, 2012
Latest post:  May 18, 2015

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 3 customers

Search Customer Discussions