Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Best YA Books You Haven't Read

The "Best Ya Books You Haven't Read" project was put together by Kelly at Thanks Kelly for all your hard work on this project! Be sure to visit her own post at

For my post, I decided to feature ten YA books I think are great but that haven't gotten a lot of attention. I hope this list will help readers find some great lesser-known YA books that they will enjoy reading. Give these books a try if you think they sound interesting, you will not be disappointed!

The Singer of All Songs by Kate Constable

Calwyn has lived all her life behind the high ice-wall that guards the sisters of Antaris from the world of Tremaris. The sisters practice ice chantment -- one of the Nine Powers of chantment, a form of magic worked through music. But when Calwyn finds an Outlander man fallen, wounded, through the wall, she is drawn to him ... and drawn into a wondrous, dangerous adventure that takes her outside the wall and to the limits of her own powers, as she, the Outlander Darrow, and others unite to defeat the sorcerer Samis, who seeks to claim all Nine Powers and become the Singer of All Songs. (Fantasy, Book 1 in the Chanters of Tremaris trilogy. Books 2 and 3 are titled The Waterless Sea and The Tenth Power.)

The Moon Riders by Theresa Tomlinson

When a young Amazon woman, Myrina, becomes one of the warrior priestesses known as the Moon Riders, she is well prepared to perform their sacred dances, and hunt and fight when necessary. But the Moon Riders, who inhabit the plains of Troy, are drawn into the troubles of the city when they help Agamemnon’s daughter, Iphigenia, escape from the sacrifice planned for her by her father. Hereafter, the Moon Riders are drawn into the siege and the ensuing battle. (Historical fantasy/mythology, sequel is titled Voyage of the Snake Lady)

No Shame, No Fear by Ann Turnbull

In England in 1662, a time of religious persecution, fifteen-year-old Susanna, a poor country girl and a Quaker, and seventeen-year-old William, a wealthy Anglican, meet and fall in love against all odds. (Historical fiction/romance, sequel is titled Forged in the Fire)

At the Sign of the Sugared Plum by Mary Hooper

It is 1665 and Hannah is full of excitement at the prospect of her first trip to London. She is going to help her sister, Sarah, in her candy shop, 'The Sugared Plum'. But Hannah does not get the welcoming reception she expected from her sister, because the Plague is taking hold of London. However, Hannah is determined to stay and together the two young women face the worst-with the possibility of their own demise, growing ever closer. But through it all they persevere with the support of their neighbors and each other. And at last, they find hope in a daring attempt to escape the city. (Historical fiction, sequel is titled Petals in the Ashes)

The Raging Quiet by Sherryl Jordan

Marnie comes to the village of Tocurra as the reluctant wife of Sir Isake Isherwood. Her only friends are the local priest and Raven, the strange mad boy who seems lost in his own world. When Isake is killed in an accident, Marnie lives on in his cottage and makes an extraordinary discovery: Raven is not mad, but deaf. She creates a system of "hand words" and soon she and Raven forge a deep bond. But the villagers see witchcraft in the hand words. Can Marnie survive the trial of the iron bar? (Historical fiction/romance)

The Season by Sarah MacLean

Seventeen year old Lady Alexandra is strong-willed and sharp-tongued -- in a house full of older brothers and their friends, she had to learn to hold her own. Not the best makings for an aristocratic lady in Regency London. Yet her mother still dreams of marrying Alex off to someone safe, respectable, and wealthy. But between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner parties, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get herself into what may be her biggest scrape yet.
When the Earl of Blackmoor is mysteriously killed, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. But will Alex's heart be stolen in the process? In an adventure brimming with espionage, murder, and other clandestine affairs, who could possibly have time to worry about finding a husband? Romance abounds as this year's season begins! (Historical fiction/romance/mystery)

Goddess of Yesterday by Caroline Cooney

Anaxandra is taken from her birth island at age 6 by King Nicander to be a companion to his crippled daughter, Princess Callisto. Six years later, her new island is sacked by pirates and she is the sole survivor. Alone with only her Medusa figurine, she reinvents herself as Princess Callisto when Menelaus, great king of Sparta, lands with his men. He takes her back to Sparta with him where Helen, his beautiful wife, does not believe that the red-headed child is Princess Callisto. Although fearful of the half-mortal, half-goddess Helen, Anaxandra is able to stay out of harm’s way—until the Trojan princes Paris and Aeneas arrive. Paris and Helen’s fascination with each other soon turns to passion and plunges Sparta and Troy into war. Can Anaxandra find the courage to reinvent herself once again, appease the gods, and save herself? (Historical fantasy/mythology)

The Edge on the Sword by Rebecca Tingle

When fifteen-year-old Æthelflæd is suddenly and reluctantly betrothed to an ally of her father, the king, her world will never be the same. For as a noblewoman in the late 800s, she will be expected to be meek and unlearned-and Flæd is anything but meek and unlearned. Her marriage will bring peace to her land, but while her royal blood makes her a valuable asset, she is also a vulnerable target. And when enemies attack, Flæd must draw upon her skills and fight to lead her people to safety and prove her worth as a princess-and as a warrior. (Historical fiction)

I am Morgan le Fay by Nancy Springer

Morgan is a willful, mischievous girl with mismatched eyes of emerald and violet. A girl of magic, whose childhood ends when King Uther Pendragon murders her father and steals away her mother. Then Pendragon dies and, in a warring country with no one to claim the throne, there are many who want Morgan dead. But Morgan has power, and magic. She is able to change the course of history, to become other, to determine her own fate-and, thus the fate of Britain. She will become Morgan le Fay. (Historical fantasy/Arthurian legend)

An Earthly Knight by Janet McNaughton

The year is 1162. Sixteen-year-old Jenny has always enjoyed her freedom as second daughter of a Norman nobleman in Teviotdale, Scotland. But when Jenny's sister, Isabel, disgraces the family by running away with a dangerous suitor, Jenny is thrust reluctantly into the role of elder daughter. While Jenny worries about her sister's future, her father's attention turns keenly toward Jenny, and finding her a worthy suitor.
When Jenny is chosen as a potential bride for William de Warenne, brother of the king of Scotland and heir to the crown, redemption of her family's name seems within reach. Amid formal banquets and jousting tournaments, she struggles to impress the aloof Earl William. At the same time, however, she finds herself drawn to Tam Lin, a mysterious young man. Rumored to have been kidnapped by fairies, Tam harbors a dark secret from his past that threatens everyone close to him . . . including Jenny. (Historical fantasy/romance)


Kelly @ said...

Beautiful list! And I've read not a ONE, so I need to get to work. :)

Unknown said...

Wow, at least I have heard of some of them. I definitely want to read The Season. I like the sound of No Shame, No Fear too. Great post.

PolishOutlander said...

What great picks! Oh, and I'm so glad to see Moon Riders on that list. I loved it, and it's sequel. I've been eyeing I Am Morgan le Fay for quite some time now....

Raspberry said...

Ironically, I've read most of these! Thankyou for a great list...

Rachel said...

Of these, I've only read An Earthly Knight- and I loved it! I think most of yours are going to go on my TBR list...

MissSusie said...

Thanks for the great list!I have some of thses here at the library and will have to add them to my TBR list!
Here's mine

NatalieSap said...

Ooh, I LOVED The Singer of All Songs, but surprisingly, I haven't read the rest of the trilogy. Thanks for highlighting it (and adding more books to my to-read pile)!

Lenore Appelhans said...

I bought The Fever and the Flame (the pairing of At the Sign of the Sugared Plum and the sequel) after seeing it on another blog. Still need to read it!!

Melis said...

I just what you to know how much I <3 you for having a Tam Lin retelling on your list! I love an Earthly Knight. I had The Season out of the Library but didn't get a chance to read it so I'm back on the waiting list, meh!

Lana said...

Fantastic picks! I've only read The Season (so fun!) and I am Morgan Le Fay, but I really enjoyed both. (Have you read Nancy Springer's companion novel I am Mordred? Loved that one, too!).

You've definitely sent me scampering to my wishlist with these!

Marg said...

I haven't read any of those! Thanks for the list!

Anastasia @ Here There Be Books said...

A Tam Lin story! I haven't read nearly enough of those.

Melissa Walker said...

I loved The Season, and the rest sound fun! Thanks for the list!

Ink Mage said...

Wow, I've actually read ALL of these except for The Season and that's mostly because my sister read it and we have generally have a one-reads-it-the-other-doesn't policy.

Great selection of books!

Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Drowsy Town kit by Irene Alexeeva