Over my years of reading I’ve discovered 4 books (or rather, series) that are completely underrated in the literature community. I’m dying to talk about these books but no one has read them! These are my go to book recs for people that are looking for something different from their usual ya reads or are just craving a unique new series to dive in to.
Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins:
- Part of The Underland Chronicles: 5 books
- Synopsis (from goodreads): When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats, cockroaches coexist uneasily with humans. This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor’s arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland’s uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it — until he realizes it’s the only way to solve the mystery of his father’s disappearance. Reluctantly, Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure that will change both him and the Underland forever.
- Why it’s underrated: This book is clearly marketed towards children and middle school readers, but it needs to be recognized as a ya novel. This series is incredibly dark, complex and altogether creepy at parts. The characters are young, the stakes are high and the villains terrifying. I enjoyed this series far more than I enjoyed Collins other series, The Hunger Games.
- Why you should read it: If you like fantasy/adventure novels, this book (and series!) is for you! The characters are unique and grow tremendously. I also recommend reading it if you like darker novels similar to The Hunger Games. What made this book stand out to me was the plot (a whole world under new york city) and the super young characters.
Eragon by Christopher Paolini:
- Part of the Inheritance Cycle: 4 books
- Synopsis (from goodreads): When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.
- Why it’s underrated: Again, this book is marketed towards children when it shouldn’t be. This book has so many complex themes and definitely has some dark scenes. Paolini doesn’t get enough credit for his world building, complex magic system and dragon/human bond. 5/5 stars for sure!!
- Why you should read it: If you have a dragon obsession (like me) this book is for you. This book is a freaking epic fantasy adventure. If you like very complex magic systems, dragon riders, elves, lovable characters and terrifying villains give this book a go!
The Iron King by Julia Kagawa:
- Part of The Iron Fey Series: 3 books
- Synopsis (from goodreads): Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home. When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.But she could never have guessed the truth – that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.
- Why it’s underrated: Honestly I have no idea because this is one of my favorite series of all time. I mean who doesn’t love faeries, corrupt courts, fantasy adventure and hot males?? The synopsis kind of makes it seem like a paranormal romance novel but it’s not and it is so so much more than that.
- Why you should read it: The characters are my babies, the plot is amazing and the world building is gr8. Not to mention Megan is super relatable and Puck and Ash are just such cuties. It also has some steampunk elements so if that’s your thing you’re in luck ;)) Oh and lotsssss of character development! If you like faery books pick this series up asap!
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Standalone novel.
- Synopsis (from goodreads): Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…
- Why it’s underrated: No freaking clue! Literally everyone needs to read this book, especially women. I’ve recommended this book more times than I can count and EVERYONE who’s read it ended up loving it.
- Why you should read it: This book makes you think. About horrifying things. And the future of women. I don’t want to say more because I don’t want to spoil a single part of this book but everyone needs to read it.