Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Underrated Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an awesome meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  Every week bloggers are invited to create their own bookish lists with a certain theme... this week we're featuring those incredible books that you love and can't believe more people haven't read or enjoyed.  I found myself wishing it was 'Top Fifty or Top One Hundred Tuesday' this week-- there were loads more great books I wanted to highlight.  Most of these are YA, since the adult books I read tend to be bestsellers or well-known books.

Watership Down by Richard Adams

Right, let's get this over with, shall we?  This book is about migrating rabbits.  I cannot tell you how skeptical I was upon starting it, but as it turns out, Watership Down is completely deserving of its classic status and besides that, it is awesome.  Not sure it's 'underrated', per se, more like 'misunderstood' or shied away from.

The Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill

Fifteen year old Thirrin suddenly finds herself Queen of the Icemark, a tiny snowbound country which is marked to be invaded by the all-powerful Empire and their calculating General Scipio.  This one's an old favorite, and there are two sequels, both equally good.  

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey 

I recently read that the Monstrumologist series is being discontinued by Simon & Schuster due to poor sells.  This officially sucks.  These books are like YA Victorian Gothics-- so gory and great.  Plus, the first book won a Printz Honor Award!  How can they discontinue this series?-- come on

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

I know what you're thinking: 'What, you mean one of the most famous books of all time?'  Yes.  I included The Jungle Book because of all how many people have seen the Disney movie and think they know the story.  But... Kaa is not evil; only a few of the stories are about Mowgli, who does not in fact sing and dance with Baloo.  This book is too awesome to be missed-- I confess I just read it for the first time recently, and wish I'd read it sooner.

Godchild series by Kaori Yuki

An underrated manga series.  Seriously, they've yet to even make an anime out of it.  (Now, that's underrated, considering all the horrible mangas which are made into anime.)  Teenage Victorian nobleman Cain studies poisons and solves eerie mysteries, many of which regard his own shadowy past, in a crime-ridden London.

Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo

British author Jenny Nimmo's books are most popular with younger children, but I think teens and adults would also love this series.  It's somewhat like Harry Potter, yet somehow manages to elude comparison.  

Gone by Michael Grant

Pinky and I (that's my elusive little sister, for those who don't know) have featured the Gone series on the blog before.  It's an awesome dystopian series, Lord of the Flies-esque with a modern twist and a fast-paced, action-packed writing style.  Seriously, the most addictive series ever.

The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff 

A great historical fiction book, first of a series.  These books are from the fifties, but gained a bit of attention after the release of The Eagle as a movie.  Still fairly little-known.

 Epic by Conor Kostick

The world is a fantasy MMORPG in this fantastic sci-fi book.  I think it was popular in Ireland, but never very much in the US.  

The Tree Shepard's Daughter by Gillian Summers

I loved this, the first in a series about a girl who goes to live with her father, who travels with a Renaissance Faire, after her mother's death.  Surprisingly great, though I don't really like the cover.  The Ren Faire setting is really fun.


Jenny said...

I've heard things about GONE, I definitely want to read that one and The Monstrumologist:) That's really too bad it's getting discontinued!

Red said...

When I saw the Jungle Book on your list I had the exact reaction you anticipated: *that's* underrated. And then I realized you're totally right, I've only ever seen the Disney versions (both animated and then the live action one) and have no idea about the actual story. You showed me :)

Stephanie said...

Noooooo! They're discontinuing The Monstrumologist? What a lame, lame move, S&S. Well, I hope Rick Yancey can get on board with a different publisher because these books are the best thing going on right now in the YA world. So inventive, so amazingly written. These are what I think of when I think of perfect books.

Nina @ Death Books and Tea said...

I love Cry of the Icemark and Godchild! I'm sure they should get more love...
I didn't really like the Monstrumologist...even if I didn't like it, I can't belive it's being dropped.
Good list!

Trish said...

You're right about Jungle Book - the original books are always way better than what people think they know from the movies.

Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

I've heard that the Rick Yancey books are quite great, so I might have to check them out!

My Top Ten

~Valen~ said...

I think another underappreciated book is A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Sure, many people know about it, but that book and its two sequels are one of the best series of books that I have ever read! They deserve Twilight fame and a huge feature film, but at last, no. It sucks when good books don't get the spotlight they should...But can not wait for Libba's new series, The Diviners!

Alison Can Read said...

Watership Down is one of my all time fav books. I've always described it as Communist bunnies :-)

~Valen~ said...

ooooo, and the Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody -- the perfect, oddest mix between dystopian, scifi & fantasy! A truly remarkable series with beautiful analogies to racism and bigotry. You should def check it out, Kat!

Kat said...

@Valen-- The Obernewtyn Chronicles... I'm pretty sure I've heard of them. Love dystopia, scifi, and fantasy, so I'll definitely check them out. Thanks for the recommendation! :)

I agree that A Great and Terrible Beauty is under-appreciated for the fantastic book it is. It *needs* a movie, too. Also can't wait for the Diviners.

Kat said...

@Stephanie-- I know! I practically banged my head on my desk when I read about the Monstrumologist series being discontinued! They are perfect reads for me, too. Hopefully another publisher will see what a mistake Simon & Schuster made and publish a fourth book. :)

@Alison-- Communist bunnies-- love it! I recently saw the animated film version of Watership Down... it was very good.

@Nina-- The Cry of the Icemark and Godchild are both great, yes. I think they're not everyone's 'cup of tea', which is why they've never gained the popularity of other books and manga, respectively. I LOVE the Godchild art and Kaori Yuki. :) Sorry you didn't like the Monstrumologist-- it seems to be another 'love it or hate it' type book.

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I haven't read any of these. Taking notes though :)

book-rain.com said...

Wow, I haven't read any of those books. My TBR list just got longer. Lol. Have you seen the Ouran High School Host Club Live action that's been coming out recently? It's interesting, to say the least... Lol

Insert Book Title said...

I totally agree with you about The Monstromologist series being underrated. I've loved these books since they came out, but I have noticed that they are not getting much attention from the YA community.

I hope you don't mind the linking, but we started up Support The Monstromologist on Facebook. We hope that if we can show Simon and Schuster how many Monstromologist fans there are then we can save the series. Please like and fill out the contact form to attempt to keep the series from being discontinued!


Kat said...

@Insert Book Title-- I'll definitely be liking and supporting the page! This is a series which deserves to be saved 100%.

tyler Martin said...

I have read Epic by Conor Kostick. My teenage son told me that I should check it out. I did and I enjoyed it so much I checked out the sequels Saga and Edda. I enjoyed it and would recommend it.

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