Top Five

Top 5 Underrated YA Books of 2017

With so many books being published every month it can be incredibly difficult to keep up. While there have been plenty of incredible books that are highly talked about on social media and the book blogging community there are definitely some that seem to have gone under the radar. So today I’m bringing you all a list of some of my favorite books of 2017 that I feel are severely underrated.

While there are plenty of books that I feel don’t get much buzz, I decided to narrow it down to books I found that had under 1,000 ratings on Goodreads. I provided links to my reviews of these books as well as links to each of the Goodreads pages for convenience.


Shimmer and Burn

Author: Mary Taranta
Genre: High Fantasy, Dark Fantasy

This is perhaps the book that I talk about the most on social media for severely underrated books, Shimmer and Burn has one of the most unique magic systems that I’ve seen in a while and I fell in love with it. It’s a dark fantasy that takes place in a dying world and kingdoms compete to control the last bits of clean magic left. I say clean because the magic in this novel is a form of blood magic that threads it’s way into users like a spool of thread, mishandling it causes the magic to fray and corrupt the blood of the person carrying it. The book is pretty dark as far as YA fantasy goes but I greatly enjoyed it and am eagerly anticipating the second book.
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Heart of Mist

Author: Helen Scheuerer
Genre: Fantasy

Out of all of the books on this list, Heart of Mist is the one indie release so I’m not terribly surprised that it went under the radar. I was extremely lucky to get a chance not only to review an ARC copy of the book, but also interview the author for the blog. I blazed through this book and the short story prequels over spring last year and I loved both the flawed characters and superb world building. Heart of Mist stands out among other YA fantasy books because it deals unflinchingly with the difficult topic of addiction. This is a series I’m keeping my eye on and am eager to continue in the future.

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Ultimate Sacrifice

Author: S.E. Green
Genre: Horror, Mystery

YA Horror umm hello yes please!? YA is filled to the brim with fantasy, dystopia, and romance, so when I saw a horror mystery novel available I knew I HAD to read it. Ultimate Sacrifice is an eerie novel about a small town family whose lives are turned upside down after a body is found behind their home. The victim appears to have been murdered as part of a ritualistic sacrifice and the story spins wildly out of control from there. The book did an incredible job at building tension, and even if you’re able to figure out the who, what, and why before the end of the book, knowing what’s coming only makes this book even more chilling.

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The Crystal Ribbon

Author: Celeste Lim
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Mythology, Own Voices

This was probably missed by many since the book falls between the Middle Grade and Young Adult categorizations but given the content and the age of the character in the later parts of the novel I can comfortably label it as Young Adult. The Crystal Ribbon was by far one of the most magical books that I’ve read and is easily in my top 10 for 2017 releases. The story follows a poor farmer’s daughter sold to a wealthy family as a child bride and nursemaid to the family’s infant son. It takes place during the Song Dynasty in China and blends history with mythology as the girl befriends jing, animal spirits that help her escape the cruel hand of fate. The best comparison that I can make is a medieval Chinese version of the anime Inu Yasha, so fans of the series should definitely check this novel out.
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The Wood

Author: Chelsea Bobulski
Genre: Low Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Horror

This book was a surprise because I wasn’t entirely sure what I was stepping into when I picked it up but the description sounded ominous! A lone guardian watches over a dark forest that holds portals to different time periods, things go wrong when her father disappears and a strange young man appears. I loved the idea behind this book and the relationship between the main characters was actually pretty charming. I was utterly engrossed in the story, the mystery of the wood, and the guardians that protect it. The Wood was a perfect fall read and it’s seriously a shame that this one seems to have been overlooked by many.

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Have you heard of any of these books?
Are there any other 2017 releases that you feel need more love?
Got a blog? Make your own list and link it in the comments!

10 Comments

  1. I’d only heard of 2/5 of these books so thank you for sharing!!!

    Heart of Mist has a gorgeous cover so I am already intrigued but I also love that it deals with addiction? That is such a rarity in YA Fantasy.

    I did hear about The Crystal Ribbon but for some reason never added it to my TBR even though I read middle grade. I AM GONNA GO FIX THAT NOW.
    Rashika recently posted…A Fairy tale about Fairy tales: The Hazel Wood by Melissa AlbertMy Profile

    1. Yes yes yes for Crystal Ribbon! That book made me want to read more middle grade it was so good!

      Also yes, Heart of Mist deals with alcohol addiction which surprised me. Drug addiction and alcoholism in teens is an issue that doesn’t get the attention it deserves so I really appreciated that the novel tries to tackle it.

  2. I hadn’t heard of any of these but they all sound really interesting! Off to add them to my TBR list.

    1. Awesome, I’m glad to share them and I hope that you find some new favorites!

  3. !! The only book on this list I’ve read is The Crystal Ribbon. And I LOVE it. It’s so beautiful and heartwarming. I’m so glad other people are talking about it too.

    I do love me a good magic system, so Shimmer and Burn is being added to my TBR. Is this part of a series?
    Jackie B. recently posted…AnnihilationMy Profile

    1. It is part of a duology, so yes. 🙂 I hope you enjoy it, Shimmer and Burn really surprised me!

      And ughhh yes The Crystal Ribbon was so amazing! I want more people to read it!

  4. I’d only heard of The Crystal Ribbon (which has *such* a beautiful cover!!!!) so reading about these books was v. interesting! (And if you like YA horror, I recommend Hollow Pike by Juno Dawson, and Say Her Name, also by Juno Dawson!)

    Spread the Love January 2018
    Cee Arr recently posted…Friday Fics Fix – Everyone From Harry Potter Has Mental Health Problems, M’k?My Profile

    1. I’ll definitely look up that author you recommended, thank you for stopping by Cee Arr. 🙂

  5. I havent heard of any of thoses.. But Ultimate Sacrifice sounds right up my alley ! now added to my virtual want to read

    1. Awesome, I hope you enjoy the book! It definitely caught me off guard and I flew through it. 🙂

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