Underrated YA Books Part 2

We’ve been wanting to write a follow up post to our first Underrated YA Books post from 2019. We rounded up a list of amazing books that don’t get talked about enough. Check out our recommendations for fans of YA books below!

Can you think of other underrated books? Let us know in the comments!

1. Dare You to Lie by Amber Lynn Natusch

Dare You to Lie follows Kylene Danners as she moves back to her hometown of Jasperville, Ohio. But everything has changed. Her FBI agent father got sent to prison (he’s innocent) and nobody forgot the incident that made Kylene leave two years ago. Kylene just wants to save her dad and stop the toxic masculinity in this small town. Little does she know that both are connected. This town has a lot of dirty secrets and Kylene is ready to solve this mystery.

Kylene is one of our favorite MCs for her strength and fortitude. Dare You to Lie also has a great cast of supporting characters who are eager to help Kylene takedown the people who wronged her. If you’re looking for a fast-paced YA thriller series, pick these books up now. We’re eagerly anticipating book 4.

2. Killing November by Adriana Mather

Killing November is a YA thriller duology geared toward fans of psychology and suspense. November Adley’s life changes instantly when she’s forced to attend Academy Absconditi. 1) She has no idea where the school is located. 2) Instead of math and history, she’s enrolled in knife throwing, body language reading and accents. 3) The students are ruthless and competitive to the point where November fears her physical safety.

November has no idea why she’s even at this creepy school, but she’s determined to learn what her parents are really involved in. Join November as she navigates a school without modern conveniences and learns about the secret world she’s dropped into.

3. Ten Thing We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski

It’s funny how an author can write a book we absolutely loved and one we completely hated. If you saw our review I See London, I See France, then you’d think we didn’t like Sarah Mlynowski’s writing style. Except, we adored her romcom Ten Thing We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have). April jumps at the chance to live with her BFF parent-free at 16. Vi and April, along with their other friends, do some pretty crazy things to ensure it’s a year they never forget. If you want to laugh nonstop at their antics, we recommend you buy this book right now.

4. Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross

Julie Cross writes super sweet YA contemporary romance books about sports. We reviewed her Juniper Falls series back in 2020, but Whatever Life Throws at You will always be our favorite. Annie Lucas moves to Kansas City, MO after her dad scores a job as pitching coach for the Royals. There she meets hot rookie pitched Jason Brody, who is totally off limits. At first Annie is fine with staying away from him, but the more she gets to know him, she realizes that he’s not the stereotypical “bad boy” America thinks.

If you like swoonworthy romance, baseball, the enemies to lovers trope and humor, we can’t recommend this book enough. And since it’s baseball season, there’s no better time.

5. Glimpsed by GF Miller by G.F. Miller

We’ve talked about Glimpsed multiple times on the blog. In fact, it made it on our Top YA Books of 2021 list! But it’s so underrated. Seriously, not many people have read it and the Goodreads numbers are lacking. Charity is a fairy godmother, meaning she makes everyone else’s happily ever after come true. But when a nerdy guy named Noah threatens to tell her secret, Charity has to revaluate her life.

Noah and Charity have the cutest romance. They don’t get along at first, but their relationship progresses naturally throughout the story. If you want some magical realism mixed with romance, you won’t want to miss reading about Charity.

6. Wanderlost by Jen Malone

Have you ever dreamed of spending an entire summer traveling through Europe? Aubree didn’t. But when her sister needs her to spend weeks on a tour bus with senior citizens, Aubree has no choice but to fly to Amsterdam to meet them. Too bad everyone thinks she’s her older (perfect) sister. When Sam, the son of the tour company operator, ends up joining Aubree, her secret gets harder to keep.

If you are a world traveler like us, you need to pick up Wanderlost ASAP. You get to experience many countries and cities, while also getting to know a fun group of characters. These seniors know how to live. Sam is also an excellent love interest who shows Aubree what it’s like to be a true explorer, not a tourist.

7. Technically, You Started It by Lana Wood Johnson

Technically, You Started It was one of our first book reviews for the blog. We read this YA contemporary in one sitting because we couldn’t put it down. It’s also hilarious and told completely through text messages. When you receive a text from Martin Nathaniel Munroe II, it should be obvious who you’re messaging. It’s not. Haley thinks she’s talking to the other one…the one she doesn’t hate. A question about a school assignment turns into a deep friendship — maybe something more.

We’re surprised this book doesn’t have more reviews by now. For something so funny and well written, it should be a crime that more YA fans haven’t picked up Haley and Martin’s story. Anyone who wants a quick and fun read should consider reading Technically, You Started It.

8. Throw Like a Girl by Sarah Henning

Throw Like a Girl is another book for sports and romance fans. Who doesn’t love the idea of the MC being the starting quarterback on the high school football team. Liv Rodinsky made one bad decision that she keeps paying for. That choice led Liv to switch schools and trade softball for football. Enter Grey, the cute injured former quarterback and the one person determined to see Liv succeed.

Liv faces many challenges and questions what she really wants. It’s both fun as well as heartfelt. The only problem we had was the romance moves a bit too fast, we still think it’s a majorly underrated YA book. If you need to wait for football season to start before reading this, we don’t mind.

9. Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

It might seem crazy to see Jennifer L. Armentrout and underrated in the same post. While we know Don’t Look Back isn’t as underrated as most of the books on the list, it’s one of JLA’s most underrated. Readers focus more on her fantasy book than her mysteries/thrillers. That’s a mistake because this one will keep you on the edge of your seat. Samantha wakes up having no idea who she is and what happened to her. After an accident, Sam is a stranger in her own life. All she knows is that something happened and someone will do anything to make sure she never remembers.

10. The Amateurs

When you think Sara Shepard, you think Pretty Little Liars or The Lying Game. The Amateurs was her most recent series…and it never received the attention it deserved. Years ago, Helena Kelly went missing. Now, a group of amateur detectives, including Helena’s younger sister, meet up in Connecticut to figure out what really happened. Too bad this group is in way over their heads. For fans of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and true crime, this YA trilogy about a group of people determined to learn the truth about forgotten cold cases is unforgettable.

Published by I'm All Booked Up YA

We write recommendations and reviews for YA books.

25 thoughts on “Underrated YA Books Part 2

  1. You’ve got some really amazing suggestions here – I’ve just added about half of them to my tbr! I love the sound of all the thrillers and Glimpsed sounds like such a cute and unique read too! Thank you so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. While I certainly read my fair share of underrated books, I have to say that I haven’t picked up any of these! Glimpsed has been on my TBR since its release though and I’d love to give it a go. Sounds like there are some winners on this list, for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t read any of the books on this list, but I am currently on the search for some good books to read while kicking back in my hammock at camp. I’m going to have to give some of these a try! I love that YA books are the perfect amount of engaging and lighthearted entertaining for a vacation like that.

    Liked by 1 person

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