In no particular order, here are my top ten underrated authors. They are all British authors who write YA. I came about this list by checking my Goodreads page and ranking my 'read' books by the books with fewest ratings. It's a very scientific approach, really. Sometimes I impress myself.
Liz Bankes is the author of three wonderful, funny, romantic books: Irresistible, Undeniable and, most recently, Unstoppable. All three books are companion novels of each other and focus on a similar group of characters as they navigate their friendships, identities, jobs, and relationships. I love all three books for their humour, their friendships and for all the lovely boys we meet. There's plenty of tension and awkwardness and I wish more people were reading and talking about her books!
I really love Vanessa Curtis' books. She is the author the Zelah Green books - Zelah Green and One More Little Problem - about a girl who is dealing with obsessive compulsive disorder and also the Lilah May books - The Taming of Lilah May and Lilah May's Manic Days - about a girl with rage. She's also written a ghost story calling The Haunting of Tabitha Grey and most recently a middle grade story, The Baking Life of Amelie Day, about a teen baker who also has cystic fibrosis. Each of her books have been quite emotional and felt very different to other books I've read. I love the range of topics covered and how easily it was for me to really care about the characters.
Now, I haven't yet read many books by Helen Grant but based solely on the strength of her two books in the Forbidden Spaces trilogy that have been published so far - Silent Saturday and Demons of Ghent - I really want to hunt down her other books. I absolutely love Silent Saturday and Demons of Ghent. They're both set in Belgium and cover urban exploration and the ways in which the main character, Veerle, finds herself involved in difficult (and illegal) situations with some dangerous people. I love the way these books unfold, how emotional they are and how absolutely tense and suspenseful they are!
I think that historical fiction writers are kind of overlooked? Especially in YA? And I think that's an absolute shame. I've read and loved both of Lydia Syson's YA novels - A World Between Us and That Burning Summer - and I think she has a wonderful skill of really drawing me into her stories and letting the historical detail wash over me really seamlessly. I'm not usually a big of historical fiction, but I am when Lydia Syson writes it. A World Between Us tells the emotional story of three people during the Spanish Civil War and That Burning Summer is about a Polish pilot who crash lands in England and cannot face returning to war. Both books are fascinating and gripping reading and count amongst my favourite UKYA.
Love Phil Earle. His debut book, Being Billy, will always be one of my favourite books and it's one that made me feel a whole range of things. And everything else he's written - Saving Daisy, Heroic, The Bubble Wrap Boy - has been written with such warmth and heart as well. It's been a very emotional experience reading Phil Earle's books but I look forward to it always. He's published the first in a series of middle grade fiction next year and I cannot wait.
Now I've only read one book by Candy Harper so far (but have read her dystopian book written under the name CJ Harper called The Disappeared and really enjoyed that!) but I found it hugely funny and entertaining and I can't think why more people haven't been picking it up and raving about it. It's called Have A Little Faith and there's already a sequel, Keep the Faith, which I'm looking out for to read next. I love the main character's attitude and self-centredness SO MUCH. I did the full range of smile to snort to full-on belly laugh reading some of Faith's adventures!
I've said it a million times, but I love Sharon Jones' books. Her Poppy Sinclair novels - Dead Jealous and Dead Silent - are really incredible and I'm constantly recommending them to people. Not only do I love the thriller aspect of the books, I also love the main character, her love interest, the setting and the fact that religion plays a part in both books. I love everything about these books and I can't wait to read more by Sharon Jones!
Julia Green is perhaps the author that I've read the least from on this list, but I'm very sure that that will change in the very near future. I just love how gentle Julia Green's stories are. Especially This Northern Sky which I absolutely adored. I love how much family and friendship and the setting felt like the main focus of the story. It was also beautifully written in a way that made me quite desperate to visit the Scottish islands.
Theresa Breslin is another historical author who I absolutely adore. I've only read a handful of her novels but everything by her that I've read, I've loved. And it does make me want to read her entire backlist too. My favourites of hers being Divided City about the religious divide between Catholics and Protestants in Scotland, Prisoner of the Inquisition and also Spy for the Queen of Scots. Wonderful characters and settings!
Which authors would you consider as being underrated?