Hidden Gems: YA-Fantasy Novels
Little known YA Fantasy novels (fewer than 10,000 ratings) that are not just Goodreads but Mustreads!
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 8,742 ratings
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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 10,084 ratings
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 7,325 ratings
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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 7,769 ratings
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 6,223 ratings
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 6,568 ratings
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 6,818 ratings
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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 5,585 ratings
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3.55 of 5 stars 3.55 avg rating — 9,560 ratings
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10
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 8,080 ratings
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11
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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 4,347 ratings
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12
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4.34 of 5 stars 4.34 avg rating — 9,958 ratings
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13
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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 8,463 ratings
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14
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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 5,338 ratings
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15
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 6,299 ratings
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16
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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66 avg rating — 3,074 ratings
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16
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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83 avg rating — 7,045 ratings
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18
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 2,135 ratings
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19
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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 8,894 ratings
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20
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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 6,059 ratings
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21
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 3,586 ratings
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22
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 7,787 ratings
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23
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 5,523 ratings
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24
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 2,273 ratings
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25
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 5,512 ratings
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26
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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79 avg rating — 3,565 ratings
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27
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3.59 of 5 stars 3.59 avg rating — 8,871 ratings
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28
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 2,469 ratings
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29
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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 7,289 ratings
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30
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 4,100 ratings
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31
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 10,476 ratings
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32
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 7,346 ratings
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33
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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 2,988 ratings
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34
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 8,459 ratings
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35
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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 10,202 ratings
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36
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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 10,837 ratings
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37
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 3,280 ratings
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38
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3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 10,067 ratings
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39
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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 2,939 ratings
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40
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 3,288 ratings
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41
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 7,357 ratings
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42
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 854 ratings
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43
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 2,940 ratings
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44
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 2,981 ratings
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45
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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 3,884 ratings
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46
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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 9,704 ratings
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47
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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 7,328 ratings
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48
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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 10,022 ratings
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49
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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 3,679 ratings
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50
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4.24 of 5 stars 4.24 avg rating — 3,730 ratings
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51
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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69 avg rating — 4,057 ratings
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52
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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 5,949 ratings
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53
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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 5,241 ratings
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54
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3.64 of 5 stars 3.64 avg rating — 5,631 ratings
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55
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 6,195 ratings
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56
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 9,590 ratings
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57
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 4,944 ratings
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58
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 9,685 ratings
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59
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4.45 of 5 stars 4.45 avg rating — 7,288 ratings
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60
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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 5,199 ratings
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61
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 2,989 ratings
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62
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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 3,465 ratings
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63
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4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 7,681 ratings
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64
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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22 avg rating — 2,845 ratings
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65
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 3,730 ratings
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66
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 472 ratings
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67
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3.63 of 5 stars 3.63 avg rating — 4,610 ratings
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68
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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79 avg rating — 5,459 ratings
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69
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 2,366 ratings
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70
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 2,425 ratings
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71
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 921 ratings
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72
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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 10,529 ratings
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73
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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 4,444 ratings
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74
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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 8,077 ratings
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75
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 3,023 ratings
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76
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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 3,137 ratings
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77
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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 2,827 ratings
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78
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 3,508 ratings
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79
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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 764 ratings
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80
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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 817 ratings
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81
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 3,585 ratings
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82
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 2,931 ratings
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83
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 9,047 ratings
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84
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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69 avg rating — 1,790 ratings
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85
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 1,563 ratings
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86
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 4,596 ratings
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87
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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 3,230 ratings
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88
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 2,394 ratings
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89
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 2,273 ratings
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90
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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 6,054 ratings
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91
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 6,295 ratings
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92
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 3,121 ratings
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93
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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 8,760 ratings
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94
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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68 avg rating — 3,320 ratings
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95
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3.43 of 5 stars 3.43 avg rating — 9,456 ratings
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96
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 1,837 ratings
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97
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 1,561 ratings
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98
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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 188 ratings
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99
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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 1,156 ratings
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100
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 1,984 ratings
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flag this list (?)
1,248 books · 3,093 voters · list created August 15th, 2008 by Michael Bialys (votes) .
394 likes · Like
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Wealhtheow 3359 books
583 friends
Elyse 1012 books
4300 friends
Angel 844 books
27 friends
Marc 391 books
359 friends
Mary 102 books
671 friends
Terry 3287 books
505 friends
Elisabeth 2635 books
111 friends
Jessica 2635 books
2069 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-50 of 55) (55 new)


message 1: by Jenn (new)

Jenn Is Leminy Snicket really fantasy? I mean, really? And I thought this was for 'hidden gems', there are plenty of widely known and read books up there!


message 2: by Kate (new)

Kate Hmm....a lot of the books on this list are definitely well known..isn't this for the HIDDEN gems? Just saying. I feel like a book that's made into a block buster film is no longer hidden;)


message 3: by Miss Jimenez (new)

Miss Jimenez Interesting list. I've got to remember to write some of the titles down later so I can look for them.


message 4: by Violetcloud (new)

Violetcloud Im new to this genre.. so this is a great list for me!


message 5: by Morgan (new)

Morgan F I don't think a book with over 20,000 ratings should be considered "hidden".


message 6: by Anne (new)

Anne Nydam Some of my favorite books are on this list - but not exactly hidden. I compromised by voting for the books I like that didn't already have a lot of reviews!


message 7: by Breanne (new)

Breanne Tiger saga all the way!!!!


message 8: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Green Rider by Kristen Britain is brilliant! It gets off to a slightly slow start but then it gets so amazing that you litrally can't put it down! I'm on book two right now and, if possible, it's even better than the first!


message 9: by Moira (new)

Moira Russell McKinley's down in the high two hundreds....that's really depressing. Also, Neil Gaiman is not "hidden" in any sense of the word.


message 10: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Nov 09, 2011 11:09AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed for having over 10,000 ratings:

Wolf-Speaker, by Tamora Pierce
The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley
The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
Dealing with Dragons, by Patricia C. Wreade
Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld
The Book of Three, by Lloyd Alexander
Hex Hall, by Rachel Hawkins
Incarceron, by Catherine Fisher
The Looking Glass Wars, by Frank Beddor
Dragonsinger, by Anne McCaffrey
Sabriel, by Garth Nix
Paranormalcy, by Kiersten White
Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale
Ptolemy's Gate, by Jonathan Stroud
The Golem's Eye, by Jonathan Stroud
The Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale


message 12: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Nov 30, 2011 09:41PM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed for having over 10,000 ratings:

The Black Cauldron, by Lloyd Alexander
The Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale
Stargazer, by Claudia Gray
Graceling, by Kristin Cashore
Abhorsen, by Garth Nix
Poison Study, by Maria Snyder
Dragon Rider, by Cornelia Funke
Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones
Lioness Rampant, by Tamora Pierce
Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa
Beauty, by Robin McKinley


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Just out, but a great read for older YA fantasy fans, The Ballad of Young Tam Lin. Janet finds true love in the arms of Tam Lin while she is - somewhere else (Summerland, the land of the Elves). However, now she's pregnant, and her true love is on the other side of a portal that she can't cross. Two other problems - he's the lover of the immortal Queen of Summerland and - Janet's not sure he's human.


message 15: by Louise (new)

Louise if 195 people voted for a book, it is not really a hidden gem


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

For some people, it always seems to come down to "I'm gonna vote for my favorite book, and I don't care what the category is." Since anything by Terry Pratchett is a best-seller, I wouldn't say Wee Free Men is obscure. Maybe we need a category of "Hey, this is great, have you read it yet?"


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Wee Free Men has over 14,000 ratings, so I'd say it wasn't eligible for this list.


message 18: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Jan 27, 2012 11:14AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed for having over 10,000 ratings:

The High King, by Lloyd Alexander
Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, by Beth Fantaskey
The Secret Hour, by Scott Westerfeld
Demonglass, by Rachel Hawkins
Terrier, by Tamora Pierce
The Adoration of Jenna Fox, by Mary E. Pearson
Silence, by Becca Fitzpatrick


message 19: by Tyler (new)

Tyler Black There are some other good books on this list check it out if you want to find some more good books to read:

http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/16...


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed for too many ratings:

Daughter of the Forest, by Juliet Mariller


message 21: by Kim (new)

Kim Is it just me, or did a whole chunk of this list just disappear? I know The Queen of Attolia used to be number one, but it doesn't appear to be on this list at all anymore.

Anyone know of any other books that used to be on this list and don't seem to be there anymore? I was getting some great reading recommendations from here, and I'd hate to miss out on some of the titles that someone randomly deleted.


message 23: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Montmorency is not fantasy.


message 24: by Kim (new)

Kim Cindy wrote: "Montmorency is not fantasy."

I wondered about that, but not having read it, I didn't want to just delete it from the list. Since you're of the same mind---and the reviews and popular shelves seem to imply it's a historical mystery---I went ahead and removed it.

If you're a Goodreads librarian, you can remove titles from lists as well. Just click on the "edit" link attached to the list description at the top of the page, then click "remove particular books." That'll take you to the page where you can delete the titles that don't fit the list parameters.

I've been commenting with the titles of the books I delete since some readers may be using this list as a way to get recommendations. That way, even if the books disappear from the list, itself, they're still named in the comments.


message 25: by Kim (last edited Sep 06, 2012 01:45PM) (new)


message 26: by Natalie (new)

Natalie I love Behemoth, but it's not really fantasy...more steampunk sci-fi.


message 27: by Kim (new)

Kim Natalie wrote: "I love Behemoth, but it's not really fantasy...more steampunk sci-fi."

Steampunk is so tricky. Some of it's more on the fantasy side of the genre, while other titles are definitely sci-fi. I haven't read that series at all; what makes Behemoth more sci-fi?


message 28: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Since a lot of the book is based off of Darwinian culture, all of the "magic" in the books is based off of science and evolution, and is all in either animals or architectural warships.
But you're right, steampunk can definitely go either way.


message 29: by Kim (new)

Kim all of the "magic" in the books is based off of science and evolution, and is all in either animals or architectural warships

Yeah, that definitely seems more sci-fi than fantasy. :) Are you a Goodreads librarian, yourself, or would you like me to remove Behemoth?


message 30: by Natalie (new)

Natalie I'm a librarian, and I just took care of it. Thanks, Kim, for helping clarify :D


message 31: by Natalie (new)

Natalie What do people think about Bad Taste in Boys? Is that really a fantasy? I haven't read it, but it seems to be more than a stretch.


message 32: by Natalie (last edited Sep 01, 2012 07:18PM) (new)


message 33: by Kim (new)

Kim Natalie wrote: "What do people think about Bad Taste in Boys? Is that really a fantasy? I haven't read it, but it seems to be more than a stretch."

I've not read it either, but the reviews and Library of Congress subject headings seem to indicate it's more horror than straight fantasy. But horror and fantasy occasionally overlap---especially when the horror involves monsters like zombies and vampires and werewolves or elements of the paranormal like ghosts and witchcraft. So where do we draw the line? I'd hate to see books like A Certain Slant of Light disappear from this list when they might be just the sort of thing a reader of YA fantasy is looking for.


message 34: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Kim wrote: "Natalie wrote: "What do people think about Bad Taste in Boys? Is that really a fantasy? I haven't read it, but it seems to be more than a stretch."

I've not read it either, but the reviews and Li..."


True, true...but I think the "world" that the book is set in can also define it clearer. If the story is more about how supernatural creatures affect modern-day life and existence (like Boys) then it is not a fantasy. If the book is more focused on the supernatural beings themselves, we'll call it fantasy.
Also Library of Congress and reviews, as well as "most popular shelvings" found on the side of the book's page can help define its true genre.


message 35: by Kim (new)

Kim I think Library of Congress, reviews, and popular shelves are definitely good sources, but for Boys, they may not be quite definitive enough. Especially since, as of my posting this, 37 users shelved it as Horror and 36 users shelved it as Fantasy. :)

But I see what you're saying about considering the world in which the book takes place and the use of the more fantastic elements. For instance, Buffy the Vampire Slayer---similar in some aspects to Boys---actually illustrates the culture, mythos, and paranormal aspects of vampires, demons, etc. So it would be a fantasy. As would A Certain Slant of Light, which is told from the perspective of the ghosts.

But Boys---which doesn't seem to explore zombie culture or tell the story from a zombie point of view---is more of a humorous horror-adventure tale where the heroine and her friends have to save the town from becoming zombies.

Does that sound about right? And can you think of any exceptions to these qualifications?


message 36: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Kim wrote: "I think Library of Congress, reviews, and popular shelves are definitely good sources, but for Boys, they may not be quite definitive enough. Especially since, as of my posting this, 37 users shelv..."

That sounds great. It's definitely a hard thing to categorize, but I think this is a good qualification.


message 37: by ayanami (new)

ayanami Deleted for over 10,000 ratings:
Impossible
Nevermore

Deleted for not being fantasy:
Have Space Suit—Will Travel
Runaway
Hikaru's Go 1-23

Deleted for not being YA:
Succubi Like It Hot


message 39: by Shanna_redwind (new)

Shanna_redwind Removed for not being fantasy:
Devil on My Back
Freedom's Landing
Rite of Passage

They are all very good, but they are all very science fiction.


message 40: by Becky (new)

Becky B Removed for having over 10,000 ratings:

Green Rider
Everlost
A Certain Slant of Light
Shadow and Bone
A Wrinkle in Time


message 41: by Becky (last edited Jan 14, 2013 12:35AM) (new)

Becky B Removed for having over 10,000 ratings:

Once upon a Marigold

Maybe we should celebrate when a lesser known book gets kicked off the list because it becomes more popular? :)

Removed for being steampunk (very similar in style to Behemoth that was removed earlier, also these are Children's books, not YA):
Starcross
Larklight

Removed for being science fiction:
Heir Apparent
The Twenty-one Balloons

Removed for being historical fiction (no fantasy elements at all):
Airman


message 42: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Becky wrote: "Removed for having over 10,000 ratings:

Once upon a Marigold

Maybe we should celebrate when a lesser known book gets kicked off the list because it becomes more popular? :)

Removed for being st..."


Eoin Colfer's Airman is a arguably a fantasy...it's just the line between sic-fi and fantasy really. But there's definitely fantastical elements of it.


message 43: by Becky (new)

Becky B You are free to add it back if the majority of people feel this is true. I did research the book to make sure that my memory of Airman was true. Library of Congress classifies it as adventure/historical fiction, not as sci-fi or fantasy. Yes, the airman builds a spectacular flying machine but it is plausible (more sci-fi). (The book is actually a re-write of The Count of Monte Cristo set in Ireland.)


message 45: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 17, 2013 03:26PM) (new)

I'm bookmarking this list. So many titles I want to check!

While at it:

Have to say, as proud as they make me, I still get somewhat sad to see them go :D

Removed for having over 10,000 ratings:

So You Want to Be a Wizard
Magic Steps
The Queen of Attolia
The King of Attolia
Dragon Slippers
Eona
Seraphina
The Riddle
Tiger's Voyage
Shatterglass
Glimmerglass
Wicked Lovely
Alanna: The First Adventure
Storm Front


message 47: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Hi guys, if you are looking for a place to talk about good YA Fantasy books, come and join us here http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/1...


message 48: by Emmy Lou (new)

Emmy Lou This is an amazing list! :D


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed, for having over 10,000 ratings:

House of Many Ways


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