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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3.80 avg rating — 6,830 ratings
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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 6,103 ratings
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9

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4.11 avg rating — 8,971 ratings
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10

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4.13 avg rating — 3,922 ratings
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11

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3.81 avg rating — 9,096 ratings
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12

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3.71 avg rating — 4,382 ratings
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13

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4.06 avg rating — 5,516 ratings
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14

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4.14 avg rating — 7,732 ratings
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15

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4.07 avg rating — 3,932 ratings
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16

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4.50 avg rating — 325 ratings
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17

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3.82 avg rating — 4,149 ratings
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18

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3.99 avg rating — 8,372 ratings
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19

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4.09 avg rating — 6,676 ratings
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20

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3.83 avg rating — 4,833 ratings
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21

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4.02 avg rating — 3,801 ratings
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22

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4.08 avg rating — 5,274 ratings
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23

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4.12 avg rating — 6,292 ratings
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24

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4.18 avg rating — 8,765 ratings
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25

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4.02 avg rating — 4,275 ratings
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26

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4.07 avg rating — 7,632 ratings
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27

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4.41 avg rating — 307 ratings
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28

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3.73 avg rating — 5,673 ratings
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29

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3.72 avg rating — 7,194 ratings
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30

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3.96 avg rating — 4,778 ratings
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31

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3.90 avg rating — 4,131 ratings
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32

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4.24 avg rating — 4,475 ratings
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33

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3.79 avg rating — 6,637 ratings
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34

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4.25 avg rating — 5,408 ratings
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35

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3.93 avg rating — 3,931 ratings
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36

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3.86 avg rating — 7,114 ratings
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37

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4.07 avg rating — 9,871 ratings
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38

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3.68 avg rating — 6,817 ratings
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39

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4.25 avg rating — 9,224 ratings
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40

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3.66 avg rating — 7,636 ratings
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41

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4.05 avg rating — 4,134 ratings
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42

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4.23 avg rating — 690 ratings
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43

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4.08 avg rating — 5,479 ratings
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44

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3.94 avg rating — 4,238 ratings
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45

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3.62 avg rating — 4,715 ratings
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46

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3.95 avg rating — 4,648 ratings
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47

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3.96 avg rating — 4,396 ratings
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48

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3.79 avg rating — 7,646 ratings
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49

by
4.71 avg rating — 52 ratings
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50

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3.88 avg rating — 5,716 ratings
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51

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4.05 avg rating — 3,494 ratings
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52

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4.72 avg rating — 121 ratings
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53

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3.78 avg rating — 5,980 ratings
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54

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3.89 avg rating — 2,808 ratings
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55

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4.41 avg rating — 168 ratings
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56

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3.98 avg rating — 1,313 ratings
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57

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3.83 avg rating — 4,043 ratings
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58

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3.71 avg rating — 1,274 ratings
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59

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4.08 avg rating — 4,515 ratings
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60

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3.81 avg rating — 5,767 ratings
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61

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4.21 avg rating — 5,072 ratings
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62

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3.86 avg rating — 5,019 ratings
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63

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3.82 avg rating — 2,397 ratings
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64

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3.69 avg rating — 2,605 ratings
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65

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3.95 avg rating — 3,348 ratings
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66

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3.93 avg rating — 3,251 ratings
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67

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4.67 avg rating — 67 ratings
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68

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3.65 avg rating — 8,510 ratings
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69

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4.01 avg rating — 8,311 ratings
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70

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3.61 avg rating — 8,848 ratings
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71

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3.93 avg rating — 7,530 ratings
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72

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3.56 avg rating — 5,564 ratings
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73

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3.68 avg rating — 5,368 ratings
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74

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3.86 avg rating — 3,351 ratings
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75

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4.56 avg rating — 104 ratings
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76

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3.92 avg rating — 5,017 ratings
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77

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3.93 avg rating — 3,085 ratings
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78

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4.54 avg rating — 41 ratings
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79

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3.92 avg rating — 4,719 ratings
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80

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3.94 avg rating — 2,315 ratings
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81

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3.91 avg rating — 3,744 ratings
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82

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 2,496 ratings
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83

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4.40 avg rating — 121 ratings
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84

by
3.91 avg rating — 3,282 ratings
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84

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3.84 avg rating — 3,142 ratings
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86

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3.98 avg rating — 2,339 ratings
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87

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3.63 avg rating — 6,821 ratings
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88

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3.75 avg rating — 5,969 ratings
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89

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4.31 avg rating — 2,327 ratings
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89

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4.41 avg rating — 6,873 ratings
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91

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3.89 avg rating — 3,346 ratings
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92

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4.18 avg rating — 2,641 ratings
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93

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3.82 avg rating — 7,377 ratings
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94

by
4.17 avg rating — 1,400 ratings
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95

by
3.98 avg rating — 3,758 ratings
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96

by
3.99 avg rating — 777 ratings
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97

by
4.02 avg rating — 144 ratings
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98

by
4.09 avg rating — 447 ratings
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99

by
3.74 avg rating — 2,770 ratings
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100

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3.58 avg rating — 1,607 ratings
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flag this list (?)
1,990 books · 4,434 voters · list created August 15th, 2008 by Michael Bialys (votes) .
852 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Wealhtheow 4423 books
693 friends
Elyse 1020 books
4391 friends
Angel 878 books
46 friends
Marc 487 books
370 friends
Mary 169 books
769 friends
Terry 4605 books
510 friends
Elisabeth 4439 books
155 friends
Jessica 3992 books
2540 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-50 of 69 (69 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 Kathryn (new)

Kathryn 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 JMZ (new)

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


message 4: by Iola (new)

Iola Anne 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


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed for too many ratings:

Daughter of the Forest, by Juliet Mariller


message 20: 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 22: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Montmorency is not fantasy.


message 23: 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 24: by Kim (last edited Sep 06, 2012 01:45PM) (new)


message 25: by Natalie (new)

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


message 26: 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 27: 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 28: 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 29: by Natalie (new)

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


message 30: 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 31: by Natalie (last edited Sep 01, 2012 07:18PM) (new)


message 32: 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 33: 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 34: 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 35: 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 36: 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 38: 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 39: 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 40: 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 41: 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 42: 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 44: 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


Jackie - Fire & Ice Book Reviews 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 47: 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


message 50: by MaryBliss (new)

MaryBliss Deleted because it's historical fiction, not fantasy: The Heretic Queen


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