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Embarrassed - 100 Books I Haven't Read (or heard of!)

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message 1: by Kenley (new)

Kenley Neufeld (kenleyneufeld) | 59 comments A few weeks ago my wife sent me this blog post 100 MUST-READ YOUNG ADULT SCIENCE FICTION. At the time, I gave a quick look over and noticed I didn't know any of the book titles. I've kept the tab open and now sharing with you. Again, this is a list of 100 books that I haven't heard of or read in the science fiction genre. How can that happen? Clearly I am out of my depth.

Take a look for yourself. Do you see anything to recommend based on your reading knowledge?


message 2: by David (new)

David H. (farrakut) | 725 comments Binti's been mentioned on the podcast a few times, I didn't think till now it could be read as YA.

They made a movie out of Divergent, I think.

I'd heard of Feed by M.T. Anderson for a long time, supposed to be a good vampire story?

I know of Illuminae but nothing beyond the title. Same with Incarceron and Legend.

Maximum Ride has been around for a while but haven't read.

I only know of Partials because Dan Wells is a co-host of the Writing Excuses podcast.

Octavia Butler is YA???

The Harper Hall trilogy is classic Dragonriders of Pern.

I'm just going to stop there because that's a long list.

I wouldn't feel too bad about not knowing these young adult books--the thing is, us oldies aren't the demographic so unless you follow YA SF news sources (blogs, etc.), we're simply not going to hear about these.

And that's not even getting into the whole "I won't read YA" attitude that many have (even me--I usually need a lot of really strong recommendations to get me to crack one open).

In another forum I follow, a lot of people are listing books they've read in different categories, including a book called Bird Box, a horror novel. I had literally never heard of this book or its author before, and it turns out to have over 50,000 ratings on Goodreads and it's been out for 4 years. Even some popular SF books don't get that many ratings after 20 years.

There's overlapping circles of bookreading, and that's why I like diverse forums--more exposures to authors and books I simply never would've come across otherwise.


message 3: by Jordan (new)

Jordan | 30 comments There's a lot of good stuff on that list that I've read or that I've heard a ton of good stuff about. In general there's a lot of awesome stuff hiding in YA, but the whole category seems to get a bad rep. My top recommendation from that list is probably Illuminae. I've both listened to the audiobook and read the print book and both are excellent.

That being said, I anti-recommend Matched. It is every cliche that is terrible about YA.


message 4: by Phil (new)

Phil | 992 comments You haven't heard of them because you probably don't shop in the young adult section of the bookstore where most of them would be shelved.
The only ones I've read were WWW: Wake which I loved, the Harper Hall books which were very good and The Hunger Games which was ok.
I've heard of a couple of the others but not many.


message 5: by Michele (new)

Michele | 1154 comments You've never heard of the Hunger Games (good) or Divergent (not so good)? Or any of Anne McCaffery's Pern books? I can see not realizing the Harper Hall trilogy is YA Dragonsong - one of my first sf/fantasy novels and an all-time favorite, the second book can still make me cry with happiness at the end.

The Silver Metal Lover is a favorite of mine, but it's fairly old. Don't Bite the Sun by Tanith Lee is great too.

The Binti trilogy is really good.

I've recently read the Across the Universe trilogy and it was pretty good.

I read These Broken Stars but didn't like it enough to grab the sequels.

I have Cinder, Legend, Warcross, the WWW trilogy, Zeroboxer, and Rebel Soul already on my wishlist.

I tried Illuminae but could not get into the style - it's all done in social media type posts.

I've seen a few others like the Uglies, the Star Wars books, the Paolo Bacigalupi one, and James Patterson's, but they didn't interest me.

I don't read a lot of scifi or YA but I do go through Tor.com's monthly lists of new releases and add anything interesting to my wishlist - and they include YA in those lists (sf, fantasy, and genre-benders).


message 6: by Kenley (new)

Kenley Neufeld (kenleyneufeld) | 59 comments David wrote: "Octavia Butler is YA???"

She's actually one of the author's I've read and I think some of the Parable (Earthseed) material would fall into YA category.


message 7: by Kenley (last edited Mar 31, 2018 12:54PM) (new)

Kenley Neufeld (kenleyneufeld) | 59 comments Michele wrote: "You've never heard of the Hunger Games (good) or Divergent (not so good)? Or any of Anne McCaffery's Pern books?


Duh! Yes, the Hunger Games are known to me. I did watch the movies (and the Divergent movies) but not a book cracked in either series.

Adding Binti to reading list. Are the Pern books SciFi?


message 8: by Michele (new)

Michele | 1154 comments Pern is technically scifi, though it reads like fantasy. So, a colonized and forgotten planet, with genetically-engineered, psionic dragons, but all technology was purposefully forgotten so they live in a pastoral-style, low-key sort of feudalism society. No magic.


message 9: by Rick (last edited Mar 31, 2018 01:48PM) (new)

Rick | 2133 comments I don't know most of that stuff either - I tend not to look at YA because the themes and characters feel relatively repetitive (i.e. the protagonists are young, self-discovery and/or rebellion against an unjust system, etc). Oddly, I wonder if I'd have that prejudice if these were all just shelved in the SF section. Hmmmm.....


Binti is good and really doesn't make any concessions to being for younger readers. In fact, I suspect many of those might be like this. Fonda Less has a book listed there and if you liked her 'adult' novel Jade City, I'd try that.

In fact, in general, that would be my take - if you have heard good things about the author, try the book.


message 10: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (JohnTaloni) | 2558 comments I'm noticing a distinct lack of one of the best YA SF books, Alexei Panshin's Rite of Passage. None of Heinlein's YA either. That makes the entire list suspect to me.


message 11: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (J-Boo) | 179 comments Of those listed I have read Binti, Illuminae, The Harper Hall trilogy, The Hunger Games trilogy, the first two books of The Lunar Chronicles, and The Silver Metal Lover.

I have heard of, but have not myself read, Defy the Stars, Divergent, The 5th Wave, Unearthed, Warcross, and Zeroboxer.


message 12: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4744 comments Michele wrote: "Pern is technically scifi, though it reads like fantasy. So, a colonized and forgotten planet, with genetically-engineered, psionic dragons, but all technology was purposefully forgotten so they li..."

Pern is actually Fantasy with a thin veneer of Science Fiction papered over it, a la Star Wars.


message 13: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4744 comments I have read some of those, own some but haven’t gotten to them yet, and I’ve heard of others. Most I haven’t heard of.

That doesn’t bother me.

It’s not easy to keep up with this stuff. More books were published in the 21st century than in all of human history previously. That rate is increasing.


message 14: by Silvana (last edited Mar 31, 2018 08:09PM) (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 912 comments I know 14 of them. Read Hunger Games. Have both Star Wars books and Butler's Wild Seed in my TBR. The rest does not interest me yet but I am not the target demographic. *shrugs


message 15: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4744 comments Wild Seed is great. I wouldn’t have called it YA, even though I read it as a teenager. But then YA is a nonsense genre, driven by marketing and nothing else.


message 16: by Louie (new)

Louie (RMutt1914) | 667 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "None of Heinlein's YA either. That makes the entire list suspect to me."

Yeah, I was expecting at least one or two of Heinlein's YA novels, but this list seems to be of much more recent releases.

I haven't read any of these either, but some are familiar. YA is just not in my wheel house.


message 17: by William (last edited Apr 05, 2018 10:16AM) (new)

William | 250 comments From that list I've read (and reccomend):

Firebird (starts with A Thousand Pieces of You) by Claudia Gray
Rebel Rising by Beth Revis
The Harper Hall trilogy by Anne McCaffrey
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

I would have added (off the top of my head):

Scavenger Alliance and Telepath by Janet Edwards (one of the best "new" authors imho)

Lockstep by Karl Schroeder

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

Jumper by Steven Gould

Dissonance by Erica O'Rourke

The Cage by Megan Shepherd

Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

And a huge pile of Helen Mary Hoover, Monica Hughes and Andre Norton

All books enjoyed as a not-so-young adult.


message 18: by Kenley (new)

Kenley Neufeld (kenleyneufeld) | 59 comments William wrote: "From that list I've read (and reccomend):

Thank you Sir! I appreciate your thoughtfulness and in adding a few more titles (and a couple that I've read too!).


message 19: by Clyde (new)

Clyde (wishamc) | 306 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "I'm noticing a distinct lack of one of the best YA SF books, Alexei Panshin's Rite of Passage. None of Heinlein's YA either. That makes the entire list suspect to me."

Totally agree. Glaring omissions those (and I could add a few more). No big deal. I reckon the list just reflects the writer's (Sarah Nicolas) reading biases.


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