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22 January 2010 @ 08:35 am
Unsung YA  
Kelly at YAnnabe had written this wonderful post about obscure YA titles, and made me want to come up with my own list. I used LibraryThing to come up with this list, which culls out my best-rated books owned by less than 500 members on LT:

Kamikaze Girls by Novala Takemoto
My Japanese copy of this had a total of 1 member (me), while the English translation lists 99 members with this book. This is one of my favourite YA books, and it sells well enough here, but apparently it's not that popular elsewhere. This book is about the unlikely friendship of a Momoko and Ichigo, two girls who seem to live in completely different worlds. I really love and relate to both of the girls, and there is this speech that Momoko makes towards the end of the book that I always end up reading out loud to people when I'm re-reading the book.

So Hard To Say by Alex Sanchez
I don't know why, but I thought that Alex Sanchez is more popular than he apparently is - several of his books ended up in my list, but this one had the fewest members on LT. It's about Frederick, a shy kid in a new school, who was unsure of his sexuality. He became close friends with Xio, a girl who has a crush on him, while he began to develop a crush for her (straight) friend, Victor. I think I've read several books about unrequited love/crushes (like Lauren Myracle's Kissing Kate and Julie Anne Peters' Far From Xanadu) but this was the first that I read that shows both sides of the situation. It's actually one of my favourites by Sanchez, together with Getting It.

Witch Baby by Francesca Lia Block
When I saw this coming up in my list, I thought I must've made a mistake, but after re-sorting LibraryThing, it still came up pretty high on the list. This was probably my favourite "Dangerous Angels" title when I was in high school (nowadays it's a lot harder for me to choose... probably Baby Be-Bop). Perhaps the reason it appeared is because most people has a copy of the omnibus instead, but still. This is a wonderful book about searching for identity and about feeling alienated from everyone you know. Kind of like Kamikaze Girls, actually, except Momoko and Ichigo find friendship, while Witch Baby found Angel Juan and New York. (^_^)

Before Midnight by Cameron Dokey
This is part of the "Once Upon A Time" series, and is a retelling of Cinderella. I really loved this one because of the way Dokey portrays the father and the stepfamily. Actually, I love all of Dokey's books in this series that I've read, but my absolute favourite would be this one and The Storyteller's Daughter, which is a retelling of Arabian Nights.

Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Less than 500 members with this book on LT! Is this for real? I couldn't believe it when I first saw my list. But it's true - 26,160 members own a copy of Twilight by only 349 members has a copy of Naomi and Ely. It just isn't fair. (Um, not that Twilight and Naomi and Ely has anything in common) I am a big fan of both Levithan and Cohn, but the two books they wrote together (this one and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist) are my absolute favourites by either of them. Like Nick and Norah, this book has interesting, likeable characters, really rad music, great writing, and sprinkled with plain awesomeness.

Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger
So many of my favourite titles in this list! This is another of those unrequited crush stories (so's Naomi and Ely, actually), but my favourite thing about this novel is the fact that both the main characters are zine writers, and samples of their zines are actually included within the story. This is one of my favourite coming-of-age stories, and I love how John and Marisol's friendship develops.

Keeping You A Secret by Julie Anne Peters
While Luna might be a better book, and Far From Xanadu was the book that got me hooked on her writing, Keeping You A Secret is my favourite by Julie Anne Peters. The first time I read this I wished I had it when I was a teenager. Story-wise, it reminds me a lot of the movie The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love.
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ext_221087 on January 22nd, 2010 04:15 am (UTC)
Wow, I am just as surprised about Naomi and Ely - I assumed that more than 500 members had it too! Fantastic novel by a great duo. I'm intrigued by Before Midnight - I don't think I've heard of Dokey. Will have to check him out! Thanks!
Marinekomylittlecthulhu on January 22nd, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
I think other than the Once Upon A Time series', Dokey mostly wrote YA romance (she's a woman, btw! ^_^). I haven't read her other work, really, but I love her fairy tale retellings.
kellyholmes on January 22nd, 2010 06:08 am (UTC)
So glad you found this & made your own list!

I loved Nick & Norah. I really need to read Naomi & Ely next.

I've seen Hard Love on a few Unsung YA posts today, which bodes well for it making it onto the uber-list post on Monday! :)
Marineko: inspiredmylittlecthulhu on January 22nd, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
Naomi & Ely isn't quite as good as Nick & Norah to me, but I think it's mostly because I relate to Nick & Norah more. But I love both of them, really.

I'll be looking forward to the uber-list!
people are like seasonsnymeth on January 22nd, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I should have listed Witch Baby! It might be my favourite too. Then again, I love them all ♥

I've yet to read any Julie Anne Peters, but two of her books are on my tbr pile, so that'll be fixed soon.
Marinekomylittlecthulhu on January 23rd, 2010 09:21 am (UTC)
I love all of the Dangerous Angels books too :D
They meant so much to me in high school!

I hope you'll love the Julie Anne Peters as much as I do!
valentinasroom.blogspot.com on January 22nd, 2010 11:54 pm (UTC)
ohhhh I loved The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love! Must read Julie Anne Peters soon! anything!

Also, Witch Baby is my favourite of the whole dangerous Angels series (so far, haven't read baby be-bop yet), I would have thought it'd be more popular too.
Also,why haven't I read any Levithan yet? Disgraceful, I'm tellin ya!
Marinekomylittlecthulhu on January 23rd, 2010 09:24 am (UTC)
Oh, another fan of the movie! Hi! (^__^)

As for Levithan's solo work, my favourite so far is Are We There Yet? but a lot of people love Boy Meets Boy more. Both are really good, so you should give him a try!