This glorious Top Ten Tuesday invites us bookworms to rewind things back a few years. To visit a topic we never got around to, and pay it all the love anything bookish deserves. I chose to discuss popular authors I’ve never read, drawing from a pool much larger than I’d first anticipated. These ten storytellers all have at least 300,000 cumulative ratings from their novels, and at least two series/unrelated works. They’re most popular in the YA communities, and consistently garner lots of buzz with any new release. In other words; the cool kids I’ve never ventured to sit with. I vow to change that though, and I’ll outline some great reads by all that I plan to start. So without further ado…let’s cut to the books!
Rick Riordan is king when it comes to the guy-brary (books for boys) and beyond. Personally, I was just never all that interested in his stories. Mythology has no appeal to me, and I traditionally hate the chummy, two dudes and a girl, friendship featured in middle grade/YA crossovers. Both of these things feature heavily in Riordan’s Percy Jackson novels, hence my cold shoulder. However I admit to being intrigued by his latest series, Magnus Chase; which draws from Norse folklore, and just sounds way more edgy than anything Percy’s ever done. I’ve read reviews though that said all of Riordan’s work blends together at this point, making me a bit reluctant. Those who’ve read his work from the get-go, what are your thoughts? Will it not matter since I’ve never read a previous novel? I’m on the fence and any input is greatly valued!
Interestingly enough, Divergent was actually the second book I ever shelved on Goodreads, way back on July 16, 2012. It was the origins of my YA love affair, and I could NOT wait to pick up the book being billed as the next THG. However I just kept putting it off and off, until I was spoiled on the ending of Allegiant a few years back. Thus, effectively ending any chance of me maybe reading the series. Veronica Roth has just announced a new series though, one that banks on the emerging trend of space opera’s. I’m super excited (#GuardiansoftheGalaxyLover), despite already mentioning in my Harper Teen Cover Reveal Reaction how underwhelmed I am by the dustjacket. I can set that aside though, in order to see what all this hype surrounding Ms. Roth is about. Hopefully she’s grown even more as a writer, and I’m in for a real treat!
When The Mortal Instruments was at full fandom I was a little too young to jump on the bandwagon. Thus, I never felt any strong pull to read a Cassandra Clare work. She’s written like 50 million novels (or ten), and they’re all connected in some way…right? To be honest I have only the teensiest inkling what her books are actually about, as they’ve all expanded to the point where the only thing I know for sure is that they’re crazy popular. No joke, together they garner way north of 4,000,000 ratings on GR alone. While I know she’s much beloved in the YA community, I doubt I’ll read one of her books until they break away from the Shadowhunter realm. Ain’t nobody got time to read decades old books, in the hopes of understanding a single new release. My bookish commitment issues just couldn’t stand it.
There was a very small window from The Selection’s release, to the time I quit reading bubble-gummy YA. Also known as when I officially became a bookish grinch. And since I didn’t read the love saga of America Singer during those months, I never will. There’s really no reason for me to start a series I know I’ll hate, merely for the fun of writing a scathing review. Not that I enjoy such things 😉 And though I doubt Kiera Cass will ever move beyond Bachelor In Paradise-esque fiction, I would be more than happy to read any new series she starts. It’s undeniable hundreds of thousands of readers have found her stories fast paced and exciting, so there has to be something I can appreciate. For now, I may be an anomaly, but don’t think I intend on keeping things that way.
Paranormal romance has never been my go to genre, making it pretty clear why I never read Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver series. Thanks, but I’ll have to pass. When she came out with The Raven Cycle however, we were talking a whole new game. Of course, I never actually read it. Some poor experiences with likewise books deterred me, alongside reviews calling out the writing as “Purple prose at its worst”. This is unfortunate, as I think me and Maggie have huge potential for the reader/writer dynamic of my dreams. It seems like she’s always in the works with a new, innovate idea, so I think I’m in luck for future reading material. Have you guys ever experienced the phenomenon where you think you’d love an author, but just can’t bring yourself to pull the trigger on reading their books?
Likewise to my holdup with Maggie Stiefvater books, Jennifer Armentrout became famous for writing in a genre I hardly adore. Though I don’t doubt the Lux series isn’t excellent for fans of that deal, steamy romance featuring aliens rarely makes the top of my TBR. Last month however, Armentrout broke away from that mold, honing her chops in YA contemporary. The Problem with Forever has already caught the attention of some of my favorite reviewers, all of whom sang it praises day and night. I think it will be excellent, as TPwF incorporates Armentrout’s strength (romance), with a story line that I’m much more invested in reading. I can’t wait to finally see what all the hype is about, and crack the spine.
Love it or hate it, YA would not be a force to be reckoned with sans Stephenie Meyer and Twilight. Though it also introduced many a cringe worthy trope (Mary Sue protagonist, the infamous love triangle) I owe it for providing a much needed outlet in fiction. Despite all that appreciation, don’t think I plan on ever reading Twilight or The Host. Not that I’m a snob who judges Twihards, but at this time I just have no interest in investing in Twilight fever. Also, unless Meyer stops rolling in the dough she’s made and starts writing, it looks like I’ll never read a book penned by her. This is a shame, as though her writing is often cited as juvenile in craft, it clearly holds appeal to many a reader. She spawned an entire generation of book fanatics, and for that I think it’s only fair to thrown in my two cents.
Brandon Sanderson is one of those authors known almost exclusively on the book blogging/vlogging communities. I’ve never heard a person not involved in our niche mention his Mistborn trilogy, which is a real shame based on the hype I’ve heard. However this also might be a reason I don’t feel a pressing urge to pick up any of his works. I like to stay up on major new releases and genre trends, but make little time for lesser known selections. In an effort to change that, perhaps this would be a good place to start. As we all know I’m a major cover fanatic, and the foreign editions of his novels make my eyes pop with adoration. Who ever said a good dose of cover lust wasn’t reason to get reading?
9.Sarah J. Maas
Sarah J. Maas is currently the reigning queen of high fantasy, turning out installments in two different series every year. All receive an unimaginable level of hype, and her latest, A Court of Mist and Fury, holds a 4.76 rating. Like, say what? I wish I had picked up her first work, Throne of Glass, right from its origins, as I’m now five books deep. Clearly this means I’ll never embark on a journey with Celaena, but there’s still time for me to catch the ACOTAR bandwagon. Not only is Ms. Maas a great inspiration for up and coming young writers, but she just seems like so much fun! Though I obviously don’t know her, I love supporting authors that give back to our community. Needless to say, I have to get around to reading her work stat!
Dystopian YA has branched into numerous sub genres over the years, but Scott Westerfeld is responsible for providing that initial root. His Uglies series is not only critically and commercially acclaimed, but paved the way for the likes of THG and Divergent. Wouldn’t mind having THAT on my resume. However, despite loving the premise behind his most notable work, I never invested the time in Tally’s tale. I planned on reading his recent release, Zeroes, until it was blackballed by nearly every outlet. I just couldn’t let my first Westerfeld novel leave a sour taste in my mouth. Soooo…that leaves me eagerly anticipating his next venture into writing, keeping my fingers double crossed that it’s one I can push to the top of my TBR.
What are your thoughts on the authors I mentioned? Any I have to read pronto? What well known storytellers have you never read? Let me know in the comments!