Part of me hates referring to lesser-known books as flying ‘under the radar.’ The phrase is accurate but it’s so fraught, you know? So let’s make something very clear: There are many, many authors you haven’t heard of who are doing brilliant, amazing work, and many titles that have not crossed your line of vision. The truth is that there are only so many publishing dollars devoted to publicity and marketing. Only a small group of books receive ‘lead title’ treatment. That’s just the way it is. There are word of mouth exceptions, of course, and books that break out anyway (my own debut YA, Dreaming Anastasia—for reasons I still don’t fully understand— was one of those.) But the reality is, most books and most authors receive just a small piece of that publicity pie, either in terms of marketing or attention. This is not a reflection of quality. It is, however, why most authors expend a sizeable amount of effort and dollars promoting their own work. (like right now when I not so subtly remind you that on May 17th, my newest YA novel, IT WASN’T ALWAYS LIKE THIS, arrives from Soho Teen!)
So now that we’re straight on all that, let me tell you about some books and authors I adore. Buy them or borrow them and then if you like them, shout that praise to the world. Encourage everyone to read them, too!
Here are four, in no particular order:
1.CURES FOR A HEARTBREAK was originally released by Delacorte, but it has been picked up by Harper now and is re-releasing in May, so you will have a chance to find it all over the place!
2. Adele Griffin has written many award-winning books, and her 2014 title, THE UNFINISHED LIFE OF ADDISON STONE, received a great deal of well-deserved acclaim. But I became a huge fan of Adele Griffin through her smaller books, so many of which deal with those strange twists and turns of life, situations that are scary and odd, worlds that are cracked, people who don't quite fit the norm. Her storytelling is haunting and absolutely exquisite. Start with LOUD AWAKE AND LOST. Then move to TIGHTER. Then maybe WHERE I WANT TO BE.
3.Start with STUPID FAST and then read the whole Felton Reinstein trilogy. You will thank me!
4. If you want amazing, minimalist prose, then read anything by Lauren Strasnick. Her work blows me away. Lauren says more in the white space than
I could go on and on. I want to go on and on. But this is enough for now.
What authors and books do you love that you want everyone to know about? Tell us!