I'm an Editor in book publishing. All opinions are my own.
Though I'm as into popular, bestselling books as the next gal, I think it's a special feeling to discover an underrated gem, an author or book that didn't break out and land on everyone's radar. Every Friday I will post about one of mine.
The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It by Lisa Shanahan
I originally read this charming YA novel during a summer internship at a children's book publisher, when it was on submission for US publication (it was first published in Australia as My Big Birkett). The author, Lisa Shanahan, is mostly known as a picture book writer, and this was her first YA effort. I hope it's not her last. The novel is funny and poignant, and tackles some tough things without seeming like an "issue" book. There's a high school Shakespeare production, a disastrous pool party, a swan bridesmaid costume, the guy who seems right (but is wrong), and the guy who seems wrong (but is right). If you appreciate the sensitive realism of Catherine Gilbert Murdock and the humor of Maureen Johnson, this one's for you.
What are your criminally underrated YA novels?