Scouring bookstores for your next series fix, you stumble upon a collection you’ve never heard of yet are incredibly intrigued by. You buy the entire set on a whim and it turns out to be one of the best things you have ever read… So why haven’t you ever heard of it before?
There are hundreds of series out there, so getting around to all of them is a trying task. Some are better than others, some are just plain terrible and some are hidden gems waiting to be discovered. The latter has applied to my library these past few months and although what interests me changes, my surprise when coming across new talent remains the same. Here are some of my favourite underdog reads:
Naughts and Crosses
A thought provoking series where prejudice is placed on those of white skin, the colourless Noughts, and those of dark skin, the Crosses, rule. The series explores the lives of different characters thoughout this alternate world, with the introductory book portraying the lives of Callum and Sephy, a Nought and a Cross, who despite being childhood friends are forbidden to take their relationship any deeper… no matter how they may really feel for each other. With a world of prejudice and violence surrounding this first novel, Noughts and Crosses puts values to the test and was a refreshingly topical and politically emotive read.
I picked up a copy of Half Bad last year after hearing a lot of buzz around internet forums. I loved it. It had a unique writing style that took a little getting used to, but drew me right in. Set in modern day England, Half Bad takes place in a secretive magical world unknowing to mortals. Following Nathan, the son of a average white and an all-evil dark witch, the novel depicts how Nathan survives after being shunned as the two warring factions of witches, White and Dark, condemn his existence. Whirlwinds of torture, rebirth and endurance, Half Bad – and its sequel Half Wild - aren’t to be missed.
Imagine if you could see the different outcomes of a choice you need to make before you make it. An incredibly unique concept, the Pivot Point duology starts with the life of Addison Coleman who, as a Searcher, can look into her future to see the impact of any decision she makes. After her parents divorce and she has to choose between them, she uses her power to decide whom she wants to live with. She likes her life now, where her mother plans to stay, so the choice should have been simple. But it turns out that both worlds have her torn in mind and heart. On top of that her father gets assigned a murder case and things only get stickier. In the end, a seemingly simple decision comes down to what she is prepared to experience… and who she can’t live without.
A thrillingly realistic post-apocalyptic series, Monument 14 had me trapped from start to finish. As the writing appeared to be for an audience of a slightly younger age than I, my low expectations were shamed by how much I enjoyed this book series. A chillingly realistic story, Monument 14 surrounds the lives of fourteen school kids of all ages who become housed inside a superstore after unexpected disaster strikes their country. Nobody is safe from the escalating panic outside and adding an airborne toxic chemical spill into the mix only makes things worse for those with certain types of blood…