10. The Divide
So the “Divide” is this place where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans separate. I can’t remember how exactly, but Felix crosses the Divide and ends up in a place where magic is real and science (as well as humans) are imaginary. The world-building is fantastic.
I have read this series countless times, both as a kid and as a tween. I probably should get it out again some time. But when I ask people whether they’ve read it, all I get are blank stares. It’s got mermaids and sibling relationships, and it’s very eerie and awesome. Definitely would recommend.
I remember being really scared by this book when I read it a few years ago. Maybe I was just a creepy child or something. But all the same, it’s a very cool book: an old English village with dark secrets, archaeological thingies, mystery. A great read.
7. The Goddess Test
I read this book maybe two months ago after borrowing it from a library. I decided to take a chance and get something that wasn’t contemporary. I’m a sucker for things that seem linear – do this, get this. I love things with steps in them. The plot is great and I certainly didn’t expect the ending.
6. Ruby Rosemount
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this series. I read it when I was probably nine or ten, and it inspired me enough to pretty much steal the idea and start writing about the same thing myself. All you need to know is that it involves a magic carpet with attitude, genies and really awesome Arabian folk-lore type stuff. I was amazed to find that it only has 7 reviews on Goodreads. It deserves many more.
5. Children of the Lamp
Obviously I had a thing for genies as a younger kid, because this involves them as well. John and Philippa are descended from djinn, basically. In the second book of the series, which is awesome, we’re introduced to this kind of omnipotent person who is neither good nor evil, and Philippa is dragged to become the new one. Very awesome.
4. Clarice Bean
This is a really cute book. Well, actually there are a few of them – there are three on my bookshelf right now. It’s kind of contemporary aimed at a middle grade audience, and was just a very fun read.
3. North Child
It has come to my attention that this book isn’t all that under-appreciated, but I’m putting it here anyway because I think it deserves more attention. Even though there’s more telling than showing, it feels alright because of the fairy tale nature of it. It’s a retelling of “east of the sun and west of the moon,” and I really enjoy it.
2. The Solitaire Mystery
I first enjoyed this book as a pretentious 11-year-old, when I was discovering the joys of philosophy. I read it again this year and still loved it. It’s just so magical, with all the cards and the fish and the sticky bun book. The world Jostein Gaarder creates is incredible. I’d read this many more times.
I’ve made Jamintha number one based on under-appreciated-ness and awesomeness. This book terrified me when I picked it up about five years ago. I won’t spoil it (the twist is AMAZING) but basically it’s weird, and it involves memory loss, and it’s creepy. I think I’m going to go put it on my ever-increasing list of books I need to read.