Do you ever read a book, fall in love, want to shout about it to the world – and then find out that no one seems to know it exists? This happens to me all the time, so I’m sharing my favorite underrated authors and their best books with you.
Anyone who has followed my blog or social media platforms for some time will know that I greatly prefer underrated books and authors to hyped ones. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of authors and novels that I think absolutely live up to the hype, but for the most part, I find myself enjoying lesser-known works of fiction just a little bit more.
I’ve been meaning to write a blog post like this for quite some time, so it was honestly a lot of fun to collect this list of names and put together a round-up of my favorite underrated authors (and the books I’ve read by them that I recommend the most)!
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21 Underrated Authors You Should Check Out
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Joanna Ruth Meyer
I first discovered Joanna’s work when I was looking for an audiobook from my library. Echo North came up as a suggestion and it sounded fun. It was love at first listen (and I’ve read that book 3x now)! I immediately flew through her backlist and can, without a doubt in my mind, call her my very favorite author!
My favorite book by them: Into the Heartless Wood
Justin A. Reynolds
This was another case of “searching for an audiobook from the library.” I happened upon Opposite of Always and thought it was so creative. It was my first glimpse at magical realism and I was hooked. I’ve read both his YA and MG books and can firmly state that they’re all absolutely fantastic.
My favorite book by them: Early Departures
I’m not entirely sure how I came to find Abbi’s books, but I do know that when I read The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, I felt like someone had met me and then turned me into a book character. This immediately made me feel comforted by her books. I tend to find myself in nearly everything she writes.
My favorite book by them: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
Alechia has this incredible gift for combining heartfelt stories with adventurous sci-fi to create absolute masterpieces. It was honestly hard for me to pick my favorite book because I love them both so much – and I can’t wait for whatever comes out next.
My favorite book by them: The Kindred
Laura Jane Williams
Our Stop was the first book I read by Laura and I found it so refreshing. At the time, I had just begun to discover some fantastic authors in the UK (like Beth O’Leary and Josie Silver) and I couldn’t get enough of their cheeky dialogue and clever way of writing that just felt so different from American romcoms (in a good way). I’ve read all of Laura’s books (and been lucky enough to review two of them as ARCs) and I just adore everything she writes!
My favorite book by them: The Lucky Escape
Whenever someone asks for romcom recommendations, I’m quick to mention The Boyfriend Project. It’s such a fun series and I’ve genuinely enjoyed each and every story. After reading and reviewing The Hookup Plan, I’m anxiously anticipating when her next book is announced!
My favorite book by them: The Dating Playbook
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve cover-read a book, but crazy enough, that’s what happened with Amelia Unabridged. Now, I’d say it’s one of my all-time favorites and I even read it more than once in the same year. It’s such a fantastic story and I think it’s especially appealing to people who have always treasured reading. I was thrilled to read and review Full Flight at the end of 2021 and it was an immediate pre-order for me. I just know that if Ashley writes it, I’m gonna love it.
My favorite book by them: Amelia Unabridged
Leah’s debut novel certainly got its fair share of praise when it first came out, but then I noticed her name appearing less and less in the online bookish communities. This breaks my heart because her second book, Rise to the Sun, was just as great! I think Leah deserves all the hype for her heartfelt, inspiring novels.
My favorite book by them: You Should See Me in a Crown
Around the same time I was discovering Abbi Waxman’s books, I also happened upon Kerry’s novel, Waiting for Tom Hanks. As someone who grew up on ’90s romance flicks (all hail Nora Ephron), I really appreciated the sweet nods in this novel. I was thrilled that she continued the series and I’ve loved all of her books so much!
My favorite book by them: Waiting for Tom Hanks
Despite Sara’s book, Coral, being on my TBR for years, I didn’t dive into her work until she reached out about reading and reviewing The Wonderland Trials. Let me tell you right now that I’ll certainly be prioritizing her novels now after such a wonderful experience reading her newest release!
My favorite book by them: The Wonderland Trials
I was sent How Sweet It Is in a PR box full of goodies from the publisher in autumn of 2021. It was the perfect time to read the book since it’s set around Halloween, and I absolutely fell in love. Lucky me, I got to review the companion novel, All Fired Up – and even attended a virtual author event for the release day! Dylan’s books are filled with so much heart and I just need everyone to read them!
My favorite book by them: How Sweet It Is
Lane is a debut author that deserves a major round of applause for her novel, Love Times Infinity. This book packs SUCH a punch and it absolutely blew me away. It was also such a blast to read because it’s the first book I’ve ever come across that’s set in my hometown of Richmond, Virginia. It made the reading experience even more special. This book is perfect for fans of Nicola Yoon and Elizabeth Acevedo.
My favorite book by them: Love Times Infinity
Brittany M Willows
Bloody Spade is hands down one of the most unique SFF books I’ve ever read and I truly can’t wait to dive into the sequel. Brittany has a really creative way of writing and the story unfolds in a way that reminded me so much of anime. I loved the diversity and representation and absolutely recommend checking out this duology!
My favorite book by them: Bloody Spade
After making my way through probably three different series about fey that completely let me down, I was desperate for something different. I decided to give The Falconer a go, and I’m so glad I did. To this day, it’s one of my favorite fey series – and one of my most recommended fantasy series in general. It’s so creative and emotional!
My favorite book by them: The Falconer
My introduction to Kara’s work was during the 2020 holiday season when I vowed to only read books about winter and the winter holidays. Someone mentioned One Way or Another on social media at one point and I read it and loved it. After picking up her newest YA contemporary novel in the spring of 2022, I knew I could consider her a fave. Fans of Emma Lord need to get their hands on Kara’s books.
My favorite book by them: This Might Get Awkward
Me (Moth) was on display when I popped into a local coffee shop shortly after moving to a new town. I read the synopsis and mentioned aloud that it sounded so good. The barista working there began to rave about how it was truly the best book they’d ever read. My mom, who was with me, snatched it up and bought it as a little housewarming gift for my new home library. When I read it at the beginning of 2022, I completely got where that barista was coming from. It’s phenomenal!!! Do yourself a favor and add Amber’s books to your TBR, stat.
My favorite book by them: Me (Moth)
After reading the description for As Seen on TV on NetGalley, I immediately requested an ARC and was thrilled when I was approved. This book is beyond adorable – and it was so much fun getting to know Meredith a little better during Dylan Newton’s virtual release day author event. Now I’ve made it my personal mission to read everything Meredith writes!
My favorite book by them: As Seen on TV
You know how there are just some people who suggest books to you and you don’t even question that you’ll love them because you trust the recommender so explicitly? That’s what happened with Now That I’ve Found You. I saw the recommendation, picked it up, and loved it with my whole heart. I’ve begun to make my way through more of Kristina’s books and I enjoy them so much!
My favorite book by them: Now That I’ve Found You
I genuinely have no clue how I found More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn, but I sure am glad that I did! During a summer when I was doing nothing but listening to contemporary audiobooks while painting my new house, this was a godsend. I will never forget listening to this as I chalk-painted my kitchen cabinets. And the rest of Erin’s books are just as fab!
My favorite book by them: More Than Maybe
At the time of writing this post, it has been two years since I’ve read A Dress for the Wicked and it still stands out in my mind. That’s saying something, considering I’ll forget entire synopses and character names days after reading a book. So, take that as your sign to pick up this fantastic book!
My favorite book by them: A Dress for the Wicked
I discovered Jen’s books in the summer of 2021 when I was driving back and forth an hour every day from my apartment to my new home to work on renovations. I needed ALL the audiobooks and the Well Met series certainly kept me company. I think I gobbled up all three of the books that were out in a matter of days. They’re so much fun!
My favorite book by them: Well Traveled
What a great idea for a post! Having read several of these books and authors, I would absolutely agree with them being under-rated. Thanks for introducing me to some new ones too!
This post is totally up my alley! I can appreciate an overhyped book but I think there are so many under-rated jewels to be found. Also, I’m totally one of those people that goes against what’s trending so I can definitely appreciate this list LOL! Will definitely check some of these out!
Her Digital Coffee says
What an incredible list of books! I love checking out authors and stories that are usually under the radar. I’m especially drawn to Amelia Unabridged and The Wonderland Trials. Thank you so much for sharing your recommendations!
I haven’t heard of any of these authors or novels before, so thanks for sharing it!
Jaya Avendel says
Totally loving the way you have formatted this awesome list, as I feel it is much easier to read than your usual roundup posts! There are so many good books on here that I feel like deserve more eyes on their pages, so love that you have shared this wonderful selection. 🙂
Stephanie Whitman says
If my typical round-ups didn’t include around 30+ books with synopses, I’d format them more like this. However, they’d be really, really long and cluttered if I did – so I keep them with the dropdowns, which makes them easier to read 🙂
Rocking Specter says
Great post, and we definitely have those moments when we read something by an author the world has to know about. Thank you for sharing!
Amazing post. I have not heard of many of these authors. I will check them out as they sound interesting. Thank you for sharing.
I'm All Booked Up says
We only know Leah Johnson! Thanks for sharing all these authors and books.
Cristina Rosano says
Oh so so glad for this list and so get when an overhyped book lets you down! I always love to find some underrated authors and get to read some of their things. I have Justin Reynold’s books on the list after you recommended Early Departures on Instagram as well as Into the heartless woods and The bookish life of Nina Hill!
Karalee Shotola says
I have only heard of a few of these authors including Justin A. Reynolds, but I haven’t read any of their books. I’ll definitely have to add a few of your favorite books to my TBR!
Bianca Visagie says
A Dress for the Wicked is such a fun read. Definitely worth a shot. Also, I loved Well Met. Hot Pirate with eyeliner? Yes please.
Great list! I have a couple of these on my TBR and I still need to finish The Falconer series.