Let's be real for a moment, the book world does not look at self-published books the same way they do books that are traditionally published. Most of them are overlooked and sometimes poor editing mistakes can be a turn off, but there are some and by some I mean a lot, that are worthy of praise and attention that they'll never receive because of that self-publishing stigma. Here are a few of my faves!
5. The Dragonfly Door by Margaret Millmore
This books isn't YA but there's something about time-travelling stories that I can't say no to.
"Most people would envy Frank Mann for living off a trust fund in beautiful San Francisco. But Frank was directionless and spiraling downward – lonely, drinking heavily, getting into brawls. He was sitting at a bar when above the gleaming bottles he first glimpsed the thing that would change his life forever.
“It was the largest dragonfly I’d ever seen. Its wings were silver and its body a luminescent blue-green, almost metallic. I swear it was looking right at me.”
But it wasn’t looking at him. It was looking for him. Because it wasn’t a dragonfly at all, it was a door into the future. And it was sent to find Frank Mann for one specific reason: because only he could save mankind from extinction.
A century from now, the world seems cleansed of pollution, relieved of conflict, liberated from want. Earth appears lush and beautiful, a renewed Eden. But there’s trouble in paradise— a deadly virus that is destroying all of earth’s agriculture. Unleashed in our time, its catastrophic power only emerges a century from now. And to create an antidote, the scientists of tomorrow must obtain a sample of the virus from today. That’s where Frank Mann comes in.
However, success will not be as easy as stepping through the dragonfly door. An evil future sect will try to thwart him. The time travel device itself could fail and strand him, and unnerving encounters with his own future wife and their great-great-grandchildren might skew history altogether. Frank just wanted something to live for – something a little more modest than saving humanity. But that’s what the future asked of him and now it’s time to answer the call."
4. Gateway: Pioche by Jeff Dawson
This book is also not YA, but like I said before about time travel books...Anyways, this book is surprisingly detailed, intriguing and gave me goosebumps for a very long time.
"June 2016—Stanford, Ca. GRADUATION for Muki, Abdul, Larry and Judith. Six years of cramming for finals and pursuing double master’s degrees has finally paid off. It's time for them to enjoy the fruits of their labor. A trip to Las Vegas and the blackjack tables before entering the word of commerce and research.
Their good fortune at the tables doesn't go unnoticed by the local mob boss, Nathan Francisco, who decides, "What money comes to Vegas, stays in Vegas." Instead of enjoying their winnings, the graduates become engaged in a hair-raising, life-threatening pursuit through the sleepy town of Pioche, Nevada. Eluding their pursuers, they wind up northeast of town at an abandoned military complex. Not wanting to tempt fate, they decide to stay put for a day and explore the complex.
What and who they find could unravel the truths surrounding the most debated conspiracies of the past—who shot John Fitzgerald Kennedy, what happened to Judas Iscariot after betraying Jesus, did America really land on the moon in 1969. And finally, will Judith Anderson be able to purge her family’s ties to the Third Reich when she comes face-to-face with her great-grand father Martin Bormann?
Prepare for the most riveting tale of time travel!
Note: This book contains strong language. Not recommended for children under 13. "
3. The Game by Shane Scollins
Probably one of the most underrated books out there. Seriously, if you haven't read this book yet what are you waiting for?
No matter where you are, they’ll find you, and put you in “The GAME”.
Candice Laguna’s life is being systematically dismantled, by an unknown force, for a reason she can’t imagine. But she is about to become the unwilling star of a reality game competition the likes of which has never been broadcast to the world.
Just when things get darkest, a mysterious man snatches her from the grips of doom. He is a man who is not what he seems, and not who he says. He has no name and his motivation to help Candice is not what it seems to be.
But his selfishness has good intentions, he just wants to know who he is and where he came from. And getting to the man orchestrating this reality game is the only way to find the truth.
THE GAME is a mystery/thriller with an unpredictable paranormal twist. It has action and adventure and plays up the everyday exploitation of reality television obsession gone wrong.
2. Ghost Hand (The PSS Chronicles Book 1) by Ripley Patton
Is this book a movie yet? It should be!
Olivia Black has a rare birth defect known as Psyche Sans Soma, or PSS. Instead of a right hand made of flesh and blood, she was born with a hand made of ethereal energy.
How does Olivia handle being the girl with the ghost hand? Well, she's a little bit morbid and a whole lot snarky.
Her mother thinks her obsession with death, black clothing, and the local cemetery is a bid for attention. But when Marcus, the new guy in Olivia's calculus class, stares at her like she's a freak, Olivia doesn't like it. And when her hand goes rogue, doing things she never imagined possible, Olivia finds herself running for her life with Marcus from a group of men bent on taking the power of her hand for their own nefarious purposes.
1. What We Left Behind (Zombie Nightmares Book 1) by Peter Cawdron
Nothing gets me more excited than a great zombie book. I never say no to reviewing a zombie book even if it's not YA. What We Left Behind was absolutely delicious and I ate (see what I did there) it all up in one sitting.
"Everyone has a different term for zombies. I call them Zee because that's the term my mother used before she turned, speaking about the whole horde as though it was just one individual. Grammar has no place in the zombie apocalypse…
Hazel is a regular teenager growing up in an irregular world overrun with zombies. She likes music, perfume, freshly baked muffins, and playing her Xbox—everything that no longer exists in the apocalypse. Raised in the safety of a commune, Hazel rarely sees Zee anymore, except on those occasions when the soldiers demonstrate the importance of a headshot to the kids. To her horror, circumstances beyond her control lead her outside the barbed wire fence and into a zombie-infested town. “Five, Four, Three, Two—count your shots, Haze,” she says to herself, firing at the oncoming zombie horde. “Don't forget to reload.”