For Readers

Highly Rated YA Novels to Add to your TBR List

By: Hidden Gems on December 14, 2021

Hidden Gems Books ARC service.

By: Hidden Gems on December 14, 2021


Each great in their own way, with all the elements that make YA novels so addicting, don’t blame us if your TBR list grows after checking out these young adult favorites among Hidden Gems ARC readers!


Metallic Red

Metallic Red by Jennifer Ann Shore

From Hidden Gems favorite Jennifer Ann Shore, Metallic Red is a young adult vampire fiction book with romance, self-discovery, and a bit of blood. It is the first novel in the Royally Human Vampire series and pulls in an impressive 4.7 average star rating on Amazon.

“I really enjoyed reading Metallic Red,” writes Jennifer H. in her 5-star review. “I found it to be an interesting take on a vampire novel. I liked the plot developments and the ending of the story. I liked the internal conflict that the protagonist faced going to a human high school with human friends and embracing her human side but having a lot of responsibility in the vampire community as well. I recommend this book to any reader who likes vampire novels but may be a little bored with the usual content across the genre.”

Sonja raves in her 5-star review, “It’s not very often nowadays that I choose to read vampire stories, but I’m so glad I decided to pick this one up! I absolutely fell in love with the main character, Mina, right away. She’s so well written, and following her development and acceptance of her identity was so satisfying. As someone who had to go through a period of exploring and accepting my own identity a few years ago, it’s always fun to see how authors navigate that sort of discovery with their characters! I highly recommend this story to everyone that likes a good vampire story, as well as anyone that enjoys reading someone’s self-discovery! And I so can’t wait to read the sequel as soon as I can!”

The Time Trials

The Time Trials by Jon and Dayna McConnell

Walkman-toting, guitar-playing Finn Mallory blames himself for his parents’ deaths and would do anything to turn back time and set things right. So, when he’s recruited into a secret club at his new school that specializes in competitive time travel games, Finn sees a world of opportunity open before him. With an astounding 4.8 average star rating on Amazon, this YA novel is a true crowd pleaser.

Haunted Reader raves in their 5-star review, “Simultaneously comforting and adventurous, danger-laden and heartwarming, grieving and joyous, this academic-setting YA Contemporary Science Fiction time-traveling novel deserves to expand into a series. Educational as well as character-driven, THE TIME TRIALS demonstrates both a love of history and compassion for the characters. It rings true to life and suspension of disbelief comes fairly easily in the context of realistic characters embarking on some seriously strange adventures.”

“Jon and Dayna McConnell have crafted an exciting, enthralling tale in which Finn Mallory not only transforms major historical events, but also fights to be seen as worthy just as he is, explains Raquel Vasquez Gilliland, author of Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything and How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe in their review. “The Time Trials has a bit of everything-romance, an epic 90s soundtrack, and, of course, time travel. Readers of all ages will root for Finn and his friends as they take on time itself.”

Reckoning of Delta Prime

Reckoning of Delta Prime by D.B. Goodin

This is the third book in the Cyber Teen Project series. If you like your YA novels filled with technology, cyborgs, shadowy intrigue, and kick-ass teenage hackers, you’ll love Reckoning of Delta Prime.

“I love the way this author writes,” says Ken K. in his 5-star review. “His stories always pull me into them leading me in directions I often don’t expect. The technology is awesome and the visuals keep me wanting to keep reading. I find it hard to put the book down and continue reading when I know I should get some sleep. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys this style of writing. It is well worth the time spent to read.”

Reckoning Delta Prime is both entertaining and educational,” writes Robyn in her 5-star review. “I love the well-developed characters, intense action, and in-game scenes that were interesting and so much fun. I enjoyed the plots with unexpected twists that are full of surprises.”

Girl With Three Eyes

Girl With Three Eyes by Priya Ardis

If you like YA novels with strong female protagonists, futuristic fairy tales, and epic tournaments, you’ll love this blend of Hindu lore and political intrigue. Girl With Three Eyes has an impressive 4.8 average star rating on Amazon and is worthy of your TBR list.

“This was a ride!” explains Stephanie in her 5-star review. “I felt the author did a great job engaging us with both the world and characters, as well as the plot elements.”

Kirkus Reviews says, “In this series opener, Ardis writes in the first person, past tense, and presents an engaging mix of fantasy worldbuilding and teenage courtship. The setting is deftly painted, its future technology (skyboards, bio-watches, hyperloop trains) seamlessly integrated with known history and real-world class divisions. The result is a well-paced story that delights without disappointing. Teen readers will devour this first volume and eagerly await its sequel. A piquant mix of adolescent romance and adventure.”


Catapult by J.C. Benthin

Catapult is the first book in the bold Kingston Chronicles action-adventure series. If you like fast-paced suspense, driven underdogs, and international twists and turns, then you’ll love J.C. Benthin’s imaginatively rich tale which boasts a cool 4.6 average star rating on Amazon.

Catapult: The Kingston Chronicles Book 1 by J.C. Benthin is outstanding,” writes Kindle Customer DVH in their 5-star review. “Catapult is well written and very exciting. This is one of the best thrillers that I have ever read. Kingston is the younger brother whose father always preferred Jude, the oldest brother. When two men try to steel from the Port Authorities, Kingston stops them quickly . This catches the eye of Sam Waters, Billionaire, and owner of Platinum Security Group. Catapult lays a strong foundation for the characters with out being slow or tedious. The action is fast and I could hardly put the book down. I thought that the ending was a surprise but very believable. I can’t wait to read book 2 and see what Kingston does next!

“What a fun read!” says Lena S. in her 5-star review. “I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It reminds me of a Kingsman or a young James Bond type of story. It’s full of adventure, but really has heart as the main character Kingston is trying to figure out who he is. I would recommend this book for adults but also for boys and girls from about age 13 on up. The main character is 19 or 20, but several of the other characters are more mature and trying to find their place in new life seasons as well. I could practically picture the action as it was happening in this story and the natural humor added in made for a fast read. If you enjoy action or espionage films or books, you’ll love this.”

Hidden Gems readers got to read these books first, so if you want more young adult novels to sink into, sign up today! Subscribers to Hidden Gems receive invitations to read books like these – plus other titles from any of up to 15 other genres – for free. All we ask is that you leave an honest review of them on Amazon when you’re done reading!

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