I'm going to cheat and write about series for each one. Because I can do that.
Firstly, most underrated.
I've been reading these books since I was 11. And I can't, can't, not finish a series. It's a hate of mine - if I find a book, I must devour all other books. Even if I must hunt high and low, I will finish the series and feel that lovely satisfaction.
It took me nearly eight years, but I finished that series and I finished it with style.
These books tell the story of 13 year old Mel Beeby, typical 21st century airhead whose life ambition is to get on TV and be a radio presenter. She's not hugely talented in any one realm so, as you do, she sells herself short and limits herself to very simple dreams and doesn't consider steps to where she wants to go.
Bam, smack, boom, Mel gets hit by a joyrider on her 13th birthday and dies immediately.
She then finds herself in Heaven, but most definitely not the Heaven you normally consider. Not just clouds and sitting around playing harps (which is a depressing image of Heaven; the Heaven I believe in is a darn epic place). It's actually a city. An amazing, "incredibly vibey" city made of win and awesome. It's earth, times a gazillion in legend-waitforit-dary points.
And, best of all, it's got time travel.
(And even cooler, Annie Dalton actually explains how time-travel works in the heavenly realm. Which is really cool, because time travel is so often screwed up and is so flawed. Her representation of it actually works.)
So these books show Mel's training (because she attends the Angel Academy, where she learns to become a 'cosmic agent' - a fancy term for angel who helps out in the world) and she's thrown in the deep end, experiencing the typical wobbles of teenagerdom while also showing that age is no barrier. You can help the world in whatever way. She visits some incredibly legend time periods and locations (making me severely jealous).
Winging It, she visits 40s wartime London.
Fogging Over, she hangs out with Shakespeare. (Extreme jealousy right here.)
Flying High, it's partly the Crusades, and then to the future. A very eerie future. She then progresses to 1920s America, the era of Hollywood, in Calling the Shots. Fogging Over takes her to Victorian London (and partly to the very red outback of my own Australia); Fighting Fit, Ancient Rome. Then to the world of one lovely such gentleman as this:
Feeling the Vibes shows a Mel in current India, and Living the Dream in 21st century Navajo America.
Why can't time travel exist for us plebs?
These books are pretty difficult to find now; I think Book Depository is the only place stocking them. You could try your luck on Amazon, though I'm not used to it.
Now, to overrated.
|Going clockwise, top left:|
Fail (1), So bad I wanted to die (2),
What, is that cover supposed to be 'meaningful'? (3),
Hooray, demon spawn and creepy antics (4).
But, you know, I could read it.
Then I saw a small child wearing a Twilight shirt and insisting that they wrote Wuthering Heights because of Twilight.
Anyway, these blogs and vlogs sum up Twilight's usefulness:
Reasoning With Vampires, an excellent Tumblr with grammar skills of win. (Should really pay attention to my own, but sadly I never do on blogs. They never get edited; you get pure brain-goo.)
Blogging Twilight, Dan Bergstein's fabulous take on Twilight. I got so many laughs out of this.
And, finally, Alex Reads Twilight, from the fabulous Alex Day. (Charlie McDonnell did one as well. It was win.)
There we go!