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A Colonial Forge News Publication

The Talon

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5 Overrated Authors vs. 5 Underrated Authors

5 Overrated Authors vs. 5 Underrated Authors

Overrated: 

1. Sarah J. Maas

Author of more books than my mathematically challenged mind can count, Sarah J. Maas has become a staple author of fantasy BookTok. Known for the Throne of Glass and ACOTAR series and the many many spin-offs that have evolved from them, Maas has certainly become one of the most discussed authors in book circles today. However, I would not get into any of her series although I certainly tried. I found the endless and needlessly hyper-detailed descriptions to be boring and wordy. As far as the fantasy genre goes, I feel as though there are certainly authors who have encaptured the fiction category in much more alluring ways. 

 

2. J.K Rowling

As controversial as this list is, I fear this may be the one that causes the biggest uproar. Rocky history aside, J.K Rowling is just not as good of an author as the media makes her out to be. The idea for the Harry Potter universe is ingenious but as someone who is most definitely a fan, it hurts me to say that when you take a closer look at the plot, there are some holes that Rowling failed to close. Harry Potter is the epitome of being “carried by the fandom” and as someone who has been a part of said fandom since fourth grade, I can’t help but mournfully wonder how great the series could have been if written by someone with a better grasp on how exactly they wanted the books to go before writing them. 

 

3. Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover. The inspiration behind this entire list. This woman and I have an extremely personal, extremely one-sided beef. Although I have not read any of Hoover’s books, I do own two due to the gag gift of a friend. These books will probably never be opened out of pure spite. Although I will give her credit for getting a whole mass of teenage girls into reading I simply cannot accept her writing as anything but overrated. I am sure one or two of her books are good and this is not me saying that she is a bad writer, however, I should not be seeing this woman’s name staring at me every time I enter a Barnes and Noble. Do we need a whole table dedicated to her? 

 

4. Holly Black

Author of the Cruel Prince series. I enjoyed Cruel Prince. However, as much as I like it, I was expecting more. The main thing that set me off was the fact that the main love interest had a tail. I’m not entirely sure what I was supposed to think after reading this in regards to Cardan’s “attachment” but I don’t think I was the target audience. To me, it read a bit too much like the last question on the Rice Purity test. I do love the premise though and I think the book is solid. Again, it’s just not as good as the entirety of BookTok makes it out to be.

 

5. John Green

Despite being the basis for most YA novels, John Green has faltered under the curse of the manic pixie girl archetype. Each book centers around a self-obsessed girl living out her life in some wildly unrealistic way. As much as I love the Hank brothers as people, I cannot read his books with a straight face. Especially “The Fault In Our Stars” and “Paper Towns” which I was hoping to like. The only saving grace is his side characters which almost always manage to be wildly more realistic than the main characters.

 

Underrated: 

1. Ocean Vuong

I love Ocean Vuong and although I have never seen his works on TikTok, I have seen them a few times on Pinterest. I think he deserves way more attention for his poetic works and his novel “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous”. It is a story told through letters and wonderfully encapsulates the life of a first-generation Vietnamese boy, navigating love, family, and the ripple effects of addiction. I am hoping that the movie adaptation of the aforementioned novel will bring in new fans, especially because the production is being done through A24, my favorite film studio. 

 

2. Neil Shusterman

Neil Shusterman deserves way more hype in the dystopian community. I rarely see anyone speak about “Scythe” even though it is one of my type five book series of all time. Shusterman manages to create a world in which we are forced to think about the meaning of mortality and what it means to be human. His characterization is on point and is consistent throughout the entirety of the four-book series, a rarity that is especially important to me.

 

3. Rachel Lynn Solomon

I have never encountered a romance novel I have enjoyed like “Today, Tonight, Tomorrow”. Rachel Lynn Solomon managed to incorporate a sense of realism in this rival-to-lovers YA romance. Her representation of Jewish and Romani culture is not usually seen in books, especially in the romance genre, so it was pleasant to see representation of such an underrepresented community. 

 

4. Marissa Meyers

Marissa Meyers has written some of my all-time favorites, “Heartless”, the “Renegades” series, and “Cinder”. Her writing style is one of my absolute favorites and her characterization is amazing. Especially in the Renegades series and in Heartless. Some of my all-time favorite characters have come from her works and although she is talked about some, not nearly enough. 

 

5. Olivie Blake

The author of one of my favorite books, The Atlas Six, Olivie Blake deserves way more credit than is given. Surprisingly, Atlas Six seems to fit the mold of what the usual BookTok content holds. However, the thing that makes it stand out to me is the characters. Each character is thoroughly fleshed out with a dual POV of over six characters, which is very impressive. 

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About the Contributor
Allie Medina, Co-Editor in Chief
Allie Medina is a junior and this is her second year working for Forge press. Outside of the paper, she plays for the varsity soccer team. She also plays for the PWSI travel team and ODP. She enjoys reading, riding roller coasters, and talking.
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    Kieran MurphyDec 1, 2023 at 8:49 am

    You don’t like Colleen Hoover?! Does this mean you didn’t like your Christmas gift?

    Reply