Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish.
This weeks topic for Top Top Tuesday is Ten Books I loved less or more than I thought I would or books I liked more/less than everyone else. For this week I’ve decided to pick books that are underrated – books I’ve read and loved that don’t get the attention or love that they deserve.
I’ve only seen this duology recommended extensively by a select few, but because of these books Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton are now auto-buy authors. The characters were fantastically written and I loved reading from their POV; the jealousy, the competitiveness, the bitter rivalries that goes on in elite ballet academies. It was just great, I loved it. But more importantly, Tiny Pretty Things features a diverse cast with both a black and Asian protagonist. It tackled issues such as racism, eating disorders and drug abuse, highlighting the pressures these young girls and boys have to be on top. A duology that deserves to be at the top of everyone’s TBR piles.
2. Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older
Shadowshaper doesn’t get as much praise and exposure as a lot of other paranormal novels. The world-building was great – It was incredibly rich and vivid and I loved the shadowshaper world. Definitely one I’d recommend to paranormal or magical realism fans.
3. Orleans by Sherri L. Smith
Orleans was a breath of fresh air in the YA post-apocalyptic genre. Unlike most dystopian novels and post apocalyptic novels, there was zero romance. This is a story about survival, and Fen de la Guerre need to save her tribe’s newborn baby. It was such a well crafted story which was action packed, but slow paced at times, delicate and well crafted. This was such a fantastically written novel with a brilliant, strong, intelligent and powerful protagonist with an amazing and original setting and world building.
4. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
Written in the Stars is an important, intense, and powerful read about choice, love and freedom. It raises awareness about forced marriages. Written beautifully, with lots of culture, tradition and diversity. Written in the Stars is authentic and really pulls at the heart strings. This book discusses important things, and I think this book itself needs to be read and discussed more.
5. On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis
On the Edge of Gone is a MUST-READ for science fiction fans looking for something more original with a diverse cast of characters. Denise has autism and she fears that she won’t be allowed to stay on the ship, and her sister is transgender and she fears the same for her. While the pacing is slow throughout the novel, there is some fantastic world building and I loved the apocalyptic setting mixed in with the science fiction setting of the generation ship. On the Edge of Gone is an interesting, unpredictable, and enjoyable read.
6. The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee
The Secret of A Heart Note is a fun, light-hearted, and cute read. But it’s even more because it’s also original, magical and full of hopes and dreams. Mim is a curious, intelligent, kind and caring protagonist. I really enjoyed the slow burn, realistic romance between Court and Mim, but I think the real gem is the relationships Mim has with the women close to her, such as her mother, her aunt and her best friend. It has such a unique premise and I loved how Stacey Lee used flowers and scents to write such a compelling story and I loved Mim’s passion for her gift and her unwillingness to choose between her gift and living a normal, teenage life. I’ve barely heard anything about this book on social media but it’s a must read for those hopeless romantics.
7. Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz
I think Something In Between is a fantastic and thought-provoking book about identity and experiences of undocumented immigrants. I think it’s especially important in the current political climate, and not just in the US, but across the globe. There’s lots of diversity and Filipino culture which you get a strong insight of. I think this book will be relatable for a lot of teens that are going through similar experiences as Jasmine. Something In Between has everything that YA lovers want in a contemporary: a swoon-worthy romance and a relationship built on mutual respect, great family dynamics, supporting female friendships, and thought-provoking conversations about important issues. So why it’s not hyped up more is beyond me!
8. Run by Kody Keplinger
Run was a book that I loved more than I was expecting. My sister had read and DNF’d The Duff, so I didn’t go in this with high expectations. And while Kody Keplinger is an author everyone has heard of, Run is a book that I haven’t seen much buzz about, but it is one that is really worth your attention. Run is a book about the friendship between Bo and Agnes – two polar opposites. Bo is a working class bisexual girl who has gained a reputation as being a bad girl. Agnes is a legally blind plus size girl with overbearing parents who has never stayed out past 10pm. There were some really great discussion and I loved a lot of the relationship dynamics, and I loved each individual characters growth and development. I’d highly recommend.
9. Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz
Not Otherwise Specified was one of my favourite reads of 2016. I really loved Etta’s narrative voice – strong, sharp, and witty. Etta is what made this book and what made this such a good read. She is honest, strong, and motivated. Not Otherwise Specified tackled and discussed some really important things – eating disorders, body image, bullying, and Etta faces some pretty bad biphobia. I’d recommend, but be cautious for those who may be triggered by these things.
10. Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
Juliet Takes a Breath is a example of intersectional feminism done right. Juliet’s feminism at the beginning of the book was not as inclusive as it good have been, but she learnt a lot throughout the novel. She learns how her sexuality and her race plays into how others perceive her and interact with her. A really great book about love, identity, race, sexuality & community. Highly entertaining, compelling, and informative.
What are your favourite underrated books?