A few weeks ago I did two blog posts talking about amazing books that lived up to the hype and disappointing books that didn’t. I was planning on doing a blog post that goes along with those two where I would talk about books that deserve a lot of hype, but are unfortunately very underrated. However when I saw that that was exactly a prompt for a future Top Ten Tuesday, I decided to wait and do it then. So here we are today! I’m really excited to share the books on my list because people seriously need to have these books in their lives. Some of these books are really underrated, while others were talked about during their release but have since disappeared from the face of the earth.
Underrated Books That Deserve More Hype
1. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavander by Leslye Walton
Much like the title says, this book is a strange and beautiful story about Ava Lavander, a girl born with wings. Ava’s wings are more of a curse than blessing since her unusual disposition prevents her from fitting in with her peers and makes her the focus of a man’s escalating obsession. It’s a breathtaking tale that tackles family, desire, and the ugly truth of wasted youth. Even though it’s magical realism, it unravels truths about human nature in a devastating and bittersweet way. It’s a quick but powerful book so you have no excuse to not pick it up!
2. A List of Cages by Robin Roe
When former foster brothers Adam and Julian reunite after years apart, Adam is ecstatic until he realises Julian is keeping dark secrets about what goes on inside his uncle’s house. Secrets that could cost both boys their life. This book has an amazing group of friends and the sweetest brotherly relationship I’ve read about. Make sure to prepare your tissues though because it is such a fast-paced read that you don’t realise you’re crying until a good chunk of the page is wet and you’re having a hard time reading the words through the film of tears. This book handles really difficult and heartbreaking topics and was very hard to read at times, but it’s such an incredible read.
3. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
Although Matthew Quick is famous for The Silver Lining’s Playbook, this book deserves as much hype. This book is the strangest mix of depressing, funny and hopeful. And that’s one of the reasons why it’s amazing; it’s wholly unique. Leonard Peacock plans to kill himself and his former best friend on his birthday, but not before saying goodbye to the only four people that matter to him. Leonard Peacock is such a vibrant and peculiar teenager, but most of it feels like a facade he puts on in order to hide the loneliness and neglect that eats him up on the inside. While there are a lot of funny moments, they are paralleled with very depressing undertones that build up through the book as more backstory into Leonard Peacock’s life is revealed. I’m gonna tear up if I keep thinking about it, so just please do yourself a favour and read it.
4. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
Spring Break gone wrong…very wrong. It follows a group of friends as they take a trip to Aruba only to have one of their friends brutally murdered and two of them accused of the crime. When I hear people talking about YA thrillers I rarely see this book mentioned which is such a shame because it’s such a mind fuck. The ending left me shocked and staring at my ceiling for what felt like hours. Besides the main reveal, the book is satisfying as a whole as it tackles the psychology of female friendship, the slippery nature of truth and the hardships of young love. While I read it in one sitting, the ending has stuck with me for a long time.
5. On the Island by Tracey Gravis Graves
Survival story of a 30 year old tutor and her student as they crash land on a deserted island after the pilot of their seaplane en route to the Maldives suffers a heart attack. Your classic story of survival and love, it really is a quick and easy read perfect for summer. I love how complete the story arc is, as it follows the characters before, during and after the crash and gives a very satisfactory ending with an epilogue. The progress of time is very realistic and the character growth are really well done. Having to hunt your own food and survive violent tropical storms does make you mature faster, I should think. Pick it up before summer ends!
6. Elefant by Martin Suter
This is a story of a tiny glow-in-the-dark pink elephant. Seriously. For Schoch, an alcoholic who has taken to living on the streets after a bitter divorce, the tiny pink elephant is a symbol of hope and second chances. While taking care of the tiny pink elephant he names Sabu, Schoch comes to realise he should give life another shot. The book is a morality tale that tackles a lot of controversial topics like genetic engineering, alcoholism, homelessness, faith and others. You should definitely give it a try if you’re looking for something different and unique to read!
7. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Story of a web designer who gets a job at a little odd bookstore, where nothing is quite what it seems. Clay Jannon embarks on a journey to uncover the meaning behind the shop’s existence and the mysterious codes written inside certain books. It’s a very quirky and internet savvy book that packs a big punch in less than 300 pages. If you love books about books, where you can learn a thing or two about coding while reading something that is uplifting, this book is for you!
8. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
A funny, enlightening and heart-warming story about a girl named Audrey who suffers from severe social anxiety. She has such bad social anxiety that she can’t speak to anyone outside her family and wears dark glasses 24/7 to avoid eye contact. The book follows Audrey as she takes small steps in order to overcome her anxiety and the friends and family that help her along on her journey. Her character was so likeable and real that I easily began to cheer her on from the comfort of my bed. Things that may seem easy to us, like walking into a Starbucks, are terrifying for her. Although she stumbles a bit on the way, Audrey grows tremendously over the course of this short book. Her story is very uplifting and is a good pick me up if you’re in a slump!
9. Angelfall by Susan Ee
Epic and dark YA urban fantasy about an angel apocalypse with a kick-ass female heroine and witty banter between the characters. I feel like there was a lot of hype around this trilogy when it was releasing but I rarely see it nowadays. However, everyone that has read it can vouch for how amazing and unique this book is. It is seriously an addictive page-turner!
10. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Another case where there was a lot of hype when these books were coming out, but hardly anyone talks about them anymore. Which is such a shame because this book is a whole lot of betrayal, mystery and romance, which is a perfect mix for a YA fantasy. The book is centred around the concept of the “winner’s curse”, which basically states that the winner of an auction has also lost, because he/she has won by paying more than what the majority of other bidders think the item is worth. If that intrigues you, as it should, give it a try.
I wonder how many times I’ve said the word “unique” in this post lol, but honestly all these books are and I wish they got the recognition they deserve.
Have you read any of the books I mentioned? If not, are you intrigued by any of them? What are some of your favourite books that you think are seriously underrated? Let’s chat in the comments ♥
If you did this week’s prompt, feel free to link it!