10 Amazing Underrated Books That Are Worth the Read | Top Ten Tuesday

top ten tuesday across the booksA 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

181669361. 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!

256134722. 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.

134776763. 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.

160747584. 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.

155053465. 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!

382326056. 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!

135388737. 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!

233056148. 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!

158638329. 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!


1606903010. 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!

Signature Mara

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72 thoughts on “10 Amazing Underrated Books That Are Worth the Read | Top Ten Tuesday

  1. Brianna @ Brianna the Bookworm says:

    I agree, Angelfall deserves so much more love! I feel like I hardly see anyone talk about it anymore, but it’s such a good one. Also I just added The Winner’s Curse to my TBR yesterday so I’m excited to see it on this list 🙂 Great Post, Mara!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mara says:

      Yesss, glad we agree on how awesome Angelfall is!! It definitely deserves more hype!
      And yay, I really hope you enjoy The Winner’s Curse, I still haven’t read the last book so I’m probably going to have to reread it sometimes soon too 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rissi says:

    I’ve heard really good things about ” THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVANDER,” and think “Finding Audrey” looks really cuute! Also, I *still* haven’t read “The Winner’s Curse.” But it is high on my must read list! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mara says:

      Those books really are so so good, so I hope you can get to them all eventually and enjoy them as much as I did! But I totally get that there are just too many books and not enough time!😄


  3. Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books says:

    I LOVE your list!!! A LIST OF CAGES was one of my faves of the year it was published. It pretty much destroyed me. As did FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK. I was really looking forward to the movie being made, but then it went and got canceled 😦 DANGEROUS GIRLS is probably the one book that I consistently buy for people as a gift. Anyone in my life who I think might read a book someday gets DANGEROUS GIRLS because it’s SOOOO GOOD!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mara says:

      Honestly all those books destroyed me in their own way, they really were amazing!!
      I had no idea Leonard Peacock was supposed to be a movie, that sucks it got cancelled I would have loved to see the story it on screen!
      Haha, that’s really smart I should probably start giving people books for their birthday too until they agree read it 😀


    • Mara says:

      Haha yesss those books deserve so much love and I’m so sad they don’t get as much hype!! I’ve read A List of Cages and Dangerous Girls this year and they both became immediate favourites of mine! Glad to see you agree on how awesome those books are😄


    • Mara says:

      I haven’t read Sophie Kinsella’s other popular books but Finding Audrey was her first venture into YA and it really did not disappoint!
      And yay, I’m glad you enjoy Dangerous Girls, it’s one of my favourites from this year😊


    • Mara says:

      Yess they really are!😍 Hopefully you can get to it sometime soon because I’m sure you’ll love it, but I totally get that there are just too many books, and not enough time!!


    • Mara says:

      Yay, glad we both agree that A List of Cages deserves all the love and hype!! I know so many people would love it if it was just a bit more known😊
      And I hope you enjoy Dangerous Girls, it definitely ruined all other YA thrillers for me!


  4. Kat @ Novels & Waffles says:

    What a great list! I just checked out The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavander from my library, so it’s almost like fate that it was number one on this list! And Angelfall has been on my TBR list for a long time, but my library doesn’t have it :(((((( (intense frowny face).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Aimee (Aimee, Always) says:

    OH YES, I definitelyyyy agree with Dangerous Girls and The Winner’s Curse! The former was so intense and thrilling, while still keeping a certain charm to it? Definitely one of my favorites ever. And The Winner’s Curse was a fantastic read, but there wasn’t really hype for the sequels, which is probably why no one talks about it anymore? Speaking of which, I really need to finish this series! Have you read all three books? 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mara says:

      Yay, I’m so glad you agree!! Dangerous Girls seriously took me by surprise and now no other YA thriller compares to it! I have heard amazing things about a new YA thriller, Sadie, so I’m hoping that one is maybe just as good 😀
      Yess, I feel like the hype around The Winner’s trilogy died down after the release of the first book which is such a shame! I’ve yet to read the final book, I’m way overdo for a reread! I have to find some time to revisit the series but it’s always a struggle when there’s just too many books and not enough time haha!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Rachana says:

    I really enjoyed reading The Winner’s Curse and I agree with you that it’s a shame that no one mentions them anymore! I also loved Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore! I’m intrigued by A List of Cages and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mara says:

      Yess, it’s such a shame, I really think The Winner’s Curse is worth a lot more hype and praise! I’ve yet to read the final book but I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it! Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore is such a quirky and unique book, more people need to know about it!
      Yay, I’m glad you maybe found some new books to add to your TBR, they’re definitely worth the read! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Zoie says:

    The concept of the winner’s curse was what got me interested in reading Rutkoski’s book, too! I know the book was hyped when it first came out, but it is kind of sad to see that hype completely die down years later. I would love to reread the first and second books so that I can wrap up the trilogy and read the third book. Great picks, Mara! 😊


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