I’m a big fan of discovering underrated books. Whether from my own discovering or a recommendation from a fellow reader, finding a new read that is so unexpectedly amazing is, to me, the best feeling. I love being swept off my feet by a book and sharing my newfound love with others. I picked out my top 10 favorite underrated books to share with you today and hopefully they will blow your mind like they did mine.
(in no particular order)
A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes
How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?
Parvin Blackwater has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside.
In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the crooked justice system. But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence.
What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her Clock is running out.
I loved everything about this book. The writing was really great, the characters were awesome, and the concept was so incredible. I thought the idea of having a little clock that counted down to the exact second you would die was so incredibly imaginative. This book is just so interesting and entertaining. I read it in just a couple of days because I didn’t want to put it down. I actually read this book while brushing my teeth. That’s how intense the plot had become.
Hey Sunshine by Tia Giacalone
Avery Kent knows that life can change in an instant: one second you’re on your way out of small-town life, the next you’re left heartbroken and stunned when your thrill-seeking high school boyfriend runs off in pursuit of a potentially dangerous dream.
Four years later, everything is different. When Chase returns, admitting he made a mistake and asking for a second chance, Avery wants to think she can trust him again.
But when the arrival of a handsome, quiet stranger named Fox shifts Avery’s focus, she realizes that things are about to get a lot more complicated.
When is a lot of history enough reason for a future? And how do you ignore the way someone makes you feel, especially when they were the last thing you ever expected?
I didn’t read any reviews at all before starting Hey Sunshine and I didn’t really know what it was about so I had no idea what to expect. However, I could have never been prepared by how much I would love this book. I loved the characters so much. They’re were believable and flawed and so wonderful. Avery was so awesome! She didn’t take any crap and she would call people out on their actions. She was one of the best written characters I’ve ever read about. I highly, highly recommend this book, especially if you’re a fan of Colleen Hoover’s books.
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.
Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for again.
The Immortal Rules is the best vampire book I’ve ever read. It’s dark, twisted, and incredibly well written. The characters are diverse and fantastic. With a well thought out plot and outstanding world building, Julie creates an amazing reading experience. The Immortal Rules is everything I could want in a book and more.
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.
Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.
But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….
Completely perfect in every way, Not a Drop to Drink is gritty, emotional, beautifully written, and most important of all, real. This book felt in real in every way. I had the chance to meet Mindy a few years ago and I could really tell how passionate she is about water conservation and it really shined though into the book. This book is a wild ride and it’ll break your heart in unexpected ways.
Fortune by Tia Giacalone
A painter, a poet, a publicist, and a punk-rock princess… the boys of High Road Divide have no idea that this tour will change everything.
Tommy Fortune hadn’t realized he was looking for something different until he meets Cassandra Ryan. Soon their connection blurs the line between fame and reality, and it doesn’t take long for Cassandra to follow her inspiration into his world, where paint-stained hands and guitar strings become the basis of their future. But nothing is as perfect as it looks from the outside, and even the most exposed still have secrets to keep. When tour life gets complicated, loyalties will be tested on the road, and they’ll both learn that some harsh realities can’t be painted over.
What happens when an artist stuck in black and white falls for a musician who only lives in color?
I read this book during a really busy couple of days and I had barely any time to read. But every spare second I had, I was reading Fortune. Whenever I had to put this book down, I was so upset because I just wanted to keep reading. This book was so amazing. I knew that I would love it and I was super excited to read it but somehow this book was even better than I was expecting. This book blew me away. I loved the characters so much. They’re so well written and developed. I’m so picky with New Adult books because the plots usually suck and the characters and relationships are so problematic. But Fortune, and Tia’s other two books, are perfect examples of the New Adult genre. They showcase everything that this genre is supposed to be about. Every NA author, every author who wants to create incredible characters, should look to Tia’s books as examples because she has done everything right with her characters. I don’t think it gets any better than Tia’s books.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
This book is amazing. I really have nothing negative to say. From page one I was so interested in this book. I loved it right from the start.
The writing is incredible and mesmerizing. The characters are beautiful and complex. The plot is interesting and the concept is mind blowing.
There’s only a handful of books that I’ve read that have made me feel how I felt while reading The Scorpio Races. I laughed, I cried, I did everything. I never wanted to put this book down but I also didn’t want to finish it because I wanted to continue reading for the rest of my life. I wanted to stay up all night reading to find out what would happen next but I didn’t because I wanted something to look forward to when I woke up. I read this book in just a day and a half but the impact that this book has left on me will last forever.
Look Both Ways by Alison Cherry
The story of a girl hoping she’s found a place to belong . . . only to learn that neither talent nor love is as straightforward as she thinks.
A summer away from the city is the beginning of everything for Brooklyn Shepard. Her theater apprenticeship at Allerdale is a chance to prove that she can carve out a niche all her own, surrounded by people who don’t know anything about her or her family of superstar performers.
Brooklyn immediately hits it off with her roommate, Zoe, and soon their friendship turns into something more. Brooklyn wants to see herself as someone who’s open to everything and everyone, but as her feelings for Zoe intensify, so do her doubts. She’s happier than she’s ever been—but is it because of her new relationship? Or is it because she’s finally discovering who she wants to be?
Looking Both Ways is definitely one of the best books I’ve read in 2016.
The plot was amazing and so different from any book I’ve read before.
I loved the setting of a summer theater camp and I really liked seeing how all the characters were very different from each other but they all had one thing in common, they loved theater. I loved how the story focused on Brooklyn and her self discovery. She was so well written and I loved her character development.
New World: Rising by Jennifer Wilson
Since witnessing her parents’ murders at the age of eleven, Phoenix’s only purpose in life has been to uphold her mother’s dying words- to be strong and survive. But surviving outside of The Walls- outside of The Sanctuary- is more like a drawn-out death sentence. A cruel and ruthless city, Tartarus is run by the Tribes whose motto is simple, “Join or die.”
Refusing to join and determined to live, Phoenix fights to survive in this savage world. But who can she trust, when no one can be trusted? Not even herself.
New World: Rising is definitely one of the best dystopia reads that I’ve come across in a long time. It was fast paced and interesting. I loved the writing and the characters were awesome. The world building was pretty great. There was some info dumping in the beginning but that didn’t really matter because the world that Jennifer Wilson created was so interesting. Phoenix is a really cool main character. She’s independent, self aware, and really smart. I read this book in just a couple of sittings because it was so fact paced and I really enjoyed it. If you love dystopian books, please pick this book up because it’s one of the best out there.
Gabriel and the Swallows by Esther Dalseno
Orvieto, 1957: Gabriel, a peasant boy with a disabled mother, constructs elaborate fantasy worlds to comfort when life becomes unbearable. The monotonous days of poverty and merciless bullying are interrupted when Gabriel unintentionally attracts the attention of a mysterious creature, a girl with swallow’s wings.
Navigating life with fellow outsider, the foreigner
Orlando Khan, Gabriel abandons his small town for the grandeurs of Rome.
But Gabriel is now a man and must choose where he
belongs: the imperfect reality, or the dream world that grows stronger and more seductive with each day…
I had no idea what to expect from this book but holy crap.
Esther Dalseno’s writing style is incredible. It’s poetic and beautiful and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I loved the concept and the characters so much. Honestly, I couldn’t put this book down. The first chapter was so strange and weird, I had to know what was going to happen. This whole book was just a bunch of beautifully written strangeness but I loved every second of it.
Air Awakens by Elise Kova
A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond…
The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.
Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.
Air Awakens is definitely one of the best fantasy books I’ve read in a long time. The writing was insanely amazing and the characters killed me (in the best way). The relationships were so well written and Elise actually took the time to build the relationship and develop it. And the characters. Oh my gosh, the characters. I have no words for how much I loved the characters.