Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
My first post about Underrated Gems was back in 2014 and considering there are so much more than ten, I was glad to revisit. I didn’t dig too far deep into the past of my reading list, these ten came solely from the books read since my first post. Someday I’ll revisit the books from my pre-blogging days. But just like last time, I based this list on numbers. All of these books have been rated on Goodreads by less than 2,200 people (the most on this list being 2,067 and the least being 487.) These are all favorites of mine and are deserving of more readers and more love.
Sisters of Shiloh by Kathy Hepinstall & Becky Hepinstall Hilliker [Purchase – Review]
487 Goodreads ratings, 80 Amazon ratings
Sisters of Shiloh is about two sisters that dress up as men in order to enter the Civil War. There have been similar stories in recent years, I Shall be Near to You is another favorite of mine, but this is another one to add to your lists if you’re a fan of the time period. It’s also written by two sisters which I think is just perfect.
Shadows Over Paradise by Isabel Wolff [Purchase – Review]
630 Goodreads ratings, 24 Amazon ratings
This is another historical fiction novel but this time it’s based on World War II. We’ve all read about the concentration camps in Europe, but Shadows Over Paradise focuses on the Japanese occupation in Java, a section of the world often not heard about during this time. Isabel Wolff also wrote an equally riveting tale about the same war called A Vintage Affair. Definitely an author to be aware of.
The Awesome by Eva Darrows [Purchase – Review]
723 Goodreads ratings, 71 Amazon ratings
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Awesome is awesome. This is fun Urban Fantasy featuring a snarky seventeen year old teen who hunts monsters with her mom. I loved this story and sure hope we haven’t heard the last of Maggie.
The Ploughmen by Kim Zupan [Purchase – Review]
1,023 Goodreads ratings, 115 Amazon ratings
I picked this up because I’m a big fan of Southern Gothic/Country Noir, however, this book possesses some of the most beautiful writing ever. There’s a moving story behind the prose as well. This was Zupan’s debut and an impressive one at that.
All Four Stars (All Four Stars #1) by Tara Dairman [Purchase – Review]
1,153 Goodreads ratings, 84 Amazon ratings
I get that Middle Grade isn’t something all adults can read and love and that’s perfectly fine. There are some that sound completely adorable to me but I just know that I wouldn’t be able to appreciate it. This series though is admittedly for any and all readers, despite the age of the main character. Plus, it’s a foodie book! The main character loves nothing more than being in the kitchen making the most delicious sounding foods so make sure you have plenty of snacks on hand.
Dead Set by Richard Kadrey [Purchase – Review]
1,293 Goodreads ratings, 52 Amazon ratings
This was my first introduction into Kadrey’s work and it was a ton of fun. This was his first book targeted to a YA audience but I’d highly recommend it to any Urban Fantasy fans looking for a fascinating and unique take on the well-told genre.
The Uninvited by Cat Winters [Purchase – Review]
1,318 Goodreads ratings, 74 Amazon ratings
I’m quite shocked at the lack of interest in this one especially since In the Shadow of Blackbirds and The Cure for Dreaming were far more popular. The only difference is that this was Winters first Adult novel and I do hope that’s not what was stopping her loyal readers because The Uninvited is by far her best yet.
When We Were Animals by Joshua Gaylord [Purchase – Review]
1,323 Goodreads ratings, 56 Amazon ratings
A few years ago, the zombie book to read was The Reapers are the Angels. Well, the same author wrote When We Were Animals. Completely not what I was expecting (and no, it’s not a werewolf book) but this is quite an experience of a read.
Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin [Purchase – Review]
1,432 Goodreads ratings, 48 Amazon ratings
The fact that this one ended up on my underrated gems list came as a bit of a surprise. Sure, it’s Non-Fiction, however, it did get nominated for the National Book Award. I went into this knowing very little of the Vietnam War, however, I finished realizing I need to read more Non-Fiction and more books by Steven Sheinkin. For anyone who is interested, there will be a free audiobook download available August 4 – August 11 on Audiobook Sync.
Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans [Purchase – Review]
2,067 Goodreads ratings, 122 Amazon ratings
I’m a big fan of war novels (as you can see, this is my third one on this list) but Crooked Heart was completely different than any I had yet read. This story doesn’t take you to the battle lines but gives you a firsthand account of the survival instincts that kicked in for some people. There is also a heaping scoop of dark humor.