Today I’m linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for their weekly feature, Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s prompt is “top ten books I enjoyed that have under 2000 ratings on Goodreads.” I love talking about my favorite underrated books and convincing other people to read them! PREPARE YOURSELF FOR A LIST COMPILED WITH VERY LITTLE RHYME OR REASON, CONTAINING BOOKS FROM SOOO MANY DIFFERENT GENRES.
HOW does this have only 1,708 ratings?! It’s a hilarious, fast-paced YA novel unlike anything I’ve ever read before – and it’s a horror story, too! We don’t get very many of those in the YA genre. Better still, the sequel establishes that the protagonist is a lesbian, which never fails to make my gay little bookworm heart happy because I’m tired of there being so little LGBTQ+ genre fiction.
2. Leaving Fishers by Margaret Peterson Haddix
This is an extraordinary book about a girl who joins a church only to find out that it’s a cult. I devoured almost everything this author wrote when I was in middle school, and this story was no exception. If I had to name the five times I have been most engrossed in a book, this would definitely be one of them.
Hey, you. Yes, you! Are you tired of reading YA contemporary romances about straight cis white girls falling in love with straight cis white boys? Me too. Well, you can END YOUR SUFFERING by reading this book. The protagonists are a Hasidic Jewish girl and a black boy. OK, so they ARE straight and cis BUT BUT BUT… there’s so much diversity in this book! I’m so sick and tired of stories about “forbidden love” where the main characters don’t actually have any obstacle to their love, because it’s just so fake and boring. But these two? They have actual obstacles, like racism and classism.
4. Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx
Honestly, I don’t remember a whole lot about this book considering that I read it five years ago. I’ve never read anything else by the author, either. BUT I LOVED IT SO MUCH ANYWAY AND REMEMBERING IT MAKES ME FEEL VERY VERY WARM AND FUZZY INSIDE. It’s a nonfiction book about how the author bought a piece of property and built a house upon it… which doesn’t sound like it would be thrilling reading, but her descriptions were just so fascinating!
I kind of expected this book to qualify for this list… I’ve convinced SO many people to read it but it’s still relatively unknown. WHICH MAKES ME SAD. SO SAD. Like, how can you not love a retelling that smushes The Importance of Being Earnest with Twelfth Night AND sets the whole thing in a steampunk world? Twelfth Night isn’t even on the syllabus of my summer Shakespeare class but I’ve been thinking about rereading this book anyway because it was a Good TimeTM.
6. Past Perfect, Present Tense by Richard Peck
I found this at my favorite bookstore today and almost bought it! However, I’ve had a bit of a #problem lately when it comes to impulse-buying used books. Anyway, it’s a collection of short stories from throughout Richard Peck’s career, accompanied by his observations on such things as his favorite genres to write, which of the short stories he later turned into full-length novels and why, et cetera. GOOD STUFF.
I swear I talk about this book in at least every other post, but I love it so much! So I have to! I have found sooooo many great books through this guide and have been meaning to buy my own copy for years because I have it CONTINUOUSLY checked out from the library. No joke.
8. Almost Astronauts by Tanya Lee Stone
This is a short little biography of the Mercury 13, a group of women who trained to be astronauts but were ultimately denied the opportunity to join the men on their missions. I ADORE learning about the history of space travel – more than I enjoy learning about the science-y side of outer space stuff, actually – so this book was right up my alley.
This story is so sweet and fluffy that reading it is like smushing cotton candy all over your face. IT’S TRUE. I wanna read more cute comics about queer women in fantasy worlds, and thankfully the sequel will be published this fall! I can’t wait!
10. Rodzina by Karen Cushman
Another period of history that I am very partial to learning about is westward expansion! Blame it on reading the Little House books, I guess. This book is about a young Polish girl who is forced to board an orphan train heading west. I’ve read it so many times I’ve lost count… and now, for the life of me, I can’t seem to remember where I acquired this book. Was it a present? Was it a prize in a summer reading contest? WE JUST DON’T KNOW.
What are your favorite underrated books?
P.S. If you don’t know or can’t figure out how to find the least-rated books on your “read” shelf on Goodreads, let me know – I can help you with that!