I have an undeniable habit of reading mostly famous books.
This is for several reasons all of which are completely undeniably logical. As is usual on my blog. All the time. Always. Stop looking at me with your eyebrow skeptically raised. YOU KNOW I MAKE SENSE.
My reasons for reading mostly famous books include:
- about 45% of the books I read come from the library and my library thinks it’s fun to only buy Big Name Books and also shelf MG as YA and it puts me out very deeply
- I’m horribly peer pressured so if you’re reading something I want to read it to
- I’m reading it because it was sent out for review
- I’m legit just reading it for the cover
- I don’t know what I’m doing with my life
- except having a crisis
- HAVING A CRISIS OVER BOOKS IS MY AESTHETIC.
But you know what? On occasion I do read marvellous yet underrated books. And then I get very confused as to why not everyone is reading and loving them because obviously if I love a book, the world should too???? I have impeccable taste after all????
Today I’m linking up with Top Ten Tuesday to list 10 underrated novels which are also referred to as “Hidden Gems” because I used a shovel and went outside (IT WAS HORRIBLE AND I WAS TRAUMATISED BY ALL THE SUNLIGHT) for 2 minutes to dig them out of the soil where the trees have created them amongst their roots and branches where the novels shone like buried gems for a moment before settling into the shape of a paperback. This is how publishing works.
1. THE ARCHIVED BY VICTORIA SCHWAB
Everyone flails over This Savage Song and A Darker Shade of Magic and Vicious….including me of course because I’ve given them all 5 stars and I take two million photos of This Savage Song for #bookstagram BECAUSE IT’S BEAUTIFUL.
But. BUT. The Archived exists!! It’s about a library of dead people (#nice) and girl who makes cupcakes for her neighbours (#nicer) but is also super sad and prone to ruining the world (#verynice) and I may or may not have a soft spot for the villain. (#typical)
Seriously I feel like The Archived is the small awkward middle child that everyone forgets exists and does not buy ice cream for so it’s sad and lonely and also part of a trilogy that’s been waiting for the final book for 8 YEARS IN AZKABAN.
2. LAMENT BY MAGGIE STIEFVATER
AGAIN with that awkward forgotten child of a famous author that no one seems to haveo read??? This is Maggie Stiefvater’s debut! And while you might have seen me flail rabidly over The Raven Cycle once or twice, * I barely ever mention Lament because no one seems to have read it?!??
Obviously that is a terrible shame. IT’S BY MAGGIE STIEFVATER, ERGO IT’S BRILLIANT.
And it’s so musical! Dee plays harp and her best friend James ** plays the bagpipes.
10/10 recommend starting this series immediately so you can obsess with me. ***
* This is a complete lie. It’s more like 90000 TIMES IN A ROW BECAUSE I KNOW NO CHILL WHEN IT COMES TO MY PRECIOUS RAVEN BOYS.
** Who has the sass of Ronan + the sadness of Adam + the weird romance with magical things like Gansey but in this case James is in love with a faerie and not a dead Welsh King = THE BEST BOY IN EXISTENCE OBVIOUSLY.
*** Although AGAIN, like VE Schwab’s The Archived books…this one is waiting on a 3rd book in the trilogy. But this time I’ve literally been waiting for 8 years. Slay me now.
3. WHISPER TO ME BY NICK LAKE
I admit it! I cover judged! I just think it’s a really boring cover that indicates two teens are going to go to some sort of circus and avoid getting eaten by a tiger and than get trapped at the top of a ferris wheel for 4 hours in which they’ll fall in love until they get into a love-triangle with a box of popcorn.
BUT NO IT WAS ACTUALLY BEAUTIFUL!! *
It’s about schizophrenia and it’s quite dark and 100% heart-wrenching and it’s about falling apart and ALSO getting back up.
Also no one has read this??? Why. WHY.
* Not to say a love triangle with person + person + popcorn would not be interesting to read. Because it would?? I suspect it’ll happen in my memoir.
4. THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE BY PATRICK NESS
Now it’s strange I’d mention Patrick Ness because he’s like a bestselling author AND has a book made into a movie AND writes many books constantly AND writes TV shows …. and basically the dude is fabulous and basically famous so — WHY IS HE ON YOUR LIST CAIT HAVE THE OCTOPI FINALLY COME TO DESTROY YOUR FRAGILE MIND????
The answer to the second is: yes.
The answer to the first is: Patrick Ness is on my list because I barely ever see anyone talk about his books over the blogosphere! But yet they’re strange and unique and absolutely constantly ruin your feels (which is the criteria for a good book obviously) and I DON’T KNOW, BOB, I just think more people need to applaud the genius that are his books. (Do it. Right now.)
5. CHARM & STRANGE BY STEPHANIE KUEHN
I read this way way waaaaay back when dinosaurs had not yet hatched out of their eggs and began eating annoying humans. Back in 2014, actually. See? ANCIENT TIMES. And even back then noooooo one talked about this book. It’s a true tragedy. This book deals with mental illness and tragic abused characters and confusing lives and messed-up rich people. Which is a conglomeration of things I want to read about and then cry because feels.
Except I always get confused at these “messed up rich people” books because if you have money, obviously you should spend it all on books. And have a secret library with secret doors. And spinny ladders. And a swirling staircase?? With a reading net and comfy chairs.
If rich people aren’t spending their money on the above — THEY ARE USING THEIR MONEY WRONG.
6. FORGIVE ME LEONARD PEACCK BY MATTHEW QUICK
FIVE STARS!! ALL THE STARS!! AND IT KIND OF BROKE MY HEART A LOT!! It’s about mental illness and the horrible heartbreaking thought process behind a teen who is planning a school shooting. It’s not an easy read. But it’s an important one.
Oh look there is a PUDDLE on the floor over there in the shape of Cait.
Also I found this at an op-shop (thrift store, if you need a translation from “what the heck Australian phrase did Cait just use”) for $3 and I’m VERY happy. Because I read it back in the Dinosaur Era too (2014, dude) and really wanted to own it! I actually don’t like this cover because it makes me sad….but that’s also the point of the book. Be sad. Think. Change the world.
7. VASSA IN THE NIGHT BY SARAH PORTER
Because Russian fantasy is actually THE BEST. It’s so weird and confusing and bizarre. Total recommend. Plus this features like a super weird/creepy doll, a super weird/creepy witch, and a super weird/creepy amount of murder.
Lovely. I’m here for this.
8. BONE GAP BY LAURA RUBY
This is one of those books that totally stole my heart. It’s all magical realism and has people that get swallowed up by cornfields which just PROVES MY POINT THAT IT’S DANGEROUS TO GO OUTSIDE. It also has magical midnight rides and s’mores dipped in honey and a boy with a disability and beautiful writing and beautiful characters and the beautiful image of Vulcan Cait losing her MIND with love for it.
It does happen. I do develop feelings. Trying to quit the bad habit.
9. A LIST OF CAGES BY ROBIN ROE
Okay this is actually slightly ridiculous of me because this book has been out in the world FOR LIKE 10 DAYS ONLY. But (A) I wanted a chance to talk about it so fight me, and (B) I really haven’t seen anyone talk about it or adore it??? Which is obviously a mistake in the makeup of the universe because I ABSOLUTELY ADORED IT SO YOU SHOULD TOO.
It’s, again, a dark book and deals with topics like child abuse and it kind of broke my heart 8 times. Maybe even 9 times if we’re being honest. It’s about two boys (both with disabilities) and it’s about how friendship is actually invaluable and strong and life saving and beautiful and —
YES I’LL STOP GUSHING NOW.
I know this book is a tiny tiny baby but I really think you should read it immediately or, better yet, yesterday.
Also it was my first 5-star read of the year.
ALSO I GOT BRAVE AND TWEETED THE AUTHOR AND SHE TWEETED ME BACK AND WOW I’M PRACTICALLY FAMOUS BY ASSOCIATION NOW.
10. WORDS IN DEEP BLUE BY CATH CROWLEY
I’m pretty sure this one is underrated because it’s Australian and our YA books tend to frolic madly through our dusty red lands — AND NEVER SWIM THE OCEANS. No clue why. The earth disappionts me constantly which is why I keep talking about taking over Jupiter. *
But I think it’s being published in America soon??? I could google but also #lazy.
ANYWAY! This is about books! It’s a whole book centred around a bookshop and writing letters and soft squishable boys and sad squishable girls and it made me really happy and had the ACTUAL BEST QUOTES OF EVER.
I’ll prove it:
“What?” she asks.
“Your head,” I tell her, “is a very pleasing shape.”
“Likewise,” she says, and smiles.
#ProFlirting This is definitely how it’s done.