Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fantastic Underrated Reads

Last week I asked what books you think haven't gotten the attention they deserve here on the blogosphere (and also from other reviewers and readers). A few of you answered and mentioned:

straight-to-paperback books in general, Dani Noir (by Nova Ren Suma), which I reviewed here, A Little Wanting Song (by Cath Crowley), Restoring Harmony (by Joelle Anthony), Harmonic Feedback (by Tara Kelly), and Jaclyn Moriarty's novels. It's easy, especially as someone who reads a lot of book, publishing, and author blogs, to become really interested in the books that already have a lot of interest. Matched. Bright Young Things. Anna and the French Kiss. Bestsellers and sure-to-be-bestsellers.

But what about the other books I've discovered and loved that aren't getting that attention? That maybe people would read, if only they heard about them or knew some about them? I love those books.

So today here are a handful of books I've read this year that are so much better than the attention they didn't get. Seriously. AMAZING.

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June, by Robin Benway
Benway's debut novel, Audrey, Wait! got tons of attention when it came out. People loved it. Her second book, however, seemed to fly in a little under the radar, which is a shame because it's just so good. For me this story of sisters with superpowers (I KNOW!) was even better than her previous novel. It was adorable and funny, told in rotating POVs from each of the three sisters, and instantly became the sort of book I just wanted to gush over like crazy. I definitely recommend it.

I Now Pronounce You Someone Else, by Erin McCahan
This debut novel, which I saw very few reviews or posts about, is brilliant. I loved it. It's a love story in which a girl gets engaged while still in high school, sure, but it's not just about that. There's just as much here about family ties, who we want to be vs. who we are, and the missteps we all make. Once again: it's brilliant. Sweet and smart and heart-touching and I hope you all read it.

The Lonely Hearts Club, by Elizabeth Eulberg
This debut was actually published in 2009, but it took a while for me to read it. Still, I'm so glad I did because this book? Is. So. Awesome. Full of Beatles-references, positive-but-not-unrealistic depictions of friendship, and a feisty kick-butt heroine it's impossible not to root for. It's cute and memorable and deserves to be read. And then read again, just for the fun of it.

My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours, by Kristina Springer
Okay, sure, it looks like a cute and fluffy tween read. And to a certain degree it is. But Springer's Middle Grade debut is so much more than that. It's about what happens when a best-friendship changes and the lengths we'll go through to "keep up" with friends who seem to be racing ahead of us. Unlike so many other YA/MG books, there's a very realistic and awesome relationship between the protagonist and her parents, who though being divorced are both involved in her life. In nearly every way this is not only an adorable read, but also a truly great one.

Have you read any of these books? What are your under-rated books that you'd like to recommend?


  1. I think two books that are underrated and deserve much more attention and praise:
    The Card Turner by Louis Sachar and Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel

  2. The Everafter by Amy Huntley really is a fast read that packs a punch. Except it seems like I'm the only one who's gotten socked in the face because no one else I know has read it. Runaway by Wendelin Vann Draanen I read when I 13, but I still love it. Companion novel to the fantastic (yet also underrated) middle grade series Sammey Keyes.

  3. Anne Bennett
    Okay, The Card Turner is a book that i really want to read (if it's the one I'm thinking of), and I just looked up Half Brother... I don't have a huge desire to read it, but it does sound interesting & if I ran across it I might pick it up.

    AHHH! I just read what The Everafter is about and it sounds a bit lie The Lovely Bones and also IT SOUNDS AWESOME. & as for the other books... I have actually read them! I remember enjoying them but it was quite a long time ago.

  4. I loved The Lonely Hearts Club - I often hand it out in reader advisory. Such a great book.