TOP 10 UNDERRATED BOOKS

The rest of the literary blogosphere does it about a month ago - we do it now. Welcome to our top 10 underrated book picks!

(It's not that we're contrary - it's that we're awesome. And chronically late to most parties. Don't tell the hosts.)

This week, we are picking titles that blew us away twice: first, with their stunning content, and then again, when we realized no one else in the history of ever read it, and we have absolutely no one to share in our appreciation. It's a tough job, being a bookish hipster. But someone has bear the heavy burden and spread the word far and wide. 

This: this list. Statistically, these books are far from New York Times bestselling lists. But in terms of content and quality, we found they measured up to the bestselling-est of the lot. Sometimes we need to join overcrowded literary bandwagons. But other times, we need the joy of discovery of a diamond in the rough - and the pleasure of throwing them at our friends. Consider this list just such a throw.

Tag. You're it.


Read more

BOOK REVIEW: RUINED BY AMY TINTERA



Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.




Read more

BOOK REVIEW: WHO'S THAT GIRL? BY MHAIRI MCFARLANE



What’s the one thing you DON’T do at a wedding?

When Edie is caught in a compromising position at her colleagues’ wedding, all the blame falls on her – turns out that personal popularity in the office is not that different from your schooldays. Shamed online and ostracised by everyone she knows, her boss suggests an extended sabbatical – ghostwriting an autobiography for hot new acting talent, Elliot Owen. Easy, right?

Wrong. Banished back to her home town of Nottingham, Edie is not only dealing with a man who probably hasn’t heard the word ‘no’ in a decade, but also suffering an excruciating regression to her teenage years as she moves back in with her widowed father and judgey, layabout sister.

When the world is asking who you are, it’s hard not to question yourself. Who’s that girl? Edie is ready to find out.
 


mild spoilers ahead

Read more

BOOK REVIEW: THIS SAVAGE SONG BY VICTORIA SCHWAB


There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwaba young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.


Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.



Read more

HOW BEING A READER MADE ME A BETTER PERSON

Reading is the best

There's more to picking up a good book and getting lost in the story than it may seem. Over the years, reading has changed me as a person. I wasn't as big of a reader when I was younger compared to now - as a kid, I wasn't highly encouraged to read, so I never read much until I was in my teens. And in my teens, I tended to pick up the wrong kind of books, which made me lose interest in reading quite quickly. Now I'm able to pick out the right kind of book, and the difference this has made in my life is astonishing. Along with travelling, reading has changed who I am, and today I wanted to share why I think reading books has brought about my new attitude towards life, other people, and even myself.



Read more

BOOK REVIEW: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US BY KASIE WEST



Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.




Read more