Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is hidden gems, or books that you love that think deserve more hype, weren’t marketed as heavily as they deserved, etc. I am out of post ideas for this week so I am doing a very delayed TTT as my post for the day. Anyway.
Here are my picks:
- DREAMOLOGY & LITERALLY by Lucy Keating–both of these books are so delightful, but I saw no reviews of them when they first came out and nobody talks about them even though they are adorable and magical. DREAMOLOGY is about a girl who literally (no pun intended) meets the boy of her dreams, and LITERALLY is about a girl who realizes she’s being written written about by the author. DREAMOLOGY takes a cliche concept and makes it super unique, while LITERALLY uses a concept I’ve never read before or since. These books are so clever, well-written, and filled with swoonworthy romance that I’m shocked people don’t talk about them more. I love both of them <3
2. THIS DARKNESS MINE by Mindy McGinnis–this seems like Mindy McGinnis’ least popular book, but it’s soooooooo good and dark and twisted and heart-stabby. The few reviews of it I saw when it came out were mostly negative because people hated Sasha, the protagonist, which is understandable because she is a very unlikeable overachiever. She starts falling for a guy she normally wouldn’t after learning that she absorbed her twin in the womb, and starts thinking her absorbed twin is taking over her body. It’s a really dark and disturbing look at perfectionism that is not for the weak of stomach.
3. THE UNWRITTEN RULE by Elizabeth Scott (and basically all of Elizabeth Scott’s books)–I loved this book so much when I read it as a tween. It’s about a girl who’s in love with her best friend’s boyfriend and has to overcome their toxic relationship. This book just felt so honest and emotional to me as a kid and is just a great story as well.
4. THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock–this is a book I largely picked up for the cover but boy did it deliver! It’s a multiple POV book set in 1970s Alaska. I loved the setting of this book as it was one I hadn’t read, and all 4 of the stories were very moving and interesting. This is a tiny book that packs a major punch.
5. UNDERCOVER by Beth Kephart–I love many of Beth Kephart’s books, but this one is my favorite. UNDERCOVER is about a girl who writes love letters for people to give to their crushes. I think if this book had been published now and also had a waaaaaay better cover, it could’ve done well in the YA world. It’s like a slightly less fluffy TATBILB.
6. THE NOVEMBER GIRL by Lydia Kang–I read an early draft of this book and loved it then, but loved it even more in its final, published form. I wish this Entangled book had gotten the hype that 27 HOURS did, because it is super cool and unique. It’s a paranormal book with a cool twist and you never know *quite* what’s going on, and it’s very atmospheric and the romance is on point.
7. SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN by Jeff Garvin–this book deserves so much more hype than it got. I saw another library in the system where I work weeded it a while ago and I was so upset because I loved it so much when I read it. It’s about a genderfluid teen who’s not out and writes a blog about their genderfluidity. I thought this book handled the genderfluid stuff really well, no deadnaming or even naming Riley’s birth sex in sight. It was respectful, informative, but also had a plot that moved and was interesting so it wasn’t just a learning experience.
8. NOT OTHERWISE SPECIFIED by Hannah Moskowitz–I can still remember how excited I was when I first read this book. It’s about a black bisexual dancer and her struggle with an eating disorder. This book made my bisexual heart feel so understood and seen. It’s a strangely written book, as I recall, but it was one of my favorites the year it came out for sure.
9. NICE TRY, JANE SINNER by Lianne Oelke–this is another one I got to read an early draft of when I was an editorial intern, and I was super impressed by the final version. When describing it in my review, I think I said something like if my depression had a voice, this book is what it would sound like. I thought Oelke’s depiction of Jane’s depression was so true to life and well done, and is honestly one of the best representations of mental illness I have read in YA. Plus, the writing and story itself is fun, what with the journal format as well as the reality show setting.
10. LIPS TOUCH by Laini Taylor–I had an ARC of this way before Laini Taylor became one of the queens of YA fantasy, and I really liked this book. It’s a small collection of longer short stories, and though I don’t remember much about them now because I read them so long ago, I do remember loving them and thinking the magic used in the stories was really cool and different.