This Always Seems To Happen!!

Last week I talked about the end of the year reading blues but this week I want to talk about another thing that happens to me at the end of the year.

I’d say I have a pretty good eye on what is coming out each month. I always scour the catalogs way ahead of time and I’m always up to date each month. However, without fail since I started blogging in 2010, the end of the year approaches and I realize there are some books that must have flown under my radar or something!

Sometimes I knew about the title but it didn’t stand out to me initially or I didn’t know what it was about but had seen it in passing. In other cases I completely just must have missed it and I don’t know how. Then all of a sudden I start reading end of year lists or Top Ten Tuesday lists and I keep seeing books being mentioned almost universally or by a few people I trust and I’m like WHY DID I NOT GET THIS MEMO? Why did I not hear of this book? Why was it so far off my radar??

So today I’d like to share with you the books that apparently flew off my radar and I plan to get to!

under the radar 2013 YA booksunder-the-radar-books-2013


If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch: I’ll be honest. This is one I had seen around but the cover didn’t really draw me in and the synopsis sounded similar to some other books on my radar so I just really didn’t pay much attention to this one. Then suddenly I see this explosion of love for this book!  I missed the boat apparently! OH and then it was on the Goodreads award thingy too! (Biggest pusher of this book: Judith)

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg: I had never heard of this one until I started seeing Estelle rave about it and now I’m seeing lots of love for it and I definitely feel out of the loop! No idea what it was even about but I definitely want to check it out after such praise!

Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn: Another one I hadn’t heard of at all until bloggers had started labeling it as a favorite of the year. Where was I on this one??

The Summer I Became A Nerd by Leah Rae Miller: I had never heard of this one until someone said it was their hidden gem favorite of the year and lo and behold I find lots of people I know liked it on Goodreads. This one totally flew under my radar but seems like something I’d really like!

Unteachable by Leah Raeder: Okay, so I had heard rumblings of this one but had no idea what it was about or anything. I also kept confusing it with another book so that probably didn’t help. But I’ve seen this on some best of lists and people who have done my End of Year Book survey. Then I went on Goodreads and LOTS of people loved this one this year. WHAT THE HECK? And now reading what it is about…I AM VERYYYY INTRIGUED.

Splintered by A.G. Howard: I had seen this one before but didn’t know much about it but then everyone started talking about how they can’t wait for the sequel and how it was a favorite so I HAD to look to see what it was about. Why did I not know about this?!

Winger by Andrew Smith: I had never heard of this one until Magan started talking about it and gave it such praise! How did this slip off my radar? And now I keep seeing A LOT of talk about it. I’m vowing to buy it next with my B&N gift card.

Altered by Jennifer Rush: Where did this one come from and why hadn’t I seen anything about it? Lots of talk on my Twitter lately about this one! Especially from Betty!

My adult fiction picks:

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent: I’m always looking for a good adult historical fiction when I scour the catalogs but I never heard of this one until Hannah started raving about it and I just don’t know how I missed out on this one! It just came out in September but I’m just very surprised I hadn’t scoped it out before!

Margot by Jillian Cantor: Again, I’m the queen of finding good historical fiction and I never even knew this was coming out and I ALWAYS pick out historical fiction set during wars — particularly WW2! Why is this one just showing up on my radar now?


What about you — does this seem to happen to you at the end of the year? What books slipped under your radar this year that you HAVE to read next year because suddenly everyone is talking about it? Have you read any of my “slipped under the radar” books this year?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I haven’t read most of those, but I can definitely recommend Margot. Hope you get to it soon!

  2. Splintered and The Summer I Became a Nerd are two of my favorites! You need to read them both ASAP!

    I do own Charm & Strange and Unteachable, so hopefully I can get to those relatively soon.

  3. I haven’t read most of these but I have heard of some of them. I’ve heard great things about Splintered but I haven’t gotten to it. While the 2013 releases I want to get to haven’t slipped under my radar necessarily, they have escaped my memory only to turn up on a blog, reminding me. I seriously need to get Eleanor and Park as well as Just One Year, though.

    Margot and Burial Rites have lovely covers and both seem interesting as well. Margot is the what-if story of Margot Frank, Anne’s sister, which I find fascinating. Total sucker for historical fiction as well and the premise is super neat, which always adds points.

  4. Some of these are brand new to me, too! I lucked out, Openly Straight and Margot were both done by local authors for me. I loved and adored Openly Straight so I’m excited to know what you think!

  5. Just a warning, If You Find Me will crush you. It will break your heart OVER and OVER again. So kleenex. Definitely kleenex. I do agree with you on Splintered and Charm and Strange. Both of those, I had seen around but it wasn’t until after the blogging world exploded with love for both of these books that I realized they must be special.

  6. I’ve read The Summer I Became a Nerd and heard of 4, the rest I haven’t heard about and I’m totally going to put Unteachable on my tbr! 🙂

  7. No lie, Openly Straight was my favorite book this year, if not my favorite book of all-time. There were so many feels in that book, it was borderline embarrassing for me. Haha. For the first time in my life, I actually held a book to my chest after finishing it – that was this book.

  8. omg lololol exact same thing happened to me with Splintered. Out of nowhere everyone was talking about the second book….and i’m like….wait…where was I when everyone was talking about the first book?! lol

    Caroline @ Bon Bons and Reveries

  9. I loved, loved splintered!!! I need to read if you find me also. Its on my kindle. You are not the only one that find out about books a little late. I’m still playing catch up with some old ones. I feel like I will never be able to catch up.

  10. The Summer I Became A Nerd is so, so cute! I loved it. I’ll be reading Splintered in a couple of books time, and I can’t imagine how you missed it! It has been everywhere I look this year haha.

  11. The Summer I Became a Nerd was EXCELLENT. Such a cute book. I hope you love it! I’m reading Splintered now actually. I’ve had it on my Nook for months and I keep seeing people talk about it or Unhinged so this month I was basically like, I need to climb aboard this ship. I’m half way through at this point. It’s so good. It kept me until 1:30 last night. I’m planning on finishing it today.

  12. Doyke, how could you ignore that Altered cover??? I expect to see that fall out of YOUR bag in church sometime soon. hahaha I hear you on Splintered– I remember hearing about it at BEA, but never followed through— then saw more and more buzz about it, so finally bought it, but still need to start it! I also keep wanting to snag If You Find Me – yes because of Judith… lol but I’m nervous about how short it is! Sounds dumb, but I keep thinking… how good can such a short book be? Can’t wait to be made a fool for waiting so long! I think SLATED is another one that has flown under the radar for sure! 😉

  13. Altered is a book I read early on at the beginning of the year & it had me HOOKED. You know I’m a contemporary girl, so when I say this book is worth a read – it is! Also, Anna is a fan of it as well. So there ya go, two solid recommendations lol. Winger is a book I meant to read this year, but for whatever reason didn’t get to. I actually picked up my copy with Magan at TLA last spring and got to meet the author, who signed our ARCs.

  14. Burial Rites looks really good! I have a small obsession with Iceland so this sounds perfect

  15. Openly Straight was AMAZING. Very funny, and just an all-around great book. You should definitely get to that soon!

  16. I like Splintered, the dark Wonderland is great! And I’m in love with If you find me. Such a good, impressive book. The author is a sweetheart too :)!

  17. I am over here visiting your blog, getting ready to start your End of Year Survey list (love this survey–I look forward to it all year) and THREE of the books above are making my Best Of list. Unteachable is one of the best I’ve read, period. Splintered and The Summer I Became a Nerd will make my list as well. Hope you do get a chance to check them and the rest out, Jamie 🙂

  18. Dahlia Adler says:

    Love love loved OPENLY STRAIGHT, and UNTEACHABLE was my favorite book of the year. Definitely planning to pick up THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD in the near future! Things didn’t exactly slip my radar but I definitely got too overwhelmed to read some things I should have, so PIVOT POINT and THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE are high on my TBR for next year!

  19. I loved Splintered! It’s one of my favorite retellings. Also The Summer I Became a Nerd was fun and cute. I need to read Winger ASAP. I’ve heard so much about it, and I love finding awesome books with male narrators.

  20. LOVED Splintered!! I really want to read a few of the others you have listed too – especially The Summer I Became a Nerd.

  21. I love dark Alice in Wonderland books. Splintered would have been absolutely perfect — if not for the love triangle. The point of Alice is that she’s a kick-ass female who doesn’t have to rely on men to do things. Why would she need two???? Especially one that keeps pointing out “Maybe you shouldn’t do that. Or that.”

  22. Oh girl. YES to If You Find Me and Charm & Strange. They’re both in my Top 5 books of the year EASILY. They both broke me in different ways, and put me back together in the way only the BEST books can.

    And Splintered was great, too!

  23. The Summer I Became a Nerd was SO good. It just made me eeeeeeeeeek it was so cute! You will definitely enjoy it!

  24. Yes, this certainly happens to me all the time! I seriously miss out on some books, or only end up reading them at the end of the year (like The Book of Broken Hearts, which I literally just read two days ago). I haven’t read any of the titles on your list either, though I own Burial Rites.

  25. I read earlier this year, and of course I can’t remember where now, that Margot got a lot of criticism because of some major inaccuracies in the story, even though it’s fiction. I haven’t read the book, but that’s just what I heard.

  26. I think you should have done an edit to add Why Can’t I Be You 🙂 If You Find Me and Winger are two of my favorites of 2013, both are amazing. The Summer I Became a Nerd was good, above average, but I didn’t find it amazing, you know?

    I recently went back and made a “backlist I really want to read” shelf on Goodreads to try to bring some of the older (both earlier this year and in past years) books back to the front of my mind and TBR list. So far so good, I actually took a few out of the library the other day so hopefully it works.

  27. Yesssssssssss to If You Find Me! I love that book so, so much. Mostly it just really surprised me. I heard it’s similar to Where The Stars Still Shine but I haven’t read that one yet. I can’t WAIT to see what you think of it! I really enjoyed Altered – it’s fun. Also, I hadn’t heard of Openly Straight before but omg, I want to read that one. It sounds great.

  28. I HIGHLY recommended Openly Straight. It’s a really touching story about labels and how you can’t hide from yourself. Splintered is also really fun and addictive. And Burial Rites is absolutely beautiful.

  29. Something about If You Find Me seems so creepy. Maybe the cover creeps me out too much read.

  30. The only book I read from that list was Altered, which I loved!!! Erased, the second book, is coming out in January. So excited!!! Hopefully you’ll get the chance to read it.

  31. I can’t think of any that have really slipped away but I can promise you that Altered is 1000% worth the read! And Erased (#2) comes out in January so you should start it soon 😀

  32. If You Find Me is good, but it definitely didn’t give me the feels the way it did for some people. I got Splintered from Netgalley when it came out but didn’t get to it, so I bought the e-book to read soonish I hope.

    I really want to read The Summer I Became A Nerd! If you haven’t seen the back cover of it in person you really should take a peek at it–it’s super well designed.

    You HAVE to read Winger in 2014. Ryan Dean West, the main character, is insanely endearing and well written and the whole book is just gorgeous. You will need tissues.

    I hope you have a great reading year in 2014. I’m eager to see what you pick up.

  33. I love Splintered so worth a read!

  34. This happens to me every year! It drives me mad! This year one of those was “Fangirl.” There were so many others. I thought I was the only one that this happened to, but then again outside of the book blogging community I know no one who likes to read. Sad I know. 🙁

  35. I have to say — I am pretty MEH about Splintered, idk it was weird and creepy and weird. EHHHHH. I was really underwhelmed by it. Actually you know what book is way better but from the same publisher? In The Shadow Of Blackbirds by Cat Winters. Way way way way better read.

    BUT OMG, If You Find Me is full of sobs and so so so so good and emotional.

    ALSO, I know you will like Openly Straight. I just know it. Like, know it deep in my bones. Both Estelle and I liked it and you know, people with good taste and all.

  36. I’ve read If You Find Me and it was great, a really powerful read. Splintered slipped under my radar too.

  37. I love that Margot was the cover that immediately jumped out at me, and now I see it’s historical fiction (my favorite genre). Definitely adding it to my TBR list! Thanks!

  38. You have no idea how happy it makes me to see Burial Rites on your list – and to see that I helped get it on your radar. Hope you love it! It’s absolutely gorgeous <3


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