Ten Underrated Books I Love

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Books I Love With Goodreads Ratings Under 2000

I love me a good underrated gem! Sometime I’ll get on Goodreads and be like WUT how does this book have so few ratings?? WHY HAVE NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE READ IT!! So with topic I’ll note I left off things that JUST got published within the past couple months because they are so new.

1. Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler

Just Visiting Dahlia Adler


I really don’t understand how this has so few ratings because this book was soooooo fantastic. If you like contemporary YA, highly rec.

What I Said About It: “It’s just such an authentic story about friendship and love and that confusing time when that next stage (post-high school) is staring you right in the face. So compelling and so compulsively readable! I really just want to follow the next few years of their lives if I’m honest!” READ MORE

2. Brazen by Katherine Longshore

Brazen by Katherine Longshore

This historical fiction is soooo great. So surprised it’s so underrated.

What I Said About It: “Brazen was an addictive romp through King Henry VIII’s court that re-acquainted me with historical figures I’m familiar with and introduced me to new ones I’d never heard about. As someone who loves history, I found it to be the perfect balance of fun while using the historical facts to weave together a story that makes it all just come alive. Romance, scandal and drama!” READ MORE

3. Girl Defective by Simmone Howell

Girl Defective Simmone Howell

An Aussie gem that I’m sad never got more coverage when it came out here in the US.

What I Said About It: “I LOVED this novel. There was just something so magical about it even though it was an “ordinary life” kind of story…if that makes sense? SO MUCH HEART in this book and I loved the quirkiness of the characters and just how CHARMING it was….Girl Defective was a quiet gem about a girl trying to find her place in the world that tugged at my heart and made me smile right until the moment I closed its pages.” READ MORE

4. Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Keuhnert

Ballads of Suburbia

I’m really sad I literally hear nobody talk about this one anymore because it was great. PLUS it was set in the 90’s which I loved because nostalgia.

What I Said About It: “It was really a fantastic book– raw, gritty and powerful in both its story and the emotional impact it had on me as it weaved together this story of family, heartbreak, losing control and then making the choice to regain control amidst the chaos.” READ MORE

5. Friday Never Leaving by Vikki Wakefield

Friday Brown Vikki Wakefield

Another Aussie gem!! Loved this rag-tag group of characters just trying to find a place to belong!

What I Said About It: “It was a gritty, emotional novel about what makes a home and a family and that never-ending quest to find where you belong…I cared about the characters and couldn’t put it down as the tension and intensity heightened. It was heart-wrenching and beautiful and quiet but the sorrow and grief and loneliness rattled my bones…and the sense of hope I did feel amidst it all sent me soaring.” READ MORE

6. A Long, Long Time Ago & Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka

A Long Long Time Ago and Essentially True

This one is an adult fiction book if you are into that! The author skillfully intertwines the two threads of the story, one set in the past and one in the present, until they become one–inextricably bound by Poland’s history and the hope of a better future.

What I Said About It: “This book is full of wit, wisdom, and hope–all needed to balance the heartbreak and tragedy. It pays homage to the lives of those who had to live through the War/Communist regime and the generation who had to move forward with those pieces.” READ MORE

7. Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae

Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae book review

Guys if you need a cute and wanderlust-y contemporary YA for the summer, PICK THIS ONE PLEASE!

What I Said About It: “Wish You Were Italian was a charming armchair adventure through Italy complete with a side of heart-melting romance and self discovery! It was a great story as a whole and the vivid descriptions just completely transported you to the point where you might start to question yourself if you were really there or not” READ MORE

8. The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

The Boy in the Black Suit

Jason Reynolds is suuuuch an incredible writer and lemme tell you I dog-earred a lot of passages in this wonderful character-driven novel.

What I Said About It: “I really appreciated this quiet yet moving novel and really found a personal connection within it. It was well written and just tapped into something so emotionally honest. Matt is just a wonderful character and there’s so much strength in him and he’s just so easy to like. It’s not just a story about grief but about also community and connecting” READ MORE

9. Wildlife by Fiona Wood


And yet again an Aussie gem. I think the message is clear here — PEOPLE NEED TO READ MORE AUSSIE BOOKS. Plus it’s set in the Australian bush at an outdoors camp! It’s technically a companion to another book that came out first in Australia but in the US Wildlife came out first and then Six Impossible Things.

What I Said About It: “Wildlife was just a really damn good character-driven story — interesting characters, great setting, thought-provoking and incredibly well written. I loved watching Sib start to, through the outdoor experience and relationship issues, start to really grow and learn more about herself.” READ MORE

10. Losing The Light by Andrea Dunlop

Losing the Light

Okay so this one is the only one I picked that came out this year (in February) because I was honestly shocked at how few times it was rated considering how I couldn’t put this down and stayed up til 2am on a weekday to finish it and i LOVE my sleep!! So maybe I didn’t shout about it loud enough so let’s try it again — READ IT!

What I Said About It: “What an intoxicating read full of love, lust and betrayal. It was so much more than just a “girl studies abroad” story — it was sexy, thrilling and the characters, who are certainly not always easy to love, are so well written and compelling.” READ MORE


So tell me…what underrated books do YOU love that I should know about?? Have you read any of these? Adding any to your TBR? TELL ME TELL ME!

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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. What a great list! Some new-to-me books and some ones from my TBR. It’s funny to see Jason Reynolds on this list – it’s my favorite of his books for sure, and I am so surprised it’s ‘underrated’ since he won so many YALSA awards. It’s definitely on the librarian radar, which doesn’t always translate to general radar. But definitely a great pick! One of my favorite grief over losing a parent books.

    • YES! When I was searching through all the books I’ve read that have under 2000 ratings I was like WUT because I feel like his books have been buzzed about quite a bit and knew he won awards. I wrote about this a couple years ago but it’s interesting living in our different bookish bubbles (online YA community, librarian) how sometimes we think a book is hyped or super popular and then we realize outside of it…it’s not even known. It’s so interesting how that happens! And SAME re: grief books — it really hit me hard!

  2. I am so glad we both have The Boy in the Black Suit on our TTT lists. Jason Reynolds is a fantastic writer and I hope more people read his books.

  3. Aw, thank you for the JV shoutout! It means so much to me that you liked that book <3 And I'm definitely with you on WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN, THE BOY IN THE BLACK SUIT, and BALLADS OF SUBURBIA! (But man, I really need to read WILDLIFE – I bought it like a year ago!)

    • You are welcome! You know how much I love it! <3 It's my mission to get more people to read it!!


  4. I had only heard about I Wish You Were Italian, and The Boy In The Black Suit. Thanks for the heads up on the others!

  5. You’ve got a few gems here! I have noted at least two for my TBR list. Will post mine later today!

  6. Thanks for introducing me to Brazen – it sounds great!

    Check out my TTT and my current giveaway.

  7. There are so many books on here that I want to read. Just Visiting looks great. Wish You Were Italian looks fantastic too. 🙂

  8. Obviously I need to read some Aussie-published books! I’ve never heard of any of these but they sound really good. Especially “Girl Defective” and “Wildlife.”

  9. Omg yes Just Visiting was amazing! I checked Goodreads and I’m really surprised it doesn’t have more ratings/reviews. It’s one of the best YA contemps I’ve read so far this year. I haven’t read the rest of the books you recommended in your post but they all look really interesting!

  10. I haven’t heard of any of these!! Going to have to check them out! 🙂

  11. Some books have so little ratings when in my mind they feel popular, haha. Great list!

    • Right?? I think maybe it’s that being in our little YA community and groups we FEEL like we see these books all over but it’s totally not the case outside this space!

  12. I’m really looking forward to reading Just Visiting – just bought it for the library

    • OOH good choice!! I need to check and see if my library has it now that I think of it. If not I’m requesting it!

  13. Excellent picks, and so many I haven’t heard of! I love Tudor England, so I really need to check out Brazen! R xx

    My TTT: https://confessionsofabookgeek.com/2016/07/05/top-ten-tuesday-favourite-reads-with-less-than-2000-goodreads-ratings/

  14. YES to Wildlife & Just Visiting! I love both of those!(and they have some similar themes, so it doesn’t surprise me that I love both of them). Even though Just Visiting is definitely underrated, I will say that it does NOT stay checked in at the library I work at. I’ve been wanting to reread and every time I think about grabbing the library copy it’s checked out, which makes me incredibly happy.
    I have literally never heard of Friday Never Leaving, but now I’m definitely going to check it out because it sounds like something I would like!

    • That is AWESOME to hear about Just Visiting! Another comment just made me realize I want to check to see if my library even has it and if not I’m requesting it.

      YAS I will be sooo interested what you think of Friday Never Leaving. It was published under another name in Australia — Friday Brown or something like that.

  15. Just Visitng sounds very very good. I don’t have enough underrated books read to make my own list so I did my own topic hahah. Happy reading! http://www.curious-daisy.com/uncategorized/ten-books-you-should-read-asap-book-recommendations/

    • It’s SO good. I hope you check it out!!

      And for the future — you are totally allowed to do a top 5 or top 7 or whatever your heart desires 🙂 I’ve totally done it and I make the rules about TTT over there sooo 😛

  16. I’ve just listed A long long time ago and essentially true. Looks beautiful. Hop over to have a look at my Top Ten Underrated Books. Happy reading!

  17. Friday Never Leaving, sounds like a good one! I’m adding to my TBR now! Great Top Ten!
    My Top Ten Tuesday!

  18. These all look so good! I especially want to read Wish You Were Italian and The Boy in the Black Suit – they look great!

    Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic
    My TTT Post!

  19. I’ve either read these or already have them on my to-read list, except I just now I added Losing the Light, which sounds awesome! I’d never even heard of it. Pretty sure I only had the Pasulka added because of you. 🙂

    Just Visiting and The Boy in the Black Suit are both on my list too.

    • Losing The Light seriously kept me up soooo late! I just could NOT put it down. Heh I will be SO curious what you think of the Pasulka when you get to it!

  20. Awesome list! A Long, Long Time Ago & Essentially True sounds incredible – adding that to my TBR immediately! I’m also a huge fan of historical fiction, so Brazen will also be finding its way onto my TBR. Ah, too many books to read! 🙂

    My TTT

    • Seriously…always sooo many books to read. I want to weep about it haha

      I hope you love those two if you get to them!!

  21. Oh wow! All of these are totally new to me! Which has been a common theme today! LOL!

    Here’s my Tuesday Post

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower 🙂

  22. I have a copy of The Boy in the Black Suit and I can’t wait to read it. I LOVED Stephanie Kuenhert’s Ballads of Suburbia (and her other book I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone.) There are not enough books about punk rock in the world, in my apparently very minority opinion. 🙂 Here’s my TTT

    • I hope you love Th Boy in the Black Suit!!

      Ah I have I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone but haven’t read it yet! And totally agree..MOAR PUNK ROCK PLEASE!

  23. I stumbled upon The Cartel (Don Winslow) on Goodreads (one of those “since you liked X…” type of recos) and holy cow, it BLEW ME AWAY. I’m not sure if you like action-packed, intense Cartel-type stories but man, this is up there with The Godfather (one of my fav books). This book and how awesome it is, I don’t know why it’s not more popular. If you want to try reading this, The Cartel is actually the sequel to The Power of The Dog (which is equally as good) but you don’t have to read Dog first in order to get into the story/understand the characters of The Cartel (same characters anyway)…the author did a great job of providing just enough history in The Cartel so you won’t get lost.

  24. Oooh I just got a copy of Just Visiting from the author last week and it’s on my nightstand so I don’t forget to actually read it in the near future. 😀

  25. oh man, i haven’t read any of these! some of them are on my list already, probably thanks to you. i love how much you love aussie books. i am really picky about them, especially if they are to stereotypical/embarrassing/not authentic… basically i’m a snob 😉 i love them even more now that i don’t live there….. fun story, i *hated* everything australian growing up, including melina marchetta’s books because they MADE us read looking for alibrandi in high school and watch the movie and i hated it all with the fire of a thousand suns. needless to say, i have come to my senses and love everything melina marchetta does. i haven’t read all of her books yet, i like to save them for when i need my dose of home haha. her books are so fabulous and so unbelievably aussie without being unrealistic or cliche.
    okay, gonna stop rambling now.

  26. Another poster had Tarnish on their list as well as The Boy in the Black Suit. I’m going to have to look into Brazen and The Boy in the Black Suit. This weeks TTT has been full of books to add to my “{want to read” section.

    My TTT list: http://books.thetechchef.net/top-ten-tuesday-6/

  27. I totally agree with you on the Aussie books front! One of my favorite series is Australian (The Violet Eden Chapters by Jessica Shirvington), and it was the first one I absolutely HAD to force other people to read because it was soo good and I needed to talk about it. Definitely going to check some of these out!

  28. Brazen sounds fascinating!

  29. Your list gives me some ideas for books to read; sometime I may do a post like this, with books I think deserve more readers. I am on an Anthony Trollope novel reading kick, I love his writing and wish everyone would read his books.