Hey guys! So I’m actually pretty excited about this one because I don’t pay too much attention to how many ratings a book has. When I was going through books for this, I was a bit surprised by how many books I’d adored that BASICALLY NO ONE IS READING. Now I’m shoving these books at you. You’re welcome.
Top Ten Books We Loved That Have Under 2000 Ratings on Goodreads
1. A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier
In my review, I describe this as a “gritty historical fiction” that “doesn’t shy away from the details.” Basically, this tale set in the midst of the 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic is delightfully gory. It’s about discovering the world you live in it’s the world you thought it was. It’s dark (when isn’t a deadly influenza outbreak?), it’s emotional, and the characters are phenomenal. Definitely something to try if you want to expand your historical fiction horizons.
2. Newes of the Dead by Mary Hooper
I read this before I even had this blog and this is one book that has stayed with me since then. Based on the true story of Anne, a maidservant wrongly accused of infanticide in 1650, it describes her story in not-quite-chronological order. See, Anne’s story starts with her hanging. But not only is it told from Anne’s flashbacks, it’s also told from a young medical student’s perspective as they take Anne’s body for experiments. Only Anne may not be dead… Seriously, for as gross as it sounds, it’s actually pretty cool. I was probably 17 when I read this and it left its mark.
3. Ruined by Amy Tintera
Why in the name of Sarah J. Maas is this still under 2000 ratings?! This book reduced my best friend and me to profanity as we not-so-civilly discussed the ending. Let’s count off its great qualities: 1) a girl out for revenge after the death of her family, 2) said girl disguising herself to infiltrate her enemy’s home, 3) a cute yet naive prince who takes an instant liking to said girl, 4) a fantasy world filled with ruthless royalty who actually know how to fight as well as their guards, 5) and “great characters (good and evil), magic, danger, secrets, and political alliances that can ruin everything.” (That came from my review.) I’ll forgive you if you haven’t read this yet because it’s so new, but you should get on that.
4. Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule
I will sing this book’s praises for many years to come. A modern fairytale (not any kind of retelling), it was just so different. I connected with the music and the characters, especially Sing (whose name remains ridiculous in my opinion, but nothing I can do about it) who simply wants to live up to expectations and be the best singer she can be. It truly is hard to write about music and actually make it feel like music, but the language here pulls it off. I adore this book.
5. Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat
Hey look, another book about music! Sorta. Actually, this one is far more about social class and people defying our expectations. That’s the kind of thing I truly love. Ivy goes from being a rich girl to living next door to the school’s alleged drug dealer and relying on his help a few times to get out of near scrapes. It’s darling. I know it can sound cliche, but the character development Ivy goes through had me hooked the whole time. Loved the characters so much that I reread parts as soon as I finished the book.
6. Thrall by Jennifer Quintenz
I actually got this book from the author to review here, years ago. And I adored it. Based on the myths of Lilith, it focuses on demons and the guardians that hunt them down. Braedyn doesn’t know any of this until she turns 16 and discovers that she’s only of the Lilith, raised among hunters. There’s a cute boy, loyal friends, superpowers, and the-world-is-falling-apart doomsday stuff. It’s fun. It had creepy villains, an interesting plot, and loads of suspense. This whole series was really cool.
7. Converting Kate by Beckie Weinheimer
I actually found this book at my local library. Based on the author’s real experiences, this is the story of Kate and how she escaped a cult. After the death of her father and her relocation to a new city, Kate begins to question everything she was taught in the Church of the Holy Divine. Why do they get to choose who she talks to, what she wears, and how she spends her time? It is a religious story, but it’s more in a thought-provoking way than it is preachy. Around the time I read this, I was trying to come to terms with my own religious upheaval. This book is different.
8. Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub
MOTHER OF GOD, I JUST FOUND OUT THIS IS GOING TO BE A TV SHOW FROM SHONDA RHIMES. I’m going to pass out. I just reread this book because I love it so much AND NOW THIS. This is the story of what Verona was like after Romeo and Juliet committed suicide. The town is uneasy, the truce between the families as frail as the last leaves of fall. Benvolio and Rosaline are left to pick up the pieces of their respective families, wallowing in the guilt that each of them could have done something to stop the carnage of the weeks previous. And when the Prince deems the only real solution to be marrying Benvolio to Rosaline…well, neither of them wants that. This book is a bit twisted, but you truly will not see the ending coming. It’s suspenseful and dark while still managing to be sweet and emotional.
9. Faithful by Janet Fox
We all know I have a healthy love of historical fictions, so here’s another to add to the list. Set around the turn of the century (1900) if I remember correctly, this book is really interesting because it takes place in Yellowstone National Park. Maggie is taken away from her Newport home after the disappearance of her mother. Her dad spirits her away to Yellowstone, where she has no friends, no prospects, and no life. What I truly love is that Maggie is a girl who feels like she’s trapped by her role in society and needs to fight to find her own way. There are some mysteries, some cute boys, and a lot of Maggie trying to buck the system.
10. Now and Forever by Susane Colasanti
My not-so-guilty pleasures come from books about people rising to celebrity status. This is the story of how Sterling’s boyfriend Ethan becomes an overnight sensation. Before she knows it, Sterling is attending red-carpet events, giving interviews, and generally following Ethan to his concerts. For whatever reason, this book felt authentic to me. It felt realistic, I believed the characters, and the love story was cute. Also, it’s a quick read because the book is pretty short, so it’s perfect for the beach/lake/picnic you’re doing.