book recs

Amazing Books No One Ever Talks About

Underrated reads time. 

There are books out there which I adore with my heart and soul, but no one ever really seems to talk about them. So I thought it would be interesting to talk about some books I think are fantastic but that just don’t get enough recognition.

1. Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

Did You Ever Have a Family“[W]e’ve learned that grief can sometimes get loud, and when it does, we try not to speak over it.” 

This book was longlisted for the ManBooker award back in 2015 and I picked it up for precisely that reason and fell in love immediately. The story follows June after a devastating fire kills her whole family. The story is about grief and acceptance and it follows a whole cast of characters in the aftermath of the tragedy. It’s a really short book that manages to pack a punch in very little pages and manages to be so beautiful and so sad at the same time. People never talk about this one and it’s a tragedy since the book is brilliant. If you’re interested in more of my thoughts, they can be found here (be aware that this is an old review and I had even less idea what I was doing than I do now).

2. Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Landline“I love you more than I hate everything else.” 

Landline is arguably Rowell’s least popular book and I really don’t get why. It’s one of her two adult novels, and it follows two married people who hit a rough patch in their marriage. Georgie then goes to her parents’ house and discovers she can talk to Neal’s younger self through her old landline. It’s a book about relationships, what it takes to make them work, it’s also about partnership and life and overcoming rough patches and I really loved it. I read this four years ago when I was 19, and I thought there would be nothing engaging for me in a read about marriage. I was wrong. Rowell’s characters are really human and they feel real and this was so heartfelt. I absolutely loved it.

3. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

The Casual Vacancy“It was strange how your brain could know what your heart refused to accept.”

I am a firm believer that this book received so many mixed reviews simply because it had none of the Harry Potter qualities. But I thought it was brilliant. It’s a story about a small town and it’s ripping at the seams after a death of councilman Barry Fairbrother. I may be partial to the small town story but I found this to be exceptionally well written. Rowling is really good at character development and at portraying all sorts of conflicts – marital, familial and class conflicts alike. Moreover, she manages to tie all of this stories in beautifully and I was completely mesmerized by this book.

4. Traitor’s Blade by Sebastian de Castell

Traitor's Blade (Greatcoats, #1)“That’s what being free means – not the right to do whatever you want, but the right to take a stand and say what you’ll die for.”

This is a recent read for me, but I am surprised by how little I knew about this book going in. Matter of fact, I haven’t heard anyone talk about it, which is a real shame. It follows Falcio val Monde, who was the King’s First Cantor in charge of upholding his law, until the King was killed that is. Nowadays, the Greatcoats roam the country engaging in petty crimes, and Falcio is set to finish one final mission that his king left him in charge of. This is such a fun, fast-paced and engaging Fantasy read. It’s funny, the characters are completely charming and the book is constantly changing and taking new directions and it’s really a fantastic read with awesome fight scenes. If you want to know more, I have a full review of it here.

5. The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

The House of the Scorpion (Matteo Alacran, #1)“I always say the truth is best even when we find it unpleasant.”

This book is unlike any YA/Middle Grade story you’ve ever read. It’s one I read years ago and I don’t remember as much of it as I would like. I do know that it was really thought-provoking and philosophical and handled grand topics such as the soul. This is a dystopian fiction novel about a boy who lives in the land of Opium, ruled by El Patron, who happens to be the original DNA from which clones are made. It’s a weird premise, but the story takes on large themes of friendship, survival and hope. Highly recommend this one and we can even read it together since I am due a reread.

6. The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub

The Talisman (The Talisman, #1)“Everything goes away, Jack Sawyer, like the moon. Everything comes back, like the moon.” 

Since Stephen King has written hundreds of books, I feel like some (or most) of them fall through the cracks. I never hear anyone talk about this one, and I loved it. It’s one of his more fantastical ones (rather than horror) and it follows Jack Sawyer as he embarks on an adventure into another land. The thing I like about this book is that it’s the canonical epic quest book. There’s a search for the sacred object, there’s terror and awakening and mystery and it’s a classic hero coming of age story. I love this one and I highly recommend you check it out.

And those are my underrated reads recommendations! Do you have any recs for me of books that are awesome but people rarely talk about? Let me know!

xxx

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33 thoughts on “Amazing Books No One Ever Talks About

  1. I totally agree about The Casual Vacancy! I don’t think it’s a perfect book by any means but I found it engrossing and heartbreaking, and I do think a lot of readers dismissed it outright because it wasn’t Harry Potter 2.0.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahoy there matey! I completely forget about Nancy Farmer and I shouldn’t! I hadn’t heard of this one but it sounds great! After checking I realize that I have only read two of her books. Though I can’t remember details of one of them. I will have to put her in the list of books to reread and read more of! Arrrr!
    x The Captain

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eek.
    Okay, so, I’m one of those people who didn’t like The Casual Vacancy. And in part you’re right – I was biased because it wasn’t Harry Potter. But on the other hand, although I love a small town story, *this* one failed to capture my interest largely because I didn’t relate to it? The small town I live in lets politics run in the background. If something happened to one of the cultural amenities, like the theatre, I guess there’s be more impact? But all towns are different! … You are right the Potterheads gave this one more grief than it deserved, however.
    Otherwise, I haven’t read any of these, but three of them are already on my TBR! I hope I enjoy them as much as you did!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I get that. And I realize there are some people who haven’t enjoyed it for other reasons, like yourself. I just meant that the book’s overall enjoyment and reviews relied heavily on comparissons to Harry Potter, which did not really bode well for The Casual Vacancy. I hope you love them too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I imagine it must be a bit intimidating for authors to continue writing after blockbusters like that… Suzanne Collins’ other books are MG, and Sarah J. Maas will get destroyed if she ever switches genres… Potterheads are definitely a bit unforgiving, though, so it’s probably good she used the pseudonym for her thrillers. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The House of the Talisman seems so amazing???!!!!! Also, I might try the Steven King one too, I’ve never read his books because when I was v little I watched “It” and was absolutely traumatized XD But it’s time to be mature about this!! Everyone says his books are amazing c: BUT I’M MOST EXCITED ABOUT THE HOUSE OF THE TALISMAN ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The House of the Scorpion is really amazing, and one of the og Middle Grade/YA books that never gets any recognition! You haven’t watched IT??? I adore that two part original movie so much, and the new one is great as well. And Stephen King’s books are a mixed bunch, some are great, some not so much, which is bound to happen when you write a hundred books 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay, I just had an aneurysm – BECAUSE I FREAKING LOVE HOUSE OF THE SCORPION. It was literally my favorite book in middle/high school, and even now it remains one of my favorite books to this day. I mean, it’s so special to me that it’s actually my very first review on my blog! I am so excited that you mentioned it here! 😀 😀 😀

    Also, I am uber geared up to read Sebastian de Castell. My personal underrated series of all time is the Bartimaeus trilogy, and Traitor’s Blade seems to be giving me those vibes. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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