We all have those books that we randomly picked up one day, devoured, and then couldn’t stop thinking about. Books that sang to our hearts and spoke to our souls. And if you don’t have those types of books, then I’m so sorry. But I’m going to give you some that have done that for me…so maybe that’ll change for you soon enough. The sad thing about many books is that sometimes they fly under the radar. They don’t become New York Times Bestsellers and they aren’t made into movies or anything like that. But they’re still gems—beautiful, rare, and hard to find. So here are some underrated books that I loved which didn’t quite get the recognition I feel they deserve.
Also, I apologize if you think that some of these books aren’t underrated. To me, they don’t get the attention they deserve and that’s why they’re on this list.
The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde
I had to read this one in one of my English survey courses freshman year…and then I had to read it again when I took Victorian lit, and I didn’t even care. If you haven’t read it, you should. And maybe “underrated” isn’t the right word since there have been movies and plays and it’s considered a classic…but not many people I know have read it. So underrated. It’s hilarious. And short; it’s a play, so it reads really fast. And then go watch the movie version with Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon. I love it so much.
The Storyteller – Jodi Picoult
Again, whether this is “underrated” is probably questionable since it’s Jodi Picoult, and so many people know her and her books. But this is one of her more recent ones, and I just thought it was beautiful and I haven’t heard too much (read: anything) about it from others. It’s a WWII story, alternating between present day and the stories from a WWII survivor. I want to give it a re-read to see what I think about it now, but I remember just loving it and I put it on my all-time favorites Goodreads shelf…which is a big deal. It’s hard to make that cut.
The Uglies series – Scott Westerfeld
Again, underrated? I don’t know. But people don’t talk about these, and I think they’re great dystopian novels…before dystopian novels became super popular. I read them for the first time back in 7th grade, maybe? 6th? I’m not sure, but it was a while ago. And my love for them has not dwindled.
Harry Potter – J. K. Rowling
Heh, just kidding. Probably the least underrated books of all time.
My Book of Life by Angel – Martine Leavitt
This one is definitely underrated because I don’t think many people have heard of this. I had to read a Martine Leavitt novel for my YA lit class a few years ago, and this one just broke my heart and blew me away, all at the same time. It’s a novel in verse about young prostitutes in Canada. Which might not sound like your type of book, but I sincerely believe you (yes, you) should read it. Everyone. It tugged on all my heartstrings and really added to my empathy. You can read my review here, where I just rant about how beautiful it was and how it made me cry (it’s hard for books to make me cry)—and ugh just so beautiful. Anyway, go read it.
The Program series – Suzanne Young
This one is definitely underrated. It’s a dystopic series, and they are so intense. You question everything you ever thought you believed ever. Especially in her epilogues. Suzanne Young’s epilogues are the best. And by “the best,” I also mean the worst because they twist around everything and blow my mind. Seriously. You can read my review for the first one here. And you can go find my reviews for the other ones…but I don’t want to link them because I just want you to go read the first one if you haven’t already.
Persuasion – Jane Austen
Okay, okay. I know what you’re saying. Austen? Really Carlisa? Jane Austen is underrated? Probably not. But among Jane Austen’s books, Persuasion is definitely underrated. Pride & Prejudice usually gets all the glory. Which is fine because P&P is still one of my all-time favorite books, and it’s probably the book I’ve re-read the most amount of times…but Persuasion is right up there with it in my mind. It’s lovely and beautiful. I had to re-read it for a class about two years ago, and the story and the romance resonated so strongly with some things happening in my life at the time…and ever since I can’t get it out of my mind. I’ve even been thinking about doing a retelling of this one…like writing it. It’s been on my mind a while, but I need to get down and re-read it again before I start plotting.
Consider – Kristy Acevedo
Underrated, definitely. So I’ve been interning for Jolly Fish Press—if you didn’t know. It’s a small publishing house that focuses on YA and MG novels, and I’ve absolutely loved it so far. I read Consider, which published with JFP earlier last year—and I’ve been obsessed. It’s kind of a dystopian novel, kind of pre-dystopian…which won’t make sense until you read it. But the main character has anxiety, and it’s so cool to read about a character with anxiety during this end-of-the-world situation. I just loved that. Anyway, it ends on a huge cliff-hanger that left me with my jaw on the floor, so I need the sequel. Like, yesterday.
The Madwoman Upstairs – Catherine Lowell
This one was really fun! Touchstone, its publisher, emailed me and asked if I wanted to review it, and I was so excited about that. It’s about a descendant of the Brontës, and it’s kind of this mystery, but also not. Everyone just assumes Samantha has the Brontë inheritance, with secret writings and paintings…but she doesn’t know anything about it. So it’s this journey of finding out about her family’s past and her ancestors…and the story is all just definitely very Brontë-esque, if you’ve ever read Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights. If you like any of the Brontë sisters, I definitely recommend this book. You can read my full review here.
I Am the Cheese – Robert Cormier
I had to read this one for my YA lit class and few years ago too, and it just kind of blew my mind. It’s a short book and honestly a little depressing…but man, oh man, after I finished I just sat there for a good ten minutes because I couldn’t wrap my brain around what happened. I don’t want to tell you much because I don’t want to give it away, but you can read the Goodreads synopsis here, and then just go read the book.
Ruthless – Carolyn Lee Adams
This one was crazy! I read it last year…I think. It could’ve been 2015. Okay, yep 2015. I just checked. Anyway, it’s about this girl who gets kidnapped by a serial killer. And kind of just her journey. But it is intense. The author, Carolyn Lee Adams, is a screenwriter, and you can totally see that in the novel. It’s incredibly visual, which is important in a thriller. It was just crazy and I was freaking out the entire time. So if you’re in the mood for a thriller-y, Criminal Minds-esque novel, this is the one for you. You can check out my full review here, complete with my reaction in a dog gif.
Yay! I did it! Ten books that, I believe, are underrated. In other words, these are ten books that I think you should go check out from your library today. Because they hold a special place in my heart, and hopefully your heart has room for them as well.
Have you read any of these books? What’d you think? What are some of your favorite underrated books? Let me know in the comments! And link me to your TTT!