Super quick post today- I just wanted to give some recommendations 🙂 As we come to the end of spring and move into summer, I thought I’d share a handful of books all about change and starting fresh- enjoy!
Where the Crawdads Sing– a beautiful story about a girl forced to keep picking herself up, brushing herself off and starting over- no matter what life throws at her. This deep character study is one of the best things I’ve read so far this year. It’s an exquisite exploration of overcoming loneliness and hardship.
Happiest Man on Earth– in a similar vein, this true story is about going through hell and coming out the other side. No matter what the author suffered, he did not let it break him. It is one of the most inspirational and powerful autobiographies I’ve ever read.
Eat Pray Love– another memoir, this an account of rediscovery. It’s a quick read that everyone can find helpful- whether you find solace in eating, praying or loving.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine– this is a story of a woman who sets out to find love, yet instead discovers the importance of friendship and rediscovers herself. I loved Eleanor’s journey from beginning to end.
The Flatshare– I needed this book in my life. It is quite simply a lovely read, all about having to find an unconventional living arrangement… only to get way more out of it than anyone bargained for! It shows that life has a way of working out- even when things don’t go to plan 🙂
Beach Read– I love how this story uses writing as a powerful mode to deal with grief and cope with uncomfortable truths. It’s certainly a clever way to explore real character growth.
Words in Deep Blue– I will never miss an opportunity to recommend this heartfelt book. It’s a story of love and loss and finding happiness again. This gorgeous account of grief is a perfect antidote to going through a tough time, because it shows that, no matter what, we can come out the other side.
Anne of Green Gable– most people know the story of Anne, so it hardly needs an introduction. Yet, whether you’re late to the party like I was or just need a nostalgic boost, this uplifting story is perfect if you need a restorative narrative.
The Secret Garden– of course, I’d be remiss not to mention the *ultimate* story of revival. This book shows that things can always begin again.
Secret Countess– and finally, I thought I’d end with a fairy-tale-esque story of renewal. From luxury in pre-Revolutionary Russia to impoverishment, the heroine of this beautiful book must find a way to rise again. And that she does in a truly resplendent and graceful fashion.
And that’s all for now! Did you enjoy the books on this list? Do you have any to add? Let me know in the comments!
Hello all! After writing with *no disclaimers*, I thought it might be fun to continue in that vein and give you ten bookish confessions… which I may very well regret making 😉 enjoy!
#1 I spend way too much time thinking about the books I ought to be reading (than actually reading). But don’t we all do this? 😉
#2 I find all those #relatable bookish posts on social media far too relatable 😉 I still like to trawl through twitter for them (when I should be doing better things… like reading 😉)
#3 I don’t actually want to talk when my book is open!!! (And I don’t know why this still needs to be pointed out to the rest of the world!)
#4 Yes, I do actually want to spend all my spare money on books, thanks for asking!
#5 I spend way too much time plotting planning to get hold of new books. I think about if I have it in my budget, if it’s available at the library, if it might be better to listen to the audiobook version… basically I overthink everything and turn each book acquisition into a full-blown project!
#6 Sometimes I don’t want to read your favourite book- sorry! I get A LOT of suggestions… and I don’t always find them interesting… so I have to make a quick escape from the conversation…
#7 That said, if I tell you I do want to read something, I’m planning it out already. Just bear in mind some of these convoluted plans can take years to execute 😉 Don’t be surprised when you finally catch me reading your favourite *years* after mentioning it!
#8 And at the same time, if a book crosses my path, I’m always a little intrigued. I’m definitely going to look it up and down, maybe feel it up, get under the dustcover… even if all that frisking ends in rejection anyway. I have no scruples when it comes to my book addiction!
#9 I’m done trying to be objective about books- I’ll settle for honesty. If I can’t see a book’s merit, I’ll say so.
#10 I take inspiration from a lot of things I read… even if they’re bad (maybe even especially if they’re bad, cos it’s often more encouraging than reading the greats 😉)
And that’s all for now! Do you share any of these bookish habits? Or do you have any confessions of your own to make? Let me know in the comments!
Hello all! inspired by the recent Shadow and Boneadaptation, I decided to make a list of TV and movie adaptations I feel strongly about. As you can imagine, this could’ve been an absolutely ginormous list, so I decided to stick to best and worst adaptations (in my opinion of course 😉). So there’s nothing here I feel lukewarm or so-so about. I also didn’t include adaptations where I hated the books to begin with (Divergent, Twilight) or where the book series hasn’t finished yet (GOT). And, obviously, I have to be familiar with the original series.
Let’s get started with my favourites:
The Lord of the Rings– well, obviously. These movies were a massive part of inspiring my lifelong love of reading. And I’m one of those people that prefers the Lord of the Rings movies to the books (sacrilege, I know, but they’re my favourite films of all time).
Stardust– this movie is *magical*. Again, it’s one where I actually prefer the adaptation to the book, because it’s just so damn good. I will happily rewatch this over and over!
Shadow and Bone– this may be a bold choice, since I saw this really recently (and isn’t a complete series yet). That said, going off of what I’ve seen so far, I think it both captures the best aspects of the Grishaverse and improves upon the source material. I can’t wait to watch more of it!
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before– switching things up, this contemporary perfectly adapts the source material, bringing all the humour, quirky characters and sisterhood to the screen. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve rewatched it *so many times*!
Love Simon– this is another contemporary I love to rewatch. Personally, while I enjoyed the book, the film felt a little slicker and I got more out of it.
Atonement– I’ve made no secret of the fact I don’t love McEwan’s writing style… but I adore this film. It’s an exquisitely shot, beautifully acted historical romance, with a brilliant soundtrack. And even if that wasn’t enough to make me love it- I also love the slightly different ending. It worked so well for me.
Pride and Prejudice– there’s a lot of debate about the best Austen adaptation, but quite simply, this is it for me. I can happily rewatch/reread anything Austen related- yet this is the one I binge annually. It is just classic bliss.
Bleak House– another perfect adaptation from Andrew Davies, this TV series has such strong Dickensian energy and brilliantly brings the story and characters to life.
And now let’s move onto adaptations I DESPISE- WARNING UNPOPULAR OPINIONS AHEAD!!!!!!
The Hobbit– well I have to start with the most egregious example of an “adaptation”. Because this butchers the source material and brings nothing good to the table. I won’t go on about this too much- as I’ve already discussed it at length– but this adaptation still makes me mad. It doesn’t help that the Hobbit is one of my all-time favourite books- yet I’m still amazed that they managed to mess it up quite this much. Choosing Peter Jackson to adapt this book- when he doesn’t even like the original story- makes no sense (even if he did a great job with LOTR).
Harry Potter– okay, *deep breath* everybody, I know this is an unpopular opinion. I’ve just never enjoyed these movies. I know that a lot of people are very attached to them, but I have remained the kinda disappointed, hipster child that couldn’t get on board with these adaptations. It certainly didn’t help that they left out huge things and changed a lot (though I do like the videos by Dominic Noble exploring all the ways they messed up on that front)- I just never vibed with them. I tried to rewatch them at the beginning of lockdown 1… and gave up after trying the first couple of movies because they weren’t for me. Maybe one day I’ll challenge myself and try again- yet I don’t see myself changing my mind- sorry!
The Golden Compass– there were actually things about the movie that I liked (most specifically, some aspects of Lyra’s portrayal). However, we all know this is nothing like the book, starting with the dumb title change. If you want to see an actually good adaptation (though not perfect) definitely try His Dark Materials… but in both cases I still recommend sticking to the books first and foremost.
The Mortal instruments– I mean, do I even need to get into why? This is just one in a long string of Hollywood badly adapting a YA series (and I’m only picking on it cos it’s the one where I’ve read the whole series and watched the adaptation). They messed up half the story and the way they did Valentine was laughable… and then they blamed fans for not liking it enough for a second movie adaptation.
Shadowhunters– okay, this one might also make people angry… but I don’t like the show either! For very different reasons. I hate the acting and the weird changes and the special effects look really unnatural to me. I gave up on this show very quickly and just watched the Malec scenes (cos they’re what it’s all about anyway). Still, I do think it’s astounding that there are two adaptations of the same story and I hate them both (maybe it doesn’t help that I’ve since gone off the source material too).
Always and Forever Lara Jean– annnd this also did everything I hate in Hollywood adaptations. With this one, I think it’s more of a shame, as I actually enjoyed the way the book series ended. It stripped the story of all its meaning and most of its subtlety. I wasn’t a fan of the second movie, but then I didn’t enjoy the second book. Worst of all, I felt like where the book finally brought the couple back together, this removed any remaining chemistry they had. Not worth watching.
My Sister’s Keeper– bit of a random throwback, yet I can never quite forget how utterly betrayed I felt by this adaptation. Changing the ending ruined everything this story had to say.
And that’s all I’ve got for now! Do you agree or disagree with any of my picks? And what are your favourite book adaptations? Which ones do you hate the most? Let me know in the comments!
Hello all! Just a quick post today of some Spring-themed books- enjoy!
Secret Garden- I mean, this list would be incomplete without it, wouldn’t it? It’s the most Spring-y Springtime book that I could have sprung on you!
Anne of Green Gables– another classic I can’t help but associate with Spring! So much of this story resonates with Springtime and the great outdoors.
The Wind in the Willows– children’s books really fit with Spring for me- and who could forget this charming story? Adorable and fun and showing the magic of the natural world (yes there really are talking badgers and moles 😉), this is one to (re)visit at this time of year.
The Hobbit– there are so many reasons Tolkien reminds me of Spring! Of course, Tolkien Reading Day takes place at the end of March. And for me personally, it’s when I first read the series and it became an annual tradition to reread around Easter. Most importantly of all, the book itself is a reminder to get out and go on an adventure… or maybe just go for a really long walk 😉
Iron Fey series– again, I associate this author with Spring. Mostly, it is because her descriptions sing with life and fresh excitement every time. It was very hard for me to choose between her different series for this- yet I decided to go old school because these books have such a strong seasonal pull. And fantasy just works at this (and every) time of year!
Book of Atrix Wolfe– McKillip is so powerful at creating atmosphere. Both books I’ve read I strongly associate with nature and hints of magical change.
Far from the Madding Crowd– nothing makes me think more of fecundity and lush settings than Hardy. I chose this particular book, as I often think of it as the happiest of Hardy’s books and for me that fits more with this time of year (*read happiest of Hardy’s books = still contains tragic elements 😉).
Chocolat– this very indulgent read begins around Lent and explores human desires and passions- if that doesn’t make you think of Spring, I don’t know what will.
Tea Dragon Society– if you’re still craving something sweet, then this children’s graphic novel will be perfect for you. I read it recently and enjoyed every second. The story is so charming and the illustrations just lovely. It actually whizzes through all the seasons, yet for me there’s something so cosy about this that makes me think most of Spring.
Fire of Joy– something about Spring makes me turn to poetry. I happened to read this collection recently and appreciated the commentary that came with every poem. What also makes this perfect for this time of year is how these are poems designed to be read aloud. Just something about turning these over on your tongue made me feel a sense of renewal.
Poetry by Keats– ah Romantic poets are perfect for this time of year. They make you want to dip your toes into awe-inspiring nature and new love. By rights, I perhaps should have suggested Blake for renewal or Wordsworth for his natural inspiration, but for me Keats is King!
So, have you read any of these? And which books do you most strongly associate with Spring? Let me know in the comments!
Do you guys remember me doing this post previously? Nah- neither did I. I took *way too long* to get round to reading all my predicted 5* reads- but I’ve finally done it! So, even if this is far less relevant than it was supposed to be, I’m going to update you:
Dark Age– as predicted, this was a massive success! I love this series and this one seriously raised the stakes. I can’t wait for the finale.
Wayward Son– also a success! Very different to the first and somewhat meandering… and yet it worked for me. It moved the plot in an interesting direction- looking forward to seeing what that is!
Ninth House– a fair 4* read. This didn’t have much in common with Bardugo’s other work and it was good to see the author branch out.
Crowfall– obviously a success 😉 This grimdark series was great. Beyond its vivid writing and world building, it had a strong emotional heart.
Night Country– not quite as sensational as Hazel Wood, though I did enjoy reading it. And I still have faith in the author and am looking forward to reading Tales of the Hinterland soon.
Starsight– 4*. While I didn’t fall for this quite as much as the first, this was a solid sequel. The spy subplot is not my favourite direction the story could have taken. I feel like *spoilers for book 1* finding out all of humanity is locked up in a prison, should make you feel small and powerless. And this didn’t do that, so it didn’t quite land for me.
Call Down the Hawk– this one could’ve gone either way. And as always, I did appreciate Stiefvater’s beautiful writing. It just didn’t quite blow me away.
Dispel Illusion– another success. Plus, I don’t need to time travel to tell you I enjoyed the trilogy’s conclusion as well. There can be no illusion that I enjoyed this sci fi series.
The Secret Commonwealth– either this was a very long short story or I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to read this… or both. Regardless it wasn’t five stars.
Small Spaces– I’ve read the first two in this series and gave them both 4 bananas. They were somewhat unsettling but also felt safely MG- definitely glad I picked them up.
And that’s all for my updates! Time to make some new predictions!
I decided this time around to go for books I’ve been planning to read for ages and already own, so hopefully it won’t take as long to get to! (barring any other unforeseen events that stop me reading again). Without further ado, here they are:
And one bonus book that’s not out yet:
Phew! Finally done this post! Hopefully next time I won’t take years to do a follow up 😉 Now want to know- have you read any of these books? Were they five stars for you? What books do you predict being your next five star reads? Let me know in the comments!
I’ve been thinking about endurance a lot lately- which made me (obviously) relate it back to books. There are many reasons a book may be a test of endurance- but today I just want to look at the most common reason: length. Powering through a tome can be a challenge. Sometimes it’s rewarding… and sometimes it’s really, really not. Let’s talk about some of my experiences:
Les Miserables– according to Goodreads this is longer than War and Peace– I don’t know how they figured it out. Either way, this was a fantastic book. There were parts that dragged, as you might expect of a book this long, but overall it was a stonkingly good read.
War and Peace– I challenged myself to read this a few years ago and was actually surprised by how much it blew me away. Highlighting the horrors of warfare, this book is an immersive and complex exploration of humanity.
Game of Thrones– loads of GRRM Books end up on this list, so I decided to just mention the series. Personally, I think this books have an excellent grasp of character and the plots are completely invigorating… HOWEVER, *controversial opinion time*, I don’t think they justify their length. There is a lot about the writing style that I don’t like and could have been cut down for more brevity.
Atlas Shrugged– oof this is the most painful book on the list. Sorry, not into Rand’s dull propagandistic drivel. This didn’t feel like reading a story at all and was just painful to get through.
Count of Monte Cristo– contrast that with one of my faves- this book is so thoroughly entertaining. Don’t be put off by the length, it’s one of the most exciting books I’ve ever read. And it has interesting things to say about what the thirst for vengeance does to you as well.
Gone with the Wind– if you enjoy war dramas, there’s a fighting chance you’ll like this book. This didn’t quite do it for me. There were too many things my modern eyes couldn’t ignore and I couldn’t get past. Besides, it didn’t help that I hated the heroine.
Bleak House– there were a couple of Dickens in the running as well, but I decided to go with the one I liked most. Dickens is always good value entertainment and this is no exception. Full of vivid characters and a powerfully descriptive setting, it’s easy to visualise the Dickensian world. For me, this book has some distinct passages and images that have left their mark on me.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell– the only one on this list I DNF’d. Sadly, I didn’t connect with the writing style, so I can say it’s a case of “it’s not you, it’s me”.
Wise Man’s Fear– ach this did not live up to its predecessor. With Name of the Wind, I felt the length was justified with just enough action and elegant prose. Yet here everything I liked was snuffed out and replaced with a smokescreen of pointless subplots. It didn’t feel like the overall narrative advanced at all: Kvothe ended up more or less back where he started, but with a few extra skills (chiefly swordsmanship and apparently being oh-so-fabulous in bed). I’m hoping this was just middle book syndrome and whatever sure-to-be-monstrous-sized tome follows it will justify its length.
Kingdom of Ash– I didn’t end up loving this finale quite as much as I thought I would, though I can’t entirely blame that on the length. To be fair to the book, every scene had a weight to it and felt significant. Unfortunately, plot isn’t the only thing that matters in a big book. In this case, there were simply too many characters and I couldn’t sustain an interest for all of them. Unrelated to length, I also didn’t like the *dramatic* perspective shifts, which I heard Maas say was to frustrate the reader. Frustrate me it did- I kept putting the book down, which meant it took me even longer to get through than it should have.
As you can see, a bit of a mixed bag! Have you read any of these? Did you love them or loathe them? And what’s the longest book you’ve ever read? Let me know in the comments!
Okay, it’s time for me to fess up, sometimes I’m a hypocrite when it comes to books. There are complaints I make OVER AND OVER about things I *hate* in books… and yet sometimes there are exceptions to the rule and please-don’t-hate-me-but-I-actually-let-some-books-and-authors-off-the-hook-I’m-sorry. I was inspired to admit this because I saw two book tubers- Liene’s Library and Merphy Napier– owning up about all the ways they’re hypocrites. I decided to just stick to books that do things I don’t like well, since anyone can do a good thing badly 😉 That’s why these are all books I love but I’m a teensy-tiny-bit of a MASSIVE hypocrite about them:
Grapes of Wrath– I’ll be the first to admit I complain constantly about politics and propaganda in books… but I always let Steinbeck off the hook. Look, if you can write like Steinbeck, you can do whatever you want 😉
Once and Future Witches– okay, it’s not just Steinbeck who can do whatever they want- as far as I’m concerned so can Alix E Harrow. Now her writing is hardly as propagandistic as Steinbeck’s buuut there is a hint of politics in there. And I have to say I’ve let lesser writers off for even the mere mention of politics (doesn’t matter whether I agree with it or not). But damn, she’s just so talented and I love every second of her books!
His Dark Materials– it’s interesting reading this as an adult, because it pushes post-modernism quite a bit more than I would normally like. Yet, I make excuses because it’s not overly preachy or propagandistic. Plus, I’m completely intoxicated by the world, characters and overarching plot of the series.
The Secret History– normally I hate books with pretentious characters and the theme of almost-but-not-quite fitting in with posh people… and I yet I FRICKIN LOVE THIS. Not only is it done so so well, it also has so much going for it. There’s a murder mystery and an intricately woven plot and some fascinating prose… it’s just a lot better than the average book set in uni.
Infernal DevicesSeries– there’s lots of things I don’t like here: not least that characters quote poetry at each other and love triangle (yes these are some of my somewhat specificpet peeves). Nonetheless, I like this series best of Clare’s work, because the romance is done so so well. Every move makes sense and I could completely get behind it without compromising my morals. The quoting reams of poetry randomly and pretentiously still irritates me though 😉
Anna and the French Kiss– okay, I have zero justification for this. Anna has the worst kind of cheating love triangle. I don’t even know why I still like this book… but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. I think it helps that the characters at least feel bad for their shitty behaviour? Yeahhh that doesn’t make it much better… Moving on…
How I Live Now– this might be even worse because it has a truly icky plot point. Normally for me the whole cousin thing would be a hard no. Something about this book is so strange and disturbing that I wasn’t quite as thrown by it in context (still weird though).
Carry On– okay by contrast, I’m completely justified for liking this book. Yes, I normally hate Chosen Ones with the burning passion of a Dark Lord… BUT this is a parody darn it! And it works so well! And on the subject of comedies…
My Lady Jane– normally I have a lot criticism of alternate history… yet not in this case. Not only does it play with history in such a fun way (that weirdly makes sense) it also made me laugh… so it’s off the hook for everything. I just have a lot of fun with these author’s books- they can do no wrong!
American Royals– another alternate history/contemporary that’s mostly just soapy drama. A lot of it isn’t entirely logical and I don’t know how much makes sense. I just ate it all up.
Crown of Feathers– I’ve heard some criticism of the info-dumping in this series. And, yes, I see it. Even if it’s in little snippets at the start of each chapter, it’s still often considered a no-no to squeeze world building in that way… And yet I didn’t care for a change? This phoenix-led fantasy was just plain enjoyable and I want to dive into more of the series!
Supernova– yeah the finale for this superhero story left some things open ended for a future instalment- which normally would annoy me… buuuut I’m just excited. I want more!
Daisy Jones and the Six– admittedly this doesn’t have the most substantial plot and it’s pretty character led. That can often be an issue for me with books… though can I say I care here? Nah- I just found it super immersive on audiobook and well worth listening to! SO PEACE OUT!
Okay- glad I got that off my chest! Do you also feel like a bit of a hypocrite about some of the books you love? Which ones? Let me know in the comments!
A couple of months back I talked about *all the positives with negative reviews* and one of the things I mentioned was how they can get you to EVEN MORE read books. And today I’m proving that point with a list of books that I read because of negative reviews. Sometimes you just need more of a kick to get to something you’ve been putting off; sometimes negative reviews point out things you might love! Here’s just some of the times it happened for me:
Hazel Wood– I have to admit, I was first lured into checking this book out because of the cover. Then I heard it was about fairy tales and my interest was piqued. Because it was an unknown author, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to give it a try, especially given some of the mixed reviews that were coming out. HOWEVER, when I actually read the reviews complaining about its slow pace, I stopped worrying, because while that criticism is valid, when I’m in the right mood for it, a leisurely plot is exactly what I need. And some of the other complaints were so invalid… I picked the book up in spite of them! Really glad I did because it’s one of my favourite fantasy reads!
Bear and the Nightingale– I was a little hesitant to start this because of all the hype. HOWEVER, I actually found negative reviews helpful in lowering my expectations. Not only did they make me aware of the slow pace before going into it, one review helpfully said the reason they didn’t like it much was because as an Eastern European they were so familiar with the stories it didn’t feel as cool as people were making out… For me personally this just added points for authenticity!
Daughter of Smoke and Bone– in the days before blogging, I heard good and bad things about this book. Ironically, I didn’t feel like I shared the same taste as some of its and in the end was more curious about what some of critics were saying… who knew I would end up raving about how much I love this book forever?!
An Enchantment of Ravens– the weird thing about this book was that I saw mostly negative reviews for it- and still my curiosity was there. In the end, reviewers arguing that it didn’t measure up to the author’s second book, Sorcery of Thorns, pushed me to read it sooner rather than later, because I figured I wouldn’t want to have that negative comparison in my head (funnily enough, while I love Sorcery of Thorns, I sometimes feel even more enchanted by Enchantment of Ravens– they’re both great books for different reasons!)
Cruel Prince– obviously I’d heard of this book because it was ridiculously hyped. And I’d read some good stuff by the author before, so I was vaguely curious. But what made me desperate to pick it up was actually someone critiquing it who didn’t like YA. Their candour pointing out everything they didn’t like made me realise “hey, this has all the ingredients of YA fantasy that I LOVE”. So, of course, I raced to get a copy and I’m really glad I did! If you need a fun YA series, then this will be right up your street!
Wilder Girls– everyone that’s read reviews for this book will know it’s really hit or miss. Naturally, I heard plenty of the criticisms before giving it a try. AND YET, I was so swayed by the concept, I didn’t care. It turned out the issues people had with it being gory and strange were fair… but the praise made sense too! For me, the good definitely outweighed its flaws! I’m glad I listened to my gut on this one.
Red Rising– okay, this is more of a case of my interest being SUPER HYPED that I didn’t feel I could read it. I was so scared of it not living up to my expectations that I talked myself out of reading it. But eventually I came across a review saying it took too long to get going… weirdly this made me more ready to pick it up! I figured even if I didn’t enjoy it at the start it would get better and my expectations were lowered enough to give it a go. Turns out I had nothing to fear because this was exactly my cup of tea!
Stranger on the Beach– weirdly enough, I heard about this book in a lukewarm review from someone who nearly always gives positive reviews. And even more strangely, when I read the book, I understood why she wasn’t crazy about it… BUT I also saw a lot of cleverness to the writing and I ended up incredibly impressed!
Catcher in the Rye– I heard so so many negative things. I went in assuming that I would be one of the many people that didn’t enjoy this book… but from the second I started reading I was pulled in by the voice. I saw instantly why people didn’t like it- however I also saw the realism and depth that had gone in to creating such a strong sense of character. Holden Caulfield may think I’m a phony for saying this, but
My Lady Jane– I was very worried about this not living up to all the acclaim- especially given how it can be really hard to gauge whether the humour will land. I stopped overthinking it after I saw some negative reviews saying they didn’t find it funny- I figured if I was in the same boat, I wouldn’t be alone. LUCKILY, the joke was on me once I read it, cos I thought it was hilarious. I shouldn’t have been so hesitant.
So, have you read any of these books? What books did you find thanks to negative reviews? Let me know in the comments!
Hope I’m not overreaching myself with this one 😉 Title’s pretty self-explanatory- let’s take off and fly into the sun.
Dr Faustus– yes let’s start with the guy who sold his soul to the devil (seems like a very good place to start… or not 😉).
The Invisible Life of Addie Larue– on the subject of selling souls, Addie Larue comes to mind. This book is so intricate, it makes me think of many different themes, yet at the centre of them all is a girl brimming with ambition. Too bad about that deal though.
Vicious– okay, yes, I’m including two Schwab books on this list- but I can’t help it! No one does books about hubris quite like her! And yet, this is so very different to Addie Larue… because these buckos aren’t always quite as sympathetic (and yet I love them!!)
Cruel Prince– thinking of more characters with an edge, Jude comes to mind. Her ambition is perhaps a little less vicious, yet still has a bit of a bite.
Red Rising– taking off in a different direction, let’s head into space… where we get a rather ambitious tale of Roman-themed warriors fighting it out Hunger Games style.
School for Good and Evil– okay this is a bit less gory than the last one, don’t be fooled by the title 😉 This MG follows two girls, whisked off to a fairy tale school to be good or evil. And while one of them always dreams of going to this school to be good… the catch is she’s there to be evil. A very fun concept, enjoyably executed.
Jude the Obscure– someone else desperate for an education was Jude… fair warning, this book is by Thomas Hardy, so it doesn’t quite work out (okay, I feel like I should say a bit more IE WARNING WARNING THINGS GO BADLY WRONG HERE!!)
Macbeth– on the topic of things going badly, Shakespeare’s ambitious Scottish play drops a few unsubtle hints about *why it’s a bad idea to kill a king you have over to stay*. It could get you into a spot of bother 😉
Game of Thrones– oh gosh this is jam-packed with characters trying to kill kings/bastards/boys/anyone with a head still on their shoulders… Suffice to say, if you’re looking for an ruthless read, this fits the bill (oh and given each book is a tome and there’s five out so far, getting into this series is a bit of an undertaking!)
Circe- but if you need something moreambitious, then definitely pick up this *outstanding* retelling. Staying true to the age-old myths and yet putting a new spin on them is quite an achievement in and of itself. However, even more impressive is how it handles the topic of hubris. I won’t spoil anything, except to say this surpassed my every expectation.
Daisy Jones and the Six- back to the real world and a very different kind of kickass female lead, this vibey book beats to its own drum, recording the exploits of a fictional rock band. What’s great about this one is how it explores meeting creative goals!
The Great Gatsby– finally, if you’re needing something *even more* glamorous, then here’s something that sparkles. Full of unfulfilled desires, this book achieves gorgeous prose and captures the exquisite pain of failure. It is a masterpiece.
And that’s all for now! Do you agree or disagree with any of the books on this list? Are there any books you would add? Let me know in the comments!
Oh boy I haven’t done one of these posts since my blog was a baby back in 2015!! Which means this is LONG OVERDUE! I have read *a lot* of underrated books since then, so I’m going to have to share them!
Echo North- I read this recently and you’re going to have to prepare yourself for hearing me talk about it *a lot*! I discovered this beautiful, wintry read courtesy of the lovely Kat @Life and Other Disasters and the wonderful Pages Unbound. I am so so happy I took their advice on this seriously underrated retelling. Elegantly written and with a touch of unique magic, this was a story I needed in my life.
Wolf in the Whale– this may not seem underrated, because I talk about it PLENTY… and yet not enough people seem to pick it up (according to goodreads). And that’s more than a bit of a shame, because this atmospheric read was so memorable. Its frosty images and haunting tale are imprinted in my mind. I have to put in the caveat that it may not be for everyone, thanks to its dark subject matter, yet if you can handle some hard themes, this is a historical fantasy you won’t forget in a hurry.
The Book of Hidden Things– okay, another one that may be a bit out there! BUT, this magical realism story is so so worth reading if you’re looking for something a bit different. Set in Southern Italy this delves into mysteries both past and present. I can’t quite shake the hold this story has over me.
The Furies– a witchy story set in a school may sound familiar- but don’t be fooled. There’s nothing typical about this underappreciated book. Moody and with subtle depths, I think more YA fans should check this out.
Toffee– moving onto something a little softer, but with a bit of a bite, Toffee is perhaps for a younger YA audience. I will admit this is by a popular author, yet not talked about much on the blogosphere. Dealing with hard themes, it was ultimately very sweet.
Boy Who Steals Houses– by contrast, many, many people on the blogosphere may know about this book by C G Drews/otherwise known as Paperfury, but my goal is to spread the love a bit further! This contemporary Goldilocks retelling is a delight (and something I’ve just given my sister to read 😊).
Exquisite– moving on to something a little darker, I cannot recommend this exquisitely written thriller enough. This was good both on a line-by-line level and had a killer plot. With themes centring on writing and obsessive romance, this hit the spot for me.
The Weekend Away– this is perhaps more of your typical pulpy thriller… and I dug it. If you need a quick getaway into a thrilling story, then this is the book for you.
All That Still Matters At All– well known in Hungary, but not so much outside of it, this heart wrenching poetry collection is definitely worth trying if you: enjoy poems, like words, want to feel like you’ve been punched in the gut. Just go for it- and maybe I’ll stop bringing it up every five minutes (I won’t).
Man in the White Sharkskin Suit– there’s so much packed into this memoir- from the story of the 20th Century exodus of Jews from Egypt, an account of family history and a hard-hitting personal journey. This is one of my favourite ever memoirs and more people should try it!
So, have you read any of these? Do you plan to? And what’s the most underappreciated book you can recommend? Let me know in the comments!