Hey y’all, I’m back again with my January TBR (not to mention some recs)! As I mentioned in my last post of my all-time favorite underread books, I intend to participate in the #Quietathon throughout 2020. I’m trying to work through my owned TBR, and as many of those books are titles I picked up cheaply, that works super well with this challenge. I adore lesser known novels, and there are plenty of gems that have yet to read the 500 mark on Goodreads. So without further ado, I bring to you today:
My favorite books under 500 ratings
Neverland by Shari Arnold
Neverland actually made it to my list of all-time favorite underrated books, so clearly it deserves to be on this list. It’s about a girl whose younger sister has recently passed away from cancer (tragic, obviously), and it’s a Peter Pan retelling (hence the title). Shari Arnold’s writing style is easy to fly through, but her real superpower is her characters. I grew far too attached to these characters (there were some tears), and I’m still thinking about them. Plus, I’m obsessed with that cover. It’s perfectly simplistic and gorgeous and I’m pretty sure it’s the reason I picked it up in the first place, so thank God for that!! I kept this one around for a solid three or four years before reading it, but it was definitely worth the wait. I highly recommend picking it up.
In the Hope of Memories by Olivia Rivers
I discovered Olivia Rivers from this book in particular because I had originally requested it from Netgalley, and I am incredibly blessed to have been granted a copy, because I absolutely adore this book (and author). In the Hope of Memories is about a teenager (named Hope) who sets up a scavenger hunt for her friends to do on her birthday just before she passes away. It’s her dying wish for them to meet and become friends with each other, so how can they refuse? This was an incredible story of finding beauty and friendship amongst loss and tragedy, and it just… hit me in the feels. The insane part is that I read it so fast I thought it was only 200 pages. I couldn’t put this one down and I desperately need to reread it. I highly recommend In the Hope of Memories if you’re looking for a hard-hitting contemporary about unlikely friendships.
Blackwood by Evan Dorkin
Blackwood also made it to my all-time favorite underrated books, and it’s just… absolutely incredible. I definitely want to reread this comic. Blackwood is a young adult horror comic set in a school that trains students in the occult (um, where do I sign up). Bonus, the illustrations are probably the most beautiful thing I’ve EVER laid eyes on. I can’t get enough of Veronica Fish’s work, but this is my favorite out of everything she’s done. Maybe it seems weird to have horrific, disgusting scenes painted in gorgeous, expressive art, but it works together unbelievably well. This is my favorite standalone graphic novel and I would love for more people to pick it up!
Signs of You by Emily France
Signs of You was actually the last book I picked up in 2019, and wow, was it a good way to end the year! I’m not sure how it happened, but sometime between my buying this book and my reading it, I completely forgot the premise and just assumed it was this fluffy contemporary romance. Imagine my surprise when I realized it was much more hard-hitting, as the main character has lost her mom and the book revolves around grief. The main character, Riley, and her group of friends have all lost someone close to them, and this has created an inseparable bond between them. When Riley sees her mom in a grocery store, she (naturally) thinks she’s going insane. The paranormal element in this book is honestly awesome and surprisingly moving. I highly recommend Signs of You as a poignant look into grief and tragedy and a found family.
As I mentioned before, this is both a recommendation and a TBR! I’m intending (hoping) for many of my TBRs to be formatted this way this year, so definitely let me know whether you like this formatting! I don’t have much to say about any of the books on my TBR (of course, I haven’t read them yet) but I’m excited to pick up as many of these as possible and hopefully find some new favorites.
My TBR of books under 500 ratings
Lost Boys by Riley Quinn
Finding Jade by Mary Jennifer Payne
Kate Triumph by Shari Arnold
All the What Ifs by Angela Lynn
Mary Poser by Angel A.
Between the Water and the Woods by Simone Snaith
Tiny Infinities by J.H. Diehl
Spindle by Shonna Slayton
School of Deaths by Christopher Mannino
The Last Place on Earth by Carol Snow
Remember by Eileen Cook
The Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano
The Writer’s Map by Huw Lewis-Jones
What do you think? Should we make an effort to seek out lesser known books? Have you read any of my favorites or the books on my TBR? What are some of your favorites? Come chat with me in the comments! ❤