January 17: Top Ten Underrated Books I’ve Read In The Past Year
How do you define “underrated?” My definition was a purely mathematical one: any book that has received fewer than 20,000 ratings on Goodreads. Bearing in mind that some of the most rated books include Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (>4.3m ratings) and To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (>3.1m ratings), I felt 20,000 was a moderate number.
1. This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (<19,000 ratings)
An incredibly harrowing tale of a school shooting in the USA, this novel is told from the perspectives of multiple students and sees their individual stories intertwine in the most interesting of ways.
2. George by Alex Gino (<12,000 ratings)
This novel feels so important: centring around a middle-school student stuck in the wrong body, it follows George’s journey of transition and acceptance to Melissa.
3. Unboxed by Non Pratt (<1,000 ratings)
There don’t seem to be enough YA novels that star friendship above romance, but this book is fantastic in focusing on one of the most important relationships.
4. One by Sarah Crossan (<6,000 ratings)
This is a free verse poem about true love, friendship and sacrifice. The characters are well developed and the plot feels incredibly heartfelt and raw.
5. Confessions Of A GP by Dr. Benjamin Daniels (<4,000 ratings)
A memoir about many of the hilarious issues GPs face on a day-t0-day basis, this non-fiction is both educational and entertaining.
6. Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell (<10,000 ratings)
This novella is super sweet, featuring “nerdy” characters being themselves. It’s about finding friendships where you’d least expect them.
7. Day 21 by Kass Morgan (<13,000 ratings)
I adored the first novel in The 100 series, and this second volume was no different. The characters are well developed and the plot is fast-paced.
8. Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide by J.K. Rowling (<12,000 ratings)
Late last year, JKR released three Hogwarts eBooks, and this was (in my opinion) the best of the bunch. Any excuse to learn more about the wizarding world.
9. Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops by Jen Campbell (<12,000 ratings)
A nonfiction book featuring all the ridiculous comments customers make in bookshops, some of these are simply unbelievable.
10. Foe by J.M. Coetzee (<7,000 ratings)
A re-telling set post-Robinson Crusoe, this novel explores elements of magical realism and the workings of the mind: it’s rather strange, yet a compulsive read.
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