Hello everyone! It’s time for the monthly recommendations! This month I figured I’d suggest a few books and series that I think are seriously underrated, meaning I haven’t really seen a lot of hype for them online or heard many people taking about them. Let’s get started!
The first book I have to recommend is one of my all time: “Beauty Queens” by Libba Bray. I don’t know if this book got a lot of hype when it first came out, but I haven’t heard a lot about it recently, even though it has a super unique premise! The story opens on a group of beauty pageant contestants after their plane crashes on a deserted island, and then follows them as they try to survive, get along with each other, and figure out what/who else might be on the island. That plot may sound weird, but this book honestly has to be one of the most hilarious, unique, and entirely feminist books I have ever read. It has an great use of ensemble cast, great action, satire and character interactions, absolutely amazing representation within the cast, and just overall incredibly well written female characters kicking butt and supporting each other through a range of survival situations. If you haven’t read this yet, you need to get on that, because it amazingly good!
The next book is something I read forever ago and still remember as having a really interesting premise: “Meridian” by Amber Kizer. This story is about a girl named Meridian who, through her whole life, appears to be surrounded by death. After moving in with her mysterious great aunt, she learns that she is a “Fenestra”, someone who transitions the souls of dying humans to the afterlife, and that she must learn to use these abilities in order to combat the “Alternocti”, a cult that captures dying souls to cause disorder. “Meridian” is the first book in a trilogy, and it has some really cool fantasy elements and a really interesting take on sort of a “grim reaper” story! I will warn you that this book is definitely not for anyone who has issues with the concept of death or really dark premises, but if you’re looking for something with a good kind of creepy and addicting tone, this is a great place to start!
My next recommendation is also the first of a trilogy: “Across the Universe” by Beth Revis. This book takes place on the colonized spaceship Godspeed which, for hundreds of years, has been traveling from Earth to a newly discovered planet. The main character, Amy, was cryogenically frozen on Earth in order to experience the planet with her parents, but finds herself awakened fifty years early while still aboard the ship. With the assistance of Elder, the heir to Godspeed’s leadership, she must learn to live within the ship’s society, and after learning that her awakening was not a technological issue but an attempted murder, uncover tried to kill her. This series honestly deserves so much more hype than it gets. The society of the spaceship is fascinating, the relationship between the main characters is beautifully written, and the story is incredibly intense and intriguing. If you’re a fan of science fiction, this is definitely a series I recommend!
Next up we have another of my all time favorite books: “Suite Scarlett” by Maureen Johnson. This book focuses on the main character, Scarlett, who’s family owns a hotel in New York City. Whenever a member of the family turns fifteen, they are given a suite to tend to in the hotel, and on Scarlett’s birthday she gets not only a suite, but also it’s permanent resident, an eccentric and mysterious woman named Mrs. Anderson. Add a romance with an actor preforming alongside her brother in a production of “Hamlet” which can’t find a venue), and you have a contemporary that is honestly such a great mix of a great setting, amazingly done family relationships, and wonderfully hilarious dialogue.The interactions between the members of Scarlett’s (including her older brother the struggling actor and her older sister who is dating one of NYC’s most eligible bachelors) are absolutely hilarious and super well written, and the sequel, “Scarlett Fever” is just as good, if not better!
Finally, we have the last book I have to recommend this month: “Worlds of Ink and Shadow” by Lena Coakley . I don’t really know if this counts as underrated seeing as it just came out, but this book seriously deserves so much more hype than I’ve seen it getting lately! The story follows a fictionalized version of the Bronte siblings who are not only writing their first stories, but also have the ability to enter the settings of their stories and interact with their characters. At first they have full control of their fictional worlds, but soon things start going wrong, and everything starts to become a questions of what is real and what is not. I think if I had to choose one word to describe this book it would be “atmospheric”. Honestly, the historical setting is insanely well done, the premise is really unique, and each character is individual and well-developed! If you want to read something with really well written family dynamics and unique fantasy elements, this is the book for you!
Well that’s about it for this month’s recommendations! Thanks for reading and see you next time!