This week we’ve been tasked with finding our top ten underrated books / hidden gems. Now I don’t really know how to class a book as “underrated” but I’ve given it my best shot.
As always, this is in no particular order!
1) The Ploughman by Kim Zupan – I’d class this novel as a hidden gem, in the sense that only a small amount of people seem to have read it (just over 1,000 ratings on Goodreads). It’s a beautiful piece of literature, very poetic and moving – it’s worth buying if you ever come across it!
2) The Last One by Alexandra Oliva – This isn’t really a hidden gem (though I think more people should read it!!) but I feel it’s been reasonably underrated. Lot’s of people feel this dystopian thriller was average at best, but I thought it was wonderful and pretty unique in comparison to some of the other books being published at the moment. This was actually one of my favourite reads of 2016, so maybe I’m just being biased but I feel it deserves more recognition.
3) Mammoth by Douglas Perry – I picked this up as a chance read on Netgalley and I’m so glad I did! This novel is seriously underrated in the fact that it’s hardly been read (60 ratings on Goodreads) and it’s been poorly rated. Although it wasn’t as much of a thriller as I was expecting, it was still a great piece of work. The character development was superb!
4) A Pleasure and a Calling by Phil Hogan – I don’t get why people didn’t like this? A seriously underrated read at an average of 3.5 stars and only 2,000 ratings. This is one of the creepiest, skin-crawling novels I’ve read, ever.
5) A Victim Without a Face by Stefan Ahnhem – While, yes, this was an overly long novel that kind of dipped in the middle a little bit, I still feel like this is one detective novel that really should be on more people’s radars. The plot and the characters are really well thought out, and once you’re over the initial shock of the page count, it’s a great book to get your teeth into.
6) Ruthless by John Rector – I don’t even remember how I came across this book, definitely a hidden gem! It only has a small number of ratings and a low-ish average star rating on Goodreads when it’s really just as good as some of the other thrillers out on the market today.
7) The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero – This is a really unique novel, laid out in various different forms such as CCTV footage, diary entries, video recordings etc. I would expect a spooky book like this to have gained more traction but alas. I think it deserves much more recognition than it’s gained – I helped spread the love by passing it on to two of my family members after finishing (who both enjoyed it btw)!
8) The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton – I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “underrated? hidden gem? are you mad?”… well yes, I probably am, but that’s beside the point. This is appearing on the list because I felt The Miniaturist got some really harsh reviews when, for me, it was a seriously emotional and moving novel!
9) The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – Another one where you’re rolling your eyes and thinking “how the hell can a Patrick Ness novel, with over 100,000 ratings and an average star rating of 3.9 be underrated?”, well, I’ll tell you why. I truly believe this is the book that got me into really loving to read. I read before this came out but I was never really one that got hooked on that idea of reading. After I’d read this, I sat waiting and waiting for the second one to arrive and then did the same again for the 3rd. This book, for me, will forever be a favourite of mine and I think it deserves all the stars.
10) Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner – I think this one is underrated in the sense that not many people seem to like it, which I totally don’t get. I’m not saying this is the best detective novel I’ve ever read, but it was different for a change. There was no haunting backstory for our main detective, there were no enemies to create childish spats with and there were no pointless fill-in characters. I think Steiner deserves some kind of medal for creating a funny, likeable and normal detective for her story.
I found it really hard to even find 10 books to call “underrated” or hidden gems because most of the books I’ve read recently have been excellent or completely overrated! Give me the option to list overrated books and I could go on forever.