Top Ten Books That Don’t Get Enough Love

Posted March 22, 2016 by Brin in Memes, Top Ten Tuesday / 12 Comments

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s theme is:

Top Ten Books That Don’t Get Enough Love

There are a lot of books I love which I don’t feel get enough praise or attention. I’m not sure why that is – sometimes life’s fickle like that I guess… Anyway, here are my top ten picks:

love collage

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Jellico Road gets a lot of praise (and rightfully so, it’s an amazing book) but I feel that Saving Francesca is just as powerful and just as beautifully written. It really does an admirable job at showing how depression doesn’t just affect the sufferer – it affects everyone around them especially close family and friends.

Melina Marchetta portrays the topic sympathetically but doesn’t shy away from showing the dark side of depression and it is a much stronger book because of it. I have praised Jellico Road in previous posts but Saving Francesca is actually my favourite Melina Marchetta book and I really do not talk about it enough.

Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey

The whole series is amazing but  Kushiel’s Dart is really what got me into reading darker-themed fantasy. It is a sumptuous book, beautifully written and with characters that you love in spite of (or maybe because of) their flaws.

I first read this series about eight or nine years ago and I have re-read it several times since and always get something new from it every time. It is an absolutely wonderful story and I cannot praise it enough.

Warchild by Karin Lowachee

This is not an easy book to read. I would dare anyone to try to read this book without shedding a few tears, it is gut-wrenchingly brutal at times, but it is also a story about hope, courage, and survival. I read this book for the first time about five years ago and it quickly became one of my favourite books of all time. It is an amazing story with beautifully broken characters.

The rest of the series is just as strong (and there is a fourth book in the works – yay!!) but Warchild will always hold a special place in my heart.

The Bone Doll’s Twin by Lynn Flewelling

Although the Nightrunner series is better known (and is actually set in the same world but many years later) I love this trilogy of books even more. The first book is the best – it is full of creeping menace and conveys such a sense of unease with the reader. I read a lot of horror novels in my youth so I am not easily spooked but this book really managed to get under my skin.

The characters are deeply flawed and not always likable but you cannot help but root for them. This is definitely a series deserving of more love and I really should talk about it more on my blog.

Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier

Anyone who stops by my blog from time to time may have noticed that I tend to rave about Juliet Marillier A LOT. I really do love her books and I am always encouraging people to read them. However, one book I don’t tend to discuss as much is Heart’s Blood which is odd because 1) I love it just as much as her other books; 2) It is a standalone so it is easier to get into; 3) I’m… really not sure what my third reason is but dammit just read the book already!!

Sorry, got a bit carried away there. Heart’s Blood is an absolutely amazing book so I am not really sure why I haven’t discussed it that much on my blog or on other social media (or real life as well). I really need to because the book is fantastic and deserving of much love.

love collage again

Melusine by Sarah Monette

This is a criminally under-appreciated book (and series for that matter). I have no idea why this series isn’t more popular because it is one of the most captivating and incredible reading experiences I have ever had. PERIOD. The books are rare and hard to get these days. I picked up the first couple of books used and was luckily able to get the last two books new but it was tough to find them.

It actually breaks my heart that Sarah Monette isn’t more well-known as an author. Her writing is absolutely incredible. I have been meaning to pick up The Goblin Emperor which she wrote under her pen name Katherine Addison (I have heard on good authority it is awesome as well). Anyone who likes their fantasy gritty and character-driven – please, please, please give this series a shot and give the author some love!!

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I am a huge fan of Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle series but sometimes I forget about the book that made me a fan of her writing in the first place. The Scorpio Races is one of those rare books that stays with you (or, at least, it did me).

I have a real hankering to re-read this book but I am almost scared to at the same time, just in case it doesn’t match my oh-so-fond memories of it. I doubt that it will disappoint, her other books are just so darn good there is little chance of that, but there is always that small nagging doubt (go away Doubting Doris!) 😉

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff

You guys, there is something about this book that actually SLAYS ME… I just love it so. It seems like such an ordinary story at first (well, as ordinary as a story about ghosts gets anyway!) but then it manages to hit you right in the feels, over and over again…

I have a hard time verbalizing what it is about this book that I love which is probably one of the reasons why I haven’t talked about it that much on my blog. Just trust me, this book is killer. Except… the US cover is way more awesome… *grumbles quietly to herself*

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

GUT PUNCH. That is pretty much what this book did to me upon first reading it. It is a really, really hard book to sum up in words. Everything just seems insufficient really. Needless to say this is a book that I loved and hated in equal measure at times.

However, even though words escape me when it comes to summing up my feelings about this book, it is definitely one I would recommend to anyone who likes their contemporary fiction with a touch of angst (okay, a LOT of angst) and doesn’t mind really tough to read subjects (like, all the trigger warnings here guys, for real).

Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

This book broke my heart into tiny little pieces. I would still recommend it to all and sundry though because it is an amazing story. It is a book with no easy answers and no happy little ending to tie it all together.

It’s all messy and complicated and tragic and heartbreaking. But… it is not without hope either. That is perhaps why I cannot let the story go. I haven’t really talked about this book in a long time but it has definitely stayed with me.

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12 responses to “Top Ten Books That Don’t Get Enough Love

  1. Kim

    I also agree with you about Kushiels Dart and Scorpio Races, and Juliet Marillier is one of my favorite fantasy writers.

    • Brin

      The Scorpio Races is just a gorgeously well-written book. I also really want to re-read it and probably the first three books in the Raven Cycle too before The Raven King comes out. Just cannot get enough of Maggie’s writing. 🙂

  2. Kat

    I randomly found this page (after I randomly found your review of PS I Love You by Barbara Conklin) and I had to leave a comment because I LOVE Saving Francesca. Have you read The Piper’s Son, too? It’s a connected book, though not a sequel per se.

    • Brin

      Thanks for stopping by! I have read The Piper’s Son and it is another favourite. I loved getting Tom’s story and I really hope that Jimmy gets his own book some day. I honestly don’t think Melina Marchetta has a bad book – I have enjoyed all of them. 🙂

  3. Sweetheart, yes, yes, yes! I suppose it’s not a huge fan favourite because the cover (and even the title, for that matter) is misleading, and many romance lovers have probably bought it expecting a totally different story. But you summed it up perfectly! and I back your plea for more people to read it with all my might.

    Will look into your other books!

    • Brin

      Sweethearts definitely does have a slightly misleading title/cover so you are right that it probably reaches the wrong audience. It is an absolutely brilliant book though and I cannot sing it’s praises enough. I would definitely champion this book and defend it right to the bitter end lol. 😀

  4. I saw the cover for Sweethearts, and I couldn’t figure out why it looked so familiar. A friend of mine must have given me this book aaaaages ago. I don’t know why I haven’t picked it up all these years! I’ll have to do it soon. (:

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