This Top 5 Wednesday’s topic is to pick your favourite underrated books! Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey (Gingerreadslainey) and is hosted by Samantha (Thoughts on Tomes). For more information, check out the group on Goodreads. Underrated books are those that do not get read as much as the more popular books, and fewer people know about them.
I do not read many books that are considered underrated. I tend to find the books that I want to read via Goodreads, which are usually relatively well-known and praised. 2 of novels the books I have chosen – Beautiful Malice and Good Oil – were picked up when I was a young teenager and only ever shopped for books in-store. The other 3 books I have read in the past 2 years from having seen them online.
My top 5 underrated books are as follows, and included are the Goodreads ratings to show just how underrated they are.
1. Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James. Ratings: 5,940
When Katherine moves to a new city and attends a different school, she befriends the popular and friendly Alice. Katherine’s past begins to get uncovered, and she realises that Alice is hiding something too.
I remember going into this book feeling confused, as it was unlike any other young adult novel I had read before, and this was because it is a psychological thriller. I read this around the age of 13 and did not understand the genre at the time, as I much preferred romance. It captivated me instantly, and I got really into the mystery, which by the end made me very surprised.
2. Dating Sarah Cooper by Siera Maley. Ratings: 867
Katie and Sarah have been best friends since the 2nd grade, but when they are mistakenly identified as a couple, they decide to keep up the charade for their own benefits. Katie finds herself developing real feelings for Sarah, and struggles with being friends with someone who doesn’t like her back.
This story is dealt with so well, and no offence to the TV show, but is way better than Faking It. There is a scene involving the spin-the-bottle game, which I loved reading and stuck with me after I read it. This novel is so good and there is not another high school romance book that tops it.
3. Good Oil by Laura Buzo. Ratings: 6,857
Good Oil is an Australian young adult novel, where Amelia is a 15-year-old girl, starting part-time work for the supermarket Woolworths. Her coworker, Chris, teaches her the ways of the job and she is quick to gain feelings for him. The problem that Amelia tries to ignore is the fact that Chris is 21, which is a 6 year age difference.
Good Oil is more impactful than I realised when I read it as an impressionable teenager. At the time I was frustrated by the outcome of the story, but looking back at it now, the ending is what should have happened. It is a good coming-of-age novel that I remember used a lot of Australian slang, but I’m sure you could understand it no matter what country you are from. (In the United States it is called Love and Other Perishable Items.)
4. Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman. Ratings: 388
In Lying About Last Summer, Skye spends a week at a bereavement camp one year after her sister dies. During her week away, Skye starts receiving messages from her dead sister. Not only is there a mystery surrounding Skye’s sister, but there is something else involving the campers that Skye unintentionally gets involved with.
This is a well-written novel and the structure of the mystery is done in an organised way. Although it is somewhat predictable, it is an entertaining read.
5. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick. Ratings: 12,852
Scrappy Little Nobody is a memoir by Anna Kendrick, an actress who has been in films such as Up in the Air, Pitch Perfect, Into the Woods, and the Twilight saga. She mostly writes about her experiences trying to make it in Los Angeles, and her early relationships.
This memoir is not entirely underrated, but I haven’t ever seen anyone mention it before. Compared to memoirs like Yes, Please by Amy Poehler and The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer, it does not have as many ratings. It was fascinating to learn about parts of her life that I otherwise would not have known about, such as her time performing in the play High Society at the age of 12.
- Thanks for reading!
- Have you heard of any of these ‘underrated’ books?