Hello friends! It’s Vera here today, back with another addition to my underrated recommendations series. If you want more underrated recs you should click here and here. The reason why I keep making these posts is that, whenever I read a book that hasn’t received enough love, I want to shout about it to all of you. Frequently, I manage to push my new underrated favorites into multiple posts, but my older underrated favorites can get lost. For example, I’m fairly certain I haven’t ever mentioned some of these on the blog. These types of recommendation posts are a nice way to mix old and new together, as well as to bring you hidden gems from multiple genres.
Recommending My Favorite Underrated Books
Charlotte Says by Alex Bell
Following the death of her mother in a terrible fire, Jemima flees to the remote Isle of Skye, to take up a job at a school for girls. There she finds herself tormented by the mystery of what really happened that night.
Then Jemima receives a box of Frozen Charlotte dolls from a mystery sender and she begins to remember – a séance with the dolls, a violent argument with her step-father and the inferno that destroyed their home. And when it seems that the dolls are triggering a series of accidents at the school, Jemima realizes she must stop the demonic spirits possessing the dolls – whatever it takes.
🌿 Age / Genre: YA Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Horror, Thriller
🌿 Recommended for: If you like chilling ghost stories, morally gray heroines or thrillers that are on the slower side, then Charlotte Says is for you. While this is marked as a sequel to Frozen Charlotte on goodreads, it can be read as a standalone as it takes place in the past, way before the events of Frozen Charlotte.
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Hang the Moon by Alexandria Bellefleur
Brendon Lowell loves love. It’s why he created a dating app to help people find their one true pairing and why he’s convinced “the one” is out there, even if he hasn’t met her yet. Or… has he? When his sister’s best friend turns up in Seattle unexpectedly, Brendon jumps at the chance to hang out with her. He’s crushed on Annie since they were kids, and the stars have finally aligned, putting them in the same city at the same time.
Annie booked a spur-of-the-moment trip to Seattle to spend time with friends before moving across the globe. She’s not looking for love, especially with her best friend’s brother. Annie remembers Brendon as a sweet, dorky kid. Except, the 6-foot-4 man who shows up at her door is a certified Hot Nerd and Annie… wants him? Oh yes.
Getting involved would be a terrible idea—her stay is temporary and he wants forever—but when Brendon learns Annie has given up on dating, he’s determined to prove that romance is real. Taking cues from his favorite rom-coms, Brendon plans to woo her with elaborate dates straight out of Nora Ephron’s playbook. The clock is ticking on Annie’s time in Seattle, and Brendon’s starting to realize romance isn’t just flowers and chocolate. But maybe real love doesn’t need to be as perfect as the movies… as long as you think your partner hung the moon.
🌿 Age / Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
🌿 Recommended for: I’d recommend Hang the Moon to fans of contemporary romance who are looking for a romance between a romantic and someone that doesn’t really believe in romance anymore.
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Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth
Aideen has plenty of problems she can’t fix. Her best (and only) friend is pulling away. Her mother’s drinking problem is a constant concern. She’s even running out of outlandish diseases to fake so she can skip PE.
But when Aideen stumbles on her nemesis, overachiever Meabh Kowalski, in the midst of a full-blown meltdown, she sees a problem that—unlike her own disaster of a life—seems refreshingly easy to solve. Meabh is desperate to escape her crushing pile of extracurriculars. Aideen volunteers to help. By pushing Meabh down the stairs.
Problem? Solved. Meabh’s sprained ankle is the perfect excuse to ditch her overwhelming schedule. But when another student learns about their little scheme and brings Aideen another “client” who needs her “help,” it kicks off a semester of traded favors, ill-advised hijinks, and an unexpected chance at love. Fixing other people’s problems won’t fix her own, but it might be the push she needs to start.
🌿 Age / Genre: YA Contemporary
🌿 Recommended for: I would wholeheartedly recommend Not My Problem to anyone who is looking for a contemporary YA that has a touch of romance, great friendship, and a heroine with a strong, authentic voice.
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Dating Sarah Cooper by Siera Maley
Katie Hammontree and Sarah Cooper have been best friends since the 2nd grade. Katie’s welcoming, tight-knit family is a convenient substitute for Sarah when her distant parents aren’t around, and Sarah’s abrasive, goal-oriented personality gels well with Katie’s more laid-back approach to life.
But when a misunderstanding leads to the two of them being mistaken for a couple and Sarah uses the situation to her advantage, Katie finds herself on a roller coaster ride of ambiguous sexuality and confusing feelings. How far will Sarah go to keep up the charade, and why does kissing her make Katie feel more alive than kissing her ex-boyfriend Austin ever did? And how will their new circle of gay friends react when the truth comes out?
🌿 Age / Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
🌿 Recommended for: If you enjoy the best friends to lovers and the fake relationship trope, Dating Sarah Cooper is a novel you’ll probably love. Yes, the premise is questionable, but it’s handled with a lot of care and the mistakes the characters make aren’t brushed under the table.
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Sweetpea by C. J. Skuse
Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret.
Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhiannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day, her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening, she dutifully listens to her friends’ plans for marriage and babies while secretly making a list.
A kill list.
From the man at the grocery checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have it coming, Rhiannon is ready to get her revenge.
Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…
🌿 Age / Genre: Adult, Mystery-Thriller
🌿 Recommended for: If you’ve ever been interested in reading about a female serial killer, Sweetpea is for you. Granted, this is on the slower-side, but that is not something I minded at all, as I love character-focused novels.
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The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller
It’s 1875, and Alva Webster has perfected her stiff upper lip after three years of being pilloried in the presses of two continents over fleeing her abusive husband. Now his sudden death allows her to return to New York to make a fresh start, restoring Liefdehuis, a dilapidated Hyde Park mansion, and hopefully her reputation at the same time. However, fresh starts aren’t as easy as they seem, as Alva discovers when stories of a haunting at Liefdehuis begin to reach her. But Alva doesn’t believe in ghosts. So when the eccentric and brilliant professor, Samuel Moore, appears and informs her that he can get to the bottom of the mystery that surrounds Liefdehuis, she turns him down flat. She doesn’t need any more complications in her life―especially not a handsome, convention-flouting, scandal-raising one like Sam.
Unfortunately, though Alva is loath to admit it, Sam, a pioneer in electric lighting and a member of the nationally-adored Moore family of scientists, is the only one who can help. Together, the two delve into the tragic secrets wreathing Alva’s new home while Sam attempts to unlock Alva’s history―and her heart.
🌿 Age / Genre: Adult Historical Romance
🌿 Recommended for: If you enjoy slower, softer romance novels, The Widow of Rose House is a suitable read for you.
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Every Breath by Ellie Marney
Rachel Watts has just moved to Melbourne from the country, but the city is the last place she wants to be.
James Mycroft is her neighbour, an intriguingly troubled seventeen-year-old who’s also a genius with a passion for forensics.
Despite her misgivings, Rachel finds herself unable to resist Mycroft when he wants her help investigating a murder. He’s even harder to resist when he’s up close and personal – and on the hunt for a cold-blooded killer.
When Rachel and Mycroft follow the murderer’s trail, they find themselves in the lion’s den – literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning again…
🌿 Age / Genre: YA Mystery
🌿 Recommended for: If you are looking for a fun YA mystery trilogy with intriguing cases, well-crafted characters, wholesome friendship and a friends to lovers romance, I cannot recommend the Every trilogy enough.
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Work for It by Talia Hibbert
In this village, I’m an outcast: Griffin Everett, the scowling giant who prefers plants to people. Then I meet Keynes, a stranger from the city who’s everything I’m not: sharp-tongued, sophisticated, beautiful. Free. For a few precious moments in a dark alleyway, he’s also mine, hot and sweet under the stars… until he crushes me like dirt beneath his designer boot.
When the prettiest man I’ve ever hated shows up at my job the next day, I’m not sure if I want to strangle him or drag him into bed. Actually—I think I want both. But Keynes isn’t here for the likes of me: he makes that painfully clear. With everyone else at work, he’s all gorgeous, glittering charm—but when I get too close, he turns vicious.
And yet, I can’t stay away. Because there’s something about this ice king that sets me on fire, a secret vulnerability that makes my chest ache. I’ll do whatever it takes to sneak past his walls and see the real man again.
The last thing I expect is for that man to ruin me.
🌿 Age / Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
🌿 Recommended for: Anyone who enjoys a good opposites attract romance should give this one a chance. On top of that, if you like your romances to come with a serving of friendship and great family relationship, then this one’s for you.
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Do you have any underrated favorites you’d like to share with me? I’m always looking for new recs! What’s a novel you believe deserves more love than it’s gotten? Have you read any of these novels?