Another week, another Tuesday! I’m going to be completely swamped this time next week (THREE MIDTERMS AND A PAPER DUE? GOODBYE!) so I moooost likely won’t be able to post then, BUT I’m going to take the opportunity to post my #TopTenTuesday now. This is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl, and if you’re interested, you can find a list of the future (and past) prompts by clicking on her blog name.
This week’s prompt specifically mentions to feature books that are under 2,000 ratings, but I’m going to be playing a little bit with that one. Some of these are while some aren’t, but they’re all definitely underrated reads. Without further ado…
1) Red Winter by Annette Marie — 2,575 ratings
Emi is the kamigakari. In a few short months, her life as a mortal will end and her new existence as the human host of a goddess will begin. Carefully hidden from those who would destroy her, she has prepared her mind, body, and soul to unite with the goddess-and not once has she doubted her chosen fate. Shiro is a yokai, a spirit of the earth, an enemy of the goddess Emi will soon host. Mystery shrouds his every move and his ruby eyes shine with cunning she can’t match and dares not trust. But she saved his life, and until his debt is paid, he is hers to command-whether she wants him or not. On the day they meet, everything Emi believes comes undone, swept away like snow upon the winter wind. For the first time, she wants to change her fate-but how can she erase a destiny already wrought in stone? Against the power of the gods, Shiro is her only hope… and hope is all she has left.
2) Trick by Natalia Jaster — 1,499 ratings
There is a rule amongst his kind: A jester doesn’t lie.
In the kingdom of Whimtany, Poet is renowned. He’s young and pretty, a lover of men and women. He performs for the court, kisses like a scoundrel, and mocks with a silver tongue.
Yet allow him this: It’s only the most cunning, most manipulative soul who can play the fool. For Poet guards a secret. One the Crown would shackle him for. One that he’ll risk everything to protect.
Alas, it will take more than clever words to deceive Princess Briar. Convinced that he’s juggling lies as well as verse, this righteous nuisance of a girl is determined to expose him.
But not all falsehoods are fiendish. Poet’s secret is delicate, binding the jester to the princess in an unlikely alliance . . . and kindling a breathless attraction, as alluring as it is forbidden.
3) Touch by Natalia Jaster — 570 ratings
With a strike of her arrow and a smirk on her face, she pins human hearts together.
Yet Love has never loved. Not until she collides with a mortal whose existence threatens everything she stands for.
The longer they’re entangled, the more Love wishes she could touch him. In gentle ways.
In other tempting and reckless ways, too.
But it’s impossible. She isn’t a part of his world. She’s a mischievous goddess who’s destined to be alone.
And he’s destined for someone else.
And it’s Love’s duty to make sure that happens—at the tip of her own weapon.
4) The House that Lou Built by Mae — 302 ratings
Lou Bulosan-Nelson is going to build her dream. She shares a room with her mom in her grandmother’s house in San Francisco, and longs for a place of her own where she can escape her lovable but large extended Filipino family. Lou has a talent for woodshop class and creating projects, and plans to build a tiny house, 100 square feet, all her own, on land that she inherited from her dad, who died before she was born. Then Lou discovers it’s not so easy to build one, but she won’t give up on her dream—and her friends and family won’t either. This heartwarming coming-of-age story explores culture and family, forgiveness and friendship, and what makes a house a true home.
5) Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene — 983 ratings
Sylvie has always known she deserves more. Out in the permanent twilight of the Dusklands, her guardians called her power to create illusions a curse. But Sylvie knows it gives her a place in Coeur d’Or, the palais of the Amber Empress and her highborn legacies.
So Sylvie sets off toward the Amber City, a glittering jewel under a sun that never sets, to take what is hers.
But her hope for a better life is quickly dimmed. The empress invites her in only as part of a wicked wager among her powerful courtiers. Sylvie must assume a new name, Mirage, and begin to navigate secretive social circles and deadly games of intrigue in order to claim her spot. Soon it becomes apparent that nothing is as it appears and no one, including her cruel yet captivating sponsor, Sunder, will answer her questions. As Mirage strives to assume what should be her rightful place, she’ll have to consider whether it is worth the price she must pay.
6) Mirage by Somaiya Daud — 4,883 ratings
In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.
But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.
As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.
7) Amour Amour by Krista & Becca Ritchie — 7.584 ratings
Love is a circus
“Every day,” he says lowly, “I hold a person’s life in my hands. The circus is based one-hundred percent off trust. I give it all to someone, and they give it all to me.”
The best aerial technique won’t land 21-year-old Thora James her dream role in Amour—a sexy new acrobatic show on the Vegas strip. Thora knows she’s out of her element the second she meets Amour’s leading performer. Confident, charming and devilishly captivating, 26-year-old Nikolai Kotova lives up to his nickname as the “God of Russia.”
When Thora unknowingly walks into the crosshairs of Nikolai’s after-show, her audition process begins way too soon. Unprofessional. That’s what Nik calls their “non-existent” relationship. It’s not like Thora can avoid him. For one, they may be partners in the future—acrobatic partners, that is. But getting closer to Nik means diving deeper into sin city and into his dizzying world.
Thora wants to perform with him, but when someone like Nikolai attracts the spotlight wherever he goes—Thora fears that she’s destined to be just background to his spellbinding show.
8) The Risk by Elle Kennedy — 887 ratings
Everyone says I’m a bad girl. They’re only partly right—I don’t let fear rule me, and I certainly don’t care what people think. But I draw the line at sleeping with the enemy. As the daughter of Briar’s head hockey coach, I’d be vilified if I hooked up with a player from a rival team.
And that’s who Jake Connelly is. Harvard’s star forward is arrogant, annoying, and too attractive for his own good. But fate is cruel—I require his help to secure a much-coveted internship, and the sexy jerk isn’t making it easy for me.
I need Connelly to be my fake boyfriend.
For every fake date…he wants a real one.
Which means this bad girl is in big trouble. Nothing good can come from sneaking around with Jake Connelly. My father would kill me, my friends will revolt, and my post-college career is on the line. But while it’s getting harder and harder to resist Jake’s oozing sex appeal and cocky grin, I refuse to fall for him.
That’s the one risk I’m not willing to take.
9) Last Game by Shinobu Amano — 3,586 ratings
He’s rich, he’s smart, girls gather around him all the time, and he has always gotten first place on his exams… well, until Kujou transferred in his primary school class. She was quiet, plain, and poor, yet not once has she failed at beating Yanagi, both in academics and sports! Yanagi has made it his life goal to defeat this girl Kujou, and ten years later, as they enter high school, he just might finally win! This is the story of their last game.
10) Yona of the Dawn by Mizuho Kusanagi — 4,975 ratings
Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Soo-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when she witnesses her father’s murder!
Yona reels from the shock of witnessing a loved one’s murder and having to fight for her life. With Hak’s help, she flees the palace and struggles to survive while evading her enemy’s forces. But where will this displaced princess go when all the paths before her are uncertain?
….And there’s that! Some obviously aren’t below 2,000 at all, but I really do think they’re severely underrated. Last Game is my favorite manga series of all time, and all the other books mentioned here deserve so much more recognition than they receive.
Now it’s my turn to ask: Have you read any of these books? Did any of the books I list here make it to your TBR? What are YOUR favorite underrated reads? Let me know in the comments below.