Today it’s Wednesday, and I’d post a T5W, but I don’t have answers for this and next week’s topic.
There are some favorites I don’t talk about often enough.
Sometimes there’s a reason, sometimes they just don’t come up in T5W topics, sometimes there’s no excuse. I’m pretty sure I never mentioned at least two of these.
Persons Non Grata by Cassandra Khaw
I have talked about the Persons Non Grata series on this blog before, but it’s on this list because I don’t talk about it as much as I should – and I love the second book in the series. Hammers on Bone is an interesting look at the noir genre and it deals with domestic abuse; A Song for Quiet is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read, a lovecraftian southern gothic novella about grief. I have loved everything I’ve read by Cassandra Khaw so far (I recommend I Built This City for You, free online, if you want to see how she writes), and she’s one of the most underrated SFF authors.
Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee
This is one of my favorite historical fiction books, which is a genre I rarely reach for, but Stacey Lee’s writing style draws me in. Outrun the Moon is about a Chinese-American girl who gets into an all-white boarding school in San Francisco right before the earthquake of 1906. I don’t talk about this one often because I haven’t read it in almost two years and I rarely talk about historical fiction, but it’s still a very good book and a perfect middle grade/YA crossover. I definitely should mention it more.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This is one of those books I really liked but never talk about. Why? Because The Hate U Give doesn’t need my hype. If you’re here, you’re likely a YA blogger, and if you are, you’ve heard of this and not because of me. The top 5 Wednesday lists are short, and I try to prioritize books that are underhyped – that’s the reason you’re more likely to see me scream about Under the Pendulum Sun or the Tensorate series rather than The Hate U Give or Six of Crows, even if I liked all of them.
Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović
I don’t talk about this one often because I had mixed feelings on it: I didn’t like the characters for reasons I’m not going to get into now, but this book is really important to me because of its setting – it felt like home. I never get to experience this: all* YA books are either set in the US or in some fantasy place/space. Wicked Like a Wildfire is set on the northern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and that’s where I live too. I’m Italian, not Montenegrin, but where I live doesn’t look so different.
*but why don’t you read Italian books then? Almost all YA books (especially SFF) are translated, so yes, I want to see these things in American books or I’ll never get them.
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
Borne is probably the one I talked about the most on this list, but for a book that almost made it to my top 15 of last year, I don’t talk about it enough. It’s a biopunk colorful apocalypse about a woman and the weird plant-animal-whatever-monster she adopted, who is the perfect combination of cute and dangerous. Also, there are flying bears and humans being humans, which sometimes means disaster and sometimes means good things.
The Falconer by Elizabeth May
If you like historical fantasy/steampunk, Scotland, fairies or revenge storylines, you need to read this. It was one of my favorite books before I started blogging, and I loved the sequel (which I read last year, so I don’t think my opinion on this has changed that much). It’s about a girl who is a debutante by day and a fairy hunter/steampunk scientist by night. There’s also a romance plotline, but it isn’t the focus of the story.
The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
I really liked this series, but it doesn’t need my hype and its fandom is nearly as toxic as SJM’s lately. (All I see is people dragging the author – you’re aware you can’t have the book without the author, right…? The Raven Cycle wouldn’t be great if taken away from Maggie Stiefvater because it doesn’t exist without Maggie Stiefvater. You’re allowed to like problematic stuff, stop acting like the author is 100% bad and the books are 100% pure, untainted material!)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
This book is beautiful, but I don’t feel strongly about it. It’s one of those books I consider favorites but almost never think about – the setting and the writing were so beautiful I focused on them instead of the characters and plot. That’s also why I want to reread this.
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
I almost never talk about this because I loved the first book but the series went downhill and I’m sad. The first book is a quiet, atmospheric story about friendship and romance, there was a lot of character development and an irritating love triangle I didn’t hate just because of the mystery element. In the second and third book there isn’t a mystery element anymore and the series just wasn’t that interesting, but the first one remains one of my favorite fantasy books.
Noteworthy by Riley Redgate
I really liked this contemporary book – I loved the main character’s voice (…this book is about a group of a cappella singers and this sounds like a pun now), but this had a crossdressing plotline and while I didn’t think it handled it terribly (at least it mentioned trans and non-binary people!), I don’t like how so many books with this trope get published when there are almost none about trans characters. And I’m always hesitant to recommend something that had a naked reveal scene in it.
Are there any books you love(d) but rarely mention?