Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature that was created by The Broke and the Bookish and hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Born from a love of lists and a love of books each week there’s a new topic for bloggers to list their ‘top ten’.
Top Ten Books I Loved with Fewer than 2000 4000 Ratings on Goodreads
Now I know the original prompt for this week was books with ‘fewer than 2000 ratings on Goodreads’, but I had to tweak it slightly. Looking through my Goodreads read list I was surprised by a couple of books which were incredible reads, and which people had been hyping up in the blogosphere (how do you think I discovered some of them), that only had circa 3000 ratings. These are all books I really enjoyed, and books I think deserve a lot more attention than they already have.
So add them to your TBR list if you haven’t already.
Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean
I did have an issue with the way Empress of All Seasons ended, and with the insta-love between Mari and Taro, but overall it was still a solid read with a well-developed world and strong feminist characters and messages.
“At one point, she’d thought Taro completed her. Now she realized that he didn’t. She was complete by herself.
Marriage and love, they aren’t achievements.”
Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore
Anna-Marie McLemore is my favourite magical realism author, every book she releases shoots to the top of my TBR list until I can read and fall in love with it. Blanca & Roja is a beautiful and lyrical story; with soft romances, a powerful bond between two sisters, magic and diversity.
“If I wanted to, I could believe it was our colours that decided Blanca would be the gentle sister, pure and obliging, and I would be the cruel one, wicked and difficult. She would be the blessed daughter, the one the swans would spare. And I would be the one the swans would take. But my sister saw our story ending another way.”
Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
I know this book is on a lot of peoples TBR lists, and even though it’s the highest rated book on my list this week it still doesn’t have more than 4000 ratings which is a shame. Darius the Great is Not Okay deserves so much more attention; it’s a story full of diversity with so many important messages on depression and mental health, and it has one of the best friendships I read all year back in 2018.
“I hated that questions: What are you depressed about? Because the answer was nothing.
I had nothing to be depressed about. Nothing really bad had ever happened to me.
I felt so inadequate.”
Broken Things by Lauren Oliver
I was really surprised I could feature Broken Things on my list this week because Lauren Oliver is a really popular author. Her Replica’s duology has a lot of ratings and it seems like everyone has read her Delirium trilogy. I’m not sure why Broken Things fell through the cracks, but it’s my favourite of Oliver’s releases (granted I need to read Ringer and the Delirium trilogy, but still).
“Maybe we were always broken. Maybe I was always a liar, and Mia was always weak. Maybe what happened to Summer didn’t turn us, but only revealed what was already there.”
Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
This may seem like a typical YA contemporary story, with a typical YA contemporary romance, but the reason it stands out for me is the main character. Megan is on the best protagonists I’ve read, and honestly I want more characters like her in books now.
“I’m not a Juliet. I’m not the girl in the centre of the stage at the end of a love story. I’m the girl before, the girl guys date right before they find their true love.”
Shadowblack by Sebastian de Castell
The first book in the Spellslinger series had too many ratings for me to feature it in my list, but the second one didn’t. Maybe people just haven’t found the time to pick up the second one yet (or the third, or the fourth) but this is a series that gets better with every book released so it’s worth continuing.
“Perfect,” she said, then promptly sat down in the dirt. “I’m just going to sit here until the world starts making sense, if that’s all right.”
“You might be waiting a long time,” I said.
The Empress by S.J. Kincaid
Again this is a case of the first book having too many rating for me to feature it on my list but the second one not. I’m sure this means it’s still sitting on plenty of people’s TBR lists, but if you haven’t started The Empress you need to pick it up. It’s a fast paced read with a cliff-hanger ending that’s left me desperate for the third book.
“Half a lifetime of dedication, love, and effort, and it was demolished in a second. The universe was so cruel. What a fool I’d been to forget it.”
A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland
I’ve featured this book on lists like this before so I’m not sure what I can add that I haven’t said already. A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares is a beautiful, magical-realism-esque story with a strong focus on mental health, powerfully written family dynamics and a beautiful love story.
Just please read it.
“Esther wanted to make her brother understand that he was the sun. That he was bright and burning and brilliant, and without his warmth, without his gravity to orient herself around, she would be nothing. She wished they had that psychic twin thing, that she could push images into his head and make him see. Make him see that he was everything.”
The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven
If you only add one book from this post onto your TBR list make it this one. The Exact Opposite of Okay deals with so many topics we need to talk about – slut shaming, religion and sexuality, feminism, revenge porn – and seeing them focused on in this book makes for a very powerful read.
“Slut-shaming is not really about women’s sexuality. It is grounded in the belief that men have the right to assert themselves, and women do not.”
Tarnished City by Vic James
For the final book on my list this week it’s another case of the book having too many rating and the second one not. The Dark Gifts trilogy is my favourite dystopian series full stop. The first book wasn’t amazing, but the second and third completely blew me away and I was hooked.
“And you think you commoners are, therefore, morally superior to the Equals.”
This question was less straightforward, but: “Yes, I would say so. Normal people aren’t perfect. We do terrible things. But you Equals don’t even seem to realise how monstrous the things you do are.”
Did you take part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday?
Have you read any of these books or do you still have them on your TBR list, and if not will you be adding any of them to your TBR list?
What’s your favourite book with less than 4000 (or 2000 if you want to follow the original prompt) ratings? Who would you recommend it to, or like The Exact Opposite of Okay is for me is it a book you want everyone to read?