Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Loved with Fewer than 4000 Ratings on Goodreads

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 Tuesday '19 #6

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?

41 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Loved with Fewer than 4000 Ratings on Goodreads

  1. Such a great list!! 😍 I definitely agree on Empress of All Seasons, it’s a very underrated book even though it has so many great themes! I’m still lowkey sad that this isn’t part of a Series 😭😭😭 I also have The Exact Opposite of Okay on my TBR and I think I’m also adding Darius the Great Is Not Okay, because it sounds so interesting and I’ve seen it quite a few times by now 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Caro. 🙂 ❤️ Definitely underrated, although that fact kind of surprised me because I saw so many people talking about it in the run up to it’s release. I’d say definitely get around to The Exact Opposite of Okay as soon as possible, and definitely definitely add Darius the Great is Not Okay to your TBR list too. It’s an incredible read, you won’t regret it. 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for putting this list together! I have heard so much about Darius that I thought it had a lot more reviews than it apparently does! It does sound really, really good — especially the MI rep there 😌

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s all right, I’m really glad you enjoyed this post. Yeah everyone seems to have heard of Darius the Great, I guess just not many people have gotten around to reading it (I know the feeling, there are so many books still sitting on my TBR list that have been there for too long now).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, yeah having books on my TBR list and finding the time to give them a shot is one of my major struggles. Hopefully you’ll manage to get around to them soon. Everyone who’s read Darius the Great has definitely loved it (from what I’ve seen) and as far as fantasy series go the Spellslinger books are good reads too. 🙂


  3. Ahhhh this is an amazing list, Beth! You know how much I adore Always Never Yours, I’m so happy to see it on this list ❤ There are also so many books I really need to read, especially Darius The Great (that quote.. damn), The Exact Opposite of Okay (it sounds SO good!) and Blanca and Roja (well, really, all of the author's book, I cant wait to read everything by her!) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie. 🙂 ❤ Yep, I definitely do, I completely credit your love for that book for actually convincing me to pick it up myself.
      Darius the Great is amazing, and based on what I know of your reading tastes I'm sure you'll love it, same goes for The Exact Opposite of Okay and Blanca & Roja. (Honestly though you just need to read any of Anna-Marie McLemore's books, she's one of my favourite authors for sure). ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The Empress Of All Season made it to my TTT list too. I see you didn’t like the ending. I loved it! Finally something different. Finally a female character with a happy ending that doesn’t involve … you know. Don’t want to spoil it if anyone else sees this. And yes Darius The Great is on my TBR too 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I mean I liked the concept of the ending, like you said it’s nice to have a female character with a different “happily ever after” than the norm, I just felt it was too rushed. I wish the last chapter had been lengthened and given it’s own book so we could have seen more of Mari’s adventures and struggles.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah it was rushed and I would have enjoyed a longer chapter too. The author could have lengthened the book by at least another 100pages by doing that. Still the rashness made me giggle and shake my head a bit as a positive reaction. I’m not sure why.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve seen The Exact Opposite of Okay on several lists this week, so that must be a sign I should look into it! And a lot of my friends have been loving Darius the Great is Not Okay, so I’ll have to check that one out as well. The title + cover alone are lovely ❤ as for me, a few of my favorite underrated books are City of Strife by Claudie Arseneault (political fantasy with an ALL lgbt+ cast), Blank Spaces by Cass Lennox (fluffy ace romance!), and Phantoms and Other Euphemisms for Disaster by N.L. Shompole (incredible poetry inspired by the author's Kenyan heritage).

    Eleanor | On the Other Side of Reality

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah there’s a small following for The Exact Opposite of Okay but we’re a loud following! 🙂 I’d love more people to pick up because it’s such a powerful story, and deals with topics I think it’s important to talk about.
      Darius the Great is Not Okay was one of my favourite reads of last year, I’m sure you’ll love it (it’s even better than the cover and title combined). 😀
      Ohh, I haven’t heard of any of them myself, but then again I guess this is a week for underrated reads. 🙂 ❤


  6. Anna-Marie McLemore’s my favorite magical realism author too, her books are so soft and beautiful! I love that A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares is on your list! It’s such a hidden gem I wish more people would read. It’s so weird and wonderful. Lovely list! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, I always look forwards to seeing a new book by her is being released. I know exactly what I’m getting with each story but I just seem to love them more and more.
      Definitely a hidden gem, I will keep screaming about that book though because I honestly love it so much.
      Thanks so much. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I haven’t read any of the books on your list but Empress of all seasons I actually own. I hope I can get to it soon-ish. And I can’t believe it has so few ratings?? I saw it all over the internet.
    Anna-Marie McLemore has been an author I really wanted to try for w hile now. I think I would really enjoy them.
    The others are now on my tbr. You make them sound all so intriguing. Especially A Semi-definite list of worst nightmares and Darius the Great is not okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, before it was released it honestly seemed to be everywhere (people were so excited because of the representation and diversity it offered, and I was kind of swept away by it all). Hopefully you’ll manage to get around to it soon, and oh I would highly highly recommend starting Anna-Marie McLemore’s books as soon as you can. They’re amazing!
      I’m glad I could add to your TBR list, especially those two which are incredible reads and which deserve so much more recognition. 🙂 ❤


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