As exciting as it can be to get on the hype train of newly released books or even get my hands on an advance copy, sometimes I’m just in the mood to discover a book that hasn’t been touted everywhere yet. So today I want to talk about 8 great books that have flown under the radar.
The qualifications I used to pick these were as follows: books published prior to 2018; books that currently have approximately 500 ratings or less on Goodreads; and all were books I read and rated at least a four out of five. I really enjoyed each of these and think they all deserve more attention!
Ready to see the books?
Swimming Through Clouds may have a bright and friendly looking cover, but it is not a light book. A vivid story of loss versus hope and pain versus healing, this follows teenage Talia who transfers to a new high school in her senior with one goal: to blend in. But popular boy Lagan notices her and tries to befriend her. Through the sweetness of their budding relationship, the reader learns the true painful story that is Talia’s life. With trigger warnings for abuse, rape, sex trade, and trafficking, I’d recommend this for older teens and adults.
Workman’s Complication is the story of off Broadway actress Kate who inherits her father’s PI business after he’s murdered. With a fast pace with plenty of plot twists, and a full cast of quirky characters, this was such a fun and entertaining read! The author’s previous work in screenwriting is apparent as he combines mystery and comedy in a way that comes to life in these pages.
Zaria Fierce and the Secret of the Gloomwood Forest is a middle grade fantasy that takes the title character on an adventure through magical lands in Norway. Rooted in mythology and folklore, this fascinating world was filled with trolls, elves, and many other creatures, with plenty of delightful secrets to uncover. Fans of this genre are sure to be enchanted by this book!
A Tapestry of Tears is a collection of short stories that explores human nature through the lens of Indian culture. They examine a variety of themes, including love, family, marriage, honor, betrayal, regret, oppression, communication, and so much more. As with any anthology, some stories were stronger than others, but as a whole they flow well together. While the cultural lens for this book is Indian as that is the author’s background, the themes are so universal that you’d be hard pressed not to get something out of it
Feel Me Fall is an adventure story of the sole survivor of a plane crash in the Amazon. But it’s also so much more than that. Cleverly plotted and fast paced, this is a quick read, but not necessarily always an easy one. It explores themes of love and loss, secrets and lies, and savagery and survival in a way that is absolutely gripping. A fascinating story about the brutality of the Amazon and human nature, I’d recommend this for anyone who likes their young adult adventure stories to also be thought provoking.
Lux and Lies is a dystopian science fiction with a bit of mystery. This follows 19 year old Wren who is dying of cancer, but when megastar Sloan Lux dies right before filming starts on the year’s most anticipated reality show, producers scramble to secretly replace her—with Wren. Many influences that helped shape the story are apparent, but this novel combines those elements and tropes with an interesting and unique spin that is entirely its own.
Broken Branches introduces Ian, who has moved back into his childhood home with his seemingly happy family after a tragedy. A contemporary novel with a gothic feel, the reader is drawn into the eerie atmosphere as Ian tries to unravel the history of his family and its curse, thinking that solving that mystery will help fix his broken relationship with his wife. A thought-provoking book, this explores themes of grief and mental illness in a sensitive and sympathetic way.
A Murder for the Books is a cozy mystery with some depth, revolving around librarian Amy Webber, her family and friends, and the small town she lives in with her aunt. With clear, concise writing and clever plotting, all the necessary clues are planted throughout the story for the reader to figure out the mystery alongside Amy. Fans of cozy mysteries won’t go wrong with this one!
There you have my picks for 8 great books that have gone under the radar! Have you heard of or read any of these? What were your thoughts?