This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is Hidden Gems (which books haven’t been talked about as much or haven’t been marketed as strongly that you think deserve some recognition?). We can all think of a few books that deserve a little more love. Here are ten that I enjoyed!
Sea Witch by Sara Henning: A recent read, Sea Witch is a prequel retelling of “The Little Mermaid” fairy tale. The marketing, however, made it seem like this book would be this dark origin story of the Sea Witch, but it’s not. Instead, it’s a historical fiction with a slight tinge of magic about friendship, romance, and mermaids. Still, I loved the beautiful world-building descriptions and the elements that hearken back to the original fairy tale.
The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy: This was one of my favorite reads from 2017 and I still don’t hear a lot about it. It’s another historical fiction with magic, but the character relationships are what enchanted me about this book. The magic was just a bonus.
Fawkes by Nadine Brandes: I’ve heard about this a bit more because I follow the author on Instagram, but outside of that, I didn’t hear much about this historical fantasy. (Do you sense a theme here?) Fawkes is a retelling of the Gundpowder Plot but with magic “color” abilities and a lot of excitement.
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys: This book broke me. It’s a historical fiction account of the worst maritime tragedy in history, which occurred in World War II. The way Ruta Sepetys spins the story, though, is devastatingly beautiful. I’m still shell shocked from reading this.
The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley: I’d argue both The War That Saved My Life and The War I Finally Won deserve more love, but The War That Saved My Life was a Newbery nominee. Still, I haven’t heard much about these books, yet I thought they were some of the best historical and middle grade books I’ve read. Again, these books broke me.
The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell: This book has everything I love in a good historical fantasy—kickass girls, time travel, enemies to lovers, sweet cinnamon roll boys, magic in New York. It’s like I wished really hard or something. This one kept me up late reading so I could finish it, and boy, it was worth it. I need the sequel ASAP.
Storm Siren trilogy by Mary Weber: I’ll use any excuse to lavish more love on Mary Weber’s books, but the Storm Siren trilogy definitely deserves it. This is one of the few series published under a Christian publishing house that is well written and full of exciting characters and world-building. And that ending… whew… that ending was so, so good.
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesa Zappia: I’ll be honest. I probably wouldn’t have read this book if it hadn’t come in an Owlcrate box last year. But I am so glad I did because it truly spoke to the creator inside of me. While Eliza is more artistically inclined, her struggles to balance school, her art, family, and friends is memorable and relatable. In fact, I read this book in one sitting because it swept me away.
Wings of Fire series by Tui T. Sutherland: I’ve only read the first book in this series, but I know it’s a special series because it involves dragons and fun shenanigans like prophecies and danger. I love all the types of dragons and the world-building. This is a great middle grade story for any fantasy lover.
The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli: Speaking of dragons, The Last Namsara is also an excellent dragon story. One of the best I’ve read recently. Because it actually involves dragons. Like the dragons are an integral part of the story and the concept behind the lore of them is freaking amazing. Seriously, this book was too good to be real. I wish I had written.