Hello my dear book people! It’s been a Week™, so let’s welcome this Friday in with a round of applause!
Today we talk our favorite underrated books and oh my, do I have a few for you!
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Synopsis: Thou shalt kill.
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.
Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.
Is this book sitting on your shelf, just waiting to be read? Well, friend, I was once like you. I once I had this book, languishing on my shelves, just waiting for me to pick it up. Once I was finally convinced to pick this one up, I was enthralled. The concept of a world where death has been defeated and regulated is endlessly intriguing to me. I am DYING (no pun intended) to read the third and final book in the series, The Toll, which releases in November. I 9000% recommend picking up this series immediately.
Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
Synopsis: One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.
Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.
Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.
There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.
With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.
I have long been a fan of Julie Kagawa (go read the Iron Fey series and Blood of Eden series) and when I heard about Shadow of the Fox, I was so excited to read it! Unlike anything I’ve read before, Shadow of the Fox is a fantastic story of inner strength and epic journeys. This new series does not get nearly enough attention and that is a damn shame.
The Confectioner’s Guild by Claire Luana
Synopsis: A magic cupcake. A culinary killer. The perfect recipe for murder.
Wren knew her sweet treats could work wonders, but she never knew they could work magic. She barely has time to wrap her head around the stunning revelation when the head of the prestigious Confectioner’s Guild falls down dead before her. Poisoned by her cupcake.
Now facing murder charges in a magical world she doesn’t understand, Wren must discover who framed her or face the headsman’s axe. With the help of a handsome inspector and several new friends, Wren just might manage to learn the ropes, master her new powers, and find out who framed her. But when their search for clues leads to a deep-rooted conspiracy that goes all the way to the top, she realizes that the guild master isn’t the only one at risk of death by chocolate.
If Wren can’t bring the powerful culprit to justice, she and her friends will meet a bittersweet end.
I found this one through NetGalley and holy heck did I love it! It was probably also the review I loved writing the most because of all the Great British Bake Off gifs I got to use. The story follows Wren who finds out she can bake magic into her confections and then is promptly accused of murder. There is snark, delicious descriptions of bakes, and a handsome inspector who is totally my book husband so back off ladies! This is a hugely fun read and I can’t wait to continue with the series.
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Synopsis: Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.
The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.
When most think of dual author sci fi YA books, they think of The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jaykristoff, and while that series is one of my favorites of all time, These Broken Stars also holds a spot in my snarky sci fi loving heart. The first book in the Starbound series by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner has action, snark, DRAMA, swoon worthy love bits (oh, that doesn’t sound right but I’m leaving it because I do what I want), and did I mention snark? While I haven’t continued with the series yet, because who has the damn time to read, I am looking forward to getting to it hopefully soon!
The Charlotte Holmes Series by Brittany Cavallaro
Synopsis: The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.
From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.
Imagine Sherlock and Watson were real and their descendants are just as messy and awesome as they were. Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson are my trash children and no one can make me love them any less. Set in present-ish day, Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson attend a prestigious private school and get thrown together to solve murders, maybe fall in love, definitely become dependent on each other, and to get into more shenanigans than any teen has a right to. These two are messy AF, they are a car accident happening over the course of 4 books and I can’t turn away. Charlotte is so well written and for better or worse, I love her. She is so broken and all her sharp edges are facing the world around her. I’ve always loved Sherlock reimaginings and this is one of my favorites.
Blackhearts & Blacksouls by Nicole Castroman
Synopsis: Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.
Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There’s just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.
Following her parents’ deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she’s stuck in England?
From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.
Y’all, I am so sad about this reimagined origin story of Blackbeard didn’t get more love. Blackhearts and Blacksouls were fantastic books and I am devastated that we wont get a third book. Blackbeard is one of the most famous and most feared pirates of his time, but these books imagine the man behind the name and what drove him to piracy. I greatly enjoyed these stories and wish that more people had given them a chance.
What are some of your favorite underrated books?