Let's Talk: Underrated Books on the Market

Friday, June 21, 2013




Let's Talk is a weekly feature here at i swim for oceans. I think it's important that we all have our say, and there's something to be said for raising our voices. Simply put, here on the little old blog, I like to host some of my very own discussion posts because, well, I like to converse with you all.

And so, Let's Talk will feature questions or prompts, which I will answer, too. Love it or hate it, weigh in or don't, it's my hope that Let's Talk will at least get you thinking...and maybe even get you discussing with the rest of us!
What underrated books have you read that you wish more bloggers would highlight and review?

There are so many books on the market - in all genres - that it's an impossibility to even think about reading them all, but let's be honest. We've all read some of those books that absolutely blow us away, yet nobody else seems to read or review them. Why is this? I'll never really know, but the great thing about book blogging is that we have the chance to share some of our favourites with others and recommend what we think they might just be missing. Here's your chance, people! Tell me what I'm missing out on!

I don't read too many books from the male perspective simply because, well, I'm a girl. I find it pretty difficult to get in a guy's shoes unless the author manages to breach that divide and make the male MC's voice and characterization truly transparent and accessible to the female audience. E.C. Myers totally blew me away with this book for multiple reasons. First of all, the concept is both engaging and unnerving. A magic coin? Unforeseeable consequences? Losing yourself to an inanimate object? Yeah, Fair Coin has all of that and so much more. Above all else though, this book is adventurous and fun, taking a new twist on sci-fi and fantasy and becoming a pretty amazing setup to a new series. I find it pretty hard to get invested in series with the amount of books I read and review these days, but let me tell you...this is worth the investment. 

You guys have probably all heard me rave about Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar because - and let's be real here for a second - that book is pretty much perfection in terms of contemporary fiction. It seems as thought Night Beach has taken the back seat to her more famous title though and, while I get it, it's saddening. The great thing about this book is that the author isn't afraid to try (and do) something new that her readers don't know her for. It takes a risk, and it's certainly an eerie and off-kilter book. Best of all though, the characters of the book bare their souls - both dark and light - in this book, and it makes the prose haunting, terrifying and utterly captivating. No, it's not a contemporary read. And no, you probably won't find any great hidden meaning in this book, but you will find excellent characterization, a twisting plot and a story that will keep you guessing. 

I waited forever to read this book, and I actually wonder if others did so, as well, simply because they don't think it will stand out from the rest of their TBR pile. Let me tell you though...it's worth the read. It's not a terribly long book, but it's riveting from start to finish. It takes true skill for an author to manage to successfully set up a book with a tiny cast of survivors characters with limited means, a fairly limited setting and their own mortality looming over their heads. The Raft does this flawlessly though. There is such a tangible tension in this book that I wasn't even sure I'd make it to the end - simply because it was that gripping. There is drama, yes, but even more so, there is an extreme struggle for survival that demands to be heard - and felt. This book is one of my absolute favourite reads of 2013, and I think more bloggers need to give it a go because, trust me, you'll be blown away.

Obviously, there are a ton more books out there I wish more bloggers would read and review, but these are definitely my top three. What books do you think are underrated...or under-reviewed....give me something new to try!


23 comments:

  1. Night Beach sounds pretty awesome! I'll be sure to check that one out soon. One that I think should be much more popular is Shadows by Paula Weston. It's an Aussie YA angel series but it's close to flawless. Now that says a lot since I am no fan of angel books in general.

    Thanks for sharing, Melissa! <33

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    1. Ooooh I love Aussie authors, and I'm always looking for an angel series that actually works for me. I'll definitely need to look for that now. Thanks, Melanie! :)

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  2. I need to bump Night Beach up my TBR. I bought a copy last year and still haven't gotten around to reading it!

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    1. A lot of people didn't love it, Leanna, but I thought it was pretty brilliant. I hope you like it, too! :)

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  3. I'll be honest, I didn't even have these on my TBR list - but they sound so good, I'll have to check them out. I wish I had a device that stopped time so I could just pause and read everything I want to! :)

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    1. Right?! When you find one of those devices, please let me know, Hannah! I need it, too ;)

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  4. I haven't heard of Fair Coin before, but I have heard of Night Beach and The Raft. Night Beach, I know received quite some praise from the bloggers I know that read it. The Raft not so much though. I was waiting for the book too, but then when the not-so-favorable reviews came out, I pretty much decided to stay away from it.
    The only book I can think that I feel is underrated is The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle. I didn't see that many reviews for the book when it came out and for the most part, people were wary to start the book thinking it might me overly religious because of the MC being Amish. I'm glad I tried it because it completely blew me away!
    Great topic, Melissa! :)

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    1. I'll definitely need to look into that title, Nick! I think you should also give The Raft a go sometime. It's a lot better than some of the bad reviews I've seen, and it's very, very tense!

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  5. I really, really liked Night Beach as well Melissa, and it's definitely fallen under the shadow of Raw Blue (which, to be fair, is better in my opinion), but I think it deserves its own spotlight. Definitely not a book for everyone though, I think it's one of those love it or hate it reads, but I just adored it.

    I have a copy of Fair Coin and still need to read it! I fail. Now that you've asked about underrated books I'm drawing a blank. Tomorrow I'll have a list of 15 for you, but right now? Nothing. Awesome.

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    1. I'm right there with you, lady! I thought it was awesome, but I get why not everyone feels the same way. Also, I forgive you for not having suggestions today, but I'll hold you to that list tomorrow haha ;)

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  6. I added these to my to be read list. Thanks for the recommendations. It's not a recent book, but The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is very under-rated. Not enough people read it because everyone assumes it's just another book about the Holocaust. And technically, it is, but it's also so much than that.

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  7. The only book I've heard of you have listed is The Raft which I have yet to read. I saw it while browsing through the shelves of my local bookstore and I regret not picking it up! I love survival stories:)Great post Melissa!
    -Danna

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  8. GAH! I've wanted to read Night Beach since it came out so long ago. I still haven't done it. WHY haven't I done it? I do think I'll add Raft to that wishlist.

    Oh and I would say Hook and Jill. I'm now reading the second book in that series...

    wait for it...

    Other Oceans!

    Would be perfect for you... :D

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  9. Thanks for these recommendations! I love finding books to read that deserve more recognition. They make me feel like I'm reading the book with a purpose! Anyway, Night Beach sounds like a really great book. I need to somehow get that book in my TBR pile!

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  10. I'll be really honest with you - I haven't read ANY of these titles you've included in your post! This is not, of course, to say that I don't WANT to, per se. I did have my eye on the Eagar books a while back, so there's that :)

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  11. Fair Coin was one of those odd books that appeared in my mailbox and I liked it so much more than I thought I would. Definitely underrated (I think the cover doesn't help. So bland!).

    I just finished A Dance With Dragons (Game of Thrones #5) and am in huge book hangover, so I can't think of any other books at the moment, though I know I've read a ton!!

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  12. I wasn't a huge fan of Night Beach, but I do think that Eager is a vastly underrated author in general. Great list - I'm going to have to check out a couple of these! :)

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  13. Fair Coin sounds great, I haven't heard of it before but I like the how-far-would-you-go element. An underrated read for me would be Wait for Me by Elisabeth Naughton. I got this one from Amazon as a freebie and after reading it on a whim, I couldn't understand why it wasn't popular. It was so freaking good! Thanks for the rec, Melissa :)

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  14. I've been meaning to pick up Fair Coin for the longest time, I'm totally going to have to bump it up on my TBR. And while I enjoyed The Raft, I personally didn't love it. It was a big "WTH" type book though, I have to be honest. That ending! One of the most underrated series, I personally think, is The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness. Seriously GORGEOUS stuff. I don't even know where to begin with those books. But it's definitely one of my all time favorite books.

    Thanks for sharing, Melissa!! <3

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

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  15. Hey Melissa! I haven't been able to make my post about this. I've been so busy. But there are so many underrated books out there. To be honest, I have never heard of these books before but from what you said about them, they sound so interesting and I think I'll put them on my TBR. I wish more people would read the underrated books. They might find themselves pleasantly surprised! For me, it's hard because a lot of the books I have read were recommended to me by close friends, it was being made into a movie, or there was some sort of hype about it. I can't think of too many series or books that are underrated, because most of what I read tends to be popular, but I guess I need to keep reading and see for myself!

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  16. I'm a big fan of Anna Jarzab's novel All Unquiet Things. It's one of my favorites and no one else seems to know about it. The Raft is one that I originally discounted because I thought the summary was a bit cliche, and the cover overdramatic, but now that you've said it's awesome I'll really have to check it out!

    Julia @ That Hapa Chick

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  17. Ha, I often read books that nobody else seems to read/review. I think it's because my taste (lbgt, asian literature) is quite different from most of the other bloggers. Also, I actually love reading books in the guy's point of view...
    Fair Coin has been on radar, but I haven't gotten around to it (yet). Now I'll have to move it up on my tbr :)

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  18. Great picks! I haven't heard of any of them so they could definitely use more buzz. I really loved Elizabeth C Bunce's Starcrossed, which I felt never got enough love.

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