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T10T: Under-Hyped Books I Love

July 31, 2018

TTT-Big2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week’s prompt was to list Popular Books that Lived Up to the Hype, but, well, I wouldn’t be me if I followed the prompts, would I? 😉

These are ten books that I loved enough to give 5 stars, and that I think have way less hype than they deserve!

For the sake of fairness, I’m not including unreleased ARCs or anything that released in the last few months.


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1. A Monstrous Love — Magen Cubed
number of ratings: 31 | my review

This is a creepy little 2-story short anthology about scary queer girls, and I love it so much. It is THE perfect Halloween read, by the way.

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2. Cold, Thin Air — C.K. Walker
number of ratings: 148

C.K. Walker is better known for her r/nosleep infamy, but her collections are so fun and creepy, and I never hear anyone talk about them!

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3. When My Heart Joins the Thousand — A.J. Steiger
number of ratings: 542 | my review

I really expected this book to blow up when it released, and I’m so sad it didn’t. It’s about an autistic girl who falls in love with a disabled boy, and the representation feels so good, honestly, and the story is so sweet.

4. Aftercare Instructions — Bonnie Pipkin
number of ratings: 788 | my review

This was the first ARC I ever received! It’s about a girl whose boyfriend leaves her high and dry at her abortion appointment, and she’s forced to go through the healing process without the support she deserves. Parts of it are written like a play, and it’s so poignant and enjoyable.

5. Now is Everything — Amy Giles
number of ratings: 935 | my review

This is another book I expected to get more hype than it did. It alternates between the past and the present: in the past, the narrator is dealing with a very abusive home situation, and in the present, she’s trying to cope with the fact that her entire family has just died in a plane wreck, and she’s the only one who survived. Bring tissues.

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6. The Dollmaker of Krakow — R.M. Romero
number of ratings: 1,087 | my review

This is, by far, my FAVORITE middle grade book of all time. It’s about a little doll who comes to life in a dollmaker’s shop in Krakow during WWII.

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7. Blood Water Paint — Joy McCullough
number of ratings: 1,967 | my review

This is a story told through poetry, and it’s about the famous artist, Artemisia Gentileschi, and her court trial against the man who raped her. It is brutal, and incredible.

8. Spellbook of the Lost and Found — Moïra Fowley-Doyle
number of ratings: 2,014 | my review

This is a fabulism/magical realism story, and it’s super queer, and it’s a little bit creepy. Mostly, though, it’s just bizarre and incredible.

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9. The Only Alien on the Planet — Kristen D. Randle
number of ratings: 2,439 | my review

Apparently, my mission in life is just to never shut up about this book, but seriously, it came out in the 90s and it still holds up today – how often do you see that in a YA contemporary? It’s about a girl who befriends a new classmate who is mute and unresponsive to the world around him, for the most part. There’s a little bit of romance, but mostly, it’s about healing and found families.

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10. The Hearts We Sold — Emily Lloyd-Jones
number of ratings: 2,733 | my review

Since this was an Owlcrate book last year, I’m shocked it still has so few ratings. I loved this book. A girl makes a deal with a demon to get away from her alcoholic and abusive father, but the thing she has to give up is her heart. It’s very character-driven and very sad and very, very gorgeous.


What are some under-hyped books that you love?


(all photos are taken by me, and you can find more like them on my bookstagram here!)


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  • Reply Ainslee, Jest and Hearts July 31, 2018 at 12:16 am

    Spellbook of the Lost and Found is amazing it’s one of my favourite books! I enjoy a lot of really under hyped books, the ones that stick out the most are Cindy Anstey’s books. They are all 1800s YA historical fiction, they are funny, have strong women and bizarre situations

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 31, 2018 at 12:39 am

      Spellbook is fantastic! Oooh, you know what, I have Duels & Deceptions (I think that’s the name) – is that one of the ones you’re talking about? I never hear anyone talk about it!

      • Reply Ainslee, Jest and Hearts July 31, 2018 at 11:26 am

        Duels and Deception is one of them she has two other ones: Love, Lies and Spies (my favourite) and Suitors and Sabotage!

  • Reply LaRonda @FlyingPaperbacks July 31, 2018 at 12:26 am

    When My Heart Joins the Thousand!! I’m so sad no one’s talking about this one because it was so beautiful! I may or may not have cried 😂

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 31, 2018 at 12:39 am

      Right?! I loved it so much and I definitely cried at least once. It’s so beautiful and it makes me really sad that it hasn’t gotten the hype it deserves.

  • Reply Wendy @ Falconer's Library July 31, 2018 at 12:32 am

    I read The Hearts We Sold as a finalist for the spec-fic category for the CYBILS awards, and while it didn’t win, it was FABULOUS. I do not know a single one of these other books though, so thanks for raising awareness. I don’t like super creepy/horror stuff, but there are still a number of books on here I’ll be looking for.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 31, 2018 at 12:40 am

      That’s awesome! I need to keep up with bookish awards more, haha. It really was lovely, I enjoyed it so much. Would you mind if I ask what the winner was? And thank you, I really hope you enjoy the ones you check out! 😀

  • Reply Kay Wisteria July 31, 2018 at 1:01 am

    Love your take on the prompt! Haven’t read any of these but guess it’s time to expand the TBR 🙂

  • Reply Briana | Pages Unbound July 31, 2018 at 1:05 am

    I have only heard of one of these, but I guess that’s the point of the prompt!

  • Reply tasya @ the literary huntress July 31, 2018 at 1:37 am

    Even though I think The Dollmaker of Krakow was a bit simplistic and has a few plotholes, I agree that it was a precious hidden gem and I wish more people would read it!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 31, 2018 at 2:35 am

      I can understand that viewpoint for sure! I loved it, but I can see how it could’ve been a little overly simplified for a lot of readers. Like you said, though, such a precious book and so worth picking up ♥

  • Reply Annemieke July 31, 2018 at 2:10 am

    I think the only ones I’ve heard of your list are The Dollmaker of Krakow and Spellbook of Lost and Found. I think The Dollmaker was actually translated to Dutch so I might get that from the library some day. 🙂 Great list
    (Also you totally changed your layout, right? I keep staring. I love the header.)

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 31, 2018 at 2:36 am

      That’s awesome, I hope you’re able to! 😀 Thank you lovely! And yes I did! Thank you!!! ♥♥ I’m not gonna lie, I keep staring too, lol! I’m so happy with how it turned out. I’ve never been 100% happy with my theme before.

  • Reply ChrissiReads July 31, 2018 at 2:25 am

    Wow, I don’t know any of these books, but they certainly look interesting. I’m so intrigued by Aftercare Instructions.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 31, 2018 at 2:37 am

      That was such a good read, Chrissi! It wasn’t perfect, and the writing needed a little refining, but it’s still the only YA book I’ve ever read that offered an authentic insight into abortion and didn’t vilify the character for the choice she had to make, and as a pro-choice person, I appreciated that so much. Plus, the occasional chapters told in a play-script setting were super cool – I’d never seen that before in a book, at that time.

  • Reply avidreaderdiary July 31, 2018 at 2:40 am

    Ohhh thank you so much for this post, Destiny! I need Blood Water Paint rn :((((

  • Reply CG @ Paper Fury July 31, 2018 at 4:56 am

    Ahh I LOVE When My Heart Joins The Thousand!! It was such accurate autism rep too 😭💛I definitely wish it had more love. And I also have Hearts We Sold from that Owlcrate box but I actually haven’t read it yet. I’ve heard it’s wildly good though and my goal this year is to actually read the rest of my owlcrate books. So I will get onto that. 😂
    Some of my favourite underhyped books are definitely The Wicker King (!!), The Serpent King (all the kings apparently?!) A Taxonomy of Love, and Bone Gap!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 31, 2018 at 10:02 am

      That makes me SO happy to hear you loved When My Heart Joins the Thousand! I never hear anyone talk about it and I just thought it was so precious and wonderful. ♥ Her entire development into realizing that SHE didn’t need to change, the WORLD did – ugh I need to go reread it now.
      Oooh, good luck with reading your OC books! I hope you enjoy The Hearts We Sold. I think it’s considered speculative fiction, so I know it’s not a *hugely* popular genre, but I thought it was really lovely and precious and heartbreaking. 😭
      The Wicker King, yessss! That is such a good one and I am DYING for her new book to come out! I still need to read the other 3 you listed but they’re all on my TBR so I’m super hyped now!!

  • Reply lauregalie July 31, 2018 at 6:39 am

    I havent read any of these books. My tbr list just got a lot longer! I really liked A Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope and I didn’t see a lot of people talking about it.

  • Reply RedRocketPanda July 31, 2018 at 8:58 am

    I always love your little spins on the T10T prompts – they’re such a breath of fresh air after I’ve seen people talking about the same books/topic all over my feed. Also I am LOVING your new blog look! I really need to actually sit down and sort mine out :’)

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 31, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Awww, thank you! ♥ That makes me feel really good. And thank you again!! This is the first time I’ve ever been genuinely happy with my theme and I’m so glad I changed it.

  • Reply fictionnochaser July 31, 2018 at 9:02 am

    *Adds everything to TBR.
    I haven’t read any of these, but they look amazing and now I am going into a deep dark hole that is this reading list. Be back in a few weeks…
    Love this spin and thanks for the recommendations!

  • Reply Sam @ SleepySamReads July 31, 2018 at 9:03 am

    A Monstrous Love sounds amazing! I was just thinking that I needed to read more spooky books. The question is should I wait until October to read it or go ahead now? 🤔

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 31, 2018 at 10:18 am

      You can’t go wrong either way! It’s always free on kindle unlimited or $1 if you don’t have KU, but I know last year, she made it free on Halloween – no idea if she’ll do that again this year or not!

  • Reply Marie July 31, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Ohhh Spellbook of the lost and found, I love that one so much, I’m so happy to see it on your list. This author writes fantastic, really atmospherical-kind of books and I love ti so much 😀
    I’m curious about When My Heart Joins the Thousand, it sounds like such a sweet book 🙂
    Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 31, 2018 at 10:25 am

      I really want to read more from Moira! I also have a copy of another of her books, The Accident Season, but I keep forgetting it’s on my shelf lol… oops! This is why I needed the TBR jar. 😂
      I really do recommend When My Heart Joins the Thousand if you like heavy but sweet contemporary stories! Like, it’s definitely not light and fluffy, but it also is really empowering and has a great message.
      Thank you for checking out the list, Marie! ♥ Happy reading~

      • Reply Marie July 31, 2018 at 1:37 pm

        Oh I hope you’ll get to The Accident Season soon, I loved this book 😀

        • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 31, 2018 at 5:11 pm

          I’m thinking I might put it on my fall TBR! If it’s anything like Spellbook, that book had such awesome fall vibes.

          • Marie August 1, 2018 at 1:41 pm

            Oh YES, I remember the Accident season having these perfect vibes too <3 I can't wait to hear what you think 🙂

          • Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 1, 2018 at 5:54 pm

            Awesome! 😀 I’ll have to remember to let you know!

          • Marie August 2, 2018 at 1:52 pm

            Don’t worry, if I see the book on your blog at some point, I’ll come screaming about it 😂😂😂

          • Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 2, 2018 at 9:16 pm

            Bahaha good! Because I am the worst at remembering 😂

  • Reply Tammy July 31, 2018 at 10:00 am

    This is a great list for me, since I’m only familiar with a couple of them. And I guess that’s the point, right? I’ll be checking them out for sure, thanks for the suggestions!

  • Reply Erin Eliza July 31, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Creative spin! I’ve never heard of any of these books!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 31, 2018 at 10:26 am

      Thanks! 😀 Bahaha, then I succeeded at my goals! I love getting people to check out things they might not have heard of elsewhere.

  • Reply Aymee (@asphaltcowgrrl) July 31, 2018 at 10:33 am

    I’ve not read any of these yet, but Spellbook of the Lost and Found looks really good!
    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!

  • Reply Dezzy @ The Thoughtful Voice July 31, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Fantastic post! Thank you for all of these recommendations; they all sound so amazing! 😍 I’ve added so many of them to my TBR and I’m so excited to read them. 🙂

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 31, 2018 at 1:12 pm

      Thank you, Dezzy! 😀 I really hope you love the ones you check out! Totally let me know what you think of them!

  • Reply bookschiefmanaged July 31, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    I love your spin on this prompt! I definitely want to read When My Heart Joins the Thousand, Aftercare Instructions, and Now is Everything! Thanks for doing it like this, such a cool way to get people to see some books they may not pick up on their own! 🙂

  • Reply Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum July 31, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    These are definitely underhyped books, because I’ve not heard of any of these! This is why I love lists like this, sometimes it takes a little digging past the big buzz books to find the hidden gems 🙂

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 31, 2018 at 5:10 pm

      Awesome, that’s totally my goal haha! 🙂 One of my favorite things as a blogger is to watch an under-hyped book slowly climb up the ranks (though sadly I think a few of these are too old for that to happen with them).

  • Reply anovelglimpse July 31, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    Aftercare Instructions was a great book to include. It deserved more hype.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries July 31, 2018 at 5:14 pm

      Absolutely!! It makes me so happy to meet someone else who has read it. I still have my ARC, but every time I’m on BookOutlet’s website and see the finished copy, I consider buying it just to support the author lol!

  • Reply Brooke Lorren (@Brookelorren) July 31, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Under-hyped books? Hmmm…I really have to read more books, because most of the books I end up reading are really hyped up (with the exception of ARCs). I did like My Real Name is Hanna, although I don’t know if that book is out yet or not.

  • Reply Aj @ Read All The Things! July 31, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Ooh, I love your twist on the topic. I’ll have to look some of these up.

  • Reply Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense July 31, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    Yay for underhyped books. I really liked the writing in Spellbook and loved how many different female relationships there were. It’s nice to read a book where the guys took a backseat.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 1, 2018 at 5:42 pm

      Yesss, for sure! I remember being like, “this is awesome, none of the dudes matter” lmao!

  • Reply Aimee (Aimee, Always) August 1, 2018 at 1:34 am

    I was SO stoked to read When My Heart Joins the Thousand before it came out, but the lack of hype pushed me away from it. I really need to give it a shot when I have money to spare, eh? xD I also really want to read The Hearts We Sold–I didn’t even know it was out already WHAT!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 1, 2018 at 5:43 pm

      Oh no, you totally should! It’s so worth grabbing. I keep hoping it will hit BookOutlet sometime soon so I can grab a finished copy at a good price haha. Lol and yup! THWS came out in August, I think!

  • Reply iloveheartlandx August 1, 2018 at 6:46 am

    I love the sound of The Dollmaker of Krakow!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/31/top-ten-tuesday-170/

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 1, 2018 at 5:43 pm

      It’s so worth picking up, but definitely have plenty of tissues on hand!

      • Reply iloveheartlandx August 3, 2018 at 5:58 am

        Ha ha always do when reading historical fiction, especially in that era!

  • Reply ariellereads August 1, 2018 at 8:12 am

    I have only heard of the Spellbook of the Lost and Found…apparently I need to add a few more to my TBR!!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 1, 2018 at 5:44 pm

      Yaaaay! 😀 I love introducing people to new books they might not have heard of elsewhere!

  • Reply Sarah August 2, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    I had most of these on my TBR already (probably from you!) and the few I didn’t, I ended up adding just now. These all look so good!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 2, 2018 at 9:17 pm

      Yaaaaaay, this makes me so happy ♥♥ I hope you enjoy them and you have to let me know if/when you read any of them!

      • Reply Sarah August 3, 2018 at 9:00 am

        I definitely will! <3

  • Reply Kyra August 2, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    The Dollmaker of Krakow sounds SO GOOD! I love middle-grade, so I’ll be on the lookout for that.
    My TTT post!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 2, 2018 at 11:38 pm

      Oh if you like MG already, definitely check it out! 🙂 I’ll check out your post, too – thanks, love!

  • Reply Elise @thebookishactress August 4, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    aaaah, Destiny, these are such quality picks!! When My Heart Joins the Thousand and Now Is Everything are both so high on my list. and Blood Water Paint, Spellbook, and Hearts We Sold all deserve the WORLD. especially The Hearts We Sold – i mean, just thinking about how much we both loved that on our BR… wow.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 5, 2018 at 1:47 am

      All three of those are soooo good, so I hope you love them! And yeah, THWS is honestly so underrated and deserves so much more hype. It was so great!

  • Reply raistlin0903 August 5, 2018 at 11:18 am

    It’s sometimes very strange how some books seem to fall completely under the radar, while others get all the hype. This is a nice list of books, and out of all these I have to say I really like the sound of Now is Everything. Great post, and thanks for entering the Creator Showcase 😊

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 5, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      It really is. I can’t help but wonder if it’s mostly due to the hype the publishers put into it, you know? Either way, it can be really sad to watch a great book not get the notice it deserves! And thank you so much! 🙂

  • Reply T10T: Scared of the Hype – howling libraries September 11, 2018 at 12:02 am

    […] week’s prompt was “hidden gems”, but since I did a similar post recently (Under-Hyped Books I Love), I decided to go in the opposite direction: books that are so hyped, I’m scared to read […]

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