Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday - Underrated Books

Hello again! It's time for another Top 5 Wednesday (find the Goodreads group linked at the bottom of this post for more information and weekly topics and discussion).

This week the topic is: *drum roll*

Underrated Books! These are books that I've read and loved and honestly I think deserve a bit more attention from ... everyone else.

Let's get started!

Book 1!
When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II
by Molly Guptill Manning

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22715829-when-books-went-to-warNot super underrated in that many people have read it - but no one talks about it! This book is so important, especially if you value books which, if you're reading this, I assume you do! It tells the story of how books were specially printed to be accessible to soldiers in the trenches of WWII. A book that fits perfectly in the pocket, printed for the best readability by soldiers in what spare moment they can find. It's a fascinating story of the power books can have on people, especially in keeping spirits up in a time when it would be all to easy to lose hope in everything.

Book 2!
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden 
by Joanne Greenberg
I read this for a psychology class in college and it's really good at providing an alternate perspective of psychosis and schizophrenia. The main character, Deborah, starts as a 16-year-old who is being institutionalized after attempting suicide. The reader sees her journey and her alternative reality over several years, in and out of the asylum. This is not a new book, but it hasn't lost any of it's power over the experience it conveys. I would recommend it to anyone wanting another perspective on mental illness!

Book 3!
So You Want to be a Wizard (Young Wizards Book 1)
by Diane Duane

Honestly, this books series is not underrated... like at all. But no one talks about it! The whole premise of this series is young people finding a book called "So You Want to be a Wizard" with instructions on how to be a wizard! The kids get magic by finding a book, reading it, and applying the knowledge they gain to their lives! This is every bookworm's dream, right? I live for this concept, which I'm actually seeing as a theme in this list. Books are good! Books are great! Books about books are the best! Basically this was just an excuse to fangirl about one of my favorite childhood series. Read it, give it to your kids, read it with your kids! Books books books books books. We could all use more books!

Book 4!
True Notebooks: A Writer's Year in Juvenile Hall
by Mark Salzman
Another book I read in college! (Seriously, my teachers introduced me to some of the best books.) This one was not an immediate favorite, but the story (non-fiction btw) is captivating. Salzman goes into juvie to teach writing to the inmates and opens a conversation about the whole American prison industrial complex and how some of these kids end up being arrested over and over. It's fascinating to see this window into a world I've never experienced, though Salzman's story telling wasn't the greatest. Several times while reading it I literally rolled my eyes at his naivety and what seemed to be a rose-colored view of everyone. Then again - maybe I'm just cynical.

Book 5!
Made of Stars
by Kelley York

Finally, a truly underrated book for this list, with less than 700 ratings on Goodreads I would love for more people to read this book!
This was the first book I read in 2015 and I feel it really kicked off a great reading year for me. This book is about two siblings who are spending the winter with their father as he is recovering from an accident. They meet up with an old friend from when they would spend summers at their father's house and reconnect, but their friend is hiding something from them and the more time they spend with him, the more they uncover. This book is a darkly contemporary YA, with LGBT themes and great storytelling! After finishing this book, I immediatly went onto my e-reader and picked up another book by Kelley York and now I've read almost every book she's ever written (bar one, because I don't think I'm mentally ready for a book called Suicide Watch) and I'm excited that another book is coming out this April. This book made Kelley York one of my favorite authors, and an auto-buy author at that! Spread love for this book, because it really deserves it!

Have you read any of these books? What are you're favorite underrated books?
Let's talk in the comments! I'd love to hear from you.

Check out the Goodreads page for Top 5 Wednesday for more topics and information!

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