7 Little-Known Books You Must Read

Popular books are popular for a reason. They create a ripple effect from one reader to the next, until everyone knows that book’s name. But what about the books few people have heard of? I find myself picking up popular books because, well, everyone has read it! And if so many people have read it, it must be amazing, right? That’s not always true! Sometimes a book far better is lurking within the shelves of a bookstore. Some of these books you may never have picked up, so here is my list of 7 little-known books to add to your TBR (to-be-read) pile.

  1. Skinny by Donna Cooper– a heartbreaking and moving piece, this book details the internal and external struggle of Ever, a girl over 300 pounds. She has faced other students teasing her and looking at her with scorn, all with a little voice in her head named Skinny whispering cruel words like “ugly” and “fat” in her head. Ever decides to go through gastric bypass surgery to get rid of both the weight on her body and in her mind from Skinny. The entire novel is beautiful and saddening, connecting her past with her present.
  2. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black– This is a vampire book that will leave you in a cold sweat as you lock all of your windows and doors. Unlike Twilight, you won’t want a vampire in your bed. Tana is at a party when she falls asleep, drunk, in a bathroom. When she wakes up, she is surrounded by corpses. The only survivors are her ex-boyfriend, who she discovers is infected, and a mysterious boy with deep and dark secrets. To save them all, she must venture into Coldtown, a locked city that can be entered but never left. A city full of vampires and the reckless.
  3. When We Wake by Karen Healey– A thrilling futuristic book, When We Wake details the life of Tegan, a girl living in 2027. With her friends, she protested against injustices and environment injustices. On what was meant to be a huge day for her, she dies. 100 years later, she wakes up in an isolated room. She had been frozen in time by the government, and as the first to wake, she is instantly a celebrity. But as someone who was passionate about the world, she starts to see that the future world she had imagined is nothing like it should be and is worse than it ever was before she died. She has the urge to fight for a better world, but how can she, when it is not the same world that she had?
  4. Curses and Smoke by Vicky Alvear Shecter- Set in the ancient city of Pompeii, this is a terrifying and heartbreaking historical novel. Long ago, Pompeii was devoured in lava by a nearby volcano, and this book details the lives of Tag and Lucia before and during the natural disaster that ripped away so many lives. Before the disaster, Tag was a slave working towards his goal of competing in a gladiatorial arena. Lucia was the daughter of a wealthy man who expects her to marry a man that can bring him more money. Little do they know, their goals are so insignificant compared to the tremors beneath their feet and rocking the earth.
  5.  Blindsided by Priscilla Cummings– Natalie is only 14 years old when she is told she will slowly become completely blind. After years being about to see well, it is a shock that she is unable to accept. When her vision is still barely there, her parents send her to a school for the blind, but Natalie still feels that she is not a “freak”, as she calls people who are blind. She goes through an internal journey at the school, refusing a cane and to learn to read braille because she cannot accept that a miracle would not happen. A very saddening and beautiful book, it shows a journey and experience you will not ever forget.
  6. The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry– Contrary to the title, the focus of this eyeopening and amazing book is not mainly on the romance. Ever since she was a little girl, Natalie had visits from a god-like woman she called Grandmother. She told Natalie stories and reappeared at random moments. One day, Grandmother comes with a cryptic message, “You have three months to save him.” Left on her own, Natalie can only guess what the message means until she meets Beau, a handsome boy that seems to take over her entire world. This novel is so different from other books, exploring concepts like alternate dimensions, disguised in a book that originally looks like your typical love story.
  7. A Fistful of Sky by Nina Kiriki Hoffman– a truly underrated book, it is a book about magic so different from other magics written about today. Gypsum LaZelle is part of a family blessed with magic, and possibly the only one in existence, and has watched all of her siblings get their magic. At twenty years old, she has fully given up on ever getting her magic, when suddenly she falls deathly ill. When she comes out of, she feels differently, almost like an entirely new people. After accepting for so long that she would be ordinary, she gets all that she has ever wished for. However, her gift may not be like the others, nor like anything she ever expected. Faced with her own insecurities and uncertainty, she undergoes a journey that turns her into someone not at all ordinary.

How many of these have you read? Comment any little-known books you love and follow my blog for frequent posts like this!

 

Q&A

What got you into reading?

I’ve been reading since I was a fetus, which is probably why I cried when I was born! Because no one interrupts my reading with no small amount of anger and internal crying from me! Well, that may possibly be an exaggeration. But it feels that way! I first read Jack and Annie and the Magic Treehouse, but quickly moved up to YA with Alanna the Lioness when I was eight.

How do you gain loyal followers?

To me, loyal followers mean my best friends on Bookstagram. The important thing is to reach out to people! All of us love to talk about books and fangirl so just try DMing someone who has similar interests! Or if you have no idea who to DM, send me a message, haha!

As for gaining followers, it is important to be and stay active. This means following back a lot of people in the beginning of your account and liking and commenting on their photos. Also, you should post at least once a day (the best time is 5pm EST) and respond to comments on there! When I decide whether to follow an account I base it off of 2 things. Are their pictures pretty? Do they respond to comments from people? Also be sure to use hashtags! Both put them on your pictures and like pictures on them.

Check out my tips for bookstagram post for more!

If you had to live in any fictional world, which would you choose?

I have two here because I have issues with choices (give me more than three choices and you’ll be waiting forever).

1. The Night Court from A Court of Mist and Fury because RHYSand!! Need I say more? Oh and the fact that it is the most protected city ever. Although I admire badass book characters, I’m not going to be defending the city or saving the world.

2. Hogwarts! Again, need I say more?! MAGIC!!

What are your top favorite books?

ACOMAF (A Court of Mist and Fury). ACOMAF. ACOMAF. ACOMAF. Annndd.. ACOMAF! Okay, fine. I will try not to be too much of an ACOMAF fangirl. Here is my list:
1. ACOMAF- surprise surprise! You never could have guessed! I am so obsessed with this book for two reasons. First, there is Rhysand, who is a cinnamon bun in the form of a haughty territorial Fae male who can crush your mind with just a thought. Really charming, I know. Second, Feyre goes from tiny little insignificant human to badass and that gives me a lot of hope because the most badass thing I have done is read ACOMAF in one day…I know, you should be afraid of my reading skills.
2. Empire of Storms…I haven’t read it yet but you know I have to reserve a spot for it!
3. Cress! There are so many cute moments between Cress and Thorne (my favorite couple of the series) and they gave me so many feeeels! Thorne is so flirtatious when really he is a cinnamon bun inside like Rhysand (are you also starting to see a pattern here?). Also I just generally love The Lunar Chronicles because it is so unique and well thought out!
4. I’ll Give You the Sun is the cutest realistic fiction you will ever read. The imagery and exaggerations are so unique to this book. And of course Noah and Brian are aDORAble!!!
5. Alanna the Lioness. I could give a ton of other books this spot but Alanna the Lioness meant so so much to me when I was younger! It is the book that made me start reading a ton more and trying to write my own books!

What is your favorite Bookstagram account?

They are all so unique that I can’t choose! But here are the top three most creative ones:  seelieknightxenatine, and highladyreads

Do you read in public places?

If you ever see me reading in public, stay. away. I cannot gauruntee that I won’t throw my book into your face if you distract me. Then I will cry and blame you if my book is at all damaged. Just fair warning. 🙂 But really, I hate it so much when people try to talk to me while reading! Like excuse you I am busy defeating Voldemort and kissing Rhysand. I didn’t ask you to interrupt, mortal.

Do you use bookmarks or dogear the pages?

Neither. And I consider dogearing pages a crime! That crease will be there forever because of YOU! What did the book ever do to you to warrant such abuse?! Now you are probably wondering what I do…basically I shut my book and memorize the page number. 100% of the time I then forget it so I spend several minutes cursing myself as I flip through the book to find my spot.

Do you relate some books to certain songs?

Every time I read the title of Since You’ve Been Gone I immediately start singing mentally, “SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GO-ONEEE!” from “Since You’ve Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson. Go look up the song and listen to it and you will never be able to read that title the same way ever again. You’re welcome. 😉

Will you ever do a Sock Sunday?

If I can’t touch my toes, how am I supposed to hold my camera above my feet while making the picture look pretty?! That’s some gynastics-yoga-ninja stuff right there.

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the closest I’ve ever gotten to a sock sunday

When did you decide you wanted to be Jaylin‘s bestie? (curtesy of Jaylin)

Um. Obviously since the day I met her on Bookstagram! I knew instantly when I met her because she’s “hilarious and amazing” – Jaylin . Or maybe it was because we bonded over Book Outlet, the heaven for bookworms that I basically screamed in caps to her about. Haha!

What are your tips on pictures?

First of all, NATURAL LIGHTING!! This is your best friend in taking pictures! I recommend sticking a white posterboard or wood slab in front of a window and taking pictures on that!

Second, props! Fake flowers somehow are loved by us readers, maybe because we are all secretly old ladies in our hearts, and fairy lights are an electric magic. It looks like Tinkerbell hopped all over my feed lately, really.

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Tinkerbell flew around my feed

Third, editing! I use Ribbet to edit my photos and bought the premium version so I have even more options! The free version is still very helpful though! I recommend increasing the brightness and adding more shadows. Also, decreasing the saturation gives your photos a pastel look!

Do you have a genre you read the most?

This would definitely be Fantasy! I love being badass characters while I am laying in bed so I feel like I am actually accomplishing something. Also, I love that Fantasy is so different from real life!

 

 

My Thoughts on a Throne of Glass show

I am a hardcore fan of the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I scream and cry happy tears when I get one of her books in my hands. At one point, I even said, “myyy precciiousssss,” as I stroked my newly arrived book. Weird, I know. But if you’re a hardcore fan like me, you totally understand! As Hazel Grace is quoted in saying in The Fault in Our Stars, I would read Sarah’s grocery lists. She can make anything sound badass, whether it is a sassy assassin (hehe) or a tomato at the store. That totally is not an exaggeration. Totally.
Now, you would think that as a hardcore fan who would read Maas’s grocery lists, I would be beyond the moon at a Throne of Glass T.V. show (or, I suppose, a Queen of Shadows T.V. show). Wrong. A T.V. show seems so special and amazing, and maybe I’d get to see that hottie Dorian or Chaol in it, but the point is that it is exactly what this fandom does not need.
Take Game of Thrones. I’ve never seen it, and only this year I found out that it was originally a book series. The fact that it is also a T.V. show that I have seen countless ads of completely and utterly turns me off of reading the books. As another example, I am a huge fan of The Book Thief. The words, the characters, the emotions in that book brought me to tears more times than I can count. Some were tears of “this is freaking beautiful” and others were just sad tears because I could feel Liesel’s pain as everyone in her life just died. Gone. Forever. When it came to watching the movie, it became less of being Liesel and more of watching a story unfold. Sure, it was a story and interesting! But it did not capture the undercurrent of thoughts and emotions from Liesel, or the feelings from Death. I didn’t cry when it ended. My eyes were dry and I did not feel satisfied. I knew I could just start over the movie and see those characters again—I knew that the actor who played Rudy was still alive. When I saw Markus Zusak last year, he himself even said that he would rather that it was not a movie.
There is a certain magic to books. The author creates worlds that come from their heads. In turn, us as readers reimagine those worlds and characters in our own heads. No screen can capture the magic and impossibility of the scenes in books. It is the words that make it more than just a story. We become part of the book, and the book becomes part of us. I find myself often feeling as if I am actually inside the story, kissing Chaol or running from the ridderack. On the screens, there is a layer of glass keeping us from the characters, and it’s something that never can be breached. We are just bystanders, watching all of the scenes in the book happening as we sprawl on the couch with a bowl of popcorn in front of us and our eyes glazed. How can we have Celaena’s same emotions and experience her life if we are just watching? In Heir of Fire, Celaena has a feeling of hopelessness—she wants to kill herself and is so so angry at herself for being such a coward, as Nehemiah called her. The actress who played her can cry and scream, but we will never fully understand what it is like to be Celaena in that moment. No screen can capture that. As such, us readers have been the only ones to experience the Throne of Glass world. Suddenly, all of these new people will be watching the show without bothering to read the books. They’ll never be as passionate as us because as I said, they cannot become Celaena. All of these new fans will only have the surface of what makes Throne of Glass the most beautiful series I have ever read, and they will only scorn us for our passion for the series.
As for the show itself, there are several factors that will make it less-than-amazing. First of all, I would be a bit more happy if it were a movie. Far more actors and actresses flock to have a chance to be in a movie. Even the producers themselves put far more effort into movies because the movie will be on the big screen with speakers blaring. In shows, they tend to be rushed, especially if a new episode comes out every week. It is more about the money-making than the quality—quantity over quality. They cannot capture, either, the killings Celaena made! It sounds awful to say that, but true! I could see her victims’ deaths in my mind’s eye when I read the book. Because of ratings and rules regarding violence, how horrible and dark her soul is cannot be truly shown. The killings are brutal, but necessary to understanding Celaena. Shows often tend to be more dramatic, to give watchers something to force them to watch again the next week. You’re in the story for thirty minutes, but then you have to wait a week before finding out what comes next. It’s as if you’re living a life that keeps getting cut off abrubtly, and that will never, never capture her life. I can read one of Maas’s books in a day, and when I come out, I am confused about where I am because I was in the story. I was Celaena; I was Manon; I was Chaol; I was Dorian. It put an element of excitement to my own life because lives like that can only be lived through books.
Will I watch the show when I comes out? Probably. I expect there to be many hottie actors playing the characters of Dorain, Chaol, Aedion, and Rowan. But will it be the same experience? Will I feel resentful that it leaves me so unsatisfied? Yes. It isn’t the story that makes a life. It is living it, and that is only possible through the imagination.