TW5 – Five Underrated Books or Series

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Everyone has that one book that they love to bits but can never find another person who has also read it. I find it happens too often in my life – I will find a book that I think is absolutely amazing but no one else seems to have read it.

It’s a little sad when a good book goes unnoticed and a little unappreciated. Especially when it has a good premise, a good message, brilliant writing and so much more that makes it so special.

I thought I’d take a look through my bookshelf and find five books/book series that I’ve read but haven’t really heard anyone else talk about.

1] Little Bits of Sky by S.E. Durrant

I knew straight away that this would be the first book I would talk about because it made such an impact on me when I read it in the latter part of 2016.

Little Bits of Sky is told from the perspective of Ira, a young girl in the social care system with her younger brother Zac, who has just been moved from another home to the foster home Skilly House. Their story is told through the 1980s (mostly 1987) as the children try to find a home, somewhere where they belong.

I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads because it truly was an unexpected gem. When I picked it up in the store, I was mainly swayed be the beautiful front cover. The edition I had bought was paperback with a dust cover depicting a chair beside a window. Take away the dust cover and there was nothing but an endless blue sky…

But this book is more than just a pretty cover. It’s a heartwarming story about two children learning to make friends, to trust others though they’ve had such a miserable life, and most importantly finding a place they can call home. It genuinely made me cry towards the end and it’s saddening to know not many people are aware of it.

2] Kiss by Jacqueline Wilson

Growing up, I had two authors that I loved to bits and really helped to shape my love of books – both of them coming into my life around the time I lost the one person who really encouraged my love of fiction. J.K. Rowling and Jacqueline Wilson.

My parents bought me Kiss for Christmas one year back when I was around ten or eleven years old. I don’t think they ever really took the time to look into what the book was really about because the blurb doesn’t give that much away.

It’s told from the perspective of thirteen-year-old Sylvie, a small and timid girl who has been best friends with her neighbour, Carl, since they were babies. They’ve always had a tight bond but now they’re older Carl is drifting away.

It’s a really poignant story about friendship in unlikely places, sexuality, self-discovery and family. It had a major impact on me as I was growing up because it was the first time I was ever really exposed to anything LGBTQ+. I won’t go into too much detail just in case anyone reading this is interested in picking up this book, but it is such a fantastic example of teaching kids that it is okay to be confused, it is okay to not know who you yet, and that it is absolutely okay to accept who you are when you do finally figure it out. No matter who you love.

I certainly wasn’t being taught that by my family, at the time, so this book really stood out to me.

3] Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

I won’t go on about this book as much as I have the others because I’ve written about this series quite often on this blog.

Honestly, I think this series was likely pretty popular when it was first being published – the last book came out sometime in 2014 and I can remember seeing each one on the shelves at the store for as long as I can remember.

But as much as I rant and rave about it, no one else seems to talk about it anymore. I’ve only ever found one person whose spoken about this series and even they hadn’t finished everything…

4] Lockwood & Co. by Jonathan Stroud

This is another series that I’ve recently got into, spoken about a fair amount and fallen in love with.

True, it took me a little bit to get into the first book but the rest of the series has been amazing.

The story follows a ragtag bunch of teenaged ghost hunters as they shamble around London and beyond trying to stave off all the phantoms and ghouls that have started plaguing the country.

It’s spooky and witty and clever. The characters are flawed and brilliant.

I never hear anything about it, though.

5] Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

This book.

If there became a rule that I was only allowed to recommend one book then I would pick this one.

Radio Silence is the story of Frances Janvier, a quiet, study-centric girl who is also a closet nerd. She says outright that there are two versions of her: the version she lets people see and the Real Frances.

I wrote a full review on this story for anyone who wants to know more, but I highly recommend picking the book up yourself and giving it a read.

It’s a really powerful story about identity and everything that boils down to, including race, sexual orientation, friendship and self-confidence.

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