T5W: Top 5 Underrated Books

I am really excited for this week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic! Not sure what T5W is? Check out the Goodreads group for more information.

This week, we’re discussing underrated reads that really deserve more love than they got. I’m counting books less than or just right above 4 / 5 stars in my list. Without further gilding the lily, here we go!

Give some love to those books that aren’t as widely talked about. Those hidden gems. Those books that maybe used to be popular but people have forgotten about and they still deserve some love.

The Other Guy by Cary Attwell

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Some say that the main character is cowardly, and maybe he is in some measure, but I found him to be delightfully honest, real, insecure like many of us, and riddled with flaws that made him seem more human to me. I loved Emory. I loved Nate. I loved Linnea. I loved these characters and the relationship that blossomed for Emory and Nate after their unlikely meeting in Thailand. Great fun read. Will look forward to more from this author.


The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan

I have always enjoyed Tan’s books and this one was no exception. Winnie and Helen’s story will haunt you with its beauty and make you ponder the hard life so many have led. It has been a LONG time since I read this book, so I don’t have a ton to say about it now, but as with all of Tan’s books, it left a lasting emotional impression.


The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley

I remember reading this book when I was in middle school. It looked interesting, so I picked it up and literally did not put it down until I had finished it. I read it in one day while sitting on a float in the pool. 🙂 I have read it two or three more times since then. GREAT book. There was such an air of mystery and beauty about this book. Even though it was clearly written for a younger audience, you can’t help but love it as an adult.


Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara

This book right here changed my middle schooler life. I adored this book and literally searched for it for years before I finally found it at Powell’s online bookstore in college. It was such a beautiful tale of light and dark essence and how they are not always what they seem. I will love Chihaya FOREVER. That is all.


Scarlet and White Wolf by Kirby Crow

This book was an enchanting introduction to the world crow has built around the protagonists, Scarlet and Liall. Scarlet was instantly likeable to me. Sassy and yet unsure of himself. Liall was a swaggering type with charm and assertiveness that contrasted with Scarlet’s character. Their slow-building relationship was a breath of fresh air in a genre that often throws characters together too quickly. It’s clear that Crow put in a TON of background world building. The world felt rich with a variety of languages, religions, and cultures all jampacked together in one continent. I look forward to uncovering more about this place in subsequent books. I really enjoyed Kirby’s lyrical prose. It gave the book some of the “old style” feel. I really enjoyed the book and had a hard time putting it down. Looking forward to the next one! (Purchased it right after I read this one.)


What are your top 5 underrated reads? Do you have a number one out of those 5? I’d love to hear about it!


T5W: Series That Got Worse with Each Book

The prompt for today is:

December 14th – Series That Got Worse with Each Book: What series started out strong but got increasingly worse with each book?

WOW. Talk about a really really hard topic to think about and write about. I have had to wrack my brain to find 5 series to expand on here and I’m still not sure these are the answers I’d like to give. BUT I’m always up for a challenge. Here we go!


  • 3236813Scarlet and the White Wolf by Kirby Crow – I loved the first book in this series. Loved it. Scarlet is a pedlar who meets a roguish bandit on a mountain pass and slowly falls in love with him. There was action, adventure, and some UST that made it all worthwhile. But, in the second book, they travel on a ship to the White Wolf’s homeland and things get…uncomfortable. Liall (The White Wolf) treats Scarlet like a child and that really bothered me. In book 1 there was all this equal footing and it slowly devolved into Liall telling Scarlet what to do all the time and withholding information from him. Perhaps this didn’t bother other readers, but it did bother me. I find myself hesitant to read book 3 and beyond if it will just be more of the same. Perhaps book 3 would redeem the series for me which is why I’m like…do I continue?
  • 23840035Dragon Blood Series by Lindsay Buroker – I feel sacrilegious even saying this. I am a ginormous Lindsay Buroker fangirl, but I have to say it. I had trouble with this series. I adored her Emperor’s Edge series to pieces. It is still one of my favorites. But I just didn’t care about these characters enough to continue in the middle of book 5. I know, I know…if I made it 5 books in, why couldn’t I finish it? But I just don’t care enough to continue. I mean, the main premise is interesting, but a dragon doesn’t show up until book 4 and so far in book 5 (at 33% in), still no dragons. I was hoping for more dragon action but it just didn’t deliver. Sorry, Buroker. Like I said, I feel like a traitor saying this… *huddles in a corner, ashamed*
  • 2917816The Sevenwaters Series by Juliet Marillier Again, I feel like a traitor, but I have to say it. I just did not enjoy books 3 – 6 anywhere near as much as books 1 and 2 of this series. Feel free to disagree, but I just didn’t. Book 1, Daughter of the Forest is my one of my absolute favorite books of ALL time. I read it at 13 and it literally changed much of how I viewed womanhood, faith, and historical fantasy fiction in general. Sorcha is one of the bravest and most courageous heroines I’ve ever seen and her relationship with Red is precious, precious, precious. But books 3-6 were lackluster in comparison to the first 2 books.
  • 7260188The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – I am probably in the minority here, but though I enjoyed book 1, book 2 was just okay to me, and book 3 was a DNF. I know it is one of the most popular series to come along in forever, but they just didn’t grab me like they did so many others.
  • 428263Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer – Again, probably an unpopular opinion, but RENESME. COME ON. Enough said, really.


I did it! I managed to find 5 book series that I felt could have been so much more and ended up being merely okay or worse.

What are your series that you feel really went downhill after book 1? I’d love to hear!