18 Books That Deserve More Hype, According To Seasoned Readers
Why is no one reading this?!
by Helen Phillips
What it's about: This speculative thriller follows Molly, who has been hearing strange things in the home where she lives with her two children. But one evening, she catches a glimpse of what it might be, only to find herself face-to-face with an intruder. One who happens to know too much about her and her family.
Why the BuzzFeed Books community recommends it: "It plays with genre so expertly and manages to be so many things at once. There's nothing else out there like it." —summerscourtney
by Stuart Turton
What it's about: This pulse-pounding mystery will have you on the edge of your seat. Each day, Aiden Bishop wakes up in the body of a different guest at Blackheath Manor. In order to stop this bizarre time loop, he must find out who killed Evelyn Hardcastle. But it's not as easy as it seems, especially when certain guests aren't forthcoming.
Why the BuzzFeed Books community recommends it: "It's Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day. Throw in a mysterious murder, super-creepy characters, and some surrealism and you're hooked!" —ahobbitsbooks
by Jenna Langbaum
What it's about: Langbaum has written a collection of micro-fiction stories that explore dating through the lens of a millennial, with all its tumultuous ups and downs. The narrator is nameless, allowing the reader to step into a relatable experience.
Why the BuzzFeed Books community recommends it: "It's one of the best new books I've read this year." —miss_catt_
by Min Jin Lee
What it's about: A National Book Award finalist, Pachinko is set in the early 1900s and follows four generations of Korean immigrant families, beginning with Sunja, an adored daughter of a crippled fisherman. Sunja falls for a wealthy stranger who promises her the world, but then she discovers that she's pregnant — and her lover is married.
Why the BuzzFeed Books community recommends it: "I just loved it so much. You see the characters over a span of decades of their lives, so it's a great saga. The author is beautiful in her descriptions of everything — from the landscape to the food to each character's thoughts." —kristina_beena
by Sarah Rees Brennan
What it's about: In this middle grade fantasy novel, 13-year-old Elliot attends a class trip with his school. When it's discovered that he can see a wall that no one else can, he is given the chance to attend school in the Borderlands. There, Elliot will have the opportunity to train as a warrior or a councillor.
Why the BuzzFeed Books community recommends it: "It’s a hilarious take on the classic portal fantasy, and I will never stop recommending it!" —lcbeutler
by Jerry Pinto
What it's about: Set in Bombay during the last decades of the 20th century, the story of the Mendes family unfolds. The father, the Big Hoom, attempts to be the rock for his family — consisting of Em and her brother — while Em's mother struggles with her bipolar disorder.
Why the BuzzFeed Books community recommends it: "Such a good book, but so little is spoken about it. The author Jerry Pinto is a marvel. I wish he was celebrated more." —the_bookerly
by Garth Nix
What it's about: This YA fantasy series has been compared to Game of Thrones and begins with the first installment, Sabriel, named after a young child who is sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre. But when her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, Sabriel must enter the Old Kingdom to find him.
Why the BuzzFeed Books community recommends it: "They are so good and so nuanced, and I'm pretty sure they're the reason I grew up to be a raging feminist. Amazing kids books!" —daryn_lynn
by Ling Ma
What it's about: In Ma's apocalyptic satire we meet Candace Chen, a millennial who recently lost both of her Chinese immigrant parents, and someone who is devoted to routine. But then a plague sweeps New York, spreading Shen Fever. And when Candace joins a group of survivors, she soon realizes that secrets are being kept.
Why the BuzzFeed Books community recommends it: "Millennial ennui and late-stage capitalism meets a postapocalyptic wasteland brought about by a pandemic that turns people into mindless zombies, repeating rote tasks until they die. But it is so much more than that. Ugh. This book is polarizing and stark and satirical, and the ending is infuriating and I loved it." —where_the_books_live
by Robin Sloan
What it's about: Clay Jannon is out of work in the tech industry and finds himself working for Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. The odd thing is, customers in Mr. Penumbra's store behave strangely. They don't buy anything and seem to read obscure volumes in small corners of the store. And when Clay takes his discovery to Mr. Penumbra, he finds out the bookstore has secrets beyond its walls.
Why the BuzzFeed Books community recommends it: "It's a beautiful love letter to bookshops and readers." —mrd_reads
by Barbara Kloss
What it's about: Set in a world where magic is forbidden, Sable is aware that those born with it are hunted and killed. Which is why she flees upon discovering that her music holds power over souls, killing her baby sister. Taking refuge in the Wilds, Sable believes she is safe — until it's discovered that someone is hunting her...
Why the BuzzFeed Books community recommends it: "This book is so, so, so good and deserves so much love!" —janaireadsbooks
by Alisha Rai
What it's about: All of the books in Rai's Modern Love series deserve more hype, and in The Right Swipe, we're introduced to Rhiannon Hunter, a cynical dating-app creator with walls around her heart. Enter: Samson Lima. Just when Rhiannon thinks she might change her mind about giving people chances, Samson ghosts her. But he turns up months later...as her business rival.
Why the BuzzFeed Books community recommends it: "Diversity, spicy, fluffy, mental health representation, healthy relationships, growth, badass female leads…what more could you possibly want in a book?!" —hadeelthereader
by Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman
What it's about: College admission season is upon Seattle's Elliott Bay Academy. But what is already a super-competitive time turns downright cutthroat when three mothers discover that only one student is eligible for a spot at Stanford. Days before applications are due, one of the girls suffers a severe accident — or was it an accident?
Why the BuzzFeed Books community recommends it: "It was totally overlooked after its publication, perhaps because it didn't have a huge marketing budget. But it is fantastic." —read.between.the.spines
by Leslie Marmon Silko
What it's about: Though this book is older, it is an important staple in Native American literature. Tayo has returned to the Laguna Pueblo Reservation as a WWII veteran. Scarred by his experience as prisoner of the Japanese, he comes to find he's rejected by his people because of his mixed ancestry. By immersing himself in his heritage as well as the past, he begins to seek peace within himself.
Why the BuzzFeed Books community recommends it: "It’s critically acknowledged as 'good.' It's becoming part of the new, inclusive American novel canon (I read it in my college class Major American Novels, of course), but I don’t know anyone who has read it. It’s beautiful and epic, yet concise." —sarahsomeone80
by Camilla Bruce
What it's about: This true crime novel dives into one of the most prolific female serial killers, Belle Gunness. Many men have come to call on the Widow of La Porte, but no one sees them leave. But why? And how? You'll have to read to find out.
Why the BuzzFeed Books community recommends it: "It's an editorialized account of Belle Gunness, aka the first (that we know of) female serial killer in America, and it is so perfectly creep-tacular. True crime fans, GET ON IT." —jbrockie23
by Joe Abercrombie
What it's about: This fantasy novel follows a large cast of characters. Logen Ninefingers is a barbarian down on his luck. Captain Jezal dan Luthar dreams of fencing glory, and Inquisitor Glokta would like nothing more than to see him dead. But when the wizard Bayaz enters their lives, he makes things a whole lot more difficult. Especially given that a war is brewing...
Why the BuzzFeed Books community recommends it: "Why it’s not social media famous, I have no idea. Humor + morally ambiguous characters + magic + the best fantasy character (Glokta) ever written!" —green_witch_reads
by Jandy Nelson
What it's about: After her sister's unexpected death, Lennie is filled with overwhelming grief. But what she doesn't expect is to become torn between her sister's boyfriend, who deeply understands her grief, and Joe, a new boy in town, who makes her feel full of life.
Why the BuzzFeed Books community recommends it: "I get it’s an older book (2010), but the story was everything and then some." —sincerelyadi
by Megan Goldin
What it's about: The Night Swim is a fast-paced thriller that follows Rachel Krall, a popular true crime podcaster, who travels to a small town for her third season, only to find a note on her car, begging for help for a separate case. This one follows Jenny Stills, who tragically drowned, although that's not what the letters say. The woman behind them insists she was murdered.
Why the BuzzFeed Books community recommends it: "With subject matter of assault, I reckon she did a fantastic job bringing more awareness while keeping the story engaging for readers so they could understand the true impact." —iblamenile
by Abdi Nazemian
What it's about: It's the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in 1989. Reza, a young and closeted Iranian teen, is new to New York City. Soon, he begins dating Judy, who quickly falls in love with him. But while Reza is pretending with Judy, he begins to fall for Art, who happens to be Judy's best friend. It's a love triangle of epic proportions where there's more at stake than a broken heart.
Why the BuzzFeed Books community recommends it: "This book moved me in an unexpected and beautiful way, leaving me wishing I had experienced the story as a teenager. It’s everything." —danielsnapz