Top Ten Tuesday- Underrated Books

I love today’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday- Underrated books- each of these books I’m sharing have less than 2000 ratings on Goodreads. I thought each was well worth the read so CHECK THEM OUT.

I chose books that are first of their series or stand-alones. Each of these books is available right now too so don’t hesitate to buy or borrow.  I found that a lot of my fave sequels had less than 2000 ratings but that’s a post for a different day.

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke an the Bookish. Each week a different question is posed and gives us bloggers an opportunity to share our top tens on all different types of bookish topics.

Top Ten Underrated Books

Steampunk Fun

22811807This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.

His brother, Oliver—dead.

His sweetheart, Mary—gone.

His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.

Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.

But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.

Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…

My Review

22718701Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson

A sixteen-year-old governess becomes a spy in this alternative U.S. history where the British control with magic and the colonists rebel by inventing.

It’s 1888, and sixteen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family—but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister—but it seems like the children’s young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family’s life. She soon realizes she’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause—but to do so, she’ll have to reveal her own dangerous secret.

My Review

Historical/Fantasy

21936937Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There’s just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents’ deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she’s stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

Why You Should Read Blackhearts

23495112The Imposter Queen by Sarah Fine

Sixteen-year-old Elli was only a child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic in service of her people. The only life Elli has known has been in the temple, surrounded by luxury, tutored by magic-wielding priests, preparing for the day when the queen perishes—and the ice and fire find a new home in Elli, who is prophesied to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between her love for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must choose the right side before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.

My Review

Sherlock Inspired

24885790Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty

In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students—one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty—meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.

Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more…

FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.

FACT: Miss James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.

FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.

FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule—they must share every clue with each other—Mori is keeping secrets.

OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case,Mori may never trust Lock again.

My Review

18080011Every Breath by Ellie Marney

Rachel Watts has just moved to Melbourne from the country, but the city is the last place she wants to be.

James Mycroft is her neighbour, an intriguingly troubled seventeen-year-old who’s also a genius with a passion for forensics.

Despite her misgivings, Rachel finds herself unable to resist Mycroft when he wants her help investigating a murder. He’s even harder to resist when he’s up close and personal – and on the hunt for a cold-blooded killer.

When Rachel and Mycroft follows the murderer’s trail, they find themselves in the lion’s den – literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning again…

My Review

Diverse Contemporary

23399267Anything Could Happen by Will Walton

When you’re in love with the wrong person for the right reasons, anything could happen.

Tretch lives in a very small town where everybody’s in everybody else’s business. Which makes it hard for him to be in love with his straight best friend. For his part, Matt is completely oblivious to the way Tretch feels – and Tretch can’t tell whether that makes it better or worse.

The problem with living a lie is that the lie can slowly become your life. For Tretch, the problem isn’t just with Matt. His family has no idea who he really is and what he’s really thinking. The girl at the local bookstore has no clue how off-base her crush on him is. And the guy at school who’s a thorn in Tretch’s side doesn’t realize how close to the truth he’s hitting.

Tretch has spent a lot of time dancing alone in his room, but now he’s got to step outside his comfort zone and into the wider world. Because like love, a true self can rarely be contained.

ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN is a poignant, hard-hitting exploration of love and friendship, a provocative debut that shows that sometimes we have to let things fall apart before we can make them whole again.

My Review

Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is- Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward to Their Sophomore Novel. I have picked the first to come to my mind (and not in order of desire!) You should add all of these to your TBR and buy the ones already released.

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a different question is posed and gives us bloggers an opportunity to share our top tens on all different types of bookish topics.

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  1. The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace- I loved this one and I can’t wait for The Skylighter.
  2. The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig- I adored how complex and lovely this story was. And the characters–I can’t wait to read more.
  3. Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman- This was the prequel to Blackbeards pirating ways so I NEED to see how Nicole will portray him next.
  4. Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie- The main character in this one was so unhinged and the story left me yearning for more.
  5. Lock & Mori by Heather Petty- This play on Sherlock and Moriarty has me incredibly scared yet eager to see how the relationship between these two will go.
  6. This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzie Lee- I loved how Lee wove together history with the classic Frankenstein story. I can’t wait to see what she does next.
  7. The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich- This book was so well done and different–not to mention creepy! I need to know what Kurtagich will write next.
  8. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro- Another reworking of Sherlock and Watson–I loved how the genders were switched this go around. I can’t wait to read the next in the series.
  9. Thin Space by Jody Casella- This one was so wonderfully emotional and I was very moved by it. Not enough people have read it!
  10. The Falconer by Elizabeth May- This book took me out of a wicked reading slump so I’m more than excited about the sequel, The Vanishing Throne.

I have many debuts up to read and review coming up in 2016 and I’m pretty sure I’ll be dying for all of their sequels.

Review of This Monstrous Thing- Stellar Re-working of Frankenstein

ThisMonstrousThingThis Monstrous Thing
By: Mackenzi Lee
Release Date: September 22nd 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.

His brother, Oliver—dead.

His sweetheart, Mary—gone.

His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.

Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.

But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.

Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…

The Story:
This Monstrous Thing was everything I wanted in a Frankenstein retelling/reworking. The story was evenly paced and pulled enough from history that it felt plausible. Lee took the classic storyline and added a mechanical element (dare I say steampunk?) and the complexities of a sibling relationship.

annex_-_karloff,_boris_(bride_of_frankenstein,_the)_06

The setting was so eerie and vivid it was easy to visualize the time period as well as the setting. I loved all the little details that were included in the descriptions. I have never honestly considered the idea of bringing someone back to life with mechanics though the way Lee presented it along with medical know how it all seemed incredibly realistic.

In this world those that have had mechanical elements added to themselves are looked down upon and considered nearly evil and a stain on God’s creation. The vast societal gap between this created between characters was incredibly interesting and beautifully executed.

Lee eloquently questioned what makes someone human and how much does our own medical tinkering impact this. I loved the questions the characters dealt with as well as how much it led me to consider things on my own as I read. Even with such deep questions being asked and addressed this story moved at a fast pace and there were some very tense action sequences. I don’t think anyone will have trouble becoming entranced with the story-line.

The Characters:
Where this book really shone for me was with the main character, Alasdair. I loved how he suffered from guilt, self loathing yet ambition. He wrestled with his own decisions and choices and questioned himself. I found his character to be so incredibly complex.

His relationships with all of those around him were also a major draw for me, especially with him and his brother. I found the love between the brothers realistic as well as touching. Though these two love one another they aren’t free of sibling rivalry or a touch of jealousy.

I really loved reading about Alasdair’s self discovery and growth. He changed a good amount from the beginning of the novel to the end. I felt that this gradual growth was really one of the best aspects of the novel.

Lee didn’t disappoint with her secondary characters either. They were all well executed, detailed and unique. I felt that she gave them all depth and complexity.

Final Thoughts:
What an impressive book This Monstrous Thing was! Not only were the characters well developed but Lee’s grasp of history and her ability to provide a detailed and rich setting provided a wonderful reading experience. I’d highly recommend this one to anyone with an interest in historical fiction.

Stacking the Shelves

This was a rather quiet week around my house. I can’t say much of anything happened. I did manage to finish Legacy of Kings and read The Weight of Feathers this week. I’ve been so slow at reading lately it felt good to finish two books.

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

The Books

StS724Thank you St. Martins, Harper Teen, Scholastic and MD Communications!!

Last Week’s Posts

Coming Next Week

  • Blog Tour- Damage Done Review and Giveaway
  • Review Of Dreams and Rust by Sarah Fine
  • Review of Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George

Be sure to tune in this Sunday at 3PM EST for the last #FAC16 Chat. This week we’ll be talking to all the 2016 debuts.

Stacking the Shelves

I had a pretty small mail week (one book) but Harper decided to upload some books to Edelweiss and I couldn’t resist downloading a few. I limited myself to three and though it was difficult I succeeded in not downloading everything. I started reading Dreamland and read through half of it in a sitting. It has been surprisingly creepy so far.

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

For Review (via Edelweiss)

 ThisMonstrousThing Dreamlandcover WEaS

This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee, Dreamland by Robert L. Anderson and Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

For Review

IsleThe Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz

 Last Week’s Posts

Giveaways

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