Author Speaks

Ten Underrated/Hidden Gem Books I’ve Read In The Past Year Or So

The Broke and the Bookish started the Top Ten Tuesday back in 2010, so here I am jumping on the proverbial train to talk about some of the great books I’ve read that I don’t think many others have.

10. Lumberjanes


This is a feel good, women-centric comic book series that’s whimsical and adorable. It focuses on female friendships and love, ridiculous adventures, with magical beasts and a brain washed boy camp as the conflict.

9. American Born Chinese


A graphic novel following the experiences of a Chinese-American boy as he comes to terms with his identity. It’s a short and quirky read that will leave you smiling.



This isn’t the best written book I’ve ever read, but Syd is a character who grows in her own right while she grows on you. It was refreshing to watch her honest voice evolve as she herself evolved and became a stronger character.

7. A Thousand Pieces of You


This was a surprise for me. I reviewed it here, where you can see my opinions in full if you’re interested. This book has a fascinating concept with travel between dimensions, wild times in Russia, and a very likable female protagonist with a quirky family.

6.13 Little Blue Envelopes


This book is cute. Occasionally I like cute books. It’s not a crime.

5.Princess Academy


Two words: Girl power.

4.The Goose Girl


Honestly Hale’s best book in my opinion. It’s well planned and has a dynamic cast that captures your heart almost immediately. Also, there’s magic!

3. Bearheart


While I find this book underrated it isn’t one I would recommend to everyone. From a literary perspective (put on your English major goggles everyone) this book is rich and volatile. It follows the pilgramige of a group of Native Americans in an apocolyptic US, showing the violence towards Native groups in vivid and deliberate detail. It’s a book that is purposfully violent and offencive, because that’s the way to make people pay attention. Vizneor is a brilliant writer who has created a living text using outlines from oral traditions. This book is one of my favorites, but isn’t for the faint at heart.

2.Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

This book is heartbreakingly beautiful. It’s got an arresting style and a moving story that the English major in me sees about five different readings in. It’s a fast read that leaves you a little stunned, and will certainly stick with you.

1. Under a Painted Sky

Under a Painted Sky

My full review is here, where you can see me rant about it in full. This is a great Western that follows two girls as they figure out themselves and what they want from life. It’s one of the best books I’ve read with fantastic character growth and diversity. Defiantly one I’d always recommend.



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