Hi there and welcome to this first blog post of hopefully many more to come! A little while back Megan from Megwithbooks uploaded a video of her favourite underrated books. In that video she said she wanted someone to read her list and so I thought: I can do that! I’ve been toying with this idea of ‘themed TBR’ blog posts for a while and Megan’s video was the last push for me to kick off this series. And I already have a lot more ideas for future themed TBRs!
Now what are these themed TBR blogposts? It’s easy: for these blog posts I pick a certain theme and read books within that theme. The theme of this post is Megan’s favourite underrated books, so I will read the 6 books she mentioned in that video and give you my review. But, and that’s the fun part of the blog post, my reviews will be little podcast type vlogs. I will not only give you my final thoughts on the book, but also the thoughts I had whilst reading the book. So it’s a bit like a reading vlog, but it’s just my voice.
Book 1: The Guest List by Lucy Foley
Each has a secret, each has a motive.
Off the windswept Irish coast, guests gather for the wedding of the year.
One guest won’t leave the wedding alive.
The stage is set for the marriage of Jules Keegan and Will Slater. The setting is spectacular, the planning meticulous, the atmosphere alive with nostalgia as the guests toast the most golden of couples.
Yet under the cloak of happniess, dark secrets begin to spill and old grudges surface. And the wedding cake has barely been cut when someone is found dead.
As a storm unleashes its fury on the island, everyone is trapped – and the killer circulates amongst the guests.
It starts with a party.
It’ll end in murder.
Book 2: Watch us Rise by Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan
Jasmine and Chelsea are sick of the way women are treated even at their progressive NYC high school, so they decide to start a Women’s Rights Club. They post everything online—poems, essays, videos of Chelsea performing her poetry, and Jasmine’s response to the racial macroaggressions she experiences—and soon they go viral. But with such positive support, the club is also targeted by online trolls. When things escalate, the principal shuts the club down. Jasmine and Chelsea will risk everything for their voices—and those of other young women—to be heard.
The Goodreads review that explains why Chelsea’s parts are offensive to POC and LGBTQ+ can be found here. If you don’t want to listen to my long review, I’d recommend giving that Goodreads review a read because it does also sum up most of my thoughts.
Book 3: The Bear and the Nithingale by Katherine Arden
At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.
After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.
And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.
As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.
Book 4: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss
Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.
But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.
When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.
Book 5 & 6: She Must Be Mad and Validate Me by Charly Cox
She Must be Mad explores coming-of-age: the pain and beauty of love, the relief and the agony of turning from girl to woman, the isolation of an untethered mind and the power and subjugation of the body.
This is an account of a life lived online. Swiping for approval. Scrolling for gratification. Searching for connection. From the glow of a screen in the middle of the night, to the harsh glare of the hospital waiting room, Validate Me is a raw and honest look at the highs and the lows of a digital life.
And that was everything. I hope you guys liked this blog post and my new ‘series’ of themed TBRs! I definitely want to do this again, however I won’t be reading six books for one post again, because that were a lot of books. In future blog posts I’ll be reading 3 to 4 books. If you have any themes or people’s favourite books (or least favourite books) you want me to read, please let me know in a comment on here or on my Instagram!