BOOKS THAT AREN’T IN THE SPOTLIGHT AS MUCH AS THEY SHOULD BE

We all have our greatest loves: the books that we throw at other readers, begging them to join in our obsession.

And then we have our greatest loves. The ones we secretly want to keep to ourselves, because thAT CHARACTER IS MY HUSBAND AND NOT YOURS.

I’m here to share my secret-greatest loves, and I’m going to be inviting any fellow bloggers reading my post to do the same. Let’s pour out our hearts into the universe, even though we truly truly want these books to be just ours. It’d also be nice for the author to be just ours too, but we always want what we can’t have.

THE FIRST BOOK SERIES I AM GOING TO DISCUSS TODAY IS THE BLACK PRISM SERIES BY BRENT WEEKS.

This entire series is so underrated that it breaks my heart. As someone who reads a lot of high fantasy, I like to say I know my stuff. Brandon Sanderson, George R R Martin, Robin Hobb – you name it, I’ve dabbled in it.

But Brent Weeks get nowhere near enough appreciation for the masterpieces he writes. I’ve seen them mentioned maybe ONCE over my entire career in the Book community. I’ve been here years. YEARS.

So it’s time for me to pry this stunning series away from my own tight-claws, and share it with the world.

FIRST OF ALL: I’d like to thank my friend Garier for introducing me to these books. I will never be able to thank you enough. I know it took me some time to believe that they are the GREATEST INVENTION OF ALL TIME, but I won’t ever doubt your word again. I promise.

SECOND OF ALL: HECK GUYS. THESE BOOKS. T H E S E B O O KS.

I’m going to give you a synopsis. This synopsis isn’t from Goodreads, because that synopsis makes it sounds incredibly dry. It isn’t from the blurb because, if you know anything about me, you know I will never ever read a blurb. Ew.

This is my synopsis. This is how I can try and give it the justice and fame it deserves:Imagine if colour wasn’t just colour, but writhing, burning manifests of Magic. Red? It can set the world alight.Blue? Can turn the world to dust as we know it.And one person can control them all.

So how can the world crumple AND burn all at the same time?

YES. YOU HEARD ME RIGHT.THIS BEAUTIFUL AUTHOR CREATED A MAGIC SYSTEM BASED ON COLOUR.THIS BOOK IS LITERALLY ALL RAINBOWS AND SMILES.I honestly don’t know how else to convince you of its majesty other than just screaming from the rooftops. Repeatedly.Although I’m actually getting to the point where I’m willing to do that.

Just point me towards your address and I’ll climb up onto the roof and stand there and squawk. THAT IS HOW I FEEL ABOUT THIS SERIES. THAT IS HOW MUCH LOVE IT DESERVES.

I honestly never thought ANYTHING could ever take over Game of Thrones books or the Mistborn trilogy in my heart. BUT THIS SERIES?

THIS? SERIES?????

I could talk about it all day, but this post is actually meant to be more than just one recommendation – so I’m going to make ONE last plea and beg you to pick up the first book. Please. You won’t regret it.

MOVING ON BEFORE I GET DISTRACTED (again)…

The next book I want to recommend to you is as follows:

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson.

So this book has bounced back and forth into the spotlight, dragged by its older-sister, The Sky is Everywhere – but it’s never stood in the spotlight on its own.

And I think it needs to.

You’ve all heard of Simon VS The Homosapiens Agenda, and books such as Adam Silvera’s History is All You Left Me are SUCH important voices in increasing diversity in the community. It’s amazing that the LGBTQ+ community are getting to see characters more and more like themselves – but we’re leaving books behind here as some take the rise to fame.

Of course I think Simon deserves his own spotlight. I know he does.

But let’s not forget the other books that helped break through into the market. That helped publishers realise that people DO need diversity and we DO need love of all forms, shapes and sizes.

So: I’ll Give You The Sun.

It sounds like a romance story.

It is, but in the BEST way.

Jude and Noah have always been together.

Their twins.

And when the past and the future collides, and they realise that they each have to take their own path in life – everything stars breaking down.

Jude likes parties. She loves being in the light.

Noah would rather hide in the dark.

He’d rather stay behind painting, drawing – anything.

But the world doesn’t want them to separate.

So it ties their strings together, keeping them both at home – but completely, utterly lost.

Noah’s in love with his male next door neighbour.

Jude has her heart broken too many times to count.

Noah won’t let his heart be broken.

Jude frames hers on the wall for everyone to see.

They are literally two halves of almost the same person. And they hate each other.

But they didn’t always.

THERE’S SO MUCH MORE I WANT TO SAY ABOUT THIS BOOK. I remember reading it a couple of years ago and splurging my heart out in a gigantic, longer-than-life review for my Creative Writing class. If I could replicate all of that emotion and soul-pouring into this book: I would. I’m trying. Just trust me. This book should be shelved with the big names. Alongside our Queen Becky Albertalli, and the King of our Hearts, Adam Silvera.

Authors have been fighting for diversity in book characters long before people started noticing it.

BECAUSE I LIKE TO WRITE RIDICULOUSLY LONG POSTS LATE AT NIGHT (it’s 11:30pm when I’m writing this), I’M NOW GOING TO RECOMMEND A SERIES THAT IS MORE WELL KNOWN IN THE BOOK COMMUNITY BECAUSE OF THE AUTHOR BUT NOT WELL KNOWN ENOUGH.

Prepare yourself. Grab the popcorn, get a drink – because you are about to hear a story and a half.

If you know me at all, you’ll know that if I need a comfort-read, it’ll be Jennifer L Armentrout’s books I pick up. Her LUX series came into my radar about 2 years ago, and it was one of the first sets of books I picked up because of BookTube (MY POOR BANK ACCOUNT R.I.P). I absolutely loved Katy, the book-blogging main character and it’s been one of the few books where I could actually imagine myself as the character. Book loving nerd who’s secretly into bad boys?

THERE IS NOTHING THAT SUMS ME UP MORE.

From there, I read most of Jennifer’s books. As you do. The Half Blood series, (serious Percy Jackson vibes) and all it’s companions – just anything I could get my hands on.

Then I discovered White Hot Kiss.

OKAY, SO ITS NAME IS AWFUL.AND IRS COVER.

BUT I PROMISE YOU ITS NOT JUST PURE SMUT.

(Just a teensy bit is). HEAR ME OUT.GARGOYLES.BUT GARGOYLE SHAPESHIFTERS WHO FIGHT OFF HELLISH DEMONS. (You don’t want to admit it but you’re already sold, I can tell). This steamy romance takes place in possibly the best Bookish Universe I can imagine. The world is essentially ours – normal schools, normal governments. Apart from the fact that demons walk amongst them.(Which could also be similar to ours, but sadly I don’t have the Sight so I would never know). In true traditional folklore, Gargoyles were sent to keep the Hellhounds at bay.And they kick-ass.Until the demons are the only thing that can keep the worse things away.(I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING: HOLY F*CK. SAME, ME TOO.)I’m not going to lie to you – the book is mainly just steamy romance. Hot demons. Hot fallen angels. Hot gargoyles. And a clumsy, dorky book-nerd female (IT’S TROPE CITY) but the world building and the heart-wrenching emotion Jennifer manages to put into her books makes it totally worth it.Although I wouldn’t recommend walking around with the physical book in your hand – you’d get some weird looks if people noticed the cover.

WHY OH WHY DOES A BOOK SO PERFECT HAVE TO HAVE SUCH AN EMBARASSINGLY “I’M FULL OF SMUT” TYPE-OF-COVER?

I’m honestly just crying looking at it.

I’m honestly just remembering when I was in London on the tube and it was the ONLY book I had on me. I didn’t even have any eBooks downloaded on my phone, and obviously underground I was struggling to get signal. Or even the wifi.

So I, in all my 17 year old glory, got out White Hot Kiss and held it as proudly as I could infront of my face.

I’m not sure my cheeks have ever been redder.

BUT AT LEAST THE JOURNEY WAS ENTERTAINING?

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