First, a brief check-in: I am still alive! I would say I haven’t had much time for this blog lately, but it might be more accurate to say I haven’t had the energy and the capacity. I have to read A LOT for university, including many tedious articles and books that I don’t even enjoy, and also my brother has moved out and he is taking the PS4 with him in March, which means I have to play as much as I can before that happens. I still have achievements to get in The Witcher: Wild Hunt, and want to replay at least some of Fallout 4 because I miss Preston and Nick.
And now on to the main topic of this post!
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week’s theme is:
February 19: Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads
I actually read a lot of indie books that have way less than 2,000 Ratings, so this isn’t challenging at all. In fact, all ten of these books have less than 1,000 Ratings, which is just a crime, honestly.
Also: you wouldn’t know it from this list, but I do read books with allocishet protagonists. Sometimes.
🏳️🌈 LGBTQAI+ representation
💐 POC/Indigenous representation
🌱 Disabled or Mental Health representation
🏳️🌈💐🌱 1) Life Within Parole: Volume 2
Number of ratings: 8
Yes, yes, we all know I adore Chameleon Moon (which also has less than 400 ratings), but no, I will never shut up about it. And honestly, Life Within Parole: Volume 2 is my favourite book in the universe so far. It’s a collection of short stories with all my favourite characters, and it has TONS of polyamory. I mean, obviously the main books have polyamory too, but this collection has stories about how various pairs in the poly-clusters first met, and it’s wholesome and amazing.
Representation includes: a fully LGBTQAI+ cast (including transgender, nonbinary and asexual rep), characters of colour, mental health rep (mainly anxiety and PTSD, + an autistic character), as well as polyamory.
Do you want a YA book about nonbinary zombies and lesbian Muslim werewolves? Try Out of Salem, by a nonbinary author. This book had fascinating world-building that was painfully realistic at times, despite the fact that it’s full of imaginary creatures. I admit that I was a little let down by the ending, mostly because it’s very open, and as far as I know this isn’t a first book in a series – but I still hope I’ll find out I’m wrong about that.
Representation: nonbinary/genderfluid protagonist, lesbian Muslim protagonist, nonbinary author, lesbian side character, multiple transgender side characters, Black Jewish side character
🏳️🌈 3) How Saeter Robbed the Underworld by Meredith Katz
Number of ratings: 21
I could have put any of Meredith Katz’s work that I read here: The Cybernetic Tea Shop and Smoke Signals are also on my favourites list, and they also have less than 1,000 ratings. How Saeter Robbed the Underworld is inspired by Norse mythology, and it’s about a gay male couple telling their adopted children the story of another mythical gay male couple. (Or is it?) It’s a wonderful story with queer mains, mythology and family feels.
Representation: several gay male protagonists
🏳️🌈 4) Green Toes by Avery Flinders
Number of ratings: 30
I read this a while ago, but I actually took a break from writing this post to re-read it – it’s only 30 pages, after all. Green Toes is a love story between a bisexual woman and a nonbinary love interest – it is mostly realistic, with a pinch of gardening magic, and it’s guaranteed to make you crave fresh vegetables. Seriously.
Representation: bisexual woman MC and nonbinary love interest, nonbinary author
🏳️🌈 5) The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist by S.L. Huang
Number of ratings: 76
“Hey, I wonder what the public would say if they knew two queer scientists were the ones trying to explain human sexuality to the much-romanticized atargati. There’s something else they’ll probably leave out of the book.”
Remember that time when Disney made me forget that original Little Mermaid did NOT have a happy ending, and then this short story completely blindsided me despite all the clues suggesting it’s a dark retelling? Yeah, that happened. And yet, I absolutely loved this story about a queer marine biologist and a nonbinary mermaid.
Representation: lesbian MC, nonbinary “love interest” (one-gender species), nonbinary minor side character
🏳️🌈🌱 6) Failure to Communicate by Kaia Sønderby
Number of ratings: 91
So when is book 3 coming out? Failure to Communicate is one of my favourite sci-fi books, with an incredibly loveable autistic bisexual polyamorous protagonist, incredibly loveable potential love interests, and just, wonderful aliens, worldbuilding, and discussions of morality. Please read it because the fact that it has less than 100 ratings makes me really sad.
Representation: autistic bisexual protagonist (ownvoices for autism, I’m not sure about bisexuality), multiple queer side characters
🏳️🌈 7) Chasing Stars by Alex K. Thorne
Number of ratings: 242
I’m just going to let my Goodreads review speak for itself here:
Aliens / superheroes, secret identity ✓
Sapphic romance ✓
Boss/employee age difference romance ✓
Fake dating and PINING ✓
One of them is a single parent ✓
Supportive and positive adoptive families (multiple!) ✓
Close female friendship ✓
LI has complex relationship with both identities ✓
LI’s kid adores MC’s superhero identity ✓
Queer side characters ✓
Complex plot with both romance and mystery/action ✓
Alien having to hide non-human traits, failing ✓
Addresses social issues like racism ✓
🏳️🌈 8) Avi Cantor Has Six Months to Live by Sacha Lamb
Number of ratings: 317
Sacha Lamb’s entire brand is gay Jewish trans boys and magic, and I love it. This author unfortunately has only two published works, this book and a short story in a queer anthology, but I was subscribed to their Patreon for a while so I got to read a few other unpublished stories and they are all so good.
Note: despite the title, no queer people die in this book.
Representation: gay Jewish trans boy protagonists in a romance
🏳️🌈 9) The Queen of Ieflaria by Effie Calvin
Number of ratings: 418
This is another book you might have seen me squee about. Effie Calvin’s debut is a fantasy romance between two pansexual princesses that you should definitely read if you like sapphic fantasy. It has a sequel in the same world with more awesome worldbulding, but I shamefully still haven’t read it.
Representation: pansexual princesses (word not used), sapphic romance
🏳️🌈 10) A Little Familiar by R. Cooper
Number of ratings:
The last book on this list is a romance between a gay male witch and a genderfluid love interest (using he pronouns). The writing was absolutely wonderful and magical, and I can’t wait to pick up more of this author’s work. So much mutual pining!
That’s all for now. Have you read any of these books? Do you have any favourites to recommend that are underrated in your opinion?