One of my favorite things about blogging is that it has helped me find so many new books that I probably would have missed out on. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads. So here are 10 of the hidden gems that I have fallen in love with and hope more people will find just as magical as I did.
The Haunting of Hattie Hastings by Audrey Davis
Hattie Hastings is happily married to lifelong sweetheart Gary, until a terrible tragedy leaves her widowed and heartbroken. Struggling to cope, she is left reeling when her deceased other half returns, popping up at the most inappropriate moments.
As Hattie tries to convince others – including brother Jack, and best friend Cat – that Gary has returned, he finds himself under the care of spirit guide Clarence, and also befriends another inhabitant of the place called The Present.
Meanwhile, Hattie’s mum Rachel is facing a daunting battle, and Cat’s ex-husband Stewart is determined to prove he deserves a second chance.
Practicing Normal by Cara Sue Achterberg
Meet the Turners – a socially awkward genius child, an adolescent cat burglar, a philandering husband, and a doormat wife in desperate need of a backbone. The Turners are doing their best to craft a happy life and face down a history they have no control over in a neighborhood where only the houses are similar. And when relationships sprout from seemingly nowhere and secrets begin to unravel, practicing normal becomes harder than it’s ever been.
Prism by Nina Walker
What if color held the secrets to powerful magic?
Forced to move into the palace, Jessa begins training as a Color Alchemist under the direction of the kingdom’s most eligible bachelor, Prince Lucas. As an alchemist, Jessa must capture and harness the color of living things. Every color has a unique purpose, except red. Red is the untapped magic no one can access—until Jessa.
Prince Lucas is running out of time. His mother is deathly ill and healing magic hasn’t worked. When Lucas suspects someone is using alchemy to control her, he sets out to discover the truth, no matter the cost.
Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry
Jesse Lachlin is cursed.
So the town folklore says, but while Jesse’s had his fair share of tragedy, the only curse he believes is in his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year, Scarlett Copeland.
Scarlett Copeland is psychic.
Glory Gardner tells Scarlett she has hidden psychic abilities, but Scarlett thinks Glory is delusional. What is real is Scarlett’s father’s irrational fears, controlling attitude, and the dark secrets at home. Scarlett may have a way to escape, but there’s a hitch: she’ll have to rely on the one person she used to trust, the same boy who broke her heart, Jesse Lachlin.
Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other. But as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…
The Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory
Princess Theodora Isabella Victoria of Drieden of the Royal House Laurent is so over this princess thing.
After her fiancé jilted her on their wedding day, she’s finally back home after spending four months in exile—aka it’s back to press conferences, public appearances, and putting on a show for the Driedish nation as the perfect princess they expect her to be. But Thea’s sick of duty. After all, that’s what got her into this mess in the first place.
So when she sneaks out of the palace and meets a sexy Scot named Nick in a local bar, she relishes the chance to be a normal woman for a change. But just as she thinks she’s found her Prince Charming for the night, he reveals his intentions are less than honorable: he’s the brother of her former fiancé, a British spy, and he’s not above blackmail. As Thea reluctantly joins forces with Nick to find out what happened the day her fiancé disappeared, together they discover a secret that could destroy a centuries-old monarchy and change life as they know it.
Pop Princess by Rachel Cohn
“This is not a school musical, this is millions of people seeing you, recognizing you, criticizing you. This is “it.” Public person — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Are you ready?”When fifteen-year-old Wonder Blake is plucked from her job at the Dairy Queen and given the chance to become a teen idol, it seems like a dream come true — even if it wasn’t her dream, but her older sister Lucky’s. Lucky was on her way to becoming a pop star when she died, and Wonder and her family are still trying to recover from their loss. Offered a recording contract, Wonder jumps at the chance to escape from a dead-end town, her fractured family, and worst of all, high school. Suddenly she has it all: a hot new look, a chart-busting hit single, a tour opening for superstar Kayla. But stardom isn’t all glamour — it’s also lots of work. And maybe what Wonder really wants is as simple as a guy who likes her for herself.
With spark and humor Rachel Cohn captures the struggles and glories of an ordinary teenage girl’s climb to celebrity. As Wonder rises through the pop-princess star-making machine, she also learns the price — and that maybe being an ordinary teenage girl isn’t so bad after all.
Starswept by Mary Fan
In 2157, the Adryil—an advanced race of telepathic humanoids—contacted Earth. A century later, 15-year-old violist Iris Lei considers herself lucky to attend Papilio, a prestigious performing arts school powered by their technology. Born penniless, Iris’s one shot at a better life is to attract an Adryil patron. But only the best get hired, and competition is fierce.
A sudden encounter with an Adryil boy upends her world. Iris longs to learn about him and his faraway realm, but after the authorities arrest him for trespassing, the only evidence she has of his existence is the mysterious alien device he slipped to her.
When she starts hearing his voice in her head, she wonders if her world of backstabbing artists and pressure for perfection is driving her insane. Then, she discovers that her visions of him are real—by way of telepathy—and soon finds herself lost in the kind of impossible love she depicts in her music.
But even as their bond deepens, Iris realizes that he’s hiding something from her—and it’s dangerous. Her quest for answers leads her past her sheltered world to a strange planet lightyears away, where she uncovers secrets about Earth’s alien allies that shatter everything she knows.
The Daughter of the River Valley by Victoria Cornwall
Beth Jago appears to have the idyllic life, she has a trade to earn a living and a cottage of her own in Cornwall’s beautiful River Valley. Yet appearances can be deceptive …
Beth has a secret. Since inheriting her isolated cottage she’s been receiving threats, so when she finds a man in her home she acts on her instincts. One frying pan to the head and she has robbed the handsome stranger of his memory and almost killed him.
Fearful he may die, she reluctantly nurses the intruder back to health. Yet can she trust the man with no name who has entered her life, or is he as dangerous as his nightmares suggest? As they learn to trust one another, the outside threats worsen. Are they linked to the man with no past? Or is the real danger still outside waiting … and watching them both?
When We Caught Fire by Anna Godbersen
It’s 1871 and Emmeline Carter is poised to take Chicago’s high society by storm. Between her father’s sudden rise to wealth, and her recent engagement to Chicago’s most eligible bachelor, Emmeline has it all. But she can’t stop thinking about the life she left behind, including her childhood sweetheart, Anders Magnuson. Fiona Byrne, Emmeline’s childhood best friend, is delighted by her friend’s sudden rise to prominence, especially since it means Fiona is free to pursue Anders herself. But when Emmeline risks everything for one final fling with Anders, Fiona feels completely betrayed.
As the summer turns to fall, the city is at a tipping point: friendships are tested, hearts are broken, and the tiniest spark might set everything ablaze. Sweeping, soapy, and romantic, this is a story about an epic love triangle—one that will literally set the city ablaze, and change the lives of three childhood friends forever.
The Nature of the Witch by Helen T. Norwood
Many years ago, magic prevailed in Britain. It was a time when chosen women followed a path forged by Mother Nature herself; a time of witchcraft, of the brotherhood of the Gwithiaz and of the terrifying Creatures.
This has all passed from memory a long time ago, but now, magic has returned. Kiera is the first witch the world has seen in centuries, while Jack must learn the ways of the Gwithiaz. They must not only master their crafts, but also overcome their differences and work together if they are to survive the dark enemy that lurks in the shadows.
In the rugged Cornish landscape where it first began, the two face the dreaded Kasadow: an ancient evil that has awakened and is ready to destroy them, and their magic, once and for all.