Top Ten Tuesday | 10 Hidden Gems

Happy Tuesday! First things first:

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world. Thank you. Good night, and God bless America. -GWB

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Today’s theme is Hidden Gems – Books That Deserve More Recognition. I took a look at books I’ve loved that have less than 500 reviews on Goodreads. I’m actually shocked about some of these! Time to get the word out on these 10 fantastic books and stellar authors. All 4/5 stars!

The Far End of Happy, Kathryn Craft (2015)

Twelve tense hours, three women, and the suicide standoff that turns one family’s little piece of heaven into a scene from hell

Ronnie Farnham’s husband is supposed to move out today. But when Jeff pulls into the driveway drunk, with a shotgun in the front seat, she realizes nothing about the day will go as planned.

The next few hours spiral down in a flash, unlike the slow disintegration of their marriage―and whatever part of that painful unraveling is Ronnie’s fault, not much else matters now but these moments. Her family’s lives depend on the choices she will make―but is what’s best for her best for everyone?

Based on a real event from the author’s life, The Far End of Happy is a chilling contemporary novel.

Forgiveness 4 U, Ann Bauer (2015)

Forgiveness 4 You is a startlingly contemporary novel about faith and religion in an America addicted to quick fixes and instant gratification.

Gabriel McKenna is an ex-Catholic priest, and with his quiet job at a quiet bookstore, he is―slowly―rebuilding his life. But even at the bookstore, people from all walks of life find their way to him and feel compelled to share their stories and reveal to him their deepest, guiltiest secrets.

The Short and Sincere Life of Ellory James, Wendy Paine Miller (2015)

Seventeen-year-old Ellory James has six months to live. To appease her mother, Ellory reluctantly agrees to create a bucket list. She recruits her neighbor, Pete, to help her make it appear as though she’s carrying out ten life-dreams. Ellory is a bucket list faker—until she surprises herself by completing one item on her list and perhaps it’s the most important one of all.

What if life, however long we have left, isn’t so much about the things we do as why we do them–and who we do them with?

Lemongrass Hope, Amy Impellizeri (2014)

Set in the past, and present, LEMONGRASS HOPE is a captivating and unpredictable love story, with a dose of magical realism and time travel, that fans of authors such as Audrey Niffenegger, Alice Hoffman, and Toni Morrison will appreciate and embrace. As Kate Sutton’s decade-long marriage to Rob erodes and unravels, Kate fears that the secrets she guards from the world, including Rob’s emergency room proposal, and a whirlwind love affair from her past, have always doomed her fate. When she unwittingly receives a glimpse at what her life could have been like had she made different choices all those years ago, it is indeed all she could have ever wanted. A confirmation of her greatest hope, and her greatest fears.

The Middle of Somewhere, Sonja Yoerg (2015)

With her thirtieth birthday looming, Liz Kroft is heading for the hills—literally. Her emotional baggage weighs her down more than her backpack, but a three-week trek promises the solitude she craves—at least until her boyfriend, Dante, decides to tag along. His broad moral streak makes the prospect of confessing her sins more difficult, but as much as she fears his judgment, she fears losing him more. Maybe.

They set off together alone under blue skies, but it’s not long before storms threaten and two strange brothers appear along the trail. Amid the jagged, towering peaks, Liz must decide whether to admit her mistakes and confront her fears, or face the trail, the brothers and her future alone.

How to Grow an Addict, JA Wright (2015)

Randall Grange has been tricked into admitting herself into a treatment center and she doesn’t know why. She’s not a party hound like the others in her therapy group―but then again, she knows she can’t live without pills or booze.

Raised by an abusive father, a detached mother, and a loving aunt and uncle, Randall both loves and hates her life. She’s awkward and a misfit. Her parents introduced her to alcohol and tranquilizers at a young age, ensuring that her teenage years would be full of bad choices, and by the time she’s twenty-three years old, she’s a full-blown drug addict, well acquainted with the miraculous power chemicals have to cure just about any problem she could possibly have―and she’s in more trouble than she’s ever known was possible.

Something Like Family, Heather Burch (2017)

Abandoned by his mother when he was young, twenty-two-year-old Rave Wayne knows all about loss. That doesn’t mean he’s used to it. After he’s dumped by the girlfriend he assumed he’d spend his life with, Rave is longing more than ever to connect.

Then, as if by miracle, he receives an invitation from his grandfather, a man he thought was long gone, to come for a visit in rural Tennessee. Loyal, honest, and loving, dear old Tuck is everything Rave could have hoped for. He’s family. Soon, Rave finds himself falling for a down-to-earth local girl, and he thinks his life is finally coming together.

No Time To Blink, Dina Silver (2018)

Catherine Clarke defied her family’s expectations when she married Gabriel, a handsome Lebanese businessman. After moving to Gabriel’s homeland and welcoming a baby daughter, Catherine knew she had to acclimate herself to the strange new world. Yet both her husband and her surroundings became more volatile and threatening than she could have ever imagined.

When Gabriel forbids her to return to the States, Catherine devises a plan to deceive him, but she vastly underestimates how far he will go to punish her. And after her daughter, Ann Marie, is abducted and taken deep into the mountains of Beirut—protected by family, culture, and law—the only thing on Catherine’s side is the fierceness of a mother’s love. She’s prepared to move heaven and earth to find her child.

Consumption, G. S. Johnston (2011)

Who can a girl with a broken heart rely on if not her gay best friend?

Sara Sexton and Martin Blake are besties so it was natural for her to flee to him after breaking up with a Greek lover. But Martin has changed, preoccupied with his new business. In Hong Kong, he’s a high-profile, high-dollar interior designer.

When Sara meets Andy Harris, a romantic with a bodaciouis bubble-butt, Martin’s still on the market and not happy. Seems Martin’s only happy when Sara’s alone and miserable. Got any ‘friends’ like that? Now Sara has to juggle a consuming old friendship and a blossoming romance… And how does a girl do that? And what happens when she’s forced to choose between the past and the future?

Keep the Ends Loose, Molly Campbell (2015)

A funny, endearing teen heroine is at the heart of this quirky novel about dysfunctional families.

Miranda Heath is a quirky fifteen-year-old with cinematic dreams and a safe, predictable family. That is until she decides to pull at the loose end that is the estranged husband her aunt never divorced. What seemed like the best way to allow her aunt to get on with her life sets off a series of events that threaten to turn Mandy’s world upside down. Suddenly, she’s embarking on adventurous road trips, becoming the center of an increasingly unstable household, meeting surprising strangers, and seeing everyone she knows in new ways. Sometimes loose ends just want to stay loose. But what happens if they want to unravel completely?

So…. what are some of your under appreciated favorites? Have you read any on my list? Tell me in the comments below.


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was 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.

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