Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated Contemporary Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish where we get a new topic for a top 10 list.

This week is all about those hidden gems and since I’ve been on such a contemporary kick this year I thought I’d shine a light on contemporary books that seem to fly under the radar.

1. Saving June by Hannah Harrington: This was one of the first contemporary books I read when I rediscovered my love of reading. I remember the emotion that came with reading this book. It’s a story of loss, heartache and healing and one that packs plenty of punches.

2. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson: Another raw and emotional book. This one delves into the world of PTSD. It looks at the way it effects entire families. The characters are flawed but so very real.

3. Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler: It’s been years since I first read this book and I’m planning a re-read of it soon. It’s a book that has a little bit of everything. Family, friendship, romance. Everything.

4. Burning Blue by Paul Griffin: My go-to mystery book. This book is a great one to read when you’re in a slump. It looks at the concept of beauty as we follow Jay in his attempt to reveal the mystery surrounding the acid attack on Nicole.

5. Moonglass by Jessi Kirby: A perfect summer read. This book had me wanting to take a trip to the beach and collect an abundance of sea glass. It’s an easy read and has a lot of heart.

6. What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton: This was a very emotional book to read. It deals with the fallout of rape. We see how it shakes someones entire world. Over the course of this book we see Sid try and take the necessary steps to heal from this event and not let it come to define her life.

7. Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley: If you’re looking for an intense roller coaster this is the book for you. This book hits the ground running. With a military academy setting, the book follows Sam’s first year at the academy as part of the first ever class of females accepted there.

8. What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick: My Life Next Door seems to be the favourite Huntley Fitzpatrick book, rightfully so. However, this book is just as great. It has a great cast of characters and plenty of summer sunshine, swoony romances and heart.

9. Play On by Michelle Smith: An understated contemporary. Baseball is at the heart of this book and with that we get to explore the highs and lows of living in a small town. This book explores a lot of topics; family, friendship, love, loss, etc. The beauty of this book is in the simplicity of its execution.

10. Something Real by Heather Demetrios: Again this book seems to be overshadowed by Demetrios’ other contemporary novels but anyone knows that a Heather Demetrios book is packed with plenty of punches and a harsh, realistic exploration of topics. This one looks at the dark side of growing up in front of the cameras. It’s raw and real and one you should definitely pick up.

Those are my recommended underrated contemporary gems.
Do you have any underrated book recommendations?


27 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated Contemporary Books

    1. I agree, you should DEFINITELY read these books asap, before summer officially comes to an end haha. I’d say out the selected bunch you mentioned, Something Real is my favourite of them. Hope you enjoy the books when you get round to reading them.


  1. Oh I am so happy to see Something Real on this list! Since I read I’ll Meet You There, I have this book on my TBR and I can’t wait to get to it. I hope I will be able to buy it soon, it sounds so interesting – I love books dealing with these “growing up in front of the camera” themes and everything.
    Fixing Delilah sounds GREAT, I so want to read it. I think Sarah Ockler is the one that wrote The Summer of Chasing Mermaids – I loved this book 🙂
    Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Something Real really does highlight the dark side of reality TV, especially when you consider how the kids don’t have a choice in the matter. It’s a really brutal but incredible exploration of the topic. Sarah Ockler did write The Summer of Chasing Mermaids – yet another book that’s sitting on my tbr shelf haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You make me want to buy this book right now, Lois, WHYYY. I need to stop buying books ahah, but. well, this one will be bought soon. I’m really impatient to read it.
        You have to read The Summer of Chasing Mermaids! It was such a great book ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Heather Demetrios is a favourite author of mine. I’ll Meet You There is my favourite book by her but Something Real is just as incredible. I hope you get the chance to read both in the near future. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Something Real is such a great read. It does a great job at exploring the dark side of reality TV, especially when the children featured don’t get a choice in the matter.


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