These Books Have Fewer Than 1,000 Reviews, but Our Editors Think They're 100% Worth the Read
As much as we love reading a buzzy book that everyone can't stop hyping up, there's something satisfying about discovering one that hasn't yet received the fanfare it deserves. The feeling of uncovering that hidden gem is almost as exciting as reading the book itself, and spreading the love by recommending it to fellow book-lovers is the cherry on top.
Whether you're here hoping to check off the prompt from the 2021 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge or just want a good tip on an underrated book to add to your list, we're sharing the books our editors have read and loved that have fewer than 1,000 reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. From fiction novels to memoirs, and romance to horror, there's something here for everyone.
The Herd by Andrea Bartz
The Herd by Andrea Bartz ($18) is a fast-paced thriller set against a backdrop of an exclusive, women-only co-working space. It explores social media, female friendships, ambition — if that doesn't sound like a story for millennial women, we don't know what does.
Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis
Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis ($19) tells the story of Emmie and her serendipitous, decades-long friendship with the boy who found her balloon. Just when she thinks their love story is coming to its happy conclusion, he tells her he's getting married — to someone else. It's a heartwarming tale of friendship, love, and finding happiness where you least expect it.
See You Soon by NC Marshall
See You Soon by NC Marshall ($12) is a thrilling read that starts when Emily receives an email out of the blue from her childhood best friend, Ali, telling Emily she's in danger. As Emily returns to their seaside hometown, she's lured into twists and turns that uncover secrets from her own past as she tries to help her friend.
More Than Enough: Claiming Space For Who You Are (No Matter What They Say) by Elaine Welteroth
More Than Enough: Claiming Space For Who You Are (No Matter What They Say) by Elaine Welteroth ($14) is the empowering and uplifting memoir, and New York Times bestseller, from the former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue. Her lessons on race, identity, and success are a must-read for modern working women.
Happy & You Know It by Laura Hankin
If you like your mystery and drama combined with a bit of humor and fun, Happy & You Know It by Laura Hankin ($18) is the ideal pick. It follows struggling singer Claire, who is hired by a group of wealthy Upper East Side moms as a musician for their children's playgroup. As she gets swept up in their glamorous clique, she starts to discover the betrayal and secrets they're hiding.
The Hermit by Thomas Rydahl
After a boy is found murdered on a small Spanish island in The Hermit by Thomas Rydahl ($15), the reclusive town drunk becomes an unlikely detective determined to solve the mystery himself. This book won the Glass Key Award, the prestigious Nordic literature award.
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin ($13) is the first book in the fantasy trilogy by the New York Times bestselling author of The Fifth Season. It follows Yeine, who is summoned to the majestic city of Sky after her mother's mysterious death. There, she learns of her surprising royal inheritance and begins to unravel her family's secrets.
The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher
Award-winning author Ursula Vernon, writing under a pen name, spins a terrifying tale in The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher ($12). The horror story follows Mouse, who is tasked with cleaning out her dead grandmother's house. But after she comes across her step-grandfather's journal filled with the impossible terrors he's experienced in the woods, she starts experiencing them for herself.
One in a Million by Lindsey Kelk
One in a Million by Lindsey Kelk ($15) is a gender-flipped, contemporary adaptation of My Fair Lady. In the story, Annie, a social media whiz, accepts a challenge to make a stranger, Sam, Instagram-famous in a month. But as she starts to spend more time with Sam, it's clear there's more on the line than winning the bet. It's a funny, heartwarming modern day love story.
What's Left of Me Is Yours by Stephanie Scott
Passion and possession collide in What's Left of Me Is Yours by Stephanie Scott ($20), which is inspired by a real-life crime. In current-day Tokyo, Sumiko tries to piece together the truth behind her mother's life and murder years earlier.
Winter of Ice and Iron by Rachel Neumeier
Winter of Ice and Iron by Rachel Neumeier ($18) is a dark fantasy about the unlikely alliance between a princess and duke who must work together to save their people and the Four Kingdoms realm in which they live from danger.
The Art of Vanishing: A Memoir of Wanderlust by Laura Smith
Part memoir, part historical mystery, The Art of Vanishing: A Memoir of Wanderlust by Laura Smith ($14) follows bride-to-be Laura as she delves into the fascinating story of Barbara Newhall Follett, who disappeared from her own unhappy marriage without a trace. It's a timeless exploration of freedom, marriage, and convention.
What We Forgot to Bury by Marin Montgomery
What We Forgot to Bury by Marin Montgomery ($11) is a psychological thriller about tragedy and revenge, told from the dual narratives of its female characters. Charlotte lives sheltered away from her tragic past, until teenager Elle shows up at her doorstep intent on revealing her secrets.
An Extraordinary Theory of Objects: A Memoir of an Outsider in Paris by Stephanie LaCava
An Extraordinary Theory of Objects: A Memoir of an Outsider in Paris by Stephanie LaCava ($24) is a collection of essays centered on an American adolescent growing up in Paris, and the comfort she finds in the objects around her. It's thoughtful and highly original, and features delightful illustrations and footnotes throughout.
Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen
In Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen ($13), a local psychic tries to find answers about the women who've gone missing from Atlantic City. It's a powerful psychological thriller that touches on themes of violence against women, prostitution, and drug abuse.
You and Me, Always by Jill Mansell
You and Me, Always by Jill Mansell ($18) is a delightful and heartwarming story that centers on friendship and love. In the idyllic English village of Stanton Langley, Lily is on a journey to learn more about her late mother's past. At the same time, she starts falling for a movie star who's come to the village to get away from fame. The story is told from the multiple perspectives of the intertwined characters.
They Never Learn by Layne Fargo
They Never Learn by Layne Fargo ($19) is a psychological thriller about two women and the lengths they'll go to in order to exact revenge on the men who deserve it most. One is English professor and secret serial killer Scarlett, who plots and executes the demise of the terrible men on her university campus. Then, there's Carly, a freshman who becomes obsessed with getting revenge on the guy who sexually assaulted her roommate.
Black Water Lilies by Michel Bussi
Black Water Lilies by Michel Bussi ($13) is a crime fiction novel centered on a murder discovered in Claude Monet's famous garden in the French town of Giverny. The event kickstarts a web of entangled secrets involving three women from the community: an old widow, an art teacher, and a talented art student.