I’m in college! And the weather is nice! And I have insanely fast lan! -Cheering and clapping- I have paper submissions and exams coming up which are sort of party-poopers though. 🙁
I don’t know what underrated means, exactly. So I’m going to answer with one book for each of the meanings. (I am, in fact, trying to squeeze in a mention to as many of the books that I love throughout this challenge because I want all of them to feel my love and the love of other people as much as possible. IWANT THESE BOOKS TO BE A PART OF YOUR LIFE, MAN!)
Okay, the first possible meaning of the term “underrated book” could be any book that has received as much attention as it deserves. The injustice of this rankles even more if the author’s other books are popular, but this one isn’t. Why? Why would anyone do that? Huh? Why?!
The book that comes to mind which has definitely not received an appropriate amount of attention is… The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. I read this book earlier this year, and I enjoyed it so much. I had just read Pride and Prejudice unabridged for the first time then, and then I read The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, and then I read fan-fiction about Pride and Prejudice. Basically, I was going nuts over Victorian novels when I found this book during my customary book store visit and bought it because it caught my fancy, and because I’d heard good things about the Virgin Suicides but I couldn’t find that. Aaaand there it is! You know? This book is so good! Why isn’t it liked on its own merits?! Why had I never heard of it? Whyyyyy? This is an excellent book about the interplay between the love of Classic romance and feminism. 🙂 I like the characters a lot. It’s written in the first person by the female protagonist who’s part of a love triangle. It sounds dull but the character development is so arresting that I flew through it in a day and a half. The storyline is good and I LOVE the ending. This book deserves attention on its own merit. I haven’t read The Virgin Suicides yet, so maybe it’s better. I don’t know. But this one is good too! It deserves attention! GIVE IT ATTENTION!
Okay, I’ve calmed down now. 😛
Now, I will talk about a book that actually god BAD ratings which actually deserves excellent ratings. (Er… in my opinion.) The book I am talking about is… The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling.
Ok, let’s all just sit down and face facts. This woman is a genius. Everything she writes in every genre is amazing. Casual Vacancy came at a time when I was over fantasy and into a lot of dark post-modern fiction and it was PERFECTION. I am not joking right now. It is one of the best books I’ve read ever, and I feel like she captured the complexity of human character and emotion so well! I feel like people continued to expect something Harry Potter-esque (And I love Harry Potter very much too, as anyone who’s following my blog would know.) It isn’t fair you know? It goes back to what I said before about certain books of authors being popular. This poor book is in the shadow of her previous masterpiece and it isn’t fair because this book is a masterpiece in its own right. Authors don’t usually change genres so drastically so maybe that’s why people struggled to get into this book because of their expectations from her. Maybe? This may especially be the case with people who continued to read mostly Young Adult fantasy after Harry Potter. That’s what I think.
JKR’s writing in this book is very British, the setting is also fabulously British and the storylines of all of those and the way it was all woven together just overwhelmed me. It was perfect. I cannot say it often enough. It was amazing! The beginning was slow but it set the scene of a sleepy town in Britain so well. I cannot comprehend why people would not love this intimate portrait of terrifying flawed but real people. I just can’t. My best friend loved this book as much as me and when she told me we were in the minority I was genuinely startled. Please give this book another chance. Forget that it’s by JKR momentarily. It’s worth it. 🙂
Well, that’s it for now. 🙂
It’s 11.59. I am cutting it close! 😛