BOOKMAS DAY 4: four underrated books of 2016


This year I started blogging which meant that I was sent a lot of books from publishers to read and review – all four of these books were sent to me for review in fact. A lot of these books ended up being books that I haven’t heard many people talk about in the booktube/book blogging community. The first three books that I’m talking about are actually a few of the best books that I’ve ever read, so be sure to check them out if they sound like something you’re interested in.


Breathing Under Water – Sophie Hardcastle

Ben and Grace Walker are twins. Growing up in a sleepy coastal town it was inevitable they’d surf. Always close, they hung out more than most brothers and sisters, surfing together for hours as the sun melted into the sea. At seventeen, Ben is a rising surf star, the golden son and the boy all the girls fall in love with. Beside him, Grace feels like she is a mere reflection of his light. In their last year of school, the world beckons, full of possibility. For Grace, finishing exams and kissing Harley Matthews is just the beginning.
Then, one day, the unthinkable. The sun sets at noon and suddenly everything that was safe and predictable is lost. And everything unravels.

A little sneak peak into my top 16 books of 2016 (which will be up in January) but Breathing Under Water is the best book that I read this year, and one of the best books that I’ve read EVER! This book has so much to offer – there’s drama, a whole lot of emotion, it focuses on mental health, and romance and heart break. This book has everything, and I somehow managed to finish it in just a few hours. The writing is brilliant and Sophie just told the story in such a touching and heart warming way.

The author, Sophie Hardcastle, is an Australian author and she also has a memoir previously published called Running Like China which is an incredible book (highly recommend checking it out). More people need to read this book because it WILL change your life.


Whisper to Me – Nick Lake

Cassie is writing a letter to the boy whose heart she broke. She’s trying to explain why. Why she pushed him away. Why her father got so angry when he saw them together. Why she disappears some nights. Why she won’t let herself remember what happened that long-ago night on the boardwalk. Why she fell apart so completely.
Desperate for his forgiveness, she’s telling the whole story of the summer she nearly lost herself. She’s hoping he’ll understand as well as she now does how love—love for your family, love for that person who makes your heart beat faster, and love for yourself—can save you after all

Another touching yet heart breaking read. The book is told in the format of a letter that Cassie is writing to a boy (who we never learn the name of) explaining to him why she did what she did (which we discover as the book goes on). Similarly to Breathing Under Water, this book covers a wide range of topics – one again there’s mental health, family relationships, romance and heartbreak, and even friendships.

This book opened me up to these topics and I was able to learn more about schizophrenia and grief in general.Cassie goes through a lot throughout the story, yet she still remains one of my favourite characters that I have read about. Once again, you need to read this book! Plus the cover is gorgeous.


Our Chemical Hearts – Krystal Sutherland

Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love that he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been in the cards for him—at least not yet. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything’s about to change.
 Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl—she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys’ clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It’s obvious there’s something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. And yet, this isn’t your average story of boy meets girl. Krystal Sutherland’s brilliant debut is equal parts wit and heartbreak, a potent reminder of the bittersweet bliss that is first love.

Another incredible YA book by an Aussie author. I already spoke about this book earlier on this week when I discussed the top 2016 YA debut’s, so I won’t go too much into it again. I didn’t know what to expect from this book in the beginning because there is a tint of mystery which slowly unfolds throughout the book, but I loved it in the end. There aren’t a lot of YA books told by a male perspective, and I feel like I never really enjoy them as much because I can’t really relate to them. But with OCH, I felt an instant connection to Henry and also Grace.

I wouldn’t say that this is an unknown book since a lot of people do know about it, but I don’t this that it gets enough credit. I said this the other day, but what I loved most about this book was the ending and how realistic it is. It isn’t your typical ‘YA ending’ but I thought it was perfect for this book. Definitely check it out!!!


Twenty Questions for Gloria – Martyn Bedford

Wendy Lamb at Random House’s Wendy Lamb Books has bought 20 Questions for Gloria, a YA novel by Martyn Bedford about a bored teenager girl who meets a mysterious new boy bent on breaking all the rules. He is everything Gloria wishes to be, but he is not all he seems, and by the time she learns the truth about him, she is a long way from home.

I believe that this was the first ever book that was sent to me for review, and I fell in love with it straight away. It’s classified as a YA mystery, but it’s so much more than that. Obviously mystery is the main focus and discovering who the “new boy” really is, but there’s also romance, first love, coming out of your shell, and seeing Gloria be free for the first time.

I loved the format of the book which is told in a questioning room where Gloria is telling the detective everything that happened over the last couple of weeks. The readers, along with the detectives and Gloria’s parents, discover what really happened together and I thought this was a great touch and definitely added to the ongoing suspense in the book.


Day 4, tick! Be sure to check out all these books if they interest you in any way, or let me know down below if you have read any and tell me what you thought. Also let me know if you’re participating in BOOKMAS so I can check your post out!

See ya tomorrow!




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