Guest Post: 5 Underrated Books to Enjoy Before Summer Ends

With so many best-seller lists out there, every year hundreds of books fall into the pits of obscurity by failing to gain a spot in the literary hall of fame. However, just because a few chosen critics decided these books don’t deserve recognition doesn’t mean they aren’t fantastic novels in their own right.

These fives releases are thoroughly underrated—and guaranteed to provide wonderful summer reading for bookworms all over the globe.

1. “Too Far” – Rich Shapero 

As an all-round creative master, Shapero has expertly combined visuals, sound and word to present audiences with a truly 360-degree entertainment experience. Told through the eyes of a 6-year-old boy, the story looks at the struggles of parenthood, relationships and adult life.

After meeting an eccentric young girl in the woods near his house, Robbie is transported to a fantasy world of excitement and adventure. As the home life of both children begins to deteriorate, they spend more and more time taking solace in their private imaginary wonderland.

Perfectly encapsulating the raw innocence of childhood and the power of playing make-believe, this unique story is definitely one for the summer book list. Be sure to upload the complimentary CD onto a music player so you can listen while you read and really get a feel for the holistic experience that Shapero imagined.

Buy it on Amazon.

2. “A Slacker’s Road Map of the Universe” – Joshua Causer

If you’re a fan of the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” then this is the book for you. Similar in title, genre and perfectly refined sense of humor, the story of this debut release from Causer is a wonderfully imagined fast-forward to life in A.D. 3000.

Atlas Van Morrison plays the role of the unassuming hero, a simple personality who wants an enjoyable life free from stress who finds himself in the center of a plot for universal domination. Complete with a cosmic femme fatale and outspoken AI sidekick, it has all the ingredients for a sci-fi classic.

The true genius of this book comes from Causer’s ability to transport audiences into an unrecognizable future world. His lyrical descriptions and perfectly timed quips are sure to give even Douglas Adams a run for his money.

Buy it on Amazon, Lulu.

3. “I, Phoolan Devi” – Phoolan Devi

Sometimes stories don’t have to be fiction to grab the hearts and minds of readers. Phoolan Devi, born into a low-caste Indian family, recounts the adventures and trials of her turbulent life with the skill of some of the best thriller writers.

Far more outspoken than her culture demands, Devi suffered a life of abuse, torture and rape from almost every authority assigned to care for her. Finding love in the leader of a local criminal gang, she soon realized her calling: fighting to stop others from experiencing the same injustices she faced.

Though not covered in the story, Devi later joined the Indian parliament due to her influence with human rights in the country, which are particularly atrocious for women. There’s a fantastic documentary about these issues on American Netflix called “India’s Daughter.” If you want to watch from outside the U.S., then this Netflix guide by Secure Thoughts will show you how to gain access.

Buy it on Amazon.

4. “The Shock of the Fall” – Nathan Filer

Reminiscent of “A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime,” this harrowing portrayal of mental health is a wonderfully paced read that could have you flipping from cover to cover in a single day. Presented in an all-will-be-revealed type of structure, the book gives us snippets into the life of Matthew Homes, a severe schizophrenic plagued by the pressures of life.

The story jumps around in its chronology before finally revealing the horrific accident that was the potential catalyst for Matthew’s problems. It covers the ups and downs, the hardships and the successes of mental illness. It also details a range of other patients with equally complex problems, all described through the wonderfully refreshing wit of the protagonist.

The author worked for years as a mental health nurse before later going on to become a researcher at the University of Bristol. Influenced by those he met along the way, he provides a respectful and accurate portrayal of life with mental health problems.

Buy it on Amazon, Book Depository.

5. “The End of Mr. Y” – Scarlett Thomas

This is science fiction in the very essence of the word: it’s fiction based on science. It follows a Ph.D. student as she researches a mysterious 18th century author and his supposedly cursed final book. Using theories from quantum physics and deconstructionism, it describes a world called the Troposphere where all consciousness is connected.

Stringently following the instructions in the mysterious book, protagonist Ariel Manto finds herself transported into this weird and wonderful world. From then on, the story is a wild ride between mystery and thriller. Struggling to work out the forces behind this seemingly magical reality, Ariel realizes there are others after the book. Can she solve the puzzle of the Troposphere before they catch up with her?

Academics will love dissecting the real-world ideals in this novel, but even for those who don’t like sci-fi, the story will have you hooked in just a few pages.
Buy it on Amazon.

Know of more great reads you think deserve more recognition than they’ve received this summer? Be sure to leave a comment below with your ideas!

About the Author: Caroline is a blogger and lifelong bookworm. She always has endless suggestions on hand and spends most of her time scouring the internet for exciting new releases or underrated stories. You can see more of her writing on modern life and entertainment at or find her on Twitter here

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