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Truffle Babble

Underrated & Unsolicited: Exciting YA Releases I Received & Want To Read Soon

Any blogger can relate to the moment when you receive your first ARC and/or unsolicited book from a publisher. It’s a beautiful moment full of pride and a sense of accomplishment that you’re blessed enough to get a book…FOR FREE.

The cons of that of course is that…they sometimes keep coming, unsolicited – without being requested, and a huge pressure begins to grow because there are already SO many books you want to get to but these JUST SHOWED UP. I remember feeling so happy yet so goddamn guilty because I wasn’t getting around to reading these beautiful books – that definitely sounded interesting but just weren’t what I was in the mood for.

2017-2019, basically the years of my undergraduate degree were filled with some of the hardest times of my life. I was perpetually in reading slumps, blogging slumps, struggling with mental health BUT 2020 was my reprieve. I’m getting my shit together, I’m reading way more than expected and actually LOVING it. And this September, I catalogued all my unread books, did an unhaul and finally organised my Goodreads shelves (full blog post to come on that soon #goodreadance2020). It has become the most invigorating challenge to get through this massive TBR and enjoy the wonderful stories I have bought, requested and/or received unsolicited. Not to necessarily read all the unread books I own but because I just want to read them all!

NOTE: I don’t usually receive many books unsolicited nor do I request them often. It’s a rabbit hole getting so excited about a book but also not reading them accordingly and then feeling guilty (especially when other amazing bloggers manage to do this and society seems to thrive off of comparison – think of most people’s NetGalley experience). Remember not to compare yourself to other bloggers, your blog, your work and your self-worth should not be derived from seeing how many unsolicited books other people get.

When cataloguing my physical TBR, I found a bunch of books I received…a while ago…and decided, now was time to actually prioritise them, to provide that glorified publicity for these wonderful publishers that supported my blog with unsolicited copies – because these books genuinely sound fun! So I thought I’d write about these books because although I haven’t read them yet, it helps the author just to give their books a shoutout in a post and share what the book is about. I have rarely seen these books on social media so I think they deserve some hype…even a year later when the sequels are about to be published *hides*.

A huge thank you to HarlequinTeen Australia for 4 out of 5 books mentioned in this post and Bloomsbury Publishing for the last. Being a blogger means that it’s sometimes hard to feel seen and feel accomplished and just receiving a surprise book in the mail can really make our day. You guys are also always send super nice emails <3

Let us get on to these underrated and unsolicited reads on my radar for the next month or so.

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I requested this book in…2018. It has been this long and I am so sorry I haven’t tried to read it until now because this sounds SO good. I love me a good sci-fi novel and The Disasters is all about a space heist (yes like six of crows IN SPACE) to uncover the truth after a group of ragtag members witness a huge crime and become the perfect scapegoats. Filled with diversity, queer rep and what sounds like an amazing adventure, this book sounds exactly like what I’m looking for at the moment. This is on my October TBR and I’m so excited to pick this up – I don’t have enough sci-fi books on my TBR. I’m also reading a few other heist books in October so I might make a blog post with all the mini-reviews included.

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This book came out in mid-2019 but I didn’t receive it until a year ago (September) because it went to my old address. Its SEQUEL is coming out soon so I’m very much keen to get into this – I’m actually about to start listening to this on audio on Scribd – I’ve been enjoying a mix of audio and physical reading these days. This one is all about twin sisters who live in a village where beauty is important and means they can be chosen to become the new princess. Something unexpected happens and Nor is sent to the Prince instead of her twin Zadie, where she begins to uncover the truth about the royal family and a threat to her home. This screams female empowerment, sisterly love and all the intrigue!

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This is another book that came with Crown of Coral and Pearl that I received late and another that has its sequel coming out soon! I have seen this author here and there with her previous titles but this looks so intriguing. I personally love a good villain and evil queens~ *chef’s kiss*. A Snow White retelling, this book is about Everly, a young girl who lives in a world where fairytales are actually prophecies and she set to become the evil queen in the snow white story. She doesn’t know this until she randomly picks up the ability to talk to mirrors (how insane is this?). Everly goes on a journey as she meets more people in the tale, faces the prophecy and battles between the good and the evil inside her. I’m so excited for this – I’ve been reading quite a few retellings and really enjoyed them – and this was rated 5 stars by a fellow Nerd Daily blogger.

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This novel also came out mid-2019 and its sequel was actually pushed back to June 2021 – which means I do have some time before the sequel lands but I also love Maria V Snyder’s work. I had previously read and reviewed her other series Navigating the Stars and its sequel Chasing the Shadows for HarlequinTeen and immensely enjoyed myself (I love a space/alien YA book, what can I say). The last book in that series is coming out this year I think so I’m excited about that! I also interviewed Maria and she is so lovely!
Anyway, The Eyes of Tambura is about Shyla, an outcast researcher in the underground city of Zirdai. She’s known for uncovering artefacts and her life changes when she’s hired to uncover the mysterious Eyes of Tambura; legendary and powerful gemstones and finds herself on the run when it’s stolen right after discovery and blamed for the crime. This already gives me amazing desert and treasure hunting vibes.

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This is one of my most recent unsolicited books from last month. When I requested Cinderella is Dead, Bloomsbury kindly sent me this book which I had no idea was being published – especially when I read & reviewed the ARC of the first book, We Are Blood and Thunder, last year and really enjoyed it! This sequel is centred on 2 new protagonists in the same world as the first book; Beatrice and Livio are from two different very different families living on a mysterious island and find themselves being manipulated with their fates bound. Together, they must try to stop a masked assassin with a deadly agenda. I really enjoyed Kesia’s writing in the first book and I will undoubtedly enjoy this one too!

I am just so invigorated and excited to get to these books. It’s almost a struggle nowadays to pick one because there are so many exciting stories I want and have yet to experience. It truly speaks to the calibre of authors and their writing for young adult books in just the last decade. I think the genre itself has changed so much and I hope that some of you can consider these underrated titles because I don’t see them around enough. While big authors have some great popular books, there are so many other underrated stories out there that deserve the hype and to be considered.

Are there any books on this list that caught your eye? Let me know which one!

Until next time,

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  • Ruby Rae Reads

    Ah I seriously relate to being sent books and never getting to them. I’m such a slow reader and have so many finished copies from publishers. But they know me and are leniant haha, so I have the liberty to take my time. Anyways, hope you eventually get to pick up these ones, I’ve only heard of The Disasters but I think I’ve seen really amazing reviews : )

    • Tracy

      I think most publishers expect this and they have to be lenient. If they really wanted on-time reviews from everyone…wouldn’t they pay us haha and yes! The Disasters sounds so fun, that’s awesome that there are raving reviews about it!

  • Meeghan reads

    I actually really loved The Eyes of Tamburah, which was very unusual because I don’t tend to love dystopian novels, yet I do love Snyder’s other books I have read. I had gotten approved for the sequel too, and then it was pushed back a year.
    And I also loved Crown of Coral and Pearl, which is great, because I got a review copy of the sequel and am halfway through (but paused for Hollowpox…)!!

    • Tracy

      Snyder also writes really great books for me, I’m very keen to read Tambura. And yay for Crown! That’s awesome that you got a review copy 🙂

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