Top Ten Tuesday | Books I Loved with Fewer Than 2K Goodreads Ratings

Today’s prompt is about books that everyone needs to know about! These ten books have less than 2,000 Goodreads ratings.

Back in September 2018, I wrote a post about Top Ten Hidden Gems and two are on both lists (marked with a ❤️).

Can I just tell you to trust me and go out and get these books immediately? ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Seriously… okay here goes. It’s a long read and hopefully a convincing one!

The Truth About Thea by Amy Impellizeri (October 2017)

My thoughts: Thea means truth. This was an incredible read, dark and twisty and so cleverly written! Audrey and Thea are mother and daughter and they both have some very big secrets. Modern and fast paced we are taken down a world of drugs and addictions and lies and alibis. Reinvention is a big theme. Social Media addiction is another. What would you do if you were given a second chance, a do-over, what if it deprived or destroyed someone else? Gorgeously written, detailed characters that are so real. So many layers of meaning and symbolism.

Goodreads | Amazon

Forgiveness 4 U by Ann Bauer (March 2015) ❤️

My thoughts: This was an awesome read! Unique and clever, thought provoking, fast paced, modern. Catholics and exCatholics especially will appreciate it. But anyone who has ever felt guilt over a past transgression can get something from this book. Imagine monetizing forgiveness for all!

Goodreads | Amazon

Waking Up Joy, Tina Ann Forkner (October 2014)

My thoughts: Joy is in a coma and her relatives are talking some trash and she can hear it all! When Joy does come out of the coma, she’s ready to make some major decisions and changes despite what her family might think. She needs to face a dark secret from her past and open herself up to the possibility of love and life. Joy was funny and real and a memorable character.

Goodreads | Amazon

Okay Fine Whatever. The Year I Went From Being Afraid of Everything to only Being Afraid of Most Things by Courtenay Hameister (July 2018)

My thoughts: The author addresses her generalized anxiety and pokes fun at herself. She’s making big career decisions and evaluating ALL her choices. In the process, she begins her year of OFW (Okay Fine Whatever) and starts doing things waaaaay out of her comfort zone.

Fans of Shonda Rimes YEAR OF YES will see some of the same concepts with regards to taking risks and trying new things. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end. She faces claustrophobic fears, losing her writing mojo and trying weed to get it back and loving her body as a larger woman…just to name a few highlights! A big part of the book discusses her dating journey, yay no. 28 😍. Oh and the footnotes. I read Every. Single. One.

She’s inspirational and brave and smart and fearless.

Goodreads | Amazon

Forks, Knives & Spoons by Leah DeCesare (April 2017)

Summary: There are three kinds of guys: forks, knives, and spoons. That is the final lesson that Amy York’s father sends her off to college with, never suspecting just how far his daughter will take it. Clinging to the Utensil Classification System as her guide, Amy tries to convince her skeptical roommate, Veronica Warren, of its usefulness as they navigate the heartbreaks and soul mates of college and beyond. Beginning in 1988, their freshman year at Syracuse University, Amy and Veronica meet an assortment of guys from slotted spoons and shrimp forks to butter knives and sporks all while trying to learn if the UCS holds true. On the quest to find their perfect steak knives, they learn to believe in themselves and not to settle in love or life.

Goodreads | Amazon

No Place I’d Rather Be By Cathy Lamb (August 2017)

My thoughts: Cathy Lambs’s latest book is a beautifully written and powerful story with strong kick-ass women and lots of food and laughter and tears. We start with Olivia who is on the run with two small girls. We learn her backstory slowly as she escapes to Montana, where her family is. This author is masterful at creating characters who are so real and full of flaws, you can’t help but relate. There’s mystery and suspense and drama and lots of sweet sisterly scenes, mostly all involving recipes and food. Olivia’s grandma Gisela and her mother Mary Beth are endearing and fierce main characters, along with Chloe and her son Kyle and there’s also a sexy cowboy named Jace. The two little girls went through hell with their psychotic mother and Olivia steps in. Everyone begins to heal through the magic of love and family. Truly a wonderful story that will stay with me!

Goodreads | Amazon

Tiffany Blues by M. J. Rose (August 2018)

My thoughts: I loved this Jazz era story that was part mystery and part love story. 24 year old artist Jenny Bell spends the summer at Louis Comfort Tiffany’s estate and meets Oliver Tiffany, the grandson. She has a dark past which shows in her inability to paint with colors. She is a loner who only wants to focus on her art and trusts no one. Her only true friend is Minx Deering who encourages and pushes her to experiment and open up to life’s possibilities. One of my favorite things was the friendship between the girls.

The story moved along quickly and the historical details regarding Thomas Edison and others was wonderful. More than anything, the authors descriptions of intense color and dazzling light moved me to tears. Jenny’s past, which she has tried so hard to hide, is threatening to be revealed. She is torn between Oliver and Ben, and her art.

Gorgeous. Breathtaking. Heartbreaking.

Goodreads | Amazon

Rush by Lisa Patton (August 2018)

My thoughts: This was a truly lovely story and a perfect example of southern literature. The author’s writing style reminds me of Pat Conroy and Kathryn Stockett. Each character was painted so vividly, each scene described felt like I was there and the ending was very satisfying! I was reading through my tears for the last three or four chapters.

It’s not just a story of three girls trying to get into a sorority- it’s about mothers and daughters and growing up and making choices to be proud of.


Goodreads | Amazon

The Far End of Happy Kathryn Craft (May 2015)❤️

Summary : Twelve tense hours, three women, and the suicide standoff that turns one family’s little piece of heaven into a scene from hell After enduring years of a struggling marriage, Ronnie Farnham has decided to divorce her husband and is beginning to hope for a happy future–until the morning Jeff is supposed to move out, when he locks himself in their barn with a rifle. When a massive police presence arrives to control the 12-hour stand off, the women in Jeff’s life are pushed to their breaking points. Based on the author’s harrowing personal story, The Far End of Happy is a powerful novel about the way one man’s spiral towards life’s violent conclusion tests the resolve, love, and hope of the women he will leave behind.

Goodreads | Amazon

The Optimists Guide to Letting Go by Amy Reichert (May 2018)

My thoughts: I love reading anything by Amy Reichert! She has a way with feelings and food that make me want her as a best friend. Her latest book is endearing and meaningful and honest. We’ve got the matriarch the Lovely Lorraine and the daughters Gina and Vicky. Momma Lorraine has kept a secret for decades and she is stuck because her secret is coming out and she is powerless to stop it. Gina is a grieving widow and can’t seem to do anything well unless she has a list and a routine. Her daughter May is struggling too. Loved the storyline and was rooting for these strong women. Highly recommend!

Goodreads | Amazon

QOTD: Which one sounds most interesting to you? Will you add any to your TBR? #sorrynotsorry

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

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  1. I’m not familiar with any of these — but you do make them sound good! I remember seeing the cover of The Optimists Guide and thinking how beautiful it was. Now I want to check it out!


  2. Say what? Forgiveness 4 You sounds crazy, but good. Is it an alternate world setting? Dystopia? Utopia? I am an ex-ish Catholic so guess I better add it! Love your thoughts on all of these.


  3. Lisa Patton’s Rush is delightful! Set at a sorority on the Ole Miss campus in Oxford, Mississippi, this poignant book did well across the south: Lisa Patton is a cultural icon there! Glad to see you mention Rush here.


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