February 25, 2020

Tell Me Something Tuesday: What's Your Favourite Underrated Book/Series?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings, where the blog's owner Heidi discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.
Here is what is on deck this week:


First off, it was me who submitted this question, since I needed another excuse to talk about the Deadgirl series by B.C. Johnson 😂. Because of course, the past 6 years and 47 blog posts weren't enough 🤷.

(For the record: I haven't written 47 posts about the series, but between reviews, cover reveals, interviews with the author, spotlights, friendly reminders via lists that included the aforementioned series, I'm sure I'm close to rounding 20. Or maybe even past it? I'm too lazy to check).

So, what's so special about Deadgirl?

I originally got interested in the first, namesake Deadgirl book because of the title. I mean...you know me and afterlife novels 😁. Then of course I read the blurb, which at the time went:

Fifteen-year old Lucy Day falls between the gears in the machinery of the afterlife. She is murdered while on her first date, but awakens a day later, completely solid and completely whole. She has no hunger for brains, blood, or haunting, so she crosses “zombie,” “vampire,” and “ghost” off her list of re-life possibilities. But figuring out what she is becomes the least of her worries when Abraham, Lucy’s personal Grim Reaper, begins dogging her, dead-set on righting the error that dropped her back into the spongy flesh of a living girl. Lucy must put her mangled life back together, escape re-death, and learn to control her burgeoning psychic powers while staying one step ahead of Abraham. But when she learns the devastating price of coming back from the dead, Lucy is forced to make the hardest decision of her re-life - a decision that could save her loved ones...or kill them. (Amazon)

Book 1 (Deadgirl) and 2 (Deadgirl: Ghostlight)

That got me super-excited, because it was such a great spin on an age-old trope (which I love anyway). Then I read a number of reviews on Goodreads, and they cemented my decision to purchase the book at the earliest opportunity. So I bought it as soon as I could, read it, and while I'll admit I found Lucy a little immature at first (especially considering how she was handling her scary predicament), I ended up loving her spunk, and totally fell for the world Johnson had created  - and for his prose. Also...I realised that, of course, Lucy was supposed to be a bit unripe, what with being 15 and falling in love for the first time, and who was an old lady like me to judge?

Now, seven years, two sequels (the third and last is in the making) and one novella later, Deadgirl has become one of my favourite series ever, and it pains me that people wouldn't give a chance to underhyped/small-pub/indie books (this series started off as small-pub, then Johnson went indie after his publisher got out of business). I listed all the reasons why you should read Deadgirl in a post last year, but in case you haven't read it or need a reminder, here goes:

  • Original premise (after a brush with death, the main character Lucy comes back as a phantom who needs "essence" in order to stay solid), solid and fresh mythology, engaging writing, wonderful cast.
  • There's a dose of teen angst about first loves, former boyfriends, rocky friendships - but it's all so realistic (despite the otherworldly premise) and THINGS GET RESOLVED. Friendship and camaraderie in the face of death remain the key words. Also, the characters mature a lot through the series, without losing their teen appeal.
  • The cast isn't trying to save the world - they're sort of accidental heroes because of their association with Lucy, and their aim is to help her stay alive...and not to die themselves at the hands of her enemies. Still, they kick ass in so many ways. And they don't always win...which is heartbreaking, but realistic.

Tie-in novella, a.k.a. Book 2.5 (Daphne, about a secondary, but pivotal character)

In a nutshell: the Deadgirl series is a fantastic read about being young, passionate and hungry - literally - for life. Or, as the author himself put it in an interview I did with him,

Do you like laughing, crying, feeling scared and excited? A main character who is tough and strong but far from perfect? Lucy makes the worst mistakes, she has a temper, sometimes she’s selfish. She’s also loyal, and when she loves someone she doesn’t spare any of her heart. Genre aside, I think that’s the reason to read a book.

In the end...here are my reviews for Deadgirl (Book 1) | Deadgirl: Ghostlight (Book 2) | Daphne (tie-in but largely independent novella) | Deadgirl: Goneward (Book 3). The fourth and final installment, Deadgirl: Daybreak, is slated to come out this year. And if this post didn't convince at least some of you to try this series, I'll be forever crying in a corner, and you don't want that, do you? 😨 😉

Book 3 (Deadgirl: Goneward) and teaser for Book 4, or the last installment (Deadgirl: Daybreak)

Well, that's it for now. And if you're interested in participating, here is the TMST prompt list for the month of March:

  • March 3rd:  Spring picks for 2020
  • March 10th:  Do you enjoy anthologies?
  • March 17th:  What book(s) do you consider a lucky find?
  • March 24th:  Spring break: no post (or create your own post)
  • March 31st: Are you an impulsive book buyer? (this was a question I submitted!)

    I'll be back for the meme on March 10th, because I don't have a spring pick list...

    Now tell me something...is there a particular book/series that you feel should get more love?


    1. This sounds like a cool series, and I’m glad you’re passionate about it. I would say my favourite underrated book is Station Eleven by: Emily St. John-Mandel. It’s a Canadian novel that I just don’t see talked about enough!

      1. I briefly looked SE up on Goodreads (going to investigate if it may be my kind of book later), and it's got almost 34,000 reviews, so it's not THAT bad 🙂. But I agree that non-US books are less talked about and often overlooked/underappreciated!

    2. When you love something, you go hard, and I think that's fantastic! I don't read too many paranormals, but this sounds great. I like the whole accidental hero thing, because those are the best kind.

      1. "When you love something, you go hard".
        Ha! That's kind of my specialty 😂.

        "I like the whole accidental hero thing, because those are the best kind."
        They are!

    3. I have it! Because of you! But I haven't read it yet lol *fail*

      Karen @ For What It's worth

    4. I feel like I'm constantly screeching about underrated books on my blog, so I went ahead and made a Goodreads shelf for them to save myself some time. So many of them are from small/indie presses like Deadgirl (which I'm so happy you convinced me to read!), and many of them I came by through NetGalley and have been trying to hype ever since. Anyway, since I can't seem to narrow it down, here's my list!


      1. That's a pretty nice idea! I'll make sure to go through your list!

        And I'm so happy I managed to turn you into a DG fan!

    5. So... Deadgirl huh? I have to say it does sound compelling. Cool concept... who wouldn't want to hang onto life? You have me curious now! Also I like how you say the characters mature as the series goes on. This actually sounds pretty fantastic!

      Let's see... a a book or series that I wish got more love. the first one to jump to my mind is The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor. I was very impressed w/ it.

      1. Indie books are so underrated (or people are so resistant to try them because of the tons of hyped books around) I could cry! But if you have to read one indie series, I wholeheartedly recommend you make it this one.

        I'll investigate The Shark Club - it's new to me!

      2. That's good to know! And I hope you like the Shark Club if you get a chance to check it out. :)

    6. I haven't read Deadgirl or even heard of it before but I can tell that you especially love it and that I should try it! I love Dying for a Living by Kory M Shrum. Best zombie book I've read.

      1. I haven't heard of Dying for a Living either LOL. Catchy title! I'll have to look it up on GR.


    Welcome to Offbeat YA! I love hearing from you and always - I mean always - acknowledge your comments. This used to be a full democracy place, because anyone could comment, regardless of being a registered member of any community. Unfortunately, I had to turn off the Anonymous comment option, because I was getting too much spam that didn't get filtered. So, you’ll need to have a Google account (Gmail will suffice) in order to comment. Sorry about that. Anyway, jump right in! Come on, you know you want to...😉 And be sure to leave a link!
    BTW...I don't care if a post is a million months old - you comment, I respond. And you make my day 😃.
    Note: this is an award/tag free blog. Sorry I can't accept nominations due to lack of time.

    As per the GDPR guidelines, here's the link to my Privacy Policy.