Black, White and Read: Great books hidden in the shadows

MOVE columnist Katherine Rosso uncovers novels that definitely deserve more recognition

Everybody witnessed Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight” hit the mainstream, exploding onto the scene in a mixture of expensive merchandise and crazed fans. Even I succumbed to the craziness, once owning a whole host of “Twilight” merch (like my Edward Cullen sweatshirt) that I had to embarrassingly donate once “Twilight” fell from the limelight. After all the hype died down, many people were left wondering why the book even got popular in the first place. In the same way that E.L. James’ “50 Shades of Grey” grew in popularity despite the terrible writing, the wrong books sometimes find themselves in the spotlight while great novels wait in the shadows. Here are three novels that should really be more popular.

Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern

“Love, Rosie” is a novel written completely in emails, notes, texts and paperwork. Despite the unique and seemingly complicated format, the distinctive structure of the book enhances the friendship-driven, yet still romantic, storyline. Before “Love, Rosie,” Cecelia Ahern received national acclaim for her novel “P.S. I Love You,” but this book seemed to fall by the wayside in popularity. The connection between the main characters, Rosie and Alex, is wonderful and realistic. Their story begins from their time in kindergarten to the tough choices they have to make as adults. Their relationship potential is obvious to the reader, pulling the story forward in a way that makes the book so easy to devour.

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

I met Brodi Ashton at the Las Vegas Valley Book Festival in 2011. During a limbo competition (yes, really), I won a signed copy of her book, “Everneath.” I wasn’t that excited to read it because I had never heard of Ashton and the cover had a wispy girl in a red sparkly ball gown, a notorious sign of bad YA literature. After I read the book, however, I was obsessed. In the novel, Ashton creates an incredible world with a unique mythology-based premise, taking the story of Hades and Persephone and shifting it to have a modern, utterly captivating perspective. The protagonist, Nikki, drives the compelling story as she must figure out how to save her life and, of course, (it’s YA lit after all) find a way to end up with her soulmate. The seamless integration of history, legend and romanticism creates a novel that is seriously impossible to put down.

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick

I originally picked up this book because it had a super cute black cat on the front, but I soon realized that Matthew Quick had again created a wonderfully unique premise in his latest novel. “The Good Luck of Right Now” consists of Bartholomew’s letters to his best friend and personal confidant, celebrity Richard Gere. A peculiar shut-in, main character Bartholomew has lived with his mom for thirty-eight years. One day, however, he finds himself without her after her death and he must brave the world all by himself (with only Richard Gere by his side). As with “Silver Linings Playbook,” Quick’s characters realistically depict living with mental health and the harshness of life as Bartholomew knows it.

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