We’ve all seen the tweet “Can anyone rec me some UNDERHYPED queer books? I’ve read most of the popular ones.” And maybe you’ve made one of these! Maybe you replied to them, hopefully with some genuinely unheard of books.
But the replies include the likes of, can you guess? RED WHITE AND ROYAL BLUE, THE RAVEN BOYS, SIMON VS THE HOMOSAPIENS AGENDA, and last, but not least, HEARTSTOPPER.
And I’m not saying these books aren’t great, they are! I love these books, and they’re popular for a reason. They just don’t belong in Underhyped book spaces.
What if you’re not sure if a book is underhyped or not? The easiest way to check is to look at how many Goodreads ratings they have. I personally define an “underhyped book” as one that has less than 5K ratings.
But there are books that are older and have the ratings, but they just haven’t been talked about in a while. These books are still not underhyped, but they can still be brought into the convo as long as you acknowledge it as such.
Also, have there been any movie or show adaptation of these books? Because I can guarantee you that if there was anyone left in the world who had not read Heartstopper before the show, they have now. If they don’t they’re just homophobic.
I want to be able to see these twitter threads, blog posts, or YT videos and find out about books I’ve never heard of. These are the books that may have been ignored because they didn’t get hype and support by their publishers. Their authors are still working day jobs, and probably didn’t even get paid for their beautiful books beyond a minor advance.
These stories need to be told. The ones that are by queers, for queers, and don’t pare it down to appeal to an allocishet audience. These are the BIPOC queers, whose stories are woven with the histories and cultures that a lot of white readers don’t want to think about. These are the stories that are full of rightful trans rage.
These are the underhyped queer stories.