Top Ten Books I Thought I Would Like More/Less Than I Did
Wow. I have a LOT to write for this topic! Props to the creative gals over at The Broke and the Bookish. For those of you who don't know what it is, Top Ten Tuesday is a really fun weekly meme where bloggers spout their top ten books that fit a particular topic. This week's? Top Ten Books I Thought I Would Like More/Less Than I Did.There are always those books that are so hyped up. Whether it be bloggers, friends, the media, or any other source, there are always books we thought we would love and ended up only being remotely pleased. There are always those books we go in with low expectations and end up loving. There are good surprises and bad surprises.I especially like this topic because there are so many books I see people tweeting about ALL THE TIME that I just frankly didn't like that much. Everybody's scrabbling for a copy and I'm too timid to come out and say that I really disliked the character or something like that. Then there are other books that people trash and I COMPLETELY love.
BOOKS I THOUGHT I WOULD LOVE AND DIDN'T
1. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
This one was sort of a disappointment. The first book? Really didn't enjoy it. I thought it was very repetitive of many other dystopians out there and the romance didn't really grip me. Not to mention that I didn't realize it was a series, so the ending came off as very abrupt. Lauren's beautiful, brutal writing style carried over from Before I Fall (which I fell in love with) but the story itself lacked the charisma I felt needed to keep me going.Luckily, there was redemption. The sequel, Pandemonium, was so engaging to me. I found myself glued to every word and the second book definitely made up for the first.
2. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
I am probably going to get so much grief for putting this on the list. I normally love fantasy and I normally love books like this. Rae Carson is wonderful. I just don't know what happened. I had to force myself to finish it because I felt like it was very slow. I really enjoyed the world but everybody kept gushing about it. I felt like the allure of the world in Graceling or other fantasies still trumped this one. The main character was fierce and the book itself could have been amazing. I don't know; I just wasn't feeling it and ended up being disappointed by the end. It didn't hook me all that well and I just felt disconnected.
3. Forget You by Jennifer Echols
I normally love Jennifer Echols. I worship her as an author. Endless Summer will forever be one of my most recommended reads to my friends and I reread it every summer at my lakehouse. I love her spunk and the poise that just infuses her writing. Pretty much every other book of hers is spot-on fantastic.I wasn't a fan of this one. I'd heard really great things and people loved it. I didn't like the main character, I didn't like the flat way things were described, I didn't like the romance, and I pretty much didn't like anything about it. I'm bummed that I disliked this one, but she still remains on my auto-buy list.
4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
I understand that this book is supposed to be one of the pinnacles of YA. It's heartbreaking, it's refreshing. It's a standard that other books should look up to. Laurie Halse Anderson does so so much for victims of sexual assault and is one of the most outspoken, well articulated authors out there.Unfortunately, this book just didn't really do much for me. I found myself bored. I understood Miranda's situation and why she was depressed. It was character-driven, which I'm normally fine with. I just can't do much with a book if it doesn't feel like there's conflict driving the depression and the grief. A lot of this book just felt like it dragged on too long. It was depressing and parts of it were beautiful and lovely but I still found myself slogging through pages at times, ready for it to get interesting again. I felt like books like Just Listen or Fault Line ( shoutout to my girl, Christa!) and such do a better job making it relatable.
5. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
This was supposed to be interesting, charming, witty, quirky. Funky. Fresh. All of these adjectives have been used to describe Beauty Queens. I simply found it bizarre. Although it was supposed to be an absorbing satire, I was so disconnected and unamused the entire time. Feminist messages and bright descriptions were dotted through the entire narrative but I still thought it felt very unorganized and just...weird. Everything was taken a little too far. Some people can make that work in a very unconventional way but I just wasn't really taken with this one. I couldn't really suspend my disbelief long enough to enjoy it.
6. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
I KNOW, I KNOW, I'M CRAZY. I thought Shadow and Bone was really really good. I just didn't think it was excellent. I didn't think it was mindblowing, or incredible, or amazing. It was just a solid fantasy with interesting characters that took up a few hours out of my day. I really enjoyed it. I would be honest and give it a great review. Leigh Bardugo is very skilled but I just wasn't as obsessed as everybody else. Everybody gushes about the Darkling and the action and the world, but honestly, I've read a lot of better characters and worldbuilding.I see everybody gushing about it on Twitter and aching for the sequel and I just sit there like, I don't remember needing the sequel in my hands. I don't remember that feeling of WOW THIS BOOK IS AMAZING I NEED EVERYTHING EVEN REMOTELY LIKE IT NOW NOW SEQUEL NOW. It was a good book and a good start to a series.It was good for me, not FANTASTIC.
BOOKS I THOUGHT I WOULDN'T LOVE AND DID
7. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
C'mon. Title. I'm sorry, but I get really embarrassed if I'm reading a book with a kissing cover or a cheesy title at school. I feel like people are judging me based on the cover. Yes, I know the expressions and the ideas and the whole "I'm not going to be embarrassed by what I read" philosophy but I do. Kids in a high school judge, and sometimes titles with "vampire" and "werewolf" in them make me feel like some people are going to assume the extent of my reading diversity goes to Twilight.Before I read this, I thought, I've read a lot of paranormal books. I thought it was just going to end up being exactly the same. Never would I have thought that it would have the distinct feel that I just sometimes crave reading, the strong characters, the cinematic action that every author should strive to write. This series is seriously addictive. It's one of those books that is just a complete experience.
8. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
I was expecting this one to be good. Solidly good. Not amazing. This one came out of nowhere. It's so witty, taut, and perfectly ties together everything in this perfectly satisfying narrative that completely fulfills everything I want out of a book. There are nail-biting cliffhangers and killer twists, but it's one of those books that just has all the answers and just is so refreshing. It's funny and action-packed. It's not monotonous whatsoever and is a complete knockout from a lot of what's in YA right now.I love love love the character, the time periods, the banter echoing throughout each chapter. I love every single little thing about this book and it's so good, I just want to force everybody I know to read it all the time. I reread this one a lot and completely devour it each time.
9. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Beauty Queens and Cinder kind of flip-flopped for me. I thought Beauty Queens was going to be incredible and Cinder was going to be bizarre, but it turned out being the complete opposite. I'm ashamed by how long it took me to pick this one up, even after bloggers with very similar book tastes kept trying to shove this one on me. I should have listened. (Sorry, guys.)
This book is just absolutely stunning. The dexterity and complexity of the world Marissa Meyer creates is just completely mind-boggling. The virus and the technology is difficult enough, but with social classes and an Asian feel that incorporates fairy tales with fresh twists? Wow. It's one of those ideas that just makes you stop and wonder how the heck anybody came up with it, and so ridiculously grateful that they did. Marissa Meyer, hats off to you. You have created a marvel.Hope y'all enjoyed my post and hope y'all all have a fantastic week!Grace