Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Top Ten Books I Liked More/Less Than I Thought I Would

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. There is a new subject each week and this week's topic is "Top Ten Books I Liked More/Less Than I Thought I Would"

Books I liked more than I thought I would:

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

My book group voted to read this for our April book and I wasn't sure if I would like it. Imagine my surprise when I ended up loving it!  I think I may have been judging it by its cover but when you read the story, the cover does make sense. I kind of hope they will give it a different more appealing cover in paperback though.

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

I first heard about this book years before the HBO series but it wasn't until I started watching the show that I decided to read the book. I have enjoyed fantasy novels in the past but I am always nervous about trying them because they aren't always easy to get into and this one is just a little long :)

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Even though I'd already read the Harry Potter series when I picked this up, I was afraid that I wouldn't like The Lightning Thief, that maybe it would be too "juvenile" for me. I must be younger at heart than I thought because I ended up loving it! Now Rick Riordan is a must-read author for me.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

I probably wouldn't have read this series if not for the movie. I remember seeing a trailer for The Fellowship of the Ring movie and thinking that it kind of looked good. It motivated me to give the book a try and I am so glad I did. It is now one of my favorite books of all time.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

It is my little sister's fault that I am a fan of Harry Potter. I had zero interest in reading the books until she forced convinced me to give them a try. I was really taken by surprise at how much I enjoyed this book and ended up flying through the rest of the books that were available at the time. I am so glad I listened to my sister (but don't tell her I said that!)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I had heard some good things about The Hunger Games when it was first released but the amount of violence and the comparison to Survivor made me really hesitant to pick it up. It wasn't until I saw it lauded all over the place by other librarians that I decided to give it a try. Then I made my sister read it and she loved it too. (See, I got her back for Harry Potter!)

Poison by Bridget Zinn

I kind of wanted to read this book because it sounded whimsical. I remember commenting on the "enchanted piglet" on Goodreads as a reason why I should give it a try. I was surprised though by how much I loved this book, especially the humor. 

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

I don't think I would ever have read this book if not for my enjoyment of the film (plus my sister said she'd bought it-though she ended up giving up on it in the first chapter). It was a long long slog through this book but in the end I loved it. I thought it gave me a better understanding of the characters and the story. I think it could have used some serious editing though. I don't think it needed a whole chapter on the history of the sewer system in Paris...

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Who would have though I would like a book about a girl who wanted to play football? I am not a sports enthusiast and am terrible at playing any kind of sport. Football has especially never appealed to me so it was with great trepidation that I picked up Dairy Queen. Thankfully I found that this book is about more than football and I ended it with a greater understanding of the sport and an appreciation for the hard work of those who play it.  Side note: I am still not a football fan :)

Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

I wasn't sure what to expect with Edenbrooke. Some people gave it glowing reviews while others thought it wasn't anything special. I am glad I decided to read it because it was one of those books that just made me smile. I had been worried that the author would try (and fail) to make it like a Jane Austen novel but thankfully she didn't and it was an enjoyable romance.

Books I didn't like as much as I thought I would:

Reached by Ally Condie

I loved Matched and thought Crossed was good (though not as good as the first book). Reached however really disappointed me in the end. I guess I just expected more from the final book than what I got-more emotion, more passion (not of the romantic variety), and more closure.

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

I really liked Delirium and at the time when I read it I thought I liked it more than Matched (I changed my mind when I reread Matched). The sequel however really let me down at the end. I hate love triangles and that is what it looks like we are going to get. I didn't bother reading Requiem after all of its lackluster reviews.

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

While in the end I still enjoyed reading this book (there are plenty of laugh out loud moments), it wasn't as good as what I expected from a Sophie Kinsella novel. I felt let down especially by the main character, Lottie.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

I did like Mockingjay but it was not as good as the first two books. At first I thought I hated it but after thinking about it for awhile I decided that I could appreciate that the author wanted the ending to be more true to life. It is hard to heal after a war. It isn't something that ever leaves a person. The ending didn't feel very triumphant but that made it more realistic. I still wish it had lived up to all the promise of The Hunger Games though. I expected more from Katniss.

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

I loved Soulless and was excited to see the author was branching out into teen fiction. While I did like this book I thought it could have been so much better. I think I just prefer her fiction for adults. This was a little on the "young teen" side for me. Of course, I am not the target audience but I think that if you read this book without having previously read Soulless, it won't be as easy to get into.

Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is a hit or miss author with me. I used to think I would like all of her books but then I came across some duds and this was one of them. My book group was really excited about reading this one but in the end we all hated it. 

The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings

This is a case where I thought the movie was better than the book. Of course the movie had George Clooney and the book didn't...seriously I think the acting is what made the movie special because the story in the book and the characters just weren't likable at all.

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey

I love Jane Eyre and this book received such great reviews. The descriptive writing was kind of nice but the pacing was slow and in the end I was really disappointed by some of the changes made to this retelling.

Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame

I think this is the first of those books marketed to Downton Abbey fans that I read. I thought I'd love Wentworth Hall and I think I expected it to be like The Luxe by Anna Godbersen but I felt really let down by the ending and the style in which the story was told. 

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

I love Maggie Stiefvater's writing but her pacing could use some work especially in this final book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series. It just needed a jolt of adrenaline and the open ending kind of annoyed me. I definitely expected more from this author.


  1. Glad you answered both sides of this topic-so disappointing when second/third books don't live up to our expectations!

  2. I have HP and the Hunger Games on my list, too. Dairy Queen is a cute book, but I've never gotten to the sequels. I really enjoyed the Descendents, both the book and the movie.
    Here's my TTT

  3. Great list!! I'm currently reading Etiquette and Espionage, so hopefully I'll enjoy it!! I loved Dairy Queen, too!! I agree that Pandemonium and Mockingjay were HUGE letdowns. I'm still debating whether I should read Requiem!
    Here's my Top Ten Tuesday

  4. I'm reading A Game of Thrones, and am surprised by how much I'm enjoying it. And I completely agree with you regarding The Lightning Thief (awesome books) and Mockingjay (I liked it, but it was nowhere near as great as the first two).

    Great top ten! :)

  5. I agree with you on many of your Surprised-I-Liked-This books. I still can't understand how I came to read (and, odder still, love) Game of Thrones. I am usually very, very squeamish about violence. Go figure!

  6. I really liked Poison too! :) Usually with a cover that cute the book ends up being a dud, lol. Nice list!


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