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23 Apr 2013

T is for Trying Out...

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week a bookish question is asked and participants are asked to list their top ten choices related to that question.

This week:
  Top Ten Books I Thought I'd Like MORE/LESS Than I Did

 These are five books that I was sure I would like but actually wasn't keen on in the end.  Stardust (review here) wasn't the book I expected.  I found the ending a bit of a cop out with a lack of world building and plot development.  For Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (review here) it started out slightly comical but the main supernatural LI turned into a mopey dick who threatened to harm the FMC.  A threat she responded by claiming she had finally fallen in love with him and wanted to help him.  *Groan* 

For Hood and The Turn of the Screw I didn't finish these books which was a disappointment because they sounded great.  Hood was very slow in development.  I must have been on page 200 and the MC still wasn't near to becoming Robin Hood.  For The Turn of the Screw it was mainly the writing I had a problem with.  It didn't flow very well and was quite clunky and more like a stream of conscious type narrative.

As for The Madman's Daughter I was so excited to read a retelling of H.G.Well's The Island of Dr Moreau.  But for me it was more of a rehash of the same story with a couple of changes thrown in and too much focus on a love triangle. (Review here.)
 Contemporary is not my thing and if it's contemporary romance I'm definitely not interested.  But Kody Keplinger's The Duff (review here) really caught my eye because the book had a snarky MC who had imperfections, not just in character but, in her eyes, appearance.  And I like to read about a FMC who's not a skeleton for once.  I wasn't too sure of the romance but it kinda worked for Wesley and Bianca.  They had the right personalities to make them a perfect match for each other.

I heard about love triangles and a FMC who finds out she's not so ordinary so I was wary about The Iron King.  I still say I'm not keen on Ash and his threatening-but-I-secretly-love-you ways.  There's another brooding lad who needs a good slap.  But I generally enjoyed the story.  I loved the world, the faeries, and I liked that it was always Megan's journey.  She chose to help her brother and find him and in the end it was up to her to face the antagonist.  Review to come.

I'm still reading Anna and the French Kiss but I'm about 200 pages in and I know I love it.  Like I said, contemporary romance isn't my style but this book just works.  There's more to romance.  Anna becoming independent, especially in a foreign country and trying to make it work there with friends and studying.  And I love, love, love Etienne St Clair.  He's this friendly, caring genuine guy who is such a breath of fresh air from the moody male LIs we get a lot in YA.  There's no act with him.  He's lovely, he treats people with respect and because of that he gets my respect and interest.

I came late into The Hunger Games, about the time the third book had come out, the first film was getting ready, and the fandom was huge.  So obviously with any popular fandom I heard a lot of negative things about the book.  But I still wanted to read it and I get why this was popular.  I will admit Collins still has a lot to improve in writing but the idea was brilliant and it got to my emotions a lot.  I cared for all these youths, even the careers.  Everyone was forced to take part and if this was the world you were brought up in, where you knew there could be a chance of you having to fight and survive you'd want to make sure you could handle yourself in the arena. Full review here.

I don't think I had any expectations of The Near Witch.  I'd read reviews, seen recommendations, and knew the basic plot but I didn't want to assume whether I would like it or not.  I think I was worried this mysterious stranger part would become the focus of the book too much but I went ahead and read it.  Victorian Schwab created this spooky fairy tale with an eerie yet fantastical village.  A place where even Nature is its own character.  It's not your typical horror but I read it for Halloween and I still think the haunting presence of the legendary Near Witch was enough to make the story creepy but not too creepy that non-horror fans would probably still enjoy.  Full review here

Are there any books that surprised you? :)


  1. Loved The Hunger Games, Anna and the French Kiss, and The Iron King. I have to agree with you on the love triangle in The Madman's Daughter--it bounced back and forth so quickly and so often that I nearly had whiplash.

  2. In a good way:

    THE DEAD ZONE: my first Stephen King novel, and there wasn't any blood-and-guts, and it was well-written. My Stephen King respect-o-meter went up a notch. :)

    LEVIATHAN: I wasn't sure about steampunk, and I had been disappointed by UGLIES. This was a very pleasant surprise.

    ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD: You recommended it, so I knew it couldn't be bad. But it's YA horror and I don't read horror (blah blah blah), so I was prepared for disappointment. It didn't come. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. :)

    In a bad way:

    FALSE MEMORY: A great premise, and a well-written book, but I didn't connect with the MC, and I thought Dan Krokos gave away too much at the end. I have no interest in reading the next in the series.

    THE FUTURE OF US: Another great premise, but I didn't like the execution. The authors didn't make enough of the 1995 setting. Aside from America Online and dial-up, what about this novel meant it *had* to be set in 1995? The same story could have been told if it had been about a teenager in 2013 getting Facebook messages from himself in 2023. *sigh*

  3. I have the Hunger Games on my list, too. Anna and the French Kiss is one of my all-time favs. I tried to read Jessica's Guide, but just couldn't get through it.
    Here's my TTT