Top Ten Tuesday – July 10, 2012: Top Ten Books That Surprised Me!


So it’s a freebie week for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish.

I feel like I keep talking about the same books over and over again and I’ve been so repetitive with declaring my love for the same books/series (especially during my 30 Days of Books challenge!) – So since it’s a freebie and I was able to come up with my own, I’m trying to take a look at books that weren’t a given.

Here are my Top Ten Books That Surprised Me!

To narrow it down, I’m taking the Top 5 books that I was surprised I liked and the Top 5 books I was surprised that I didn’t like:

Five Books I Was Surprised I Liked:

  1. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – I borrowed this book from a friend. She said she really enjoyed it. I was pretty skeptical! But this was pretty different from the typical vampire stories. I actually liked it a lot and got totally sucked in by the second book.
  2. Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen – I’m not much on historical fiction and for some reason a lot of best-sellers and I don’t get along. I figured since everyone was reading this book and they made a movie out of it, I might as well try it. I liked it so much more than I thought I would! The story was really well written and I was captivated by the love story.
  3. Man In The Dark by Paul Auster – I picked this one up on a random swap. I thought the concept sounded interesting so why not! I think I started and finished in the same day. It wasn’t too long and the storyline was really interesting!
  4. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L’Engle – I didn’t think I was going to dislike this, but I expected it to have a lot more of a “children’s” feel. I never read this book as a kid so I decided it was time I got around to it and I was so surprised at how well it read for all ages and the creativity it took to create these worlds/planets!
  5. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – I’m not a big sci-fi person. I like the more mild aspects of sci-fi like dystopia, time travel, etc, but when it comes to outer space adventures, not so much. I was pretty skeptical about this book, but I read so many good reviews and when it came up as a swap opportunity, I figured that would be the perfect time to try it. I was very heavy in the sci-fi but it was so surprisingly FUNNY! I knew it was a humorous book, but I didn’t expect to be so drawn in by everything.

Five Books I Was Surprised I DIDN’T Like (Or didn’t like as much as I thought I would):

  1. Numbers by Rachel Ward – I thought this concept was so cool! A girl who could see the death date of people when she looked them in the eye. Cool and creepy! I think just a lot of things threw me off and I wasn’t expecting the book to take the turns that it did, so it really kind of let me down. I thought the end redeemed it for me a bit so I’ll try the second book, but just really not what I expected it to be.
  2. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins – I didn’t dislike Mockingjay. I love The Hunger Games. One of my favorite books! Like, super love it. But Mockingjay seemed like a little bit of a let-down. I felt like it was building up the whole book towards a fantastic end and then all of a sudden, it ended! I felt like I wasn’t prepared for the end and I didn’t even know it was coming so I was still waiting for something awesome to happen. And that was the end of the whole series…? So I don’t know.. Just a bit let down by the end of that one!
  3. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi – This book just wasn’t for me. This was another dystopia book (clearly my new favorite genre!) so I was pumped to read it. But I honestly didn’t like the way it was written. The similes/metaphors combined with the strikethroughs were really overwhelming and for me, it took away from the story for me instead of enhancing it. I actually found it distracting, so it’s one of the few books I chose not to finish.
  4. Crossed by Ally Condie – I really enjoyed reading Matched, the first book in this series. This was another one that I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to. It had a totally different format, now being told by both Cassia and Ky in alternating chapters, and I just couldn’t get a good grasp on their new outside world that they were venturing in. I could picture it, but it was such a different setting that I felt like it was almost a completely different story. It’s a problem I keep having with the 2nd book in a dystopia series lately – The couple is broken up (most likely reunited in the middle/end of the book) and the 2nd book takes place in a brand new setting, and I just feel like it’s not the same story at all. I think this one lost me a little more than usual. Of course I’ll still finish the series, but I was just a little disappointed with how I was left feeling after I finished!
  5. Insatiable by Meg Cabot – I LOVE Meg. I have read all of her “adult” books/series (still need to read the YA ones – I know! I’m getting to it!!)  and I loooove them. So when I heard about another book, I grabbed it as fast as I could! This was at the end of my “vampire phase” and I was starting to grow a bit tired of the topic so I was afraid I wouldn’t like it, but I was like, “Come on! It’s Meg. She can make anything great!” Well. Not so much on this one. It wasn’t even the vampire side of it that turned me off, but I felt like a lot of it was way too over-the-top and the ending was way too theatrical and silly for me. Even bad enough that I didn’t want to keep reading the series. Totally bummed out by that one!


Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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19 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – July 10, 2012: Top Ten Books That Surprised Me!

  1. sunshinetree

    I felt the same way about Numbers! I loved the concept, but really didn’t get hooked. However, I ended up also feeling willing to try the second book (although I haven’t gotten to it yet).

    1. Brittany

      That’s exactly where I stand as well! The ending made me really interested in the second book and I thought it might take it in a different direction. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. KateB

    So many books here that I’v either read or want to read. I also loved Hitchhiker’s Guide. I only stumbled upon on it in high school because it was the favourite book of a boy I liked – probably not the best reason for reading something but I’m glad I did.

    Vampire Academy is one that’s been on my to-read list for a while and just not gotten around to. I think I’ll have to move it up my to-read list.

    I agree with Mockingjay. It had such promise but it felt rushed. There were a few parts that I wasn’t quite sure how they happened and I had to go back and re-read them

    Insatiable is still one I’m eager to read but I think I’ll try to go in with my expectations not as high as they have been. I hate feeling like I’d love a book and then feeling let down. I have to try not to do this as much.

    1. Brittany

      I’d be interested in re-reading Mockingjay eventually and maybe give it another chance. I just re-read The Hunger Games before the movie came out so maybe that’s something I’ll go back to 🙂

  3. Lauren @ Story Bound

    Great list! I love Vampire Academy and Water for Elephants. I was surprised I liked Water for Elephants too. I agree about Mockingjay. Loved the first two and Mockingjay – not so much. However, I did love Shatter Me.

    1. Brittany

      Thanks for stopping by my blog!
      I’m so glad I gave VA a chance! I’m dying to keep going in the series 🙂
      Nice to hear someone who agrees about Mockingjay too! I think I just really loved the first two and it just kind of let me down in the end.

  4. Christina

    I loved Vampire Academy as well! One of my favorite series ever! I also thought Crossed wasn’t as good as Matched, but my students LOVE this series anyway. The books were flying off the shelves all year. Great list and thanks for visiting my blog!

    1. Brittany

      Thanks for stopping by mine as well! I agree – Crossed not as good as Matched and even though I speak a bit harshly of it, I still did enjoy it! It made me anxious to see how it’ll get wrapped up in the third 🙂

      1. Brittany

        I definitely agree! I think there are so many places they could have taken it and I just wasn’t on board with where it ended up. I’ll still read the last one to finish up the series, but I’m not jumping up and down for it!

  5. Lucy

    A lot of people underestimate Vampire Academy. The title and the cover don’t do it any favors, but it’s so good! And I was so disappointed in Crossed too.

  6. Elizabeth

    I totally agree with you on Shatter Me… I didn’t make it past like page 30 before I put it down because of all the language.

    Nice topic, too! Coming off our discussion yesterday it seems appropriate 🙂

  7. mollyspring

    Another librarian I work with said that Vampire Academy was her fave YA vampire series, and I had written it off as another House of Night/Twilight type thing. Now I’m tempted to give it a go!

    I’m reading Shatter Me right now and loving it, but I can see how it wouldn’t be for everyone. The voice is very strong but the strike-through could be disorienting.

    1. Brittany

      Yep, a lot of people really loved Shatter Me, but I think it just wasn’t for me! I can definitely see both sides though.
      I think Vampire Academy is worth a shot! 🙂


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