I thought I’d start in on The Broke and the Bookish Tuesday topic of Top 10s lists because …I just like reasons to talk about books. That’s basically it! Well, I also need to get back into blogging more regularly here on my site as well. I got caught up in The Writer Diaries and kind of forgot about my own blogging. There are still a lot of personal tips and reflections I have to make for myself, so this blog isn’t going anywhere! Now that The Writer Diaries is up on its feet and in its third month, I can pull back a bit and take care of my own blog again.
So anyways, onto my lists! The topic for this Tuesday is, Top 10 Books I Thought I’d like More/Less than I actually did.
Books that I liked LESS than I thought I would:
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: If you know me at all you know I’m a major Maggie fan. She was the first author I really felt a connection to when I decided I wanted to be a writer myself. The Scorpio Races is one of my all-time favorite books EVER. I was really excited by the premise for The Raven Boys and the cover was just absolutely gorgeous. I think I just stared at it for a good half hour before I started reading. But for some reason I couldn’t really get into the story. Near the end, things started to pick up and there was a bit of a cliff-hanger/last line that really intrigued me so I’m definitely going to read the next book in the series. It just didn’t hit me with the crazy wonder that the rest of Maggie’s books have done in the past.
Everneath by Brodi Ashton: A lot of people gave great reviews for this book and I was excited to read a Greek re-telling. The character I ended up being most intrigued with was the “bad guy” Cole. The other two main characters, Nikki and Jack, felt kind of flat to me. I won an ARC of the book in a contest and had been excited to get it, but it just didn’t do much for me.
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly: I am not a huge history buff but I still have a fascination for it sometimes that I need to tame with a good book. My go-to-authors for this are usually Tracy Chevalier and Jennifer Donnelly. I LOVE Jennifer’s Tea Rose series and it used to be my favorite all-time book until it was knocked off by The Scorpio Races. This book not only had history but it also had MUSIC, my other great passion. How could I lose? Now, I did still enjoy the book. I thought it was a great read. It just wasn’t the AMAZING, CRAZY-GOOD, HEART-STOPPING read I expected. So, I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would.
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks: This was one of the few times where I have seen the movie before reading the book. Usually I won’t let myself see a movie if there is a book it was inspired from. I have to read the book first. But with The Notebook, I saw the movie first. I was absolutely in love with the characters and with the story, and I’m a die-hard hopeless romantic. It is still one of my favorite movies to watch – even my husband will watch it with me! But when I read the book, I just didn’t get that same emotional reaction. I don’t really even know what it was about it…I just didn’t feel the same. I had expected the book to take the emotion one step farther for me and, instead, I felt it was a few steps behind.
Books that I liked MORE than I thought I would:
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron: I read this a long time ago when I got it into my head that I was going to read all the books from a Top list I fond somewhere. In my attempt, I picked up this book. My goal was really just to broaden my horizons on the different literature out there, but this book took me by surprise. When I finally found out what the choice was that Sophie had to make, I was heartbroken for her. It was such a shocking revelation and I couldn’t even imagine having to make a choice like that. I can’t really say that I “like” the book because of that part of it, but it really did make the story that much more meaningful and made me think really hard about the circumstances that brought Sophie to that choice.
Matched by Ally Condie: I was intrigued by the concept of the story and since I write Young Adult, I figured I had to read this series since it was such a big hit. I wasn’t expecting the beautiful voice that Ally Condie produces with her characters in the series. I felt like every sentence had a deeper meaning. The plotting was perfect and I could feel every part of the emotion in Cassia and the struggle she faces internally as well as externally. It is really such a predicament because the Society provides them safety and happiness and long life without pain. You just don’t get to make your own choices. Is that worth it? This theme in the book had me thinking about it long after I finished the series.
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay: Since I started writing a dual-narrative, I went on a search for books that did the same. I don’t really recall any dual-narratives that I have read in the past so I wasn’t really even sure what I should be looking for. I also have always leaned towards paranormal or fantasy – something “extra” that can’t happen in real life. To be looking for contemporary was kind of a new thing for me. I saw a rave review for this book on another author’s site and figured I would give it a try – the summary intrigued me enough. As many of you should know who follow me, this is the BEST BOOK EVER. EVERRRR. Sorry, I was just so blown away by the writing style and the characters. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and still can’t. I keep re-reading it because it was just that good. So yes, I was never expecting to read my new favorite book when I picked it up.
Dare You To by Katie McGarry: Again, I read this recently on my quest to read more contemporary dual-narrative. I had just finished The Sea of Tranquility, so I was pretty convinced that this book would not measure up to it. While I can’t say that I liked it MORE, I definitely liked it more than I thought I would. Given the cover, I thought it was going to be a little more “shallow” in terms of the content, but it ended up being very deep. The characters were also wonderfully established and I loved spending time with them, maybe even more with the guy, Ryan, than the girl, Beth! I really loved this book and am pretty excited now to read more of Katie McGarry’s stuff.
On Writing by Stephen King: I’m sure people are already freaking out seeing this on the list, but let me explain. Or at least try to. I’m one of the rare people that can’t really get into Stephen King books. I will probably keep trying because I think there must be something wrong with me, but the few I’ve attempted, I usually don’t get very far. And since I borrow them from the library I just end up returning them, not making it past 50 pages. I know, I must have something wrong with me. When I decided I wanted to really be serious about pursuing writing, everyone and their mother recommended that I read On Writing by Stephen King. I really didn’t look forward to it because I thought that I just wasn’t into his writing style. But when I read THIS BOOK, I was blown away. I LOVED his writing style. At least when he’s talking about writing. I still can’t get over how much I love it in this book but can’t seem to like it in any of his actual books. It’s a mystery.
Wicked by Gregory Maguire: I had heard great things about the play Wicked, but didn’t really have much interest in the books. A friend of mine got the first two books in the series for me for Christmas one year. Being that they were sitting on my shelf, I decided to try it out and I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Wicked. I went right on to the next one, Son of a Witch, and loved it just as much. When you mostly read young adult novels, reading something of your actual age level is very refreshing and opens your mind up to different ways of presenting things. I really did enjoy this series and I’m glad I have friends with good taste!