Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved More Than I Thought I Would

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week I will make a list of 10 books, authors or other bookish things surrounding a certain topic. This week, it’s about books you loved more or less than you thought you would. I decided to keep it positive this week, and talk about the books that pleasantly surprised me.

The Martian by Andy Weir // I’m not very well-read in the science fiction genre, which is the main reason I didn’t think I’d love this. Plus, I know only a basic amount of physics, chemistry and botany -thanks to high school. But I actually ended up loving this! I think that’s mostly due to Mark Watney’s sense of humor, because he made me laugh out loud several times while reading this. It also makes it a less dark read. Somehow it’s hilarious, even though he’s all alone on this planet without enough food/a rescue option.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl // For a while in the past few years, I stopped reading multiple genres and started focusing on just fantasy. So I was hesitant about this mystery novel, as it had been a while since I expanded my genres. But I ended up LOVING this. I was constantly speculating, wondering what happened, rooting for the journalist main character, and mind-blown by the incredible mixed media in this book.

Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram // When I started this, I thought it’d just be a cute modern retelling of Cinderella. Kind of like the movie ‘A Cinderella Story’? But this was so much more than that. I loved the representation of disability, healthy relationships, grief, and difficult family situations. 

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth // I read this in 2013, when I first discovered Goodreads. This is a historical fiction book about a teenage girl whose parents died while she was kissing another girl. It’s about the relief she feels because she won’t have to tell her parents about it, the grief and guilt, her living with her conservative aunt, and coming to terms with her sexuality. It’s an incredible book. Be warned, this is a very slow-paced book, and it’s nearly 500 pages long. But it’s so worth it. I think I want to re-read this soon, in anticipation of the adaptation. 

The Secret History by Donna Tartt // I don’t read general adult fiction often. So I’m always kind of afraid I won’t like it. Especially this book, because the writing is very… specific. I don’t know how to best explain this, but the students this book centers around study Ancient Greek and Latin. So both are used in the book, and references to the languages and culture. So I was afraid I wouldn’t get any of it. But I actually felt kind of smart while reading this. Plus, the story is just amazing.

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1) by Scott Lynch // I was in a reading slump when I started reading this book, and the first few pages felt like such a struggle. But then I started getting into the story. And now it’s one of my favorite fantasy series.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1) by Rae Carson // I was afraid this would be like any other YA fantasy I’ve read. You know what I mean: the story about the beautiful and incredibly talented kick-ass girl who is the only one that can save the world and falls in love with two guys at the same time. This definitely wasn’t. Elisa isn’t that girl. She’s chubby. She doesn’t exercise often. She’s smart, but she’s shy and afraid to give her opinion at times. She doesn’t know how to fight. But she just grows SO STRONG and wonderful in this trilogy. 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen // It’s no secret that I don’t have a great track record with classics. Aside from J.R.R. Tolkien’s work, I haven’t really enjoyed the ones I read. But this one… I actually ended up really enjoying! I was so surprised that I was attached to the characters and their story. I’m definitely going to read more Jane Austen. 

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma // I didn’t expect to love this book because it’s about a brother and sister who fall in love. That creeps me out. Really. But this book… It’s a masterpiece. I never felt uncomfortable while reading. Instead, I only felt empathy and sadness and grief. And I wanted to hug Lochan and Maya forever.

The Bone Witch (Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco // I was expecting to like this. It’s about a girl who discovers she’s a bone witch (and can raise the dead) when she accidentally raises her dead brother from the grave. I was hesitant when I started it though because it’s told in two timelines: one starts when she makes the discovery, the other when she’s a bone witch in exile. And I was afraid it wouldn’t work, as it’s like her current exile-character is telling her story to another character on the island (and that’s the other timeline). Kind of like The Name of the Wind? But I absolutely adored it. I can’t wait for the next book, because I need to know how she gets to the point in exile!


So those are 10 books I absolutely loved, even though I didn’t think I would. Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Which books did you enjoy more than you expected to?

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60 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved More Than I Thought I Would

    • I think it’s because they often started with wrong expectations of the book? It’s not a fast-paced, action-packed book… It’s more of a character-driven story, so it’s much slower. A bit like The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb are.

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  1. I think I remember you talking about “Cinder and Ella” one other time, so I’m curious about that one – especially since I 100% adore contemporary romances! 🙂

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  2. You wrote such a great post about this! Forbidden and The Martian great picks! I am not reading Forbidden because I fear I won’t like it cause of brother and sister thing too..It just creeps me out..
    Here’s My TTT

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  3. I’ve had Cameron Post on my kindle forever–you make me want to pull it up and get reading! Thanks. A note on a lot of classics and Austen esp. Two things help me–audio and a new thing called Serial Reader App (I don’t get anything from them for recommending them) I’m LOVING Les Mis in tiny daily bites (well, loving except that long unrelated ramble thru the Battle of Waterloo, but….) I will definitely be reading more classics that way. I’ve listened to most of Austen (or just watched the movie!!) it really is much nicer to listen to. Fun List!

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  4. The martian was on my list too! I don’t know how many times I laughed out loud when reading that book, and the movie actually did it justice.
    I really liked A Girl of Fire and Thorns too. I became a Rae Carson fan after that 🙂

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  5. Great list! 🙂 Yeah The Martian surprised me big time. Like I knew I would like it but I didn’t expect to love it. Pride and Prejudice…was not my cup of tea…read it last year and was close to becoming Austen-hater

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  6. I was expecting to like The Martian but not nearly as much as I did. The humor was such a pleasant surprise! I was also surprised by Girl of Fire and Thorns. I didn’t like the first half of the book, but it really grew on me, and the second and third books were great!

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  7. Forbidden is such an intense book, and I felt the same way about it. Maya and Lochan are such wonderful characters. I’ve been loving Rae Carson’s new YA series, so I’ll definitely have to read The Girl of Fire and Thorns some day soon!

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  8. I loved The Martian, it was amazing! I haven’t read a lot of these but I have heard good things about a ton of them. I’m actually reading The Bone Witch right now and you are so right, it totally is like The Name of the Wind! I’m enjoying it so far but it’s a little slow. I’m only 25% in so maybe it will pick up. I’m glad you loved it.

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  9. The Martian made my list too! I loved it! I actually just started to read The Bone Witch and I made the comparison to The Name of the Wind too. Glad I’m not the only one that thought that. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it tho. Great list!

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  10. Great list! So many of these books are on my TBR. I really need to get to The Lies of Locke Lamora, I haven’t heard a bad thing about it, and you’ve definitely made me want to pick up The Miseducation of Cameron Post and The Bone Witch. I haven’t read The Martian yet but I really enjoyed the movie, so I’m looking forward to reading some sci-fi with a sense of humour. =)

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  11. Yay, I’m glad you enjoyed “The Martian”, I loved every single page of that one! Mark Whatney is still one of my favorite characters ever and it was hilarious to watch him survive all alone, even if he was just planting potatoes XD

    I definitely liked “The Lies of Locke Lamora” more than expected, too! I usually don’t read that much fantasy and hadn’t really known what the series was about before I started it but after the rather confusing first chapters I enjoyed this story A LOT and especially loved the setting. Unfortunately I didn’t like the sequel quite as much and now I’m somewhat dreading the third book 😀

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  12. I wasn’t sure about The Lies of Locke Lamora either, I’d seen a lot of glowing reviews from the kind of guys I tend to avoid, but I really enjoyed it. Now I just need to read the rest. Forbidden is definetly on my TBR, but I think it’s one ‘ll have to be in the right mood for?

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  13. I really enjoyed forbidden and Pride and Prejudice is on me of my favourite classics!! I also have Girl of Fire and Thorns on my TBR 🙂 I have heard some really great things about it, so I really should get to it!

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