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?