Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Surprised Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic: 
Books That Surprised Me 
Is there a book you thought you’d love, but ended up hating? Was there a book you thought you’d hate but really loved? Major plot twist? Main character ends up with someone you weren’t expecting? Were you expecting a certain something from a certain author and they went completely rogue?


THE GOOD SURPRISE

A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas
Sooo not my usual kind of read, but the synopsis of this one appealed to me (and that cover!) so I took a chance. Paid off big time!

The Edge of Jupiter - Lora Richardson
I'm usually wary (i.e. run away screaming) of unsolicited ARCs but this one was the exception to the rule. I loved it!

The Way I Used to Be - Amber Smith
I downloaded this one on audio without knowing much about it - and was surprised by what an impact it made on me. Unforgettable.

Unraveling Oliver - Liz Nugent
Psychological suspense? Something I never pick up. But I was totally captivated by this audio book. 

Royally Screwed - Emma Chase
I was in the mood for light and fluffy and got more than I bargained for. Yes, it was a lot of fun but I was surprised at how emotional it was!

Written in Red - Anne Bishop
Urban fantasy + Me? That's something that had never happened before. But The Others is now one of my favorite series.


THE NOT-SO-GOOD SURPRISE

Wintersong - S. Jae Jones
Inspired by Labyrinth? Has a Goblin King? Count me in! Unfortunately there was little evidence of Labyrinth, the Goblin King fell flat (sob!), and the story moved at a snails pace.

Up in Flames - Abbi Glines
I loved the Rosemary Beach series. Hardcore. But this last book in the series that I was so excited for? It was like a bad soap opera with even less substance. A slap in the face to the rest of the series.

Reason to Breathe - Rebecca Donovan
It's not that I didn't like this one. It just wasn't (at all) what I was expecting. I anticipated a new adult novel with dark themes; what I got was a YA story filled with high school drama (in addition to some darker themes).

A Thousand Boy Kisses - Tillie Cole
I knew I was going to love this one. I just knew it! Oh, how very wrong I was. It was sooo sappy and sooo overly emotional, every word practically screaming This Is A Sad Book Meant To Make You Cry! So schmaltzy that I practically gagged. I truly disliked it. 


Have you read any of these books?

35 comments

  1. The Way I Used to Be is on my list to read. Unraveling Oliver sounds great too. The others I haven't considered, but they aren't always what I reach for...though Royally Screwed sounds like it could be fun.

    http://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/2018/03/top-ten-tuesday-books-that-surprised-me.html

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    1. I hope you’ll enjoy The Way I Used To Be if/when you get around to it. Sometimes I wanted to shake Eden and sometimes I wanted to hug her. The Royally series is so good! I’m actually listening to the third one on audio now. :)

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  2. Book surprises are the best. :) I've been eyeing the Others series since I've seen some very postive reviews for Lake silence...

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    1. Read The Others series, read The Others series!
      There, have you given in to the peer pressure yet? ;-)

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  3. I haven't read anything by Abbi Glines, sorry that was a disappointment!

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    1. Abbi Glines is my go-to for total brain candy. :) Other than that last book, the Rosemary Beach series was totaly addictive.

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  4. I've only read Unraveling Oliver but I did find it intriguing! I still need to read The Others series. :) It's definitely nice when you get a good book surprise.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I’ve become a total book pusher when it comes to The Others series. LOL I never would have thought it was something I would enjoy, but now I’m hooked. :)

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  5. I still need to read A Court of Thorns and Roses! It's been recommend to me many, many times. I'm happy to see you enjoyed it, too! I've added all the others on Goodreads, so thank you for that!

    I have Wintersong, but haven't gotten around to it. I loved the synopsis, but your reasons for not liking it worry me... I feel like those things would bother me, too.

    Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. Always happy to add to someone else's TBR. LOL #sorrynotsorry
      I was so surprised at how much I loved ACOTAR. It was my favorite book of 2015. And then I loved the second book even more. Such a great trilogy.
      Wintersong... *sigh* I was so excited for that one. I will say that I know a lot of people who have loved it so maybe it's just me.

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  6. sorry to hear Wintersong disappointed you :( I was really looking forward to it myself

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    1. Don't let me dissuade you, Lily! My opinion probably isn't the popular opinion because I know several people who really loved it. It could have been a matter of my own expectations.

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  7. My heart physically hurts seeing an Abbi Glines on the bad-way list. I have not read Nan's book, but I am disappointed that the final book in this series was not great. I read a Tillie Cole (Sweet Home) book because people in my romance groups rave about her books, but I was not that impressed. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. I had added Unraveling Oliver after you posted about it, and now I added the Juniper book. They sound awesome to me.

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    1. I remember seeing Abbi at ApollyCon before I'd read the book and she was all, "Oh, you're going to love Nan. Her story will make you change your mind about her." Uh, no, no it didn't. It wasn't even Nan so much as it was the entire plot. It was just so ridiculous and so over the top and unbelievable. After loving the previous 12 books so much, I've decided to just pretend that one never happened. Ha!

      I go back and forth on whether to try Tillie Cole again. Some of her "darker" romances are still on my TBR. And a friend who loves TC swears that A Thousand Boy Kisses is not a good representation of her usual work. Maybe I'll try another at some point.

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  8. I was extremely disappointed with Wintersong too! There was so much hype about the release (and there still a ton of hype for the sequel) and I don't understand it at all. The romance dominated the story, which would have been fine if I liked either of the characters. I wished that there was more goblin magic and less angsty interactions.

    I have always loved faeries and such, so my love of ACOTAR was not exactly a surprise. However, I am surprised how much I loved the later books, especially the romance. To me, ACOTAR was more New Adult than YA, which was definitely a switch from my norm. However, like you said, the results were worth it!

    Tessa @ Crazy for YA

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    1. Yes! Glad to see I'm not alone about Wintersong. It was so not what I was expecting. It just plodded along with page after page about music composition and Liesl's angsty feelings about the Goblin Kings and it felt like nothing much ever happened. And then I read rave reviews and I'm like, "Did we read the same book?" LOL

      I agree that the ACOTAR series is more NA than YA, especially as the books progressed. ACOMAF just blew me away - so much love for that one! And now I'm crazy excited for A Court of Frost and Starlight. I so was not ready to say goodbye to that world.

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  9. Unraveling Oliver and Written in Red are on my TBR so glad they were good surprises!!

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    1. I totally enjoyed both. Hope you will, too!

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  10. Oh Emma Chase! Love her. I haven't done that series yet but I do own the books. Glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. I'm actually listening to the third book in the series right now. I want to gobble up everything Emma Chase has written! :)

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  11. I am so ready to be pleasantly surprised by ACOTAR like you were! I need to get over this ridiculous phobia to the fae! LOL

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    1. LOL I didn't know you were fae-phobic! :)

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    2. yup! also Zombie and dragon phobias! LOL I also suffer from "seasonal" allergies that last two-three years. I got over the last one which was vampires. I hope. As long as they don't start to sparkle again I think I'll be fine :) I like my fangers not sparkly thank you very much :)

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  12. Oh the surprises, right? I've not read any of the ones on your list. I do have Anne Bishop's Written in Red on my TBR pile so hopefully I'll love it, too.

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    1. I really loved Written In Red! It was such a great introduction book to the series and I was instantly hooked. :)

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  13. So I was thinking of reading The Others, but then Val told me that the subsequent books were kind of letdowns for her so now I am torn! I liked ACOTAR more than I thought I would too! And sorry about Wintersong- I liked it but I also knew basically nothing of Labyrinth, so I assume that helped. I'm chuckling at your description of A Thousand Boy Kisses, too :D

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    1. Aw, that's too bad Val didn't enjoy the rest of the series. I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum... I just got more and more into the world Bishop created. Totally invested in that cast of characters. Wintersong - meh. Maybe I set myself up for that one with too many preconceived notions. And A Thousand Boy Kisses - ugh! I wish I could scrub it from my brain! LOL

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  14. I'm so glad you ended up loving A Court of Thorns and Roses! I adored the first book, too, but ended up giving up on the series b/c of love triangle issues that I have no heart to deal with. xD I've heard amazing things about The Way I Used to Be and The Others, too!

    On the contrary, I'm pretty sure already that I'll hate A Thousand Boy Kisses. xD Maybe I might end up feeling the opposite when I actually read it!?

    - Aimee @ Aimee, Always

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    1. Aw, sorry to hear you didn't continue. I never really felt like there was much of a love triangle in the books but everyone has their own interpretation, of course. :) The Way I Used to Be really packed a punch... and The Others... so hooked on that series! If you ever get to A Thousand Boy Kisses I'd love to see what you make of it. So many people love so I need someone who feels like me so we can rip it up. LOL

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  15. I loved The Way I Used to Be. I still need to read A Court of Thorns and Roses.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. The Way I Used to Be was so powerful. I want to read more by Amber Smith.

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  16. Expectations can be a curse sometimes because it's so disappointing when a book doesn't live up to them! Glad you've ended up really enjoying some books you didn't expect to though! ACOTAR and Wintersong are two I really want to get to this year (though I know Wintersong is on your negative list). Maybe I'll enjoy it more since I haven't seen Labyrinth and don't really know what to expect.

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    1. I think that's exactly what happened with Wintersong. I went in with certain expectations and preconceived notions of what it would be like and... that sunk it for me. Since you haven't seen Labyrinth and won't be doing the same I imagine you'll have a much better experience.

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  17. I had been so excited to read Wintersong! But when it was released I saw many reviews that were quite negative that convinced me to take it off my TBR.

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    1. Yep, I should have paid more attention to reviews, but I was so on-board with the Labyrinth inspiration, plus I had a friend who loved it (I know question her sanity LOL) so I went for it. Womp womp.

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