February 21, 2017

Books That Were More Than I Expected

Today's Top Ten Tuesday topic is books I liked more than I expected to like them. This should be interesting. Let's see if I can even remember what I thought about books before I read them.

Going back a couple of years, I found Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. I remember thinking I'd give it a try, after all it couldn't possibly take too long to read, it's mostly pictures. But I fell right into it. It's pretty fascinating and the pictures just add to the entertainment.

Of course, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I expected to like it because I'd heard good things about it. But I wasn't prepared to love it. I loved it. I'm pretty sure I've read it at least twice.

Lock-In by John Scalzi - I had to read this for a book talk I was giving. I expected it to be regular old sci-fi. I expected to have to slog through it. But it was fantastic. It was actually a mystery. Yes there was weird robot stuff in a future America, but that wasn't the main plot. And it was funny.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent - I got this as an Advanced Reader Copy from the library. It was a debut novel, so I wasn't super stoked about it. It's hard to get stoked about a book by an author you don't know anything about. I ended up reading it for book club. It was sooooo good! Beautifully written and an interesting plot based on a true story. Yes, please.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel - This is another one I read for that book talk situation. It had every opportunity of being depressing. I mean it's a post-apocalyptic novel. But it was funny and haunting and ultimately hopeful.

The Rabbit-Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen - No one is surprised to see this one on the list. This one totally blew me away. I don't actually remember thinking anything about this book, but I am sure I didn't expect to love it as much as I do.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan - I expected this one to be real chick-litty. It was a little bit, but it was also hilarious and actually better written than I expected.

Illuminae* by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - This is YA sci-fi, so I expected it to be a bit dumb. It wasn't the least bit dumb. It was smart, entertaining, only a little romance-y, and written in such a neat way with emails, chat conversations, and government documents.

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin - I read this because it was a Sequoyah nominee last year. It's YA, so meh. Also, it's about post-World War II Hitler and alternative history. So much meh involved in that description. But it was amazing! Not about romance, it was completely about a girl who had been altered by Nazi Germany. Like genetically altered. And she wants revenge on Hitler. It was action-packed and not even about love at all.

The most recent book that was better than I expected was The Pecan Man by Cassie Dandridge Selleck. This was the February Book Club book. It is self-published and it looks it. Fortunately it was small so it wouldn't waste a lot of my time to read it. It turned out to be an excellent story. There were some definite plot holes but over all it was very well done.

What were some books that pleasantly surprised you? Or unpleaseantly?