Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books that Surprised Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted byΒ That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week there is a new topic for bloggers to choose and list their top ten. This week’s theme is Top Ten Books that Surprised Me.

In my opinion there’s nothing better than when a book surprises me in a good way. A lot of the books I’ve picked up on a whim have ended up being incredible reads I’m grateful I discovered. However it seems like for every amazing book out there there has been one that ended up really disappointing me, so for this week’s topic I split my list in two and featured five books that surprised me in a good way and five that surprised me in a bad way.

Top Ten Tuesday #97

Books that Surprised Me in a Good Way

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

Despite loving Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle series I was nervous about picking up All the Crooked Saints. Why? Because of the negative reviews I saw for it. I went into All the Crooked Saints with low expectations but actually I really enjoyed it, and it ended up being a five star read for me.

A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

When I first read the blurb for this book I expected a light-hearted and slightly humorous story, and the first page enforced that opinion, but the further I got into A Semi-Definitive List the more I realised it was so much more than that. It’s a beautiful and moving story I fell in love with.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Like All the Crooked Saints this is one I went into with lowered expectations because of all the negative reviews I saw for it. While Throne of Glass isn’t Sarah J. Maas’s strongest book, the series definitely got better with Crown of Midnight, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting it to be.

Warcross by Marie Lu

I knew I was going to enjoy Warcross before I picked it up, it was written by Marie Lu so there was never really any doubt, but where this book surprised me was the ending. There were two twists and one I never saw coming, it left me shocked and beyond desperate for the next book in the series.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

When it comes to Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Saga there are so many twists that I’m never sure where I am in his books. I can’t keep up with how Darrow’s mind works and I never know if my favourite characters are going to survive until the end, but I’ve loved every single page of the series so far.

Books that Surprised Me in a Bad Way

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

I didn’t have high expectations for The One Memory of Flora Banks, although it sounded like a good book, but I ended up being really disappointed. There were so many issues with the plot and the character development was problematic in places, the only thing I can say I enjoyed was the setting.

All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry

Magical realism is one of my favourite genres, and I liked Samantha Mabry’s debut novel so I had high expectations for All the Wind in the World. While I liked the story and the setting I hated the main character, and actually looking back I think my initial rating of three stars was too high.

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins

This book is marketed as ‘Twelve Love Stories’, it’s part of the title, but most of the short stories in this book were forgettable, and I wouldn’t call some of them ‘Love Stories’ at all. Basically if this anthology was supposed to be a romantic on it seriously missed its mark.

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

Normally I’m not a fan of love triangles, but a book that promises to turn the trope on its head? Sign me up. Unfortunately The Love Interest was lacking when it came to the character and relationship development, and while I wouldn’t say it was a bad book it wasn’t what I’d hoped it would be.

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

Reading the blurb for The Crown’s Game I expected to read a story about an epic battle between two powerful enchanters set in a magical world. Instead what I got was a weak story where the main purpose of the competition was to decorate Russia for the Prince’s upcoming birthday.

So what do you think? Did you take part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, if so let me know what books surprised you. Are there any on my list that you agree with, or are there any you disagree with.

54 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books that Surprised Me

  1. Oh I really loved Warcross as well and the plot twists, ahhhh I did not predict any of these and I was shocked haha. I am still dying to read the next book, I can’t wait for it to be released… when it is again, September or something? WAY too far away, that’s all I remember πŸ˜…
    I was interested in reading Flora Banks, at first, it sounded like my kind of story, yet… with some bad reviews from trusted bloggers like you, I feel like I’m going to have to pass on that one and give time to better books πŸ™‚
    Lovely list! πŸ™‚ x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not 100% sure when it’s being released either but I do know it’s way too far in the future (or it certainly feels that way at this point!) After the cliffhanger and the ending to Warcross I just need book two in my hands pretty much now.
      I know there are a few people who liked it, I dunno you may be one of those people Marie, but it really really wasn’t for me so I can’t say I’d recommend it at all. There are better books out there for sure!
      Thanks so much. πŸ™‚ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Semi Definitive List Of Nightmares is sitting too long on my bookshelves T_T LOL Great list!! I’m happy you end up liking All The Crooked Saints too πŸ˜€ AND YESSS FOR RED RISINGG !! I’ve missed your posts ❀ Its been too long but Im back LOOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh, definitely pick it up soon then, and I really hope you like it as well Trang!
      Thanks so much, yeah I heard mixed things about All the Crooked Saints but I ended up loving it, and Red Rising just had to have a place on this list, it’s incredible.
      Also welcome back Trang! πŸ˜€ ❀


  3. Wonderful list, Beth. Interesting to see Marie Lu’s book on here since it seemed like all her books have now become insta-buys and books you’re almost always sure to enjoy ever since you reread her original series! But the twists it had sure does sound awesome! Same for Red Rising! Can’t wait to try that one out honestly!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been thinking of All the Crooked Saints lately lol, seeing it here on your TTT is yet another sign I should start it in the very near future. I also heard the audiobook is done really well so I just might go that route. My heart skips beats whenever I see another bookworm get its Howler patch! I’m so glad you love that series cause I love that series & we are far & few between lol! happy reading Beth <3!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d recommend All the Crooked Saints for sure Lilly. There are a fair few mixed reviews for it but I really enjoyed it, and fingers crossed you will as well. Oh the Red Rising series is one of my all-time favourites. Honestly I don’t think there’s another series I read last year that can even come close!
      Thanks Lilly, you too. πŸ™‚ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Red rising surprised me too but I picked it up without knowing much about it. I hadn’t read anything about anywhere in the book community. I mainly picked it up because I knew they were doing mining on mars! I absolutely loved it and can’t wait to read the rest of the series. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh see my friend recommended the book to me, and it was only her recommendation that stopped me from DNF-ing it I have to say. I ended up loving the book and the series and yeah I can’t wait for the next one to be released either!
      Thanks so much. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad that all the books I loved/want to read are in the surprise you in a good way category πŸ˜‰ I’ve heard really mixed things about all the crooked saints too, but am very keen to read it. And yeah I agree about TOG (it does get better with the second book, but the first one’s not bad). And I adore Red Rising πŸ˜€ I’m super keen for semi definitive list and warcross. I did like the one memory of flora banks, but now that I try to remember it, I think it was pretty forgettable (which is a little ironic πŸ˜‰ ) It’s such a shame Love Interest didn’t live upto its premise- I loved the sound of it too- but have only heard meh things about it. Such a shame crown’s game wasn’t as good as it sounds too. Awesome post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that is good, and hopefully seeing them will push the ones you want to read a little further up your TBR list as well! πŸ˜€
      I hope you enjoy All the Crooked Saints then, and oh Red Rising is one of my all-time favourite series. I’m so excited for the next book to be released.
      Ha, that is actually, but in my opinion the fact that it’s forgettable is only a good thing. The fact that you’re opinion for The Love Interest is a little lower may end up being a good thing if you ever get around to reading it, and yeah can’t say I recommend The Crown’s Game at all.
      Thanks so much! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ooh, I agree about Red Rising and Throne of Glass! I saw amazing things about Red Rising, but the start had me feeling a bit meh…but then the middle happened and I couldn’t stop reading and then it as obsessed. πŸ˜‚ I also saw a bunch of negative reviews for TOG, but I read a sample and enjoyed it so much that I bought a copy! And now I’m trash. 😭

    I so agree with The Love Interest! The concept was amazing, but the execution fell totally flat. I’m hoping his sophomore novel will be better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With Red Rising I feel like if you can get past the slow beginning you’re hooked! It was definitely that way for me but I came so close to DNF-ing it a few times I’m not gonna lie. πŸ™‚ Throne of Glass was one where I just heard so many bad things no book could have been that bad you know?
      Finger’s crossed. Sometimes you get authors who’s work gets better with each release, hopefully that’s what’ll happen here! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I really agree with the One Memory of Flora Banks. Oh boy… so many repetitions in the writing style that could’ve been handled better. And TBH if I read one specific line one more time I’m going to scream and cry hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s a shame about Empire of Storms, for me the series has just got better and better with each release. The last book is being released soon so hopefully that will be the best of the lot for the both of us right? πŸ˜€


  9. I LOVED Warcross – and I totally agree about the ending. I saw one of the twists coming from relatively early on, but the other one just blew me away! I can’t wait for the next one!
    I also agree with The Crowns Game. I was extremely excited for it pre release because it sounded amazing, but it really fell short of my expectations and I just didn’t love it.
    Great list 😊❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I almost feel like a lot of people saw one of the twists coming but were surprised about the other (I wonder if we’re all talking about the same twist, for me the one I saw coming was who Zero (I think that was the hackers name right?) really was).
      Yeah part of me wonders if my expectations for The Crown’s Game were too high, but at the same time considering everyone else’s opinion it can’t have been wholly that.
      Thanks so much Lauren. πŸ™‚ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Loved Warcross and was also pretty underwhelmed with The Crown’s Game. I was sure I’d love it! But it was just a mess of a love triangle.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha true. I really liked the writing, but I found the characterization weak. Oh well…the books sure do make pretty Bookstagram props anyway!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I disliked the One Memory of Flora Banks so much when I read it. I got an eARC for it and saw all those positive reviews and then felt like the black sheep for disliking it, but it was dreadful!! I am kind of relieved to see it on your “bad surprises” list here.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah I remember seeing a lot of excitement for The One Memory of Flora Banks when it was released so when I got around to it I figured it would be really good.
      It wasn’t.
      I get what you mean about feeling like the black sheep but you’re definitely not alone on that one! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

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