TTT #227 ~ Books That Defied My Expectations

Posted September 5, 2023 by Lillian in Features / 6 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookishย in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together

Happy Tuesday y’all! It’s been a while….like since April ๐Ÿซฃ But I thought it was long past time to jump back into the blog, and what better timing than with this week’s topic: “Books that defied my expectations.” There are so many books I’ve read that have exceeded my expectation or been a letdown or surprised me completely. Here are the top ten books that defied my expectations in no particular order. As always, titles/covers link to Amazon (affiliate), Goodreads, or the blog.


Five Books that I Thought I Wouldn’t Enjoy But Loved

Jana Goes Wild by Farah Heron: I really wasn’t sure about this book when I stared it. I enjoyed Kamila Knows Best, but hated, and I do mean HATED, Jana’s character, probably because of how much Kamila disliked her. But I adored this book. It was so good. I loved Jana, her daughter, and everything about it. I felt all the feels in this one and laughed a lot.

A Far Wilder Magic by Allison Saft: I put off reading this one for way longer than I should have. The blurb sounded promising, but I kept seeing so many negative reviews that I put it off. I really shouldn’t have because I know better. I thoroughly enjoyed this one! The magic and the sweet romance were wonderfully balanced and easy to follow. I loved the setting and how much the characters grow throughout the story. Highly recommend it!

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus: I don’t typically read thrillers or mysteries, even though that was my first love when I started reading on my own. It’s just not my thing. However, I devoured this book in one sitting. So much drama and mystery surrounding the three main characters it was hard not to be hooked. I loved the twists and turns, and for the first time in a long time was surprised by the ending.

Rebel Wing by Tracy Banghart: This was the first book I received from NetGalley back when I first started blogging, and it was the first book I ever DNFed. I dreaded reading this one, but so many of my blogger friends kept encouraging me to pick it up, so I finally decided to give it a second chance. It’s now one of my favorite series! I loved it so much. Fans of dystopian, sci-fi and strong heroines, I highly recommend.

The Princess and the Scoundrel by Beth Revis: My husband bugged me until I finally caved and found a buddy to read this one with. It wasn’t that I didn’t think I would enjoy it, more that I’ve never really cared for books written about movies or stories I already love. My first love was Han Solo, I grew up wanting to be Princess Leia. Those are two characters that are cemented and iconic in my brain. Y’all, I shouldn’t have doubted. I loved this story. I love how it continues and shows their life right after Return of the Jedi. So good! And if you are an audiobook lover, 100% recommend that version.

Five Books that I Thought I’d Love But Didn’t

The High Mountain Court by A.K. Mulford: I’m not really sure what to say about this one. I’d seen a few people on BookTok raving about it and how it was the next ACOTAR (which you all know I loved) so I thought I’d give it a try. It’s not that I didn’t like it. I did, but there were a lot of areas for improvement, and I’m not sure I want to continue the series after finishing.

The Isles of the Gods by Amie Kaufman: This one pains me to include in this list. I love Amie Kaufman’s books she’s co-written with Meagan Spooner and Jay Kristoff. I love them so much she is an auto-buy, drop-everything-and-read author for me. This book just missed the mark for me. It’s a YA fantasy, there’s a little romance, a lot of adventure, and a coup, but nothing held my attention.

The Poison Season by Mara Rutherford: I really wanted to love this book. I’ve enjoyed the author’s other books in the past and was so excited for this one. But it just didn’t work out for me. I wound up not finishing it after forcing myself through the first half of the book. I didn’t care for the characters, didn’t really understand the magic system, and to be completely honest, it was dull.

The Dragon’s Promise by Elizabeth Lim: This was one of my most highly anticipated books last year, however it did not live up to my expectations. I don’t know if I set the bar to high in my head or if it was the book itself. There was a lot of rehashing and repeating of the storyline and not enough forward progression or growth of the characters. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the book, but it just wasn’t what I expected at all.

Belle Morte by Bella Higgin: I had high hopes for this one. Vampires have been making a come back (did they ever really go away?), and they are my favorite paranormal creature. I wanted to like it, but was put off by the cliche tropes and slow paced beginning. The ending hooked me though so to my own chagrin I attempted to read the second book which came out this year. I didn’t finish it….

Your Turn! What books exceeded your expectations or were a letdown? Share in the comments below โค๏ธ

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