This week's Top Ten Tuesday on The Broke and the Bookish is: Top Ten Books That Weren't What I Expected. This week was a freebie - meaning I can choose any topic I want. And because I've read a few books in the past year that really surprised me, I thought this would be a good chance to look back over some of them.
For the Better:
Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel
The Martian - Andy Weir
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
The Girl On the Train - Paula Hawkins
Reality Boy - A.S. King
These books weren't what I expected for a few different reasons. Either the story went in an entirely different direction than I anticipated (Gone Girl), they were much more amusing (The Martian), the writing was more beautiful than the genre usually delivers (Station Eleven and The Girl On the Train) or the story just wasn't what the jacket blurb led me to expect (Reality Boy). But these all have one thing in common: in spite of (or because of) these surprising turns, they were all excellent.
For the Worse:
Roomies - Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
These Broken Stars - Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Going Bovine - Libba Bray
Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
The Vacationers - Emma Straub
Now for the books that underwhelmed me. These ones were seriously over-hyped (These Broken Stars), had good concepts or settings with poor execution (Going Bovine and The Vacationers), had plots that didn't impress me, or characters whose personalities or behaviour turned me off (Anna and the French Kiss and Roomies). Again, there's one common thread: These all had so much potential. In all of them there was a great idea, a truly fantastic character or a whimsical setting I wanted to lose myself in. Which, I think, contributed to them standing out as being disappointing - books that universally suck I quickly forget about!
What about you guys? Do any books stand out to you as having completely turned your expectations upside down? Did you experience any of my surprise while reading these books? Share in the comments!