T10T: Books That Surprised Me (For Better or Worse)


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

This week’s prompt was to pick ten books that surprised me, in a good or bad way! I decided to pick 5 of each.


1. Furyborn — Claire Legrand: FOR WORSE
This was my most recent major disappointment. I didn’t go into it with particularly good vibes, but I thought I would at least like it a little bit. Unfortunately, I found very few redeeming qualities in it and DNFed it about 200 pages in.

2. The Hunger Games — Suzanne Collins: FOR BETTER
A lot of people have no idea, given how much I adore the trilogy to this day, but it took a ton of my friends begging me to, before I ever picked up THG for the first time. Of course, I was hooked instantly.

3. Caraval — Stephanie Garber: FOR WORSE
I love the whole tournament/game trope in books, and I love twisted carnival settings. Between those two details, and the hype, I thought I would LOVE Caraval, but I was actually really disappointed. 😦

4. Royal Bastards — Andrew Shvarts: FOR BETTER
I wasn’t pessimistic about this book, but I really had no clue what to expect. The synopsis sounded okay, but it was one of those that just kept calling to me, for some reason, so I finally requested an ARC of it… and ended up devouring it in one day when I got approved. I already have an eARC of the sequel, and I’m just trying to make myself wait until a little closer to its June release.

5. Final Girls — Riley Sager: FOR WORSE
This book came so highly recommended by sooo many of my friends that I was ecstatic when I was sent an ARC, but I hated it (almost) every step of the way and gave it 1 star in the end.


6. The Lightning Thief — Rick Riordan: FOR BETTER
I was really worried that I had missed the train on Percy, but I was so pleasantly surprised when I picked this one up last summer, and each subsequent title in the series has impressed me just as much. I feel like I can safely say I would now purchase anything Rick writes.

7. Fables, Vol 3 — Bill Willingham: FOR WORSE
After how much I enjoyed the first two volumes, I figured the whole series would be a gem, but I was soooo not into this 3rd one, and actually still haven’t continued the series.

8. Captive Prince — C. S. Pacat: FOR BETTER
This series gets such controversial responses that I had resigned myself to not expect very much from it besides what I assumed would be a trashy, junk food sort of experience. I never thought I would love the trilogy so much or obsess over the characters to these lengths.

9. All Rights Reserved — Gregory Scott Katsoulis: FOR WORSE
A dystopian novel about a world in which the very words we say or gestures we make are copyrighted? Sign me up! … or so I thought. This was such a disappointment, mainly due to what was ultimately just poor writing, in my opinion.

10. Stalking Jack the Ripper — Kerri Maniscalco: FOR BETTER
I love hist-fic and stories about serial killers, but for some reason, my hopes weren’t particularly high for this one until I picked it up and immediately fell in love with Audrey’s character (and Thomas’, too). ❤

What was the last book to surprise you – good or bad? Let me know in the comments!



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Just a 26-year-old children's librarian trying to juggle motherhood, grad school, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

63 thoughts on “T10T: Books That Surprised Me (For Better or Worse)

    1. Isn’t it strange? I also think it’s weird that it was hyped SO HARD before it released, when almost nobody got to read ARCs of it… *shrug* Good marketing, I guess? Haha yesss, I cannot wait for Escaping From Houdini! I need more Thomas and Audrey in my life ASAP ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. *Nodding here* … Maybe it really is good marketing. hehe… I was trying to get an ARC of book 2 bcoz I thought maybe I’ll be motivated to read Caraval if I have its sequel for free.. Sadly I didnt get it. 🙂

        Me too.. I need Thomas and Audrey…


  1. I still need to read Stalking Jack the Ripper so I’ll have to see if my library has it! And it’s been such a long time since I read The Hunger Games, I should probably give it a reread sometime this year 🙂


  2. This is why I’ve been too nervous to read Caraval. I was so excited to get my hands on a copy, but there was SO MUCH HYPE and I knew that it wasn’t going to be able to live up to my expectations. I’m hoping to get it read before Legendary releases, but I’m sure I’m going to end up disappointed.

    Here’s my TTT.


  3. Aww I loved the Percy Jackson series when I read it in middle school! ❤ I haven't read much by Rick Riordan since then, though… I'll have to fix that!


      1. I know how you feel. Even though I haven’t read it yet, at first, all I was seeing were five-star OMG-you-have-to-read-this reviews. And then the flood of WHAT WAS I THINKING started pouring in. Definitely something I’ll borrow from the library. 😀


  4. Great post, completely agree with you over Caraval as it fell way below expectations. I almost didn’t pick up The Hunger Games but am so glad I did as it’s now one of my favourites and will always hold a special place in my heart 💜💜


  5. I am super glad you were pleasantly surprised by Percy, I saw it there and was like “NOOOO, someone who doesn’t love my favourite series!”. Course you would be perfectly entitled not to, but I’m glad you enjoyed it anyway! Shame you didn’t enjoy Caraval, but I know plenty of people feel the same way. The Hunger Games, I also loved, though I was kind of expecting to anyway.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/13/top-ten-tuesday-150/


  6. Great list! I loved Percy Jackos too and I read it in the late stage as well, alos Fury born was a dissapointment for me too but I powered trough it.


  7. Your list makes me so happy! Not only am I thrilled to see Captive Prince on here – it’s one of my favorite trilogies ever! – but I also feel validated that I’m not the only person who wasn’t into Caraval. So many people rave about it, but I was majorly disappointed.

    My TTT.


  8. I missed T10T this week but I definitely want to post it tomorrow instead because it’s such a good prompt.

    Caraval was one of the first books I picked up as a book blogger and I felt the same as you. I really liked the premise but there were bits of it that just fell really flat for me and the end was super predictable, which is a shame because I really liked the world!


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