This week's Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is an interesting one. The Top Ten Books I Liked MORE/LESS Than I Expected. Which is a totally legitimate sentiment, sometimes books don't live up to the hype that's built up for them or sometimes they surpass your expectations.
I'm gonna break this up into two halves. 1-5 will be books that surprised me in a good way, while 6-10 will be books that surprised me in a not so good way. Okay?
1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee - To be honest, I expected to like this book. I've heard nothing but good things about it throughout my life. But, what happened? I loved this book. I seriously could not put it down. And when I did have to put it down I was scolding myself for waiting so long to read it. So, it surprised me in just how much it would affect me and just how much I adored this story.
2. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Toliken - This is similar to my reaction to To Kill A Mockingbird. I knew I would enjoy The Hobbit. People swear by this book. But I did have some friends tell me that Toliken's writing (while brilliant) can get boring and hard to wade through. However, I loved this story and the writing and everything about it.
3. The Maze Runner by James Dashner - I'd heard mixed reviews about this book. It was too male-focued; too gruesome; to dark. But, you know what? It was an excellent audiobook. I loved listening to this story and enjoyed the characters. I went into it unsure of the story and went out of it eager to get my hands on the next book in the series.
4. Reached by Ally Condie - I really didn't enjoy Crossed. It was just such a book that was needed to get the characters from one place to another and fill in the gap between the first and the last book. So I wasn't prepared to like Reached but still had to read it to finish out the series and see what happened. And? Loved it. It was such a redeeming book to close out the series and fully understand this society and these characters. Nice job, Condie!
5. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher - I was ready to be depressed by this book. A novel about suicide? How can anyone like that? But I really really liked this book. I appreciate it for it's message and the ingenious way it presented it.
6. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - This book was such a let down for me. Katniss was built up so well through the first book but by the end of the series? She just let me down in so many ways and so often that I had a hard time appreciating this book much at all. I know a lot of you probably have your jaws on the floor reading this, but I feel like it was a lackluster conclusion to a very (potentially) powerful series.
7. The Magicians by Lev Grossman - Billed as "Harry Potter for the grown ups" - so of course I had to read it. What was it? Blatantly used bits of Harry Potter, Narnia, and other fantasy favorites mixed up with swearing and alcohol. All in all? Not a good read at all.
8. City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare - What an excellent trilogy Clare had on her hands. And then she ruined it with a fourth book that was just not fun to read. Thank God the fifth book was amazing because otherwise I think extending it past three books could have been a huge mistake.
9. Tuesdays With Moorie by Mitch Albom - Everyone loves this book. I appreciated it when I was reading it, sure. But in the end it was such a narcissistic ego-boost for Albom that all that was good about it got pushed to the sidelines. It was so hyped up of a book and it fell so flat for me.
10. The Awakening (Vampire Diaries #1) by L.J. Smith - I love me some TVD on TV. The books? Awful. Don't bother, okay?