When I open a book or start reading it, I usually have some expectations, based on reviews, recommendations, even the cover. Some live up to my expectation, some surpass them, and some just don’t cut it.
Five Books I Enjoyed More than I Expected
- Yesterday’s Tomorrow by Catherine West – It’s a Christian romance by an author I had never heard of set in Vietnam during/after the war. I don’t tend to read Christian romances, not because I have anything against them, I just tend to thin they’ll be cheesy, and I never read war books. This one though was excellent. At the time, I wrote, “It has a richly developed setting and characters who I truly cared about, who I felt like I knew. I was laughing and sobbing, hoping and worrying along with them.”
- The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English by Roy Peter Clark – It’s a non-fiction book about grammar, how good could it be? My Goodreads review summed it up: “Loved it! Read it!” And it’s on my favorites shelf at home.
- The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen – I was only reading this for a group discussion. I don’t tend to read YA, with the occasional fantasy being the exception, but this contemporary story really sucked me in. I loved the characters and the honesty in the writing.
- The Kingdom on the Edge of Reality by Gahan Hanmer – The concept’s a little odd, a medieval town set up in the woods of modern Canada, and it wasn’t put out by a major publisher which tends to lower my expectations, but I really loved it. “It’s a unique, imaginative story, with great characters, good and bad. There’s romance and adventure, betrayals, sexual trysts and violence.”
- Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich – I’ve never enjoyed her Plum series, but the library had this audio available and I was desperate. Turned out cute and fun, not an amazingly wonderful book, but much more enjoyable than I expected, so much so that I listened to the second, too.
Five Books I Enjoyed Less than I Expected
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll – It’s a classic. It’s supposed to be fun and whimsical. I expected to enjoy it- I didn’t. I tried reading it again – still no.
- The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente – Everyone raved about this one. I just wasn’t a fan, but at least I wa reading it with my daughter who really enjoyed it, otherwise I probably would have just put it down. It’s probably the same general reason I don’t like Alice, I just can’t put my finger on what exactly it is.
- The Mothman Prophesies by John A. Keel – The movie was decent, I expected the book to be interesting, creepy. Instead was just blah and jumped around a lot.
- Skipping Christmas by John Grisham – I like Grisham, I love Christmas stories, wish i had skipped this one. I expected a fun seasonal read, instead I hated all the characters, didn’t care about the story and by the end felt manipulated. I’m told the movie’s better.
- The Woman in Black by Susan Hill – I expect a scary ghost story, but it wasn’t as spooky as I though it would be. There were some moments that were perfect, but overall it was a little boring and predictable. We started to watch the movie, but my husband made me turn it off. Maybe it was scarier than I gave it credit for.
What would be on your list?
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.