TOP TEN TUESDAY: Top ten books I loved more than I thought I would

(Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish!)

We’ve all been there.
You hear loads of bad reviews about a book, people going absolutely crazy about how awful it is, but you’d been looking forward to it so you decide to pick it up anyway and, surprisingly, you love it.
Or you hear so many good things that you know there’s no possible way that the book can live up to the hype… But it does.
These ten books are ones that I’d presumed I wouldn’t enjoy, and ended up really liking.

10) ‘Our Chemical Hearts’ by Krystal Sutherland

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I heard so many mixed reviews for ‘Our Chemical Hearts’ – countless five star reviews and a huge number of one star reviews – that I almost didn’t pick it up. I was nervous as heck. I shouldn’t have been: I adored Krystal’s portrayal of first love and the way that loss always stays with you.

9) ‘Wondrous’ by Travis M. Riddle

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I’ve received a few review requests over the years that have gone terribly. Books that verged on a thousand pages, droning on and on, completely impossible to finish – books that were hardly edited at all, with thousands of inconsistencies and spelling errors.
Thankfully, ‘Wondrous’ suffered from neither of these issues, and I adored the world that Travis created. It was so much fun!

8) ‘Nothing Tastes as Good’ by Claire Hennessy

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I always worry about reading stories that feature anorexia, because it’s a topic very close to my heart. I loved ‘Wintergirls’ by Laurie Halse Anderson, but I hated ‘Massive’ by Julia Bell. Luckily, ‘Nothing Tastes as Good’ was another title that I enjoyed – Claire handled the disorder beautifully, and went to great lengths to avoid glamourising it.

7) ‘Persuasion’ by Jane Austen

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We’ve all heard tales of people loved and lost, but what happens when those lost loved ones return and seem to be moving on with someone else? This is the struggle that Anne Elliot finds herself trying to deal with. I thought ‘Persuasion’ sounded boring at first glance, but it ended up being one of the more dramatic of Jane Austen’s novels.

6) ‘How Not To Disappear’ by Clare Furniss

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I was nervous about reading this book. It sounded a lot like Jenny Downham’s ‘Unbecoming’, but with the added bonus of a girl experiencing an unexpected pregnancy and wondering whether to get an abortion. Thankfully Clare Furniss dealt with everything in this book BEAUTIFULLY, and it quickly became one of my favourite books of all time.

5) ‘Girl Online: Going Solo’ by Zoe Sugg

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There was much less solo Penny than advertised in the title, but I still think this book showed Zoe’s writing getting stronger with each release (and, hopefully, with the more writing she does herself, rather than using a ghostwriter). I hated the first book and was mildly aggravated by the second, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

4) ‘Icicles Like Kindling’ by Sara Raasch

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Most novellas end up being disappointing and unnecessary, but ‘Icicles Like Kindling’ actually added something to the world of the trilogy it accompanies. We get to know Meira on a deeper level, and can fully understand her motivation throughout ‘Snow Like Ashes’ by seeing the event that started it all. You can read it free online here to see whether you agree with me or not.

3) ‘The Heartfix’ by Stella Grey

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Okay, I judged this one harshly from the outside. In my opinion, a tell-all memoir isn’t as effective if you’re writing under a pseudonym. It takes away some of the authenticity, some of the ballsiness that writing a memoir requires in the first place. But I ended up really enjoying ‘The Heartfix’, laughing at all of the crazy dating antics that Stella experienced in her search for love after her divorce.

2) ‘The Restaurant at the End of the Universe’ by Douglas Adams

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I wasn’t blown away by ‘The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, but I LOVED the second book in the series. Having read them all now, I can categorically state that ‘The Restaurant at the End of the Unvierse’ is the best of all five stories – even if you don’t read past it, I’d highly recommend reading the first two installments.

1) ‘The Invasion of the Tearling’ by Erika Johansen

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I hated the first book in the Tearling series, then ended up being severely disappointed by the last installment, but the second book was sheer perfection.

I hope you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday! The Broke and The Bookish announced they’re taking a brief hiatus, so check back next week to see what topic of my own I choose to talk about.

  • I want to read Our Chemical Hearts! It sounds like a book I would love.
    My Top Ten

    • I thought it was adorable – I hope you enjoy it too! 🙂

  • I love Persuasion, I haven't read any of the others but some of them look really good.
    My TTT

  • Thinking back on Invasion of the Tearling I should not have liked it but oh my god I was so sad when that book ended. I ate that thing up.

  • Hi! I agree with you about Persuasion. It wasn't a Jane Austen I was super excited about. But I ended up really liking it 🙂
    My TTT
    Leslie

  • I haven't heard of many of these, so I will have to check them out. Great list!

  • Our Chemical Hearts is one I've seen pop up on various lists but haven't looked too closely at it. Good to know you recommend. 🙂