23 April 2013

Why I'm Questioning My Bookish Judgement

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Combining both a passion for all things bookish with an obsessive love of list-making, this rad meme was born. This week's post is Top Ten Books I Thought I'd Like More/Less Than I Did.

It's always a nice surprise when you go into a book and end up liking/loving it more than you initially thought you would. I can get down with those! But it's the ones that you end up disliking despite the high expectations and added praise that end up being so disappointing. These are the kinds of surprises I can usually do without. This week's good, the bad and the ugly leaves me questioning the merits of my own bookish judgement. Eh, you win some, you lose some I guess.


The Bold & Beautiful

Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse by Nina Post - If you recall from my review, I pretty much called this book the most WTF book I've ever read. To date that still holds true. But what's so surprising is just how much I ended up loving the series because of that weirdness. What can I say? The weird will stick together, I suppose!

Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi - To tell you the truth: At the point when I read this, I was kind of getting sick of the predictability of the YA formula. But Rossi restored my faith in the genre and totally blew me away, even after the rough start. And don't even get me started on the sequel. I LLUUUURRRVVVVED IT!
  
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins - If you know me then by now you'll know that this makes virtually every TTT I've participated in. I wasn't surprised so much by the fact that I loved the series but rather more because of how much it truly affected me afterward. I was incredibly moved and I owe my hard-core YA love to these books.

Mind Over Monsters by Jennifer Harlow - Initially I figured this would be another Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood ripoff. Boy, was I wrong! In the end, I liked it even better.

The Mist by Stephen King - This movie made my round-up of most disturbing films ever and with good reason. Honestly, despite how controversial the ending was, the shock value is what made me love it so. Only Stephen King could do that type of scene in such a way where I'd think it was okay. He's just masterful like that.


The Overrated & Disappointing
The Strain by Chuck Hogan & Guillermo del Toro - I'm a MEGA-HUGE fan of Guillermo del Toro, so I was super excited for his vampy collaboration in the book world. For a story that starts out with such a bang so it was surpisingly long-winded and kind of dull. This one was probably my biggest bookish disappointment, like, ever.

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips - I love me a good Greek myth, so when I read the synopsis about Greek gods causing mischief and mayhem in the modern world, I thought I was in for a real treat. Welp. It turns out I was wrong. Poor plotting and unlikeable characters had me wishing I was a DNF-kinda girl.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner - Okay, so this wasn't a book that I totally hated, I thought it was so-so. I think the reason it was so disappointing is that I had really high expectations going in. It's one of those series that garnered plenty of praise and dystopia is one of my favourite genres, so I was expecting a lot out of it. It had enough potential to keep me invested in the other two books , but overall, it wasn't all there for me.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Graham Smith - I should've known that this wouldn't be a book for me, but after loving Pride and Prejudice and Zombies I figured it would be a hit. It all boils down to the fact that though I enjoy history, I am not a fan of presidential history. This isn't really a book about vampires, it's a book about ol' Honest Abe, and that's okay. It was just boring. And don't even think about watching the movie. Good god, it's so much worse.

Survivors by Z.A. Recht/Thom Brannan - This is the final chapter in what is probably my favourite zombie series of all time. Unfortunately,the author passed away after starting the final book and Brannan was forced to pick up where Recht left off. I don't blame Brannan for this, but it was evident that things weren't going to be the same. In addition to the cop-out ending, the characters were mere shells of themselves and the action was poorly paced. Had this been a book in another series, I'd have been more apt to deal with it but it was a poor substitution for the ending I'd been waiting for. Again, not Brannan's fault but still a disappointment. Recht --- you are missed!




So, I'd like to know --- what books have surprised you? Do you think you're a good judge of bookish character or are you all over the place like me? If you've read any of the books of my list, did any of them surprise you in a good/bad way? Why?

29 comments:

  1. Oh no! I own three of the books on your disappointed list!

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    1. Which ones, Loni?

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    2. The Strain, Gods Behaving Badly and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.

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    3. Okay, I'd definitely recommend skipping Gods Behaving Badly and Abe Lincoln. I will say, The Strain wasn't awful and you might like it. I think I just had too high of expectations going into it, that's all.

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    4. Low expectations, got it.
      :P

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  2. AHHH Under the Never Sky!! <3 I LOVED LOVED LOVED IT! I read it this year then quickly read Through the Ever Night.


    New Follower :)

    Our TTT

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

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    1. Same here, Ashley! It took me awhile to get into the first book but once I did, I flew through it and the sequel with flying colours. I can't wait for book #3!

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  3. I have the Hunger Games on my list, too. I haven't read Abe Lincoln, but the movie is god-awful!
    Here's my TTT

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    1. I agree, Natalie! The movie was definitely far worse than the book and if you're into presidential history, then you might actually like the novelisation better.

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    2. I just read your post on my blog. I liked the Twilight series, too. I'm not dogging the author, I just hated The Host...and I'm not really into presidential history, at all. :)

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    3. Oh, I totally hear ya! Twilight is one of those series where I hate to admit in public that I actually kinda liked it, terrible as it was. I was hoping The Host, as her sophmore effort, might be better but it sounds like it wasn't. And yes, then you should skip Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. BOOOORING!

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  4. I feel the same about the Hunger Games, though I was blown away at how much I truly loved the first two books, and though I didn't love the third, it still was a truly moving story for me.

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    1. Initially, Mockingjay was my least favourite of the trilogy, but the more I thought about it the more I really appreciated the resolution that Collins gave. These books were SO impactful that I haven't quite found the words to even write a review of them. I <3 them so much! Glad to hear they had the same effect on you too!

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  5. Mockingjay made my list, but as a disappointment. I can't say I'm familiar with any of the other books on your list, though I do have Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in my TBR pile (and it's been there for years... guess I should get around to it one of these days).

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    1. Aww, that's a bummer to hear. I know it wasn't the ideal ending and it certainly wasn't my favourite book of the trilogy, but I appreciated the realism to the way Collins' wrapped it up. At the end of the day, I think that's why I was so affected by it. This is the beauty of books like that though! It gets us wrapped up in discussions like this! :)

      Hopefully you don't find P&P&Z as dull as I did Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

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  6. Don't mind me. I'm just going to sit here and pet UtNS through the screen. Carry on.

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    1. Hahaha, I just might have to join you!

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  7. I enjoyed The Strain, but you are right, it wasn't as epic as I thought it would be either. I also liked The Maze Runner, but it was fantastic like I also thought it would be. It is always frustrating when we have high expectations for a book and we are let down, but the best times are when we love a book way more than we though we would, it is worth the chance of trying out new books. Great list!

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    1. I will say, it had it's scarier moments, like the opening scenes on the plane --- creepy shit. The Maze Runner wasn't awful, but it wasn't as good as I hoped it would be either. I think my main issue was that I couldn't stand Tommy as a main character. You win some, you lose some and either way, I'm glad I read them all. Except Abe Lincoln. That one I really couldn't done without.

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  8. I remember reading Gods Behaving Badly awhile ago and thinking the author had to try really, really hard to keep the plot moving. I don't remember much about it other than not liking it very much so I'm with you on feeling disappointed.

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    1. Yeah, I have to agree with you, Emily. It wasn't very memorable at all and I do think the author tried to hard which was the problem.

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  9. I thought The Maze Runner was really so-so as well, and the series as whole. It also made my list of disappointments. The Hunger Games I also love and was a pleasant surprise for me and made my list. I'm going to read Under The Never Sky soon... hope to love it!

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    1. I agree! The first book in the series was the best by far and though the books weren't terrible, they weren't as good as I thought they could be. The Hunger Games definitely had it beat! Oh yes! And do read Under The Never Sky! It was one of the bigger surprises for me so far this year and the series only gets better!

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  10. Ha! I also expected to enjoy Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter -- instead it was like one good joke stretched out over 300 pages. Just... weird. I kind of liked The Strain, but not enough to want to read the rest of the trilogy. Gotta check out your top picks, though! They sound intriguing!

    Lisa

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    1. Abe Lincoln was a total snoozefest for me. I thought listening to the audiobook would be better, but alas, I was terribly wrong. Oh well. And The Strain had its merits and creepy moments but all in all, it wasn't as much as I hoped it would be. I'll stick with watching del Toro's movies instead!

      I highly recommend The Hunger Games, Under The Never Sky and Mind Over Monsters. Sooooo good!

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  11. Great lists Nikki. I read Gods Behaving Badly and found it enjoyable. I have heard Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was pretty lame, the film too. I haven't read The Mist, but the film ending, jeesh. Thanks for ripping my heart out King :P

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    1. I'm glad you really liked that one, Naida. I guess it just wasn't what I wanted in that type of book. To each his/her own! OMG, The Mist was pure terror. It's probably my fav of King's books so far.

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