Top Ten Tuesday | Books That Surprised Me

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018!


So, this prompt is all about books that surprised you in a good or bad way! I figured I would try to live the best of both words, so I decided to break this up with five good surprises and five bad surprises! I hope you all enjoy! Happy reading, loves!


BOOKS THAT SURPRISED ME IN A GOOD WAY

The Queen’s Rising (Untitled Trilogy #1) by Rebecca Ross
This is the newest book to surprise me! I saw this getting a lot of lower ratings on Goodreads, so I went into this not expecting much, but I was blown away by how unique this world and plot were! I truly ended up enjoying this so much, and it was such a fresh take on YA fantasy, in my opinion!

Storm Born (Dark Swan #1) by Richelle Mead
Okay, I picked this up after I fell in love with Vampire Academy, and this was… everything. Shamans, the best love triangle, fae lands! I completely was blown away! Mead’s best work to date, I swear.

Black Iris by Elliot Wake
Okay, I thought this was going to be a dark, thriller, that could maybe be a little queer. And then it went and completely changed my life! My dear friend Silvia is doing an amazing feature on her blog called #QueerLitStories, and I wrote up a little post for her, if you all are interested!

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (The Road to Nowhere #1) by Meg Elison
I thought this was just going to be another dystopian, and then it ended up being my favorite book of 2016. I still don’t have words for the amount of power in this book, but it’s a masterpiece. And I legitimately only requested an ARC of it off Netgalley because of the cover.

Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon
Let’s be real, I went into this only hearing about the “spanking” scene, and everyone telling me I was going to hate it. But I ended up really, really enjoying it. The world blew me away, Claire is one of my favorite female leads, and Jamie… well, Jamie was nice, too.


BOOKS THAT SURPRISED ME IN A BAD WAY
(I don’t want to make anyone sad, so I’m just going to do a quick, one-liner, that hopefully won’t make you all hate me!)

The Hazel Wood (The Hazel Wood #1) by Melissa Albert
This was supposed to be a whimsical and fantastical tale, but instead I was given a mostly contemporary with the most annoying character who was never aware of her privilege.

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness
This was supposed to make me all excited for the TV show, but instead it almost put me to sleep every night, because it was so boring.

A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1) by Libba Bray
This was supposed to be my intro to Libba Bray that was going to make me fall in love, but instead it was nothing but racist and fatphobic and unbearable to read.

A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #1) by Amanda Bouchet
This was supposed to be a sexy new fantasy, instead I was given the most disgusting grey area consent scenes I’ve ever witness, while also being forced to see abuse romanticized.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl
This was supposed to be a new mystery favorite, but instead I had to be in the head of an older, white, rich, privileged in every way, male, who was racist, and transphobic, misogynistic, and just a downright awful human.

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31 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | Books That Surprised Me

  1. Totally agree on Outlander – everybody made it look like the books are about abuse, but I really enjoyed the first four, and I’ll keep on reading 🙂 And agree on A Discovery of Witches – it’s one of the most boring novels I ever read :/

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    1. Hahaha! We are just book twins then, Marina! But yeah… I honestly thought I’d hate Outlander, and I left it absolutely loving it! But good surprises are always best! Happy reading, love! 💗xx

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  2. Curious! Who told you that you’d hate Outlander?! That is a bunch of bologna! Now if it was for the spanking scene that is nonsense because that scene was definitely enjoyable and a very teachable moment for Jamie. But I could def understand the rape scene being an issue. It is so hard for me to swallow what BJR did to Jamie. But I love how Diana brings a very taboo issue to light. How hard it must be for such a burly, strong man to be degraded and manipulated by such a vile person. It’s amazing what these characters go through! I feel like for a fantasy book the characters are so real and relatable! Diana even creates a villain that you love to hate but also feel sympathy for! (BJR may be evil but he does have a heart for his brother). And really if anyone thinks you’d hate the sex scenes between Jamie and Claire they’re out of their minds! I have yet to come across a fictional couple as perfectly real, flawed, and yet electric as they! If you asked me how many times I have watched the series I wouldn’t be able to tell you! So many times!

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  3. EPIC list! I’m gently kicking myself for trading my ARC copy of Queen’s Rising based off of mixed reviews smh *for shame* & you’ve totally made me reconsider reading Outlander, I know there’s problematic writing but it’s basically one of those books before we knew better lol & tbh i’d like to see for myself *dusts off my copy* lol! The Hazel Wood *Lé sigh*…& A Discovery of Witches?!? well that sucks cause I had every intention of reading it before the tv show airs…it may be better than the book *fingers crossed* haha! 🙂

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    1. Hahahaha, I love this comment! Honestly, Yeah… The Queen’s Rising surprised the hell out of me, Outlander totally is problematic, but it was so well written that I am still shook, The Hazel Wood and Discovery of Witches both have me sippin’ THE BIGGEST cup of tea, but… you’re my book twin, you understand! Haha! 💗xx

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  4. The Queen’s Rising is a book I’ve been seeing around the community but don’t know much about. I do like the cover. I’m also glad to hear you enjoyed Outlander. I’ve watched season 1 and 2 of the show. I haven’t read the book yet. I need to get to that. Such a shame about The Hazel Wood. I’ve been hearing such mixed things about it. I was debating picking it up but decided against it.

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    1. Yeah, I think like mostly all of these are super polarizing books, so take each feeling with a grain of salt! But I hope if you pick up The Queen’s Rising, that you love it! Happy reading, love! 💗xx

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    1. It was my favorite book of 2016, I loved it… more than words! It’s so feminist and perfect and just… it’s perfection. You have to let me know if you read it and enjoy it, love! I don’t think any of my friends have actually read it… and I feel all alone with its perfection! 💗xx

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  5. I was also surprised by how much I enjoyed Outlander, despite the spanking scene. And I very much agree, Jamie’s pretty nice too! I actually ordered Black Iris after reading your post about it. I’m so excited for it to get here so I can read it 🙂

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    1. YOU HAVE ME CRYIN’ UP IN THE STARBUCKS! Ahhh, this message means SO much to me, love! More than you know! I hope you love it! And if you do… you better come gush with me! ❤ xx

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