April 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This is one meme I can get on board with - I LOVE lists! I'll show you mine if you show me yours!

Top Ten Books I Liked More/Less Than I Thought I Would

Today, we're going to look at the books that either didn't meet my expectations or far exceeded them. Luckily, it was harder to come up with the books that I liked LESS. But, I've narrowed both lists down to five apiece.

Books I liked MORE Than I Thought I Would

Urban fantasy isn't typically what I go for in a pinch. I've found some of the books in this genre confusing and without a romantic entanglement, they don't really grab me. I read Moon Called when it was gifted to me by a friend. Despite the lack of romance (that comes in later books), it most certainly did grab my interest immediately, and not only was the world not confusing, I found it utterly fascinating. The Mercy Thompson series has become one of my favorites. 

Although I enjoy watching sci-fi (Trekkies unite!), I didn't really think I'd enjoy reading it. I was in need of a new audiobook and saw Across the Universe at my library. I decided to try it. From the very first chapter, I was hooked. This is a fascinating series that I can't say enough good things about. 

3. The Demon King (The Seven Realms #1), by Cinda Williams Chima
High fantasy is my least favorite genre. I picked up The Demon King for two reasons - first, I had just finished Chima's The Heir Chronicles and loved it. I wanted to read more by her. And, second, I loved the cover. I was so surprised when I loved it as much as I did. I fell in love with all the characters and the story - wow. It was absolutely incredible. 

I just finished this last week, and was shocked at how awesome it was! I liked Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1), but I did have some problems with it. I wanted to see the series through, so I picked up Dark Triumph, albeit a bit reluctantly. It was so amazing, I'm still thinking about it a week later. 

I had heard a lot of mixed reports about The Selection. It seemed that readers either loved it or hated it, and I had no idea which side of the fence I would fall on. Then, I was gifted a copy of it by a friend. Even then, I was reticent. Finally, after two other friends read it and liked it, I gave it a go... and found myself firmly on the "loved it" side of the fence. I absolutely fell in love with America and Maxon (go Maxon!), and already have The Elite (The Selection #2) pre-ordered.

Books I liked LESS Than I Thought I Would

The reason I picked this book up to begin with should be self-evident. It's THE WARDEN. And, I'm a gi-normous fan of her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I knew that her Fallen Angels series was a spin-off that also takes place in Caldie. I figured it would be a slam-dunk. But, I don't know. The magic just wasn't there. Maybe it's the lack of the Brothers' presence (although there are a few cameos by a few different Brothers). Maybe it's the lack of anything vampy. It just was most definitely not the same and not what I had expected.

I loved Matched (Matched #1) and Crossed (Matched #2). So much so that, as soon as Reached was available for pre-order, I clicked that button. And, although Condie's beautiful writing was still present, the story just fell so flat for me. I was kept wanting so much more at every turn. I wanted more emotion, more action, more character development, and more of an epic, sweeping ending to the main love story. And, since it ended the series, I didn't think that was asking too much. 

Look at that cover! You would expect passion and blistering heat and a great love story. Meh. Not so much in the passion and blistering heat department. There is quite a love story there, and yes, it's touching most of the time. But, after awhile, I kinda wanted Gabriel and Julia to get mad at each other and say some things they didn't mean. Because it got a little sickeningly sweet after awhile. I wanted them to have mad sex. Or make-up sex. Hell, any sex at all would've been great. Instead, I just got "meh."

Spell Bound suffered the same fate as Reached. It was the final installment in a series that I had grown to love. So, I put it atop a pedestal and expected very great things from it (which I had ALSO pre-ordered after finishing Demonglass (Hex Hall #2)). Instead, we were left with an extremely unfulfilling resolution to the love triangle. Some very interesting characters who were introduced in books 1 and 2 were barely mentioned. And all of it just left me feeling completely cheated.

Oh yeah. I went there. I know this is a beloved series. I know it's also now a blockbuster movie juggernaut. But, let's be serious for a minute. The Hunger Games - EPIC. Catching Fire - AMAZING. Mockingjay - erm, not so much. It was so rushed, that I felt that so many important things were left out. It was the most depressing, with Katniss being a zombie most of the time. She did things completely out of character that I didn't buy for a second. And that epilogue?? So frustrating (and I was totally Team Peeta all the way, so it wasn't that).


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Series are very uneven, aren't they? So much so, for me, that I rarely read past book one!

Here's my Top Ten List of Books I Never Expected to Like.

Unknown said...

Yay for Across the Universe!!! That's one of my favorite books, I wish more people would pick it up but they're so hesitant because it takes place in space. =/

Ashley said...

I really need to read Across the Universe. I've only read positive reviews of it, but haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

Kelley said...

Yay for Across the Universe! I really need to read The Demon King already - I've heard such great things! You know, I agree with you about Mockingjay. It was kind of a letdown for me, almost the whole way through. And that ending was WTF. Yeah. Totally with you on that one.

Unknown said...

I actually loved Gabriel's Inferno, but I definitely understand your frustration, lol. Across the Universe was a pleasant surprise for me, as well. Not usually that into sci-fi. Nice list. :)

Unknown said...

I thought about including mockingjay, but I've already knocked it so much on my blog :) and for exactly the same reasons. Thanks for visiting me.


Victoria Hooper said...

I really want to read Across the Universe. Everyone seems to love it! :-) And *guilty face*, I still haven't read Catching Fire or Mockingjay. Really need to read them before the movies come out!

Danielle Annett said...

Great TTT, Thanks for stopping by mine :)
LOVE your blog header, the moroccan tile pattern at the top is beautiful!
New GFC Follower
Danielle@ Coffee and Characters

Kat said...

It's so sad when the last book in a series is a disappointment! I really need to get onto the His Fair Assassin series...so little time!

Great list :-D

Anonymous said...

I've been meaning to read Across the Universe for SO long! Great List! Laura :)

Erica (The Reading Kitten) said...

I really want to read The Selection & Across The Universe! :) Glad you liked them!

Elizabeth said...

I agree with a lot of your list, the last book in the Hex Hall series was a bit disappointing, I LIKED Grave Mercy but I also had some problems with it, but I've heard Dark Triumph is better SO I went ahead and ordered it. :)
I wasn't a big fan of Across the Universe. I LOVELOVE The Black Dagger Brotherhood series SO.Freaking.MUCH. Love those dudes. I've been wanting to read the Covet series, but I have a feeling I would find the same things disappointing, so I'll probably check it out from the library.
Great list! :)

Amy Shaw said...

I'm a Trekkie too (woohoo!) and I didn't love Across the Universe, but I've only read the first book. I do plan to keep reading because it was OK and I've heard it gets better. I just found The Season way too descriptive and disturbing, and I wanted MORE sci-fi. I'm also a fan of The Selection (and Team Maxon!) for reasons I cannot really explain. I totally agree about Reached and Mockingjay (though I put the series as a whole on my pleasant surprise list, Mockinjay was definitely not the best). Great list; thanks for stopping by!

Danielle Young said...

I was so disappointed in Mocking Jay. After The Hunger Games it was a total let down. But I didn't like Catching Fire either. I haven't read any of the other books. But there are some on there that I think I might have to check out!

Krista said...

I always try to finish a series, but sometimes, I just can't bring myself to do it!

Thanks for checking out my list!

Krista said...

I know, right? Space isn't just for Trekkies! I absolutely loved the entire series.

Thanks for checking out my list!

Krista said...

I loved it so much - I hope you love it too!

Thanks for checking out my list!

Krista said...

The Seven Realms series is one of my all-time favorites. I will tell anyone who will listen to read it!

Thanks for checking out my list!

Krista said...

Across the Universe was my first sci-fi book. It was such a great surprise!

Thanks for checking out my list!

Krista said...

It does get a lot of flack, doesn't it? Sad but true.

Thanks for checking out my list!

Krista said...

I dunno - you might be okay with just seeing the movies. :) At least with Mockingjay.

Thanks for checking out my list!

Unknown said...

Oooh, I love the Mercy series too! I wasn't sure if I would, because I need a little romance in my books, but I knew it would come later so I kept reading! I also really liked The Selection! I haven't yet read Dark Triumph, but I LOVED Grave Mercy.

I totally agree with you on Gabriel's Inferno! I need more. I just thought it was an ok read. I did like Reached more than Crossed though. And I haven't yet read the last Hex Hall book. I'm glad we both agree on Mockingjay, even though I really hate what Collins did to Peeta.

Thanks for stopping by my TTT!

New GFC Follower!

Jessica@Lovin' Los Libros

Krista said...

Thank you so much for the follow and the compliment!

Krista said...

It's such a great series - Dark Triumph was amazing!

Thanks for checking our my list!

Kelly said...

Yeah, Spell Bound and Mockingjay were definitely disappointments. I hate how the love triangle was solved in both books, couldn't the authors think of something better?
Thanks for stopping by my TTT! (:

Krista said...

I hope you have a chance to read it soon - it's wonderful!

Thanks for checking out my list!

Krista said...

I just got my copy of The Elite today so that I can continue the story started in The Selection. It was really good!

Thanks for checking out my list!

Krista said...

The BDB is the best series ever. Have you read Lover at Last? So good! But, her Fallen Angels series just isn't the same. :(

Thanks for checking out my list!

Krista said...

I just got my copy of The Elite today. I'm there with you on Team Maxon. I love that guy!

Thanks for checking out my list too!

Krista said...

Yay! I love making new recos! I have to wonder if the movie version of Mockingjay will be any better. There's always hope, right?

Thanks for checking out my list!

Krista said...

When the romance started in the Mercy series, wasn't it just the best?! I love Adam!

Thanks for checking out my list and for the new follow!

Krista said...

UGH! That was my biggest gripe with Spell Bound. SO annoying!

Thanks for checking out my list too!

Anonymous said...

How fantastic is Mercy? I also love the Alpha & Omega series that's set in the same world. I'm so glad I found these books.

And I agree that Covet was a let down after the BDB. But after reading Crave and Envy (I've not read Rapture yet) I do like the series. It's better than a lot of the other UF/PNR that's out there. It's just not up to the standard Ward set with the Brothers.

Thanks for stopping by my TTT - I really appreciated it.

Tin said...

1,2, and 5 all got me curious. And I agree, Mockingjay wasn't really the ending I was hoping for either. And yay for Team Peeta! :D

Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard said...

Interesting list! I haven't read any of these yet, but Cinda Williams Chima keeps crossing my radar. (Note to self: pick up a copy of the first in either series at earliest opportunity.) I think I'll also give The Selection a try.

Kimberly @ Midnight Book Girl said...

I totally agree with you on Mockingjay. There were lots of things that happened in that book that I did not approve of.

Yay for Across the Universe!

Unknown said...

Completely agree with you on Reached and Mockingjay! Reached was just so boring and I found myself really not liking any of the characters with the exception of Xander. His chapters seemed to be the only chapters with anything really happening. Mockingjay was just such a huge let-down to me. It almost felt like I was reading a different trilogy because like you mentioned Katniss was just so out of character.

Hollie said...

I get what you mean about Mockingjay! Catching Fire was my favourite of the series, so to then read Mockingjay was a bit of a let down. I enjoyed the book, just not as much as I thought I was going to.

Thanks for stopping by! :)