Top 10...Books That Surprised Us!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.
Every once in a while I participate in this one when I either
1) Like the theme, and/or 2) Have the time!

This week's topic:
Ten Books That Surprised Us!

 Sometimes a book surprises us in a good way, other times, it decimates us. Here are some of the books that surprised us most. We can't wait to hear your biggest surprises!

In no particular order...

1) ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins

That title, that (original) cover, the fact that it's contemporary. I had absolutely NO desire to read this book. There was SO MUCH online buzz about it, though! When I found a used copy super cheap, I bought it and was surprised to find out just how much I adored this book. I guess based on the title/cover, I thought this was going to be a super cheesy romance, but the book is more about friendships and discovering yourself and who you will become in life. I loan it out all the time (I actually had to buy a second copy!) and the book just falls right open to all my favorite parts. I always wind up rereading a good chunk when I go to loan it out....!


2) ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth

I don't think any of us will ever move on from how ALLEGIANT ended. Whether you loved or hated it, the ending is MEMORABLE. These characters are permanently seared into my memory and feel iconic in a way. Most characters fade with time. These are still pristine. I haven't seen past the first movie (they're just BAD), but I do want to someday re-read the books. I didn't hate the ending. I wish other books were as brave as this one. But I'm also not ready to re-read it and am saving it for the day I need a good ugly cry!

(I never reviewed this because OMG, SPOILERS!!!)

3) MY SISTER'S KEEPER by Jodi Picoult

Another book with a completely unexpected ending! Reading this (and her novel KEEPING FAITH, my other favorite by her--and these are actually my top two favorite books by any author--even though,, yep, I'm a fantasy lover at heart!) solidified my love of Jodi Picoult and the way her books are full of twists and turns. I love turning the last page and having so many things to reflect upon and think about. I love that they're not black and white, cut and dry. I love how REAL they are. And this book? THIS BOOK? You guys, it tore out my heart. Stamped on it. Obliterated it to bits. AND YET I GO BACK FOR MORE. I have re-read this so many times. I always think it will end differently. Somehow, I am surprised by the way this book ends EVERY SINGLE TIME. I just love it so much, I can't even explain!

4) INCARNATE by Jodi Meadows

Being completely candid, I will admit that when I first saw the cover to INCARNATE, I fell in love and was excited, but when HarperTeen was gracious enough to send an ARC and I read the summary, I just wasn't sure.  Reincarnation, really?  Been there, done that.  Only...that's not what the Newsoul Trilogy is really about at all.  Throw away all of your preconceived notions of books with reincarnation as a theme.  Can you think of any other where every soul in the world is re-born again and again and again, century to century...until one soul winks out to be replaced with a brand-new soul?  I can't, and this is the launching pad for Jodi Meadows' compelling series.  It's completely original and innovative despite that initial use of the word "reincarnation." I was shocked by how deeply I fell in love with Jodi Meadows and her world, and to this day, I am a huge fan and advocate of all of her books. But it started here, with INCARNATE, with the surprise of loving a book I was so unsure about!


5) ENCHANTED by Alethea Kontis

You guys have heard about how much I love Alethea Kontis, right? I review--and adore--all of her books. She stops by the blog all the time for new guest posts and interviews. She is one of my favorite authors to chat with. I ADORE HER. would it surprise you to hear that I DNF her debut novel ENCHANTED? The first time I read it, I couldn't get into it at ALL. Thankfully, it turns out that I was in a horrible reading mood and not ready for a fairy tale that day. Thankfully, I gave ENCHANTED a second chance, gave its author a second chance. I LOVE ENCHANTED SO MUCH. I've read it so many times! IT IS SO GOOD. How the heck did I not enjoy it the first time around!? 

Sometimes, I am surprised by how much my feelings change on a book, be they good or bad. I was definitely surprised by ENCHANTED, first in a bad way, and then, later, in a really excellent way!


1) THE WICKER KING by K. Ancrum

The Wicker King

I though The Wicker King sounded intriguing when I picked it up for a blog post, but I was surprised and unprepared for how much it was going to WRECK me emotionally. K. Ancrum does not play when she comes for your feelings and it was a double whammy because I also was surprised how much I loved the mixed media aspects of the formatting.

2) SUMMER OF LOST AND FOUND by Rebecca Behrens

Summer of Lost and Found

I have always viewed myself as a girl that survives on a steady diet of fantasy and adventure. I used to overlook fiction and historic fiction and nonfiction A LOT. Until I picked up this beauty by Rebecca Behrens, and author who weaves a special kind of magic and fantastic energy into every day kind of stories.

3) BECAUSE YOU LOVE TO HATE ME by Multiple Authors

Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy

I used to think I didn't like anthologies. I'm a series girl, I want a story to last and last, short stories can't possible be for me can they? But this anthology proved me wrong. Maybe it's because I love a good villain so much. Maybe it's because it's such an amazing team of writers. But either way this book surprised me because it made me want more anthologies.

4) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED by Gregory Scott Katsoulis

All Rights Reserved (Word$, #1)

I came into this book thinking I was so over dystopians. But this story is so much more than a dystopian and I was surprised and enchanted by how quickly the plot developed into something unique and fascinating.


5) IDENTICAL by Ellen Hopkins


Identical is the first book I can ever remember reading where the plot twisted and I wasn't ready. So thrown I thought about it for weeks later, it remains one of my favorite Ellen Hopkins books.