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11 / 30 books. 37% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

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23 / 51 states. 45% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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16 / 50 books. 32% done!

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Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

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23 / 100 books. 23% done!

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58 / 104 books. 56% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

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42 / 52 books. 81% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

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61 / 165 books. 37% done!
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday, More or Less

I usually don't post twice in a day, but I actually sorta forgot that it was Tuesday.  Yeah.  Anyway, since it is the third day of the week, that means it's time for my favorite bookish meme, Top Ten Tuesday.  It's hosted by the fine ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.  This week, our hostesses with the mostesses ask:  What are the Top Ten Books You Liked More/Less Than You Thought You Would?  In the spirit of putting the bad news first, I'm going to start with the latter question.  Here we go:

Books I Liked Less Than I Thought I Would:

1.  Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card—I admit I'm kind of a fair weather fan when it comes to OSC.  Some of his books I like, some I don't.  But, everyone (it seems) talks about how amazing Ender's Game is and ... I just don't get it.  Admittedly, I've only read the first third or so, but I've done that at least three times!  The book's so terribly written that I've never been able to get past that point.  Judging from the enthusiastic responses of readers whose opinions I respect, I thought I would love this one.  Yeah, not so much.

2.  Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien—After I read Birthmarked, I went a little fan girl over this author.  Since I loved the first book in the series, I figured I'd adore the second.  Again ... not so much.

3.  Viola in Reel Life and Viola in the Spotlight by Adriana Trigiani—I love Trigiani's adult books, so I thought I'd really get into her YA series.  Nope.  Even after two installments, I'm still very underwhelmed by it.

4.  Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys—This is another one that readers/bloggers adore and recommend like crazy.  While I understand why (it's definitely impactful), the book didn't wow me.  The prose felt cold and distant, which makes sense considering it's about the imprisonment of innocent people, but still ... Sepetys' second book, Out of the Easy, was much more to my liking.  Even though it also dealt with difficult subjects, it was a much warmer, more satisfying novel.

5.  Beauty Queens by Libba Bray—I loved the cover and the premise of this one.  The beginning made me laugh with its quirky, tongue-in-cheek examination of beauty.  However, as the story went on, it got increasingly bawdy and bizarre.  I read it, but found the experience disappointing.

Books I Liked More Than I Thought I Would:

1.  Cinder by Marissa Meyer—I had an ARC of this one for a year or so before I actually read it.  Why?  The cover.  It showed a robot and, although I like sci fi in small doses, I've never been into robots.  At all.  But, when a fellow book blogger insisted I had to read Cinder, like now, I listened—and totally devoured it.  Now, The Lunar Chronicles is one of my very favorite YA series.

2.  Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult—I adore Picoult so much that I pre-order every book she writes (in hardcover, no less), without even reading the plot summaries.  So, I was a little surprised by the look of Lone Wolf.  Its cover featured a ... wolf.  And while I'm not like an animal hater or anything, I'm really not that into wildlife.  Thus, it took me a while to get around to reading the book.  When I did, though, wow, it totally pulled me in.  And, in case you're wondering, it's not so much about wolves, as about a family dealing with their comatose husband/father.

3.  Unbroken by Laura HillenbrandEveryone raves about this book.  And because the people in my life who kept recommending it to me represented such a variety of reading preferences, I knew I had to check it out for myself.  War memoirs are usually too violent/depressing for me, but Unbroken just grabbed my attention right off the bat and kept me totally and completely absorbed.  Now, I'm one of those people who recommend it to everyone I know!

4.  The Grace Valley series (Deep in the Valley; Just Over the Mountain; Down By the River) by Robyn Carr—You've probably noticed that I don't read much romance.  It's usually too sappy, too graphic, too melodramatic, etc. for the likes of little ole me.  But, my friend kept going on and on about how great Carr is, so I decided to take a chance (although this same person also recommended Ender's Game ...) and it totally paid off.  I love Carr's ability to create vivid towns full of warm, big-hearted people dealing with their problems in the best ways they know how.  The people and places she creates just speak to me!

5.  White Horse by Alex Adams—This book is so incredibly violent and disturbing that I can't believe I read the whole thing.  And liked it.  Because despite the ick factor, this story is very compelling.  And it's got the best last line I've ever read in a novel.  If you've got a strong stomach, I recommend it.  If not, stay away.  Far, far away.        


  1. I totally agree with you about Beauty Queens. It was not what I expected. And I see Cinder is on a lot of peoples lists. It was awesome.

    I have Lone Wolf sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. I should pick that one up next!

  2. CINDER pusher stopping by to say, "You're welcome!" :) I can't wait for CRESS. Recommending a book someone ends up loving is one of my favorite things about blogging! I've had so much fun reading everyone's TTT posts this week.

  3. I'm so excited to read Cinder! Everyone seems to love it. :)

  4. Yes to Robyn Carr's Grace Valley series! Also Cinder.

    I think with Ender's Game, what really gets people is the ending. And I will admit that my liking for the story is probably based more on the original novella, which I read when it first came out, than on the full-length novel. The novella was tighter, for one thing.

    Lark of the Bookwyrm's Hoard's TTT list

  5. I haven't really heard of most of the books on your list. I'll have to check them out! I've been wanting to read Cinder for awhile. As for Lone Wolf, I won a copy of this book when it first came out. It really was a Wow book! It was so good & sad.

  6. OMG YES to Beauty Queens! It turned out to be a DNF for me. I didn't know Adriana Trigiani had a YA series.. I love her adult series too anf Enders Game seems to be on everyones list.

  7. Beauty Queens I agree with. It started out funny but eventually I just started getting annoyed. Cinder is on my wishlist because of all the good reviews I have seen..:D

  8. I keep hearing such good things about Cinder. I'll have to pick it up. I loved Beauty Queens, but can see how it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  9. I haven't read Beauty Queens, but I have read a lot of Libba Bray's other books, which are phenomenal. Definitely check out A Great and Terrible Beauty, and The Diviners. I like how Cinder is such a common theme today because it just went against everyone's expectations. Go Marissa Meyer!

  10. I never finished Beauty Queens - it's sitting abandoned on my Nook. It's not that I wholly disliked it, it just wasn't holding my attention. I loved Between Shades of Gray, but like you, I liked Out Of The Easy more. I did feel much more personal. Nice list, and thanks for stopping by my blog!

  11. I loved Beauty Queens! But I also love that we all have different feelings and opinions when it comes to books - this has been a really interesting TTT week! :)

  12. You know, people keep saying I should read Ender's Game, but there's something about it that just puts me off. Not sure why. Maybe I should stick to that instinct! :-)

  13. I've heard lots of folks say they hate Ender's Game. It was one that blew me away, but to each his own. I think it's the ending that does most of the blowing anyway :)

  14. I don't get the awesomeness of Ender's Game either. I had a really hard time with it. The story was a fun concept, but the execution didn't really engage me. I'm kind of interested to see what happens in the rest of the story, but at the same time, I'm not rushing to it.

  15. Isn't that the coolest thing about books?? You may love what I hate AND vice versa. I just love different opinions, presentations and ideas. It just reinforces my opinion...there's something (and someone) for everyone!!

    Enjoy spring...before we roast!!

  16. I have arc of White Horse. I have a strong stomach, so I think I will give it a try. Thanks for the warning though. :)
    Thanks for stopping by my TTT.

  17. I liked Lone Wolf as well but as with The House Rules that I also read, Picoult thoroughly researches the topic and I learned more about wolves than I think I ever wanted to know listening to the audiobook. I enjoyed it though, it was very dramatic and thought-provoking as I think Picoult tends to challenge me in what I'd do if placed in the characters' situation. Lone Wolf was a hard one for sure! I really need to read Cinder and see what the hype is about! Great List!


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