[Top Ten Tuesday] – #140 – Books Enjoyed More/Less Than Expected

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.


This Week’s Theme:
Books Enjoyed More/Less
Than Expected

Initial Thoughts:

While I feel like I have done this topic before, why not do it some more and sound like a broken record?

Enjoyed More Than Expected:

The Blackthorn Key (Kevin Sands)

The backstory is that I discovered this title at a blogger event but paid no mind to it as there were two other titles that held my attention. Funny thing is that I didn’t read either of the two I wanted to read but gave this book a go…and holy shit colour me impressed that The Blackthorn Key arguably took the title of my favourite (if not Top 3) books of 2015.

Shadow and Bone (Leigh Bardugo)

After seeing this book everywhere, I was like “what’s all this fuss about?” then I read the first book…and the second…and the third within the span of a month (which is ridiculous by my standards of reading speed). Given that reason, I think I enjoyed it as a whole (even if I’m anti the endgame).

More Than This (Patrick Ness)

My first Patrick Ness book. The book the started my descent into Ness fandom oh my goodness.

I’ll be frank: this book is such a slog in the first 20% of the novel. It’s legit slow paced world build and I didn’t even know if I’d make it through. But once you hit that moment with the appearance of [redacted character name]. It’s such a thrilling read after that. But it’s that monotonous hurdle in the beginning…

Shooter (Caroline Pignat)

After the over-dramatized cinematic school shooting story in This Is Where It Ends, I was in the dumps with this particular story line and its representation in fiction. Then Shooter came along and it was pegged as “Breakfast Club” meets “We Need To Talk About Kevin” And I gave it a chance…and it was a more fleshed out and realistic read (for the most part)

Enjoyed Less Than Expected:

We Were Liars (E. Lockhart)

Hype is a powerful wizard that lied to me.

The Crown’s Game (Evelyn Skye)

This book is actually smartly advertised.

See: it promised a “duel” and a “fight to the death” (basically) — which basically sounds like a magical version of any action-heavy-and-edge-of-your-seat battle. While it was a duel, yes, it was so diluted that it was basically none of what it promised. What a disappointment.

Calamity (Brandon Sanderson)

What the fuck happened to this series?

Through two books, it was a thrilling X-Men-lite (ish, if you want a comparable) with a palpable but the ending to this series was total shit. It’s like if you went to a restaurant based on a high-rated Yelp review and when you get there all they serve is stale bread and you’re like “that’s it?” and they respond “that’s it.” What–no. NO.

Carve the Mark (Veronica Roth)

I respectfully thought that Divergent was good for its time as an entry-level book that propelled be back into reading (I gave it like 3-stars across the board) and so with Carve the Mark, I knew going in it had it’s issues as discussed about in the community. What I was not expecting was just a haphazardly disjointed world.

A Darkly Beating Heart (Lindsay Smith)

This book in an nutshell (from the 100 pages I read before I DNFd):
“I’m mad.” > Why are you mad? > “I’m mad.” > Okay but why? > *silence*

Also note that this book is written in first-person POV that the narrator is willfully withholding information from themselves…affsdsahajdasjdhaygf.


…I could totally keep going with these lists but I shall refrain.


afterthoughtAn // twitter
anotherafterthought // goodreads
picturevomit // instagram


19 thoughts on “[Top Ten Tuesday] – #140 – Books Enjoyed More/Less Than Expected”

    1. Not trying to toot my own horn, but when you’re highly skeptical when reading, things begin to stick out — and so a lot of the “omg” factors that a lot of people loved had (I thought) a trail of cookies underlying it’s wow-ness that it didn’t wow me in the end. Things just didn’t add up for me as I read through it (which is in truth a quick read) and so I was like “I WONDER IF…” and it turned out true haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. My problem with We Were Liars is that I read a fantastic psychological thriller right before (Unravel by Calia Read) and so it just fell so flat!

    I’m right there with you on The Crown’s Game Diluted. is the perfect word to describe that novel. It wasn’t as action-packed as I thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy to hear you found/read an amazing psych-thriller but also sad that it might have been a deterrent to your enjoyment of the next book. But either way, I would agree that it was just uninteresting haha.

      Someone literally pitched TCG to me as Hunger Games “fight to the death” and I was like “COOL, AWESOME, SO DOWN” and like…if it was, it could have legit ended at page 170-ish (2nd move). So lame.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I tried to read More Than This, but I was so bored at the beginning that I just couldn’t take it. I want to give it another chance though, because I really didn’t get that far before I stopped reading it.

    We Were Liars, hahah. The book was so short, but still felt like it was TOO LONG! I did not like that book at all. I’m sure I’ve told you that a bunch of times. All the food scenes were on point though.

    Not going to lie, I really liked The Crown’s Game, but I will say that the dueling stuff was not what I expected. I was looking for some crazy fighting with their powers. Not changing buildings different colors. Especially if they are supposed to protect the king….I guess they can disguise him to be someone else. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, the beginning of More Than This was a struggle to get through for me as well! I totally understand. Once you meet the third character, for me, I was sold from there.

      Food scenes were definitely the only great thing about We Were Liars….except of their “mehness” to not eating the food (re: being picky) and I was like ???!?!?

      Ugh, the “turns” in TCG was so “…huh?”-worthy. Literally not what I signed up for :(!


      1. I did. But I could tell where it was going. I had read a book called The Lace Reader which was also a take on unreliable narrators before it. That one made what was happening in We Were Liars more apparent to me.


  3. I actually enjoyed the first part of More Than This a little bit more than the rest (but the entire book is a 5 star and a favorite), I don’t know why. I just liked him wandering around alone, trying to figure things out, and it was all just so mysterious and desolate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeeeeessss @ More Than This being a favourite! I think I appreciated it — the unknowns of everything — which I definitely think was necessary but the hook (Driver) took a while to grab hold of me. Perhaps I would feel a bit differently had I read it for the first time now though!


  4. Yours is the second list I’ve seen A Darkly Beating Heart on and I can’t say I disagree. It wasn’t for me and was a big let down after I got an ARC of it. The Crown’s Game has also been popular on the losing side of these lists today. I’m still up in the air on whether or not I’ll give it a go for myself. Great list overall!

    My TTT!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Darkly Beating… was such a mess for me. Way too much withholding of information, ugh.

      I think if you were earnest about wanting to read Crown’s Game, maybe wait until you get an ARC of TCF or when it releases. It’s supposed to be a duology anyways (expected) and I would imagine anyone ending with TCG — even if they didn’t enjoy it, myself included — would appreciate answers that only TCF could give!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I still need to pick up Leigh Bardugo. It almost feels like something is literally stopping me from picking up her books… what was it? Oh, right. Complete and utter laziness.

    So heartbroken about Calamity. I still haven’t read it yet bc I don’t want my good memories of Steelheart and Firefight to be ruined, and I’m about 100% sure that’ll happen. :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You haven’t read a Bardugo book? I could have sworn I have seen that you had…hmm…

      I think you’d enjoy Six of Crows et al. in all honesty. As I’m sure you are aware of the whole community’s undying love for it.

      As someone who did not enjoy Calamity, I remain hopeful you enjoy it for the both of us.


  6. A Darkly Beating Heart was…interesting. I agree that there was never enough information to describe the level of ANGER that the MC faced. I mean I understand that shit happened buttt she was dealing with a lot of unchecked anger.

    Liked by 1 person

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