[Top Ten Tuesday] – #158 – Books That Surprised Me

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish, which is now hosted on That Artsy Reader.


This Week’s Theme:
Books That Surprised Me

Initial Thoughts:

This week’s prompt looks at books that have either surprised me in good [expletive expletive expletive] ways, or surprised me for being bad. More of this list regards the former though.

Odd One Out (Nic Stone)

Courtney “Coop” Cooper
Dumped. Again. Normally I wouldn’t mind. But right now my best friend, Jupiter Sanchez, is ignoring me to text some girl.

Rae Evelyn Chin
I’m the “new girl” but Jupiter and Courtney make me feel like I’m right where I belong. Also, I want to kiss him. And her.

Jupiter Charity-Sanchez
The only thing worse than losing the girl you love to a boy is losing her to your boy. I have to make a move.

One story. Three sides.
No easy answers.

This is a knee-jerk reaction but I am currently reading Odd One Out by Nic Stone, author of DEAR MARTIN (which you should also read), and I am shocked at how much I am connecting with each and every character in this book. Add this book to your TBR for the true representation of a LOVE TRIANGLE. (Cover not final)

Thunderhead (Neal Shusterman)

Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the second novel of the chilling New York Times bestselling series from Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology.

Honestly, without spoiling too much — you should high key go read Scythe and then this follow-up fully knowing that there are two key scenes in this book that will likely wreck you in the best possible way. i was truly shaken to my core when both scenes happened like wowow.

Children of Blood and Bone (Tomi Adeyemi)

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

What surprised me most is how many deaths there are in this book; as if I’m reading Game of Thrones or something but man I was saying “oh shit” a loooooooot.

Game (Barry Lyga)

Billy grinned. “Oh, New York,” he whispered. “We’re gonna have so much fun.”

I Hunt Killers introduced the world to Jazz, the son of history’s most infamous serial killer, Billy Dent.

In an effort to prove murder didn’t run in the family, Jazz teamed with the police in the small town of Lobo’s Nod to solve a deadly case. And now, when a determined New York City detective comes knocking on Jazz’s door asking for help, he can’t say no. The Hat-Dog Killer has the Big Apple–and its police force–running scared. So Jazz and his girlfriend, Connie, hop on a plane to the big city and get swept up in a killer’s murderous game.

This YA murder-mystery-thriller in tune with Dexter meets Criminal Minds (?) is a stellar read with intricately plotted reveals. No joke, this one reveal in this sequel is g r e a t.

Warcross (Marie Lu)

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

I…did not like this book very much. Not only was it super hyped to me (because everyone seemed to rave about it), I was extremely let down by all of the poor world building or lack thereof of having a fully fleshed out video game. I’ve still yet to transfer my review from Goodreads to here (which seems like the opposite of most bloggers). If you’re curious as to my reasoning, it’s [here, located on goodreads].

Release (Patrick Ness)

Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this gay teen and his preacher father that changes everything. It’s a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, and maybe, just maybe, hope. He won’t come out of it unchanged. And all the while, lurking at the edges of the story, something extraordinary and unsettling is on a collision course.

if you didn’t know that Patrick Ness is among my favourite authors (if not thee favourite), well now you do. Point is, I was incredibly disappointed with the dual storylines featured in this book. It’s jarring, really. The contemporary story with Adam Thorne was brilliant; however, the fantastical literary realism of the Queen and the Faun and the–yeah, it lost me.

Long Way Down (Jason Reynolds)

As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually used his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator?

And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.

This book. THIS BOOK. Reynolds has a way with words where he’s both throwing down verse lines and tells a compelling narrative. I was really surprised how much this book written in verse topped my favourite lists of 2017 numerous times. Just read it.

Adulthood is a Myth (Sarah Andersen)

This book is for the rest of us. These comics document the wasting of entire beautiful weekends on the internet, the unbearable agony of holding hands on the street with a gorgeous guy, dreaming all day of getting home and back into pajamas, and wondering when, exactly, this adulthood thing begins. In other words, the horrors and awkwardnesses of young modern life.

Let’s be honest: this book gave me a hissy fit of laughter.

Secrets, Lies, and Scandals (Amanda Morgan)

Nothing ruins summer vacation like a secret…especially when it involves a dead teacher.

With the police hot on the case, they don’t have much time to figure out how to trust each other. But in order to take the lead, you have to be first in line…and that’s the quickest way to get stabbed in the back.

Sometimes you gotta experience the bad to know what’s good. And in the case of Secrets, Lies, and Scandals — it’s something as simple as ‘accidentally butt dialing someone when you’re disposing a dead body’ that surprised me to no end that that itself was a major spark of the conflict.


Any of these on your TBR? What book has been your biggest surprise? Link me up to your TTT list!


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33 thoughts on “[Top Ten Tuesday] – #158 – Books That Surprised Me”

  1. I need to read Children of Blood and Bone. I’m kind of scared though, because hype and I don’t usually mix well. I need to reread the Jasper Dent books. I miss that series. I was so stoked I got to meet Barry Lyga at BookCon and get my books signed. I really did not like Long Way Down much at all. By the way, you list “Long Way Down” for the titles of all the rest of the books on your list.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. At least half of those are on my TBR, so I am happy to hear they surprised you in one way or another. I really thought that might not even be a thing, that you were just so used to twists that no book could shock you haha

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am still surprised that you didn’t love one book by Patrick Ness, knowing you and how fond of his books you are ahah. You have me a bit scared about all the deaths in COBAB, but… still can’t wait and need to read it anyway, it is the most hyped fantasy book of the entire year hahaha. Also, I want to know what makes you say oh, sh*t, so many times hahaha 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think a lot of it was my excitement reading COBaB that had me gasping for air during certain (a majority) of scenes.

      I knooooow. I haven’t even read Ness’ Crane Wide cause I heard it wasn’t strong. But man I didn’t know I could feel disappointment until it happened. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I never thought I’d see the day a Patrick Ness book was a let down to you. Talk about a major WTF moment. Children of Blood and Bone seems to be at the top of the hype train right now, but it looks like an epic book.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I absolutely loved Game! Then again, the whole series is one of my all time favorites… I’m a bit worried about both Warcross and Release now… Especially the second since it sounds a lot like the problem I had with The Rest Of Us Just Live Here (I found the fantastical introductions confusing and prefered the actual chapters).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Release is definitely a lot weirder than The Rest of Us… like, full chapter lengths of weird every other chapter almost.

      I can’t wait to hopefully finish off the Jesper Dent trilogy this year to cap off the explosive romp from the monopoly plotted book two (like omg that was so brilliant like how ????)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh damn, it definitely sounds like I should give Release a pass for now then! I’m having a feeling I would really struggle with is.

        And yesss I totally get where you are coming from with book two!! Book three has some twists that I’ve seen people react differently to, but it is without doubt worth the read. 😉


  6. Yeah, I also found Warcross disappointing for many of the same reasons you outlined. Such a great premise, but the execution and plot holes were whew.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely whew. I’ll still read the second book because I kind of want to know…considering I’m sure I could maybe project what would happen considering everything in the kitchen sink from anime and video games and Japanese culture is thrown in…😱


  7. This is such a fantastic list; I adore your taste in books. So many of these are on my TBR or you just totally convinced me I need to have them on there – Game (and I Hunt Killers), Thunder Hero (and Scythe), Odd One Out, and Long Way Down! They all sound amazing 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure of how much was in production for ARCs of Odd One Out, but from what I’ve seen, some book sellers in the States have received a copy! The edition I have is a Cover Not Final, so you might want to get in contact with the publisher to check on this as I have heard that they’ve recently settled on a final cover proof!

      Liked by 1 person

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