Top Ten Tuesday – Top 10 Books That Far Exceeded My Expectations

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Top Ten Books That Surprised Me (in a good or bad way).  I had to think about this one for a while because I’m usually pretty good about picking books that I have a pretty good shot of enjoying.  The biggest wildcards for me are the books that I decide to pick up because they’re super hyped and I want to know what all of the fuss is about.  Sometimes those books are a complete bust for me, but other times, as in the case with the ten books below, these books can be a wonderful surprise and far exceed my expectations for them.  In many cases, they go on to become favorite books of mine, as in the case of the Harry Potter series, The Lunar Chronicles, and The Night Circus.

The Great Alone, which I haven’t even reviewed on the blog or Goodreads yet, is the latest in the line of books that have exceeded my expectations.  I just finished it this weekend and absolutely fell in love with it.  It’s a book that focuses on living off the land in Alaska and I don’t think I would have even picked it up if I wasn’t already such a big fan of Kristin Hannah’s writing.  I went into it thinking it might be a book that would let me down, but nope, just the opposite. I think it’s my favorite Hannah book yet.

 

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Top 10 Books That Far Exceeded My Expectations

 

 

1.  THE HARRY POTTER SERIES by J.K. Rowling

(Find out what it’s about…)

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2. THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins

 

(Find out what it’s about…)

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3. ROOM by Emma Donoghue

 

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4. THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern

 

(Find out what it’s about…)

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5. THE GREAT ALONE by Kristin Hannah

 

(Find out what it’s about…)

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6. THE LUNAR CHRONICLES by Marissa Meyer

 

 

(Find out what it’s about…)

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7. THE LILAC GIRLS by Martha Hall Kelly

 

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8. A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness

 


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9. THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir

 


(Find out what it’s about…)

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10. FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell

 


(Find out what it’s about…)

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Question:  What are some books that surprised you in a good way?

40 replies
  1. Olivia
    Olivia says:

    I LOVED the Lunar Chronicles. Much more than expected, yes. Great series. I also didn’t expect to like The Martian as much as I did. I yet have to read A Monster Calls!

    Reply
  2. Carmen
    Carmen says:

    Harry Potter, yes! Although I grew up with the movies, I`ve read the books only as an adult and they were fantastic! Also, “A Monster Calls” broke my heart into million tiny pieces. Patrick Ness has such a lyrical writing style, one of my favourite authors for sure.

    Carmen`s Reading Corner

    Reply
  3. Angela
    Angela says:

    I think I’m also pretty good about picking books I’ll enjoy, or I assume I’ll enjoy most things, so I’m usually disappointed more than pleasantly surprised. But maybe The Martian would be on my list, because it’s science fiction and not something I would normally read.

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      The new Kristin Hannah was so good. I stayed up really late one night to finish it because I just couldn’t put it down and had to know how it was going to end.

      Reply
  4. Cholla
    Cholla says:

    Considering I was an adult (and pregnant lol) when I started reading the Harry Potter books, I concur. I knew they’d be good, but I had no idea how much I was going to get sucked into them.

    The Night Circus was also a real surprise for me. Beautiful novel!

    Fangirl is on my Kindle… I really want to read it soon.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thanks!

    Reply
  5. Jordan Rose
    Jordan Rose says:

    The Lunar Chronicles also far exceeded my expectations! I knew everyone loved it before I started it, but the whole cyborg/Cinderella thing just didn’t appeal to me…. but it ended up being amazing. Nice list! There are a lot on there that I haven’t read, so perhaps I should work on that. 🙂

    Reply
  6. Lindsi
    Lindsi says:

    I’m currently reading my way through The Lunar Chronicles! I’ve read Cinder and Scarlet and LOVED them! I can’t wait to see what happens next, and keeping my fingers crossed that something horrific happens to Levana. Her name alone leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

    Harry Potter! Always!

    Do You Dog-ear?

    Reply
  7. Lindsey @ Lindsey Reads
    Lindsey @ Lindsey Reads says:

    The Lunar Chronicles is a series that surprised me a lot as I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it that much but then it became an all-time favorite. And of course, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Fangirl are just amazing <3

    Reply
  8. Sam@WLABB
    Sam@WLABB says:

    I love RR’s books, so Fangirl delivered what I expected (all good things). I have a hold at the library for the new Kristin Hannah book. I have been wanting to read more of her work, because The Nightingale is a book that surprised me in such a good way. I am always leery of hyped books and am not a huge fan of historical fiction, but that book was amazing.

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I hope you’ll enjoy The Great Alone. It really surprised me how much I loved it. I’ve enjoyed all of Hannah’s books that I’ve read so now I really want to go back and read some of her older ones.

      Reply
  9. imyril
    imyril says:

    I was surprised by how much I enjoyed The Hunger Games. After all the hype – and not particularly liking the film of the first one – I was expecting to spend my whole time rolling my eyes (also: YA love triangles REALLY irritate me; they’re a key reason I don’t read YA). Instead, I was completely immersed, unexpectedly identified with Katniss and didn’t find the love triangle annoying at all. I loved that Collins took on the PTSD and how she worked that into the story – it helped the sequels feel so much more believable.

    Reply

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