Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Thought I’d Like More/Less

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

This week’s topic is: Top Ten Books I Thought I’d Like More/Less

As much as I try not too – expectations get the better of me. When I hear/see people RAVING about a book/series/author, I admit that the hype sometimes gets the best of me. And I realize it’s not the book’s fault – but I often can’t help but feel a little disappointed when a decent book didn’t blow me away like I was anticipating.

(Links will take you to my reviews. Clicking on the book cover will take you to the book’s page on goodreads)

Books I Though I’d Like More (and wound up a little disappointed):

Obsidian (Lux, #1)

Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout – This isn’t a bad book. I did enjoy it but I wanted more. Daemon is great but it’d take someone even better than him for me not to resent him for blowing up my computer.

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1) by Jamie Maguire – I love love. But I don’t love over the top jealousy and people who keep trying the same thing over and over but expecting different results.

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)

Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi – There’s a lot I liked about this book. And a lot that left me feeling wanting. This was one of the most talked about books of 2012. It seemed that people everywhere were praising this one. And whilst I thought it was clever I think I spent most of the time I was reading it waiting. Waiting for it to live up to my (possibly unrealistic) expectations.

Marked (House of Night, #1)

Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast – A friend told me this book was absolutely fantastic – the best Vampire Teen series around. I think I got my hopes up and just missed things I would have liked had it not been off the back of such high praise.

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. – This one I think was my own fault that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped. The trailer for the movie ruined the book and that in itself frustrated me. Also I listened to this one on audiobook and the fact that the narrator’s voice had an accent but his thoughts didn’t – it really took me out of the story.

On the other hand are books that I went in not expecting too much and being blown away. These are the best kinds of books! To quote one of my all time favourite movies… A Diamond in the Rough.

(and since I couldn’t find any appropriate gifs – here’s one from Aladdin just cause I love that movie!)

Books I Thought I’d Like Less (and ended up loving!):

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2)

Anna and the French Kiss & Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins – There is the saying “Don’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover” but perhaps I should not judge a book on its title. These books have names similar to those I’d bring home for homework in primary school. But these books are far from simple. They’re beautiful stories about love, friendship, family problems and the complexities of growing up. These are two of my favourite teen contemporary romance novels and I’m so glad I picked them up because I very nearly didn’t..

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1)

Vampire Academy/Bloodlines by Richelle Mead – It probably wouldn’t be a TTT without a Richelle Mead series featuring somewhere on my list. These are both series that feature some kind if paranormal creature in a boarding school but they are both so much more than that. There’s depth and consequences and the gorgeous leading men don’t hurt things either. I had read Mead’s Georgina Kincaid series before starting VA but I didn’t expect for the series to have such a profound effect on my views regarding YA paranormal novels.

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer – A sci-fi futuristic cyborg version of Cinderella? This isn’t something I ever thought I’d read let alone like. But somehow Meyer wrote a novel that’s well thought out and the fairytale links are crafted in a way that feels so right for the story.

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – I thought I’d try to see if I could somehow beat the system. I’d heard so much about this book. The Best Book EVER! is a line that many of my friends and reviews had thrown around. Not having read any John Green and having nothing to compare his work to I though I’d go in expecting the worse. I’m a big enough person to admit I’m wrong because I ADORED this book. It’s beautiful and the characters are almost ridiculously perfect in their own way. I cried. So if you haven’t read this book and you’re intending to – try to ignore the hype. Make up your own mind. But this is a book that I recommend for everyone to read. Even if it’s just to be on the bandwagon and know what people are talking about when they’re talking about TFiOS and John Green.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone / Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor – These books are beautifully written. And the covers are gorgeous. And I have no idea why I didn’t think I’d like them but I very nearly passed on the opportunity to read them.

That’s my list for another week. I love reading other people’s TTT’s and blogs in general so please leave me a comment with a link so I can visit back. All comments are welcome and very much appreciated. Thanks!

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Book Review: Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Title: Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2)
Author: Jamie McGuire
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, New Adult 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: March 2013
Pages: 448 
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Finally, the highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster. Can you love someone too much?
Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

My Review:

After reading Beautiful Disaster in 2012, I was rather curious to read Walking Disaster (even if every time I see the name the Babysitter’s Club book Kristy and the Walking Disaster comes to mind).

Travis “Mad Dog” Maddox has a reputation on campus. He’s notorious for bagging chicks and then taking out the garbage as soon as he’s sated. But when he first spots Abby Abernathy from across a crowded bare-knuckle fight, there’s just something about her that’s different from all the other girls at school. She’s not throwing herself at him and there’s something in her eye that reminds him of himself.

Never one to turn down a challenge, Travis sets out to make Abby his friend. His first non-sexual female friend. But as he gets to know her, he finds so much more than a potential buddy. Abby makes him nervous, anxious and agitated. Maybe, just maybe, Travis has met his match – and mate – in the quiet little Kansas pigeon.

I get the appeal of a bad boy. Not the just psychological phenomenon that explains women are attracted to bad boys as a primordial urge to help them procreate and further their race. But also the devastatingly sexual being that is a bad boy.

So I see why so many readers adore Travis Maddox. I’m just not one of them. However – with this companion novel I do see some redeeming qualities that weren’t present in the first book. He’s got some insight to his behaviour – he even goes as far to admit that he knows he’s a terrible person when it comes to his treatment of females.

But his jealousy just irritated me. Not just the depths of it but also the frequency of his outbursts. His violent tendencies stopped being sexy and were just plain scary.

The plot was well done. It was long enough since I read the first book that seeing the same discussions, interactions and actions didn’t feel repetitive but rather a warm feeling of deja vu that you get when you get to mix with characters you find comforting in their familiarity. The extra scenes that we didn’t get to witness last time as Abby wasn’t currently on-screen were fantastic – the ending made reading this whole story worthwhile.

After reading this book, I’m fully on board the Abby + Travis = 4EVA bandwagon. Not just because I think they’re perfect for each other but because I’m not sure I’d wish either one of them upon anyone else…

Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the digital ARC.

Amazon / Book Depository 

Book Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Title: Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1)
Author: Jamie McGuire
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Chick Lit 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 2012 
Pages: 361
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

My Review:

It’s at a college illegal bare knuckle fight that “cashmered, no-nonsense Abby Abernathy” finds herself face-to-face with bad boy Travis “Mad Dog” Maddox. His reputation as a motorcycle riding player with girls throwing themselves at his feet precedes him and not even his gorgeous tattoos will convince Abby to take a chance on him.

But with Abby’s best friend America dating Travis’ cousin and roommate Shepley, it seems almost inevitable that the two become friends. Straight A student Travis starts to tutor Abby in biology and from there the two become almost inseparable.

Then the Bet happened. Abby loses and ends up moving in with Travis for a month. Things get complicated with Abby refusing to become one of Travis’ one night stands… and proving this by dating another guy… and then going home to sleep in Travis’ bed.

I love butterflies and I have to admit that the shallow part of me wanted to read this book just based on the cover… I even have my own butterfly in a jar that lives on my bookshelves.

But the cover isn’t what drew me in. This story reminded me so much of a Sweet Valley University novel… with the fraternity parties, the bad boy who is just dying to prove to the good girl that there’s more to him that meets the eye… I really liked the college vibe to it all.

And in the beginning I enjoyed Travis and Abby’s banter and interactions. They flirt and fight and flirt some more – both of them playing all kinds of games not only with each other but with the people they use (either consciously or subconsciously) to try to one up the other. Travis is a borderline alcoholic with severe intimacy issues and Abby is trying to run from her past only to have it come back and bite her.

But after a while the drama just kept going on and on in circles with both characters expecting something to change when they keep making the same mistakes over and over again. 

My heart did break a little each time Travis had an emotional break down but I started to wonder why no one ever tried to have him arrested for breaking their nose… The two of them are the Beautiful Disaster the title refers too. Unable to function together but completely miserable without the other. I was glad for the way everything ended but I’m not sure how exactly they overcame all that stood in their way and what happened to end the dangerous cycle that they were stuck in.

I can see this novel appealing to fans of the Fifty Shades series. The sequel will be released in 2013 and it will tell the story of Beautiful Disaster from Travis’ point-of-view.



Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for the digital ARC.

Amazon / Book Depository