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: House of Night – Legacy by P.C. and Kristen Cast et al.

Title: House of Night – Legacy (Graphic Novel #1)
Author:  P.C. Cast , Kristin Cast, Kent Dalian , Joëlle Jones, Karl Kerschl
Genre: Graphic Novel, Paranormal, Vampires 
Publisher: Dark Horse
Publication Date: July 2012 (I received this book as a digital ARC from NetGalley)
Pages: 128
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
The magical world of New York Times best-selling authors P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast comes to comics!

Until recently, Zoey Redbird was an average high-school student worrying about grades, boys, and breakouts. But priorities have a way of changing when you are Marked as a vampyre, enroll in the vampyre academy House of Night, and have to figure out a whole new social hierarchy, affinities for elemental magic, and physiological changes that make you crave blood.

My Review:

I admit that I wasn’t a big fan of the first novel in the House of Night series, Marked, but I was curious to read the first instalment in the graphic novel series of the same name.

This book picks up a very short time after the first novel ends and assumes that you’ve read Marked. Zoey has just been given the leadership of the Dark Daughters and is unsure how to proceed. The Goddess Nyx comes to her and tells her that there are five lessons to be learned – one for each one of the elements that Zoey has an affinity for – and once learned these lessons will help Zoey lead the Daughters.

With her friends, Zoey reads thought the stories of famous vampyres from history (who knew Cleopatra was a vampyre?) and learns that her abilities can be used for good or selfishly and only by discerning the difference can she be the leader that Nyx believes she can be.

I loved seeing how the authors imagined the marks and tattoos would look. The illustrations in this series of very short stories are gorgeous – the pages in between each story are incredibly beautiful. The stories themselves are a little simplistic and well… if I’m completely honest irrelevant. I also thought that some of the characters – Stevie Ray in particular – looked nothing at all like they were described in the book.

I think it’s a great book to read if you’re a fan of the series and can’t get enough of the characters. Otherwise I’d give it a miss… or borrow it from the library.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 

Book Review: Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast

Title: Marked (House of Night #1) 
Author: P.C and Kristin Cast
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Vampires
Publisher: Atom also St Martins. Press (an imprint of Macmillan)
Publication Date: May 2007
Pages: 306
Rating: 2 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird’s world, vampyres have always existed.

In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire — that is, if she makes it through the Change.  Not all of those who are chosen do.  It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling.

She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx.  But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers.  When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny–with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

My Review:

I’d been meaning to read this book for a while. It has all the things that I’d love in a book – boarding schools, vampires, cats. What’s not to love?

If I wasn’t the type of person who HATES to give up on a book, I think I may have thrown in the towel after the first chapter. The dialogue really irked me.  But after giving Marked a chance, I got drawn into the story and I stopped noticing the things that bugged me from the first pages.

Zoey Redbird is a character that I grew to admire. She has a lot thrown at her – being a Vampyre with a special mark gifted to her directly from the goddess, Nyx; facing the reality that not all fledglings make it to adulthood; secret societies with evil cheerleader-esque leaders and the most handsome boy in school trying to get her attention. I liked how she didn’t let it all get on top of her. She managed to hold her own and stand up not just for herself but for her friends too.

That’s not to say that she does everything well. I don’t think it’s a recommended idea to imprint on your ex-boyfriend and have him follow you around like a lost and overly affectionate puppy.

The supporting cast of characters are a bit of a motley crew but I found them rather entertaining.  The Twins amused me greatly – I love the idea of physical opposites with completely different upbringings but having a similar soul. And Stevie Ray is somewhat adorable with her southern drawl and obsession with country music.

I do have a copy of Betrayed (House of Night #2) after I managed to pick it up for $2 at a second-hand book sale but I’m not sure this is a series that I’m going to stick with.

I am glad that I finished the book and I was quite enjoying myself by the end but it took me a little too long to get there.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository