Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (3) 4-23-13: Top Ten Books I Thought I'd Like More Than I Did

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Top Ten Books I Thought I'd Like More Than I Did

This is kind of a bummer of a topic, but as a writer honing my craft I think it's an important one. We need to know the ways we're letting our readers down so that we can continue to improve ourselves. So here's a list of books I thought I'd like more than I did, and why I felt disappointed after reading them. But to make it fun, yay GIFs!! GIFs make everything fun, right? Right. 

10. Beautiful Creatures--Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl--I read this book right before the movie came out which may have been my first mistake. Everyone I knew was completely fangirling over Beautiful Creatures so by the time I picked it up, I had ridiculously high expectations. It took me a loooooong time to finish a book that really I should have gotten through in about a day. The pace was not fast enough for me and while I liked the male lead, I wasn't really crazy about Lena. She was a little too...Bella...for me. But we'll get to that in a bit. ;)

9. An Abundance of Katherines--John Green--I'm ashamed to include this, really I am. I genuflect at the altar of John Green, but this was one I could not get into. For me the lesson here is the importance of a likable MC. Colin was a little too...

...for me. I felt no empathy for him, which I don't think was necessarily different from what Green expected the reader to feel. But for me it was a deal-breaker. So there ya go. He's still the best YA author ever, though. Really and truly.

8. The List--Siobahn Vivian--I love Siobahn almost as much as I love John Green. Her debut was genius--all the wonderful things about YA Contemp. But The List fell flat for me. I'm all about multi-POV novels. I think it's an important concept for teens to grasp--that different people will see the same situation in different ways. But this was too many POVs for me. I didn't feel like I ever had an anchor. There wasn't one character I really wanted to win. And it made me struggle to root for the book as a whole.

7. Ender's Game--Orson Scott Card--Yes, yes, I know. Putting this classic on my list is a crime against the craft of writing. To be fair, I picked it up primarily because my husband told me to, which made me go in with a lot of skepticism (we don't typically like the same books.) But that's not why I ended up adding this title to this list. I predicted the ending about five chapters into the book. And I don't like my reads to be that predictable. So there you have it.

6. Reached--Ally Condie--I'm too disappointed to really even be diplomatic about it. I was super disappointed in this book. It was one I was looking forward to all year after reading Matched and Crossed. For me, Reached was super telly and because the three MCs were so isolated, there wasn't a lot of dialogue until the very end. And the ending? Blah. I wanted to be like...

Instead, I was sad in my pants after this read. 

5. Walking Disaster--Jamie Maguire--I was reading along, enjoying this companion to Beautiful Disaster, which I liked even in its original self-pub format despite all the yucka errors. It was interesting to see the same story from a different perspective, and it was juuuuuuust different enough that it didn't feel like I was reading the exact same book.

And then came the epilogue.

And so that I don't get screamed at for spoilers, I will leave it at that. :)

4. Sloppy Firsts--Megan McCafferty--I heard so much good stuff about this book on Goodreads that I had to pick it up. Like Katherines, I wasn't a fan of the MC. Or the narrative voice. Or the love interest. I just wasn't a fan. Meh.

3. Requiem--Lauren Oliver--I'm pretty sure there is a lost 4th installment in this series that Ms. Oliver has failed to announce to us yet. Because really? This is not how you end a long-anticipated trilogy. I was so disappointed. The series feels so, so unfinished. I confess myself disappointed. There may even be boo-hissing involved.

2. Private--Kate Brian--This was the first real YA series I read after I decided I wanted to write YA Contemporary. It was sooooooo huge at the time, and I had to see what it was all about. I'm still trying to figure it out. Suffice to say I've determined that prep school books about snotty fashion-obsessed shallow wannabes is not the kind of book for me.

1. Twilight--Stephanie Meyer--I can sum this one up with just a GIF. Otherwise this would require its own post.

What book was the biggest disappointment for you? And feel free to tell me all the reasons I'm wrong about my choices! I love hearing perspectives that challenge my thinking.

Happy reading, everyone!

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