Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Top 10 Books That Surprised Me

Hello! I'm a day late for mine but I'm back! :) I've been moving and working a heck of a lot, but I'm now back into a groove. :). This week we're discussing ten books that surprised us. 

1. The books of Pellinor by Alison Croggon. One of the few young adult fantasy novels that hasn't been made into a movie yet, these aren't just a typical YA read. The prose in these novels was so well written it reminded me greatly of Tolkien. Definitely a must read. 

2. Divergent by Veronica Roth. The Hunger Games started me down the path of dystopian fiction, and this series just encourages that love of the genre. Set in dystopian Chicago, it's my favorite, even topping Suzanne Collins' work, in dystopian fiction. 

3. Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien. Besides being written by a woman whose name is the most Irish I've ever seen, this book is spectacular. It too is a dystopian fiction, but it explains why; the severe environmental destruction of the country caused a group to create the Enclave. Global warming, not war, caused this bleak world. It focuses on a young midwife, Gaia, and her fight against the Enclave. 

4. Rose Madder by Stephen King. This book TERRIFIED me. Yes, I know King's work is meant to terrify, but this one just did it for me. I had NIGHTMARES because of this book about a woman fleeing her sadistic abusive husband. I can't even LOOK at a tennis racket the same. 

5. Code Name: Verity by Elizabeth Wein. This book (as well as #6) are all about the World War II era. This book gave me chills. It is in the viewpoint of "Verity," an Allied agent who is captured by Nazis in Vichy France. Pure enjoyment. Though have some tissues.

6. Anne Frank and Me by Cherie Bennett. I read this book early in high school and it remains one of my favorites. Truly, I cry every time I read it. Nicole Burns understands how important the Holocaust is, but has no attachment to it and thus no real feelings until she's suddenly thrown into occupied France as a Jewish girl. 

7. Everneath by Brodi Ashton. A supernatural romance! The ending gets me, and I need to find the next book in the series. I'm just chomping on the bit. 

8. Pure by Julianna Baggott. Another dystopian fiction, involving a nuclear attack on the country. The elite were all sent to bio domes that protected them from all radiation while those outside became mutated. I loved this book. I'm not sure how realistic it is, but it is entertaining.

9. Hana Yori Dango by Yoko Kamio. Okay, okay, this one is not a NOVEL, but it is a book. It is a manga series from Japan about a poor girl named Makino Tsukushi standing up to the elite F4- 4 uber rich boys who set out to ruin fellow students if they are slighted. It's a fun read and there's even live action tv shows based on it. (Granted, they are Korean and Japanese, but if you're cool with reading subtitles, you'll enjoy it! I recommend the Japanese version, personally.)

And because "surprising" could also mean "surprisingly bad", my last book is a book I couldn't believe how terrible it was (in my opinion--- if you like this book, great! But I hate it.)

10. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. This novel did not really mark itself as a romance, so I was a bit surprised when I started reading it. It started out fine, a book about a newlywed getting sent back to medieval Scotland on her honeymoon, but once it got to Claire, our protagonist, getting married to a second guy, getting beaten by her new husband (because she didn't listen to him when she was trying to leave to go back to her time!), and the wholly unnecessary male rape scene at the end, I was disgusted. Ugh. This is the LEAST romantic novel I've read (and I've read quite a few!)


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