TOP TEN TUESDAY
February 21, 2017
It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic was Ten Books I Loved More/Less Than I Thought I Would and I opted to share my black sheep moments!
I feel like more and more lately I’ve become the black sheep on so many popular books. My best friends loved them. The general population loved them. They’re incredible well-rated books. There the most popular books in the country right now… But they’re just not the books for me.
Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic prompted a sharing of books that we loved more or less than we thought we would and I wanted to share some of those black sheep moments that I’ve had, whether recently or in the past. Some of these may shock you. Some of these may cause you to unfriend me or throw your books at me or jump up and down screaming “How could you possibly think that!?” but you know… finding a fellow black sheep is kind of an amazing feeling. I try not to dwell on a negative opinion but when I find someone else who’s in the incredibly small portion of people who didn’t like a popular book, I immediately stop by and say, “Hey, me too!”
So after babbling on and on (maybe I’m just delaying it because of fear of all the judging that is about to happen!), here are my Top Ten Black Sheep Books!
AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir
Goodreads average rating: 4.32 stars | My rating: DNF
Ummmm yeahhhhhh. I didn’t finish this one. I started listening on audio WITH TWO OF MY FAVORITE NARRATORS and was bored and annoyed and felt like the book wasn’t doing anything new. Prophecies, blah. It was too perfect and too convenient. I tried picking up my ARC and just couldn’t get into it. Meh. | My Review
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green
Goodreads average rating: 4.28 stars | My rating: 3 stars
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS is the highest-rated book on my “black sheep” books list. I had never read a John Green book before this and everyone raaaaved how much they loved it so obviously I had very high hopes! What I found was just… not the best. The teens were way too well-spoken (like more than adults EVER are) and the conversations just felt unrealistic and pretentious. It was my first John Green book and I haven’t really found one since that I loved. | My Review
THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES by Mindy McGinnis
Goodreads average rating: 4.27 stars | My rating: 3 – 3.5 stars
I guess this was more of a black sheep book in the sense that I was left confused in so many ways on how I felt about it. Main character Alex was emotionally cold and closed-off and yet she was extremely over-feeling. The ending of the book infuriated me and yet it was also kind of the only way it could end. Things like that left me with an overall feeling of confusion. I was totally on board with the overall message and the fact that McGinnis didn’t shy away from sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll (okay, or just sex and drugs). But I also really, really didn’t like the unnecessary involvement of animal abuse. If it needed to be included, it could have been for a plot point and instead, there was no point to it. | My Review
THE GOOSE GIRL by Shannon Hale
Goodreads average rating: 4.18 stars | My rating: 2 stars
I read this with Alyssa and Amy as an On the Same Page buddy read because it was one of Amy’s favorite books and… I was surprised she didn’t ditch me because of my feelings on the book. I actually *whispers almost inaudibly* kiiiind of skimmed the end? I don’t know why but I just could not get into this book. It just wasn’t my thing. | My Review
CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber
Goodreads average rating: 4.15 stars | My rating: 3 stars
CARAVAL was a good example of one of those horrible, horrible black sheep moments. The one where I’m SURE I’ll love the book. The moment where I’m so confident that I break my rule of getting ARCs (much less books) personalized and save my extra manuscript copy (which has now gone to a good home) because I don’t want to get rid of them, just in case I need them for a future collection. Instead, it’s goodbye spare copies and I don’t even want a finished copy. I was really disappointed in CARAVAL. It was entertaining enough but I don’t understand what people saw in it. The world was too all-over-the-place, I hated the sister relationship, and the ending was crap. The imagery was amazingly gorgeous and the boy was swoony but that wasn’t enough to save the book for me. If anyone needs an ARC and you don’t mind my name in it… I won’t need it! | My Review
UPROOTED by Naomi Novik
Goodreads average rating: 4.14 stars | My rating: 2.5 – 3 stars
This was another book that I read with Alyssa and Amy that they loved and I didn’t (seriously, why are they still friends with me?) but at least I was able to pinpoint that it was a style clash with me. I don’t need all action all the time to enjoy a book but the pacing in UPROOTED felt slow and detailed and I just had a really hard time pushing through it. I ended up speed-reading (aka skimming) parts until I came around to a bit more going on in the end. When it came down to it, it was just a style issue for me.
KIDS OF APPETITE by David Arnold
Goodreads average rating: 4.08 stars | My rating: 3 stars
I didn’t end up reading MOSQUITOLAND before I read KIDS OF APPETITE but I had heard nothing but good things for David Arnold’s book! I had also met him a year or two ago and he was just such a wonderful person… But I really didn’t enjoy KIDS OF APPETITE. Again, it was a style thing for the most part, combined with a bit too much repetition (I don’t ever want to hear the word “racehorse” again). Something about it just wasn’t for me and it actually kind of reminded me of John Green’s books which as we know from this post are not really for me. | My Review
SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi
Goodreads average rating: 4.02 stars | My rating: DNF
This book should have been so me in concept, especially around the time when it came out… but I just could not stand the writing. All the strikethroughs drove me nuts and I just had a really hard time reading it. I eventually gave up and despite the awesome ratings, never felt the pull to come back to it.
TRUTHWITCH by Susan Dennard
Goodreads average rating: 3.94 stars | My rating: 2 stars
I spent WEEKS reading TRUTHWITCH. I just could not get into it. This had the makings of a perfect Brittany book but it just did not come together for me. For starters, I started with the audio and hated the narrator. Like one of the worst narrators I have ever, ever listened to. Everything was overacted and just not in line with the character personalities. BUT that problem is easily solved — I just switched to my print copy… which I had purchased so I could keep reading. And still took weeks to finish it. I just wanted so, so much more from the world-building, from the romance, and even from the friendship. I just didn’t feel any of it jiving… not to mention it was hyped up in SEPTEMBER allllllll the way until January when it was released. That’s way too much hype. | My review
THREE DARK CROWNS by Kendare Blake
Goodreads average rating: 3.86 stars | My rating: 3 stars
This one doesn’t seem too bad from Goodreads average rating to my own rating but SO many of my friends gave this four stars and a lot of them gave it five “this book is amazing” stars. I… didn’t get it. The pacing was slow, which in retrospect was in part because it was the first in a series which Goodreads had not noted when I first picked it up so I thought I was reading a stand alone. How. Killer. Then again, even if I had known I was reading the first in a series, it still would have been slow. The world was interesting and I loved getting to know the three queen sisters and yet I was still missing so much. I wanted a lot more depth from each girl and I felt like not a whole lot happened until the very end and things got good on like, the last page! Plus there was a very dumb love triangle that felt totally unnecessary and I hated it (and love triangles usually don’t bother me). I don’t know if I’ll keep reading the series, mostly because I’m mad at it. | My Review