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

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

This week's Top Ten from The Broke and the Bookish asks for the Top Ten Books I Thought I'd Like MORE Than I Did.

1) The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver: People rave about this author and while I did love The Poisonwood Bible, I haven’t felt that way about any of her other work.

2) The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides: Loved Middlesex, but this one kept me so distance from the characters. I was left wanting a lot more and though I know that was the author’s intention, I still wanted to like it more than I did.

3) Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella: I liked some of her other books, but I think I was just burnt out on her by the time I read this.

4) Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger: I loved The Time Traveler’s Wife, so I couldn’t wait for this one! Then I read it and was not impressed at all. It’s hard to follow up such a stellar debut.

5) One Day by David Nicholls: Dexter just killed me in this one. I wanted to smack Emma and tell her to get over him because she could do better.

6) Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay: World War II historical fiction, sounds right up my alley! While I did love the historical aspect, it flipped back and forth to a modern day setting and the main female drama didn’t work for me.

7) Sandman: Volume 1 by Neil Gaiman: I’m a huge Gaiman fan, so I assumed that I would love this. Unfortunately, the illustrations in the graphic novel were a bit too dark for me. I’ve always wondered if I should have tried another volume, but I never did.

8) The Passage by Justin Cronin: The hype surrounding this one made me think it would be incredible, always dangerous. I really loved the first half, but right around the middle we left every single character we knew and basically started a brand new book. It was frustrating enough that I didn’t pick up the sequel.

9) The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne: Holocaust from a child’s point of view, again it sounds like one I would like, but I could never buy the young boy’s completely naïveté. It was too unrealistic to me.

10) The City & The City by China Mieville: I wanted to love this one, but man, I was just left feeling like the author’s goal was to leave the reader feeling completely lost.


Sandy Nawrot said...

I'm chuckling over a few of these. I DID really like Her Fearful Symmetry but then again I read that one first, so I didn't have TTW to live up to. I did enjoy City and the City and The Passage as well, but they didn't blow me away like I thought they might.

Anonymous said...

Ah, hype, the cruel mistress. The Niffenegger and the Nicholls are two books I deeply loathed, not least because everyone went on and on about how good they were. And, yeah, like you: I wanted to inflict bodily harm upon Emma and Dexter.

The Virgin Suicides was my first Eugenides, which is why I wasn't too hurt about it not being Middlesex, or even The Marriage Plot, haha. Good for it, then.

Anonymous said...

I also was not impressed with The Virgin Suicides, The Passage, and The City & The City. I think the one that disappointed me the most was The Virgin Suicides, though, because I really like the rest of his books.

Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind said...

I totally agree with The Passage...after all of the hype it was a bit of a letdown.

JoAnn said...

We agree on her Fearful Symmetry and Sarah's Key. I ended up listing five I liked more (Vanity Fair made the cut!) and five that didn't quite meet my expectations.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Sandy - I so wish I'd read Her Fearful Symmetry first. I just loved TTW so much, it would be hard to follow it up with any books.

Silverfysh - I wanted to punch Dexter in the face! I probably would have liked Suicides if I read it first.

Heather - I've really liked all of his other books too. I think that's what made Suicides so disappointing.

Kat - Yes and I heard that Twelve wasn't incredible, so that was enough to make me skip it.

JoAnn - Woo hoo for Vanity Fair. I ended up coming up with too many for both lists, so I saved the Liked MORE list for another freebie week.

Nikki Steele @ said...

Sandman didn't get any less gruesome. I stuck it out and loved the story, but the violent images associated with graphic novels is definitely not to my taste and a bit heavy to handle.

China Mievelle is a constant disappointment to me. I've tried to read two-three of his novels and they are always absolute dreck! He has such amazing plot ideas but I don't feel the writing follows through on it. *end rant*

Heather said...

Booooy, I hear you on Her Fearful Symmetry. I wanted to love that book SO MUCH it hurt, but, just, ugh.

I didn't really love Sandman until the second volume.

Sarah said...

I recently tried Jeffrey Eugenides book The Marriage Plot and couldn't even finish it, and now I'm wondering if I should just give up on him. I have The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex, but my interest has really decreased since that.

And Her Fearful Symmetry was so disappointing! And weird.

Natalie @Natflix&Books said...

I really wanted to like the Virgin Suicides more, as well. I read that one years ago. The movie's great though if you've never watched it. Agreed on Twenties Girl. I didn't hate it, but it was pretty meh.

Susan said...

THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS wasn't what I expected and I agree that it seems totally unrealistic -- except that I don't think it's meant to be read as realistic fiction. It felt more like allegory to me. THE PASSAGE is kind of a crazy book, but I really enjoyed it.

Happy TTT!

Laura said...

Oh my gosh, I couldn't agree with you more about The Virgin Suicides! I mean, I totally see what Eugenides was doing there, but I just didn't like it. I wanted to know about the girls, not the boys, dammit!

Kristi said...

I'm with you on The City & The City. To me, it was needlessly confusing the way the story was told.

I'm one of those crazy people that really enjoyed One Day. I don't know why because Dexter is pretty terrible for most of the book.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Nikki - I'm so glad I'm not alone on Mievelle. I keep thinking I should try him again, and I probably will, but I disliked that book so much!

Heather - That's good to know about Sandman. Maybe I'll give it another shot. The illustrations were just so unexpectedly dark.

Sarah - If you decide to try one, definitely make it Middlesex. It's such a different book from his other two and it was so good!

Natalie Bell - Yes, I didn't hate Twenties Girl, it was just so very, meh.

Susan - Maybe I would have liked it more if I'd seen it as an allegory, but instead it just came across as a dumbing down of the Holocaust for kids.

Laura - Exactly! It was so frustrating!

Kristi - You definitely weren't alone on One Day. It seemed like everyone loved it!

Anonymous said...

Sandman stays pretty dark, but it's not nearly so much straight horror as the first volume is. So although there are still pretty yucky things that occur in later volumes, they tend to be in service of less horror-ish stories. The tone of the series is much more like "The Sound of Her Wings" (the last story, with Death) than it is like "24 Hours" (the one where everyone in the diner gets killed).

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

jennysbooks - Interesting. I found a copy of Vol. 3 this week in a used bookstore. I hate reading things out of order, but I may do it just to see if it's worth sticking with it for me.

Shelley said...

I completely agree on Sarah's Key and Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I think I liked Bean Trees, but not nearly as much as Poisonwood Bible. It's hard to beat that one.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Shelley - That's true, Poisonwood would be hard to beat. At this point I've read Lacuna, Bean Trees and Animal,Vegetable and Miracle and haven't loved any of them.

Jenners said...

So with you on The Virgin Suicides. In fact, my complete "meh" reaction to it almost kept me from reading the brilliant Middlesex.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jenners - So glad you still read Middlesex!