This happens to me with movies a lot; it’s why I like to see them right away. It always seems like the more you hear about how awesome a film was, you are disappointed once you finally see it. It’s inevitable. The same can happen with books. I don’t think I can come up with ten total, so I will do five that I liked more and five that I liked less. Let’s start with the bummers first.
- Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I have written about this before, so I won’t beat a dead demon. I saw these lovely ladies at the Austin Teen Book Festival. I was on the library’s waiting list for this book, but hadn’t gotten it prior to the festival. I was so ready to read it, and when I finally got my hands on it, I was so disappointed. I even read book two of the series to make sure, and that did it for me.
- The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde. I LOVE Tuesday Next and all of her series. You probably have to be a real book lover to get all of the silly grammar puns, book characters, plots and whatnot, and the revisionist history is hilarious. There is nothing else like this series out there. I was thrilled to find that Mr. Fforde had penned a Young Adult book, but the same things that I loved about The Eyre Affair and the rest seemed annoying and overdone here. Pooh.
- Ditto with Death and the Girl Next Door, the first in the new Young Adult series by Darynda Jones. I completely fell for her Charley Davidson series for adults; in fact I will probably be buried with the entire set (first editions, of course). Death held none of the snark, wit and sexiness (I realize it’s YA, but come on) that is her trademark.
- A toss-up between How To Be Good and A Long Way Down, both by Nick Hornby. I wanted to marry About a Boy and High Fidelity. Heck, even the movies were good. But these two books? I’m not even sure if I finished them, but I distinctly remember not being happy with either one. Maybe I should try them again?
- Tiger’s Quest by Colleen Houck. One of my book friends recommended this series, and I really loved the first one, Tiger’s Curse. The second just seemed like a re-tread of the first, so I was really disappointed.
And, here are the top five books that made me extra happy that I’d read them:
- The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis. This book just about literally broke my heart. Even a smidge more than The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (and that books ripped me up but good).
- Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I’d heard good things about this series, and saw it on many lists, but Ms. Stiefvater’s hypnotic writing had me experiencing the wolves’ heat and the cold of the winter right along with them.
- Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas. I read a lot of books I wouldn’t have normally, because I was going to the 2012 Austin Teen Book Fesitval and wanted to read as many of the authors I could. This book is crazy violent, but so engrossing.
- Easy by Tammara Webber. No one escaped the buzz (or the cover) for this indie published phenom. I bought it, bracing myself for disappointment. Far from it – I thought it was very well done.
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. Of course everyone said it was great, so I tempered my excitement and lowered my expectations. As it turned out, I didn’t need to do either. Not one bit.