This weeks topic is all about the books that took us by surprise, and it was left to us to choose whether it would be in a good or a bad way.
We pick up a book because we want to enjoy it, we want to connect with the characters and the journey they embark on. Sometimes a book takes us by surprise because we love it so much, and that has happened on a few occasions for me. There have been times when I went into reading a book and didn’t expect too much, only to be blown away by the story telling.
Below are all the books that wormed their way into my heart and took me completely by surprise.
1. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
I had never read any of Leigh Bardugo’s books before, so I figured a great place to start would be her collection of dark fairy tales set in the Grishaverse that she created. It was the best decision I’ve made. I was completely blown away by the writing, the vivid descriptions and the characters. I read the whole thing in less than 24 hours, something I haven’t done in a very long time. Now I am reading Shadow and Bone, the start of her trilogy, and I’m already loving it.
2. To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
A debut novel that I received from NetGalley, and one that took me by surprise. While I was in a slump reading this, it didn’t take away from the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The characters were amazing, the dialogue was natural and the action sequences were fast paced and easy to follow. This book had everything for me and found a place in my heart.
3. The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
Another 2018 debut novel that I fell head over heels for. This book was incredibly vivid, full of beautiful descriptions, unique ideas and a dark undertone that I loved. Dhonielle Clayton created a fantasy world that was bright with colours and I could see everything clearly. While I was given this book to review from NetGalley, I would head out and buy a copy for myself to keep.
4. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
I went into this book carefully because I had heard so many amazing things, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up and in the end I loved it. I was a little surprised it lived up to the hype (hype can be dangerous) and then proceeded to buy the rest of the series. I’ve read the first three in the series and cannot wait to continue with it in the near future.
5. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
I had no idea that this book series would mean so much to me when I first started reading them. I have only read them once (a re-read is in order) and I couldn’t get enough of the characters, the story and the world that Mead created. It is still one of my top ten series and I hope it stays that way, although there are some amazing books coming out, and series that I still need to complete.
6. Everless by Sara Holland
The third and final debut novel of 2018 on this list (there are so many amazing books this year). Everless is based on such a unique idea with characters that you root for and plot twists that take your breath away. I can’t wait until I can enter this world again in the second book when it comes out.
7. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I don’t read thrillers often and, in fact, this was my first book of that genre and I loved it. I was hooked from the beginning, trying to guess everything and I just kept turning the pages until I found out. I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed this book, so much so that I went on to read her second novel, Into the Water.
8. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
I picked up this book because of PeruseProject over on YouTube after she mentioned it in quite a few of her videos. I had no idea what to expect, but I ended up loving this incredible fantasy world and it has made me want to read the rest of her books. I have the second instalment sitting on my shelf, waiting for me.
9. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
It had been a while since I read a book by Kendare Blake, but since I enjoyed her Anna Dressed In Blood duology I figured I would give Three Dark Crowns a go. Well, this series just blew me away, the second book is definitely my favourite so far and I am super excited to see where the series will go when the next book comes out later on this year.
10. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Another book that was seriously hyped up. I went into this hoping I would like it and I ended up loving the dark and twisted tale. It had been a while since I read a book about faeries and I loved Black’s spin on the folklore and the mingling of humans with the race. Now that the cover for the second has been released, I am counting down the days until I can read it.
I’m sure there will be more books in the future that surprise me, in good and bad ways, and I can’t wait to discover the ones that will become my favourites. What would be in your top ten?