The delightful bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish host this weekly list challenge. If you want to quadruple the size of your TBR AND find a bunch of great book blogs to follow head on over and check them out!
The topic this week is Ten Books I Loved Less/More Than I Thought I Would (recently or all time). That's a bit challenging! I decided to come up with five of each, all of which I've read in the past six months or so.
Liked more than I expected:
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes.
It sounded like a rich boy/poor girl romance, but there's a lot more to it.
The Plot to Kill Hitler: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Spy, Unlikely Hero by Patricia McCormick
Digs into the moral quandary of a priest deciding that murder is justified in this particular case. Lots of information I didn't know about how the German church let itself get co-opted by Nazis.
Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded America by Gail Jarrow
If you can make it past the super gross photos on the first few pages, this is a fascinating look at the history of plague, continuing into the 20th and 21st centuries!
Neil Armstrong is My Uncle (and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me) by Nan Marino
I just bought this middle grade novel set in the summer I was born because I teach at a school named Neil Armstrong. Kids voted to have me read it to them, and we enjoyed it quite a bit.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
I know, I know, it won a ton of awards and accolades, but I kept putting it off, thinking it might be dour. It's fascinating and wrenching and beautiful.
Liked less than I hoped:
This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
I really wanted to like this one, or at least to find it interesting and disturbing. Instead, it took a terrifying situation and filled it with bland, two dimensional characters that read like a list of "diverse people" rather than actual teens and adults.
One Death, Nine Stories edited by Marc Aronson and Charles R. Smith Jr.
Another one that takes a fascinating premise and kills it with so-so execution. This is often a problem with multiple-author books, which I suspect are more interesting to write than to read. I'd love to see a similar premise done by one author.
Illumnae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Unpopular opinion, I know. It's not the formatting--I'm a fan of untraditional narratives. It's the plot. Space romance clichés abound. It's not that it's a bad book--I liked it--but it definitely isn't as amazing as I'd been led to believe, and I had no interest in reading the sequel.
The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Here's what I said on Goodreads:
I can totally see why others might love this book, but--I didn't love it. It wasn't bad or anything. The premise is awesome, and the magical realism should have been awesome. I just couldn't get close enough to the characters to actually care much.
I stand by that.
Okay, maybe I just don't like books with girls floating on the cover? I couldn't stand the love interest. I felt that the mystery/creepy angle was underutilized. And I had no interest in continuing Mara's story.
I actually have a Goodreads shelf called "Didn't live up to premise," and that's where I pulled these last five titles from. I do not have one called "Exceeded expectations," but maybe I need one!
Please don't yell at me if you loved any or all of the last five. To each their own, right?