9 Books That Surprised Me (by actually being good)

I haven't really been reading lately and it's making me kind of sad. But I just haven't had the urge to reach for a book. To try and get myself in the mood for any type of literature, I went through my Goodreads read list and noticed that the majority of the books I liked I had had lukewarm feelings about in the beginning. So I thought I might write a little about them in the hope that afterwards I'd find something new to fall in love with.

Here Are 9 Books That Surprised Me By Actually Being Good

Books That Surprised Me (by being good)

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Her brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder's intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister is infected with the fatal plague that's been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter's illness, Cinder's stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an "honor" that no one has survived. But it doesn't take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.

I've made no secret about my love for The Lunar Chronicles and Cinder was the start of my moderate obsession from June to October of 2017. It was actually the best book I read that year and I fell in love with everything from our protagonist to the strange world around her and everything in between. This sci-fi, romance, drama, action, dystopia is one of the most intriguing young adult books I've come across probably ever.


Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave. One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

I read this about 3 years ago when I was going through my vamp lit phase. I would read anything that had a twist on vampires that hadn't already been done. And whilst this isn't the most unique book I've ever read, it kept my attention for the majority of it. The characters are a little blah, but they are inclusive of trans youth and focus largely on character development throughout. Although it's predictable, it's a great read and I highly recommend it if you want something quick and easy.


It wasn't that she didn't love her children. She did. But there was a fortune at stake--a fortune that would assure their later happiness if she could keep the children a secret from her dying father. So she and her mother hid her darlings away in an unused attic. Just for a little while. But the brutal days swelled into agonizing years. Now Cathy, Chris, and the twins wait in their cramped and helpless world, stirred by adult dreams, adult desires, served a meager sustenance by an angry, superstitious grandmother who knows that the Devil works in dark and devious ways. Sometimes he sends children to do his work--children who--one by one--must be destroyed....

For a long time I read a lot of over the top novels and Flowers In The Attic was the jewel in the crown for a soap opera in literary form. It's incredibly dramatic and dare I say ridiculous, but there is a reason this is such a well loved book. The plot is a beautiful, crazy mess and I could not put it down. I even recommended this to my mum who then finished the entire series (before me, I might add) and loved it just as much as I did. Although V.C. Andrews' writing can be a lot and she certainly does the most when it comes to slotting in some angst, it's definitely worth a read.


Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she's never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy. As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it's a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy's uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary. But the war is everywhere, and Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way.

This was probably the book that surprised me most on the list, after having seen the film and finding it just okay. Daisy is a mess, her relationship with her cousin is kind of sad yet highly romanticized but if you can ignore that, the back drop of the war is frankly one of the most realistic depictions I've come across in any book. There's a reason this has won so many awards.


Here is the incredible story of an imprisoned pedophile who is drawn into an erotically charged correspondence with a nineteen-year-old suburban coed.

One of two books that has literally turned my stomach (the other being American Psycho), The End of Alice is as fantastic as it is sickening. If you're not easily perturbed - or even if you are - I'd suggest picking up this incredibly well written novel. A.M. Homes' male voice is so flawless that I was tricked into thinking this was written by a man. It's dark, it's twisted and it's absolutely brilliant.


When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they’ll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl. But that relief doesn’t last, and Cam is soon forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth and her well-intentioned but hopelessly old-fashioned grandmother. Then Coley Taylor moves to town. She and Cam forge an unexpected and intense friendship — one that seems to leave room for something more to emerge. But just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, ultrareligious Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to ‘fix’ her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self — even if she’s not exactly sure who that is.

I don't often read books about gay people, but I have seen a lot of films centering on the subject and this falls into a lot of the tropes. Closeted young lesbian falls for a confused and bitter straight girl who ends up ruining her life. It's a sad tale that unfortunately is true for a lot of people, but ultimately feel good. You will not be sorry if you pick this up.


In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. 

This is The Village, if the stupid hedgehog looking monsters were replaced with zombies. Or Pride and Prejudice if the townspeople were zombies. Wait. This is a love triangle dropped in the middle of nowhere with fear on every side, with a heavy dose of The 100-esque drama. I actually really, really enjoyed it and read the entire trilogy back to back. Although I've just found out that Maisie Williams is going to be in the film adaption so that might not bode well.


Volera Magray is a Player: she engages with the tourists who come to play the VR games for which her district is so famous. She makes her living being pitted against other Players in terrifyingly real virtual reality games. By day, she is a normal denizen of the oppressive Regency, but by night, she is wracked by terrible nightmares that hint at a past she can no longer remember. She suspects she might have killed someone—and she's afraid that she might do it again. At the same time, the games she's playing are growing steadily more violent. Someone is hacking into the system and creating bootlegged games. Dangerous games. Deadly games. Games that tell a story of profound corruption and massive-scale government conspiracies, warping the lines between fact and fiction. The only clue she has comes in the form of an exceedingly frustrating and potentially dangerous man named Catan Vareth. But, like everything else in her world, his help will cost her...

As a general rule I steer away from self-published books as they can be, for lack of a better word, terrible. HOWEVER Endgame is fantastically written, utterly compelling and a complete mind fuck. I downloaded this on a whim when it was momentarily free on Amazon and I cannot talk this up enough. I follow Nenia Campbell on Goodreads and she has written tons of amazing books which I have had queued on my Kindle for a rainy day (even her reviews are hilarious and thought provoking).


Becca has always longed to break free from her small, backwater hometown. But the discovery of an unidentified dead girl on the side of a dirt road sends the town--and Becca--into a tailspin. Unable to make sense of the violence of the outside world creeping into her backyard, Becca finds herself retreating inward, paralyzed from moving forward for the first time in her life. 

 Becca is drowning in her own indecision and in that awkward summer between high school and college, she is emotionally stuck. The stories of Amelia Anne's death and Becca's fear of moving on are so perfectly intertwined that it's difficult to separate them at times. I don't even know how to describe how convincingly written this story is. It's rare that you forget the characters are simply fiction.

What books surprised you?

3 comments:

  1. all the love in the world for cinder <3

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  2. Also, I tagged you in a thing :)

    https://spectralised.wordpress.com/2018/05/10/the-sunshine-blogger-tag/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ooo thank you :D sorry i'm so behind on checking comments etc

      Delete

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