Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Surprised Me, Good Or Bad

Welcome to this week’s Top Ten Tuesday!!

The thing I love most about reading many books is that books can really take you by surprise. You never really know what you’re up against because a book you are certainly you’ll love can turn out like a complete flop or a book you just read because everyone else is reading the book can turn out to be the next one on your all time favourites list.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.This week’s topic is “Books That Surprised Me (in a good or bad way).” I’m going to list 5 good surprises and 5 bad surprises.  Enjoy!

1. Eliza & Her Monsters – Francesca Zappia


This was a book that I was fairly certain I would enjoy, but not love. If you would have asked me before hand how many stars I would probably give this book, I would have said probably 3  or 4 at the very most. I was so wrong about this book. I loved it so much and it compleeeeeetely took me by surprise, so much even that I lost an entire day while reading this book. This book was, for me, the perfect reminder that a character doesn’t need to be “likeable” or relatable to be a good character. It was a really interesting book for me that gave me a look inside the mind of someone who is the complete opposite of me.

you can read my review, here.

2. Caraval – Stephanie Garber


I started reading this book because there simply wasn’t a bad review out there about this book (or they were hidden quite well). I’m so sorry for all the Caraval lovers out there, but it was my biggest disappointment of 2017.

By now, I have met some other people who really didn’t love Caraval too. So, apparently I’m not the only one (phew).  I don’t know if it’s a good idea, but I’m planning on reading the second book in the series. I really want to give this author a second chance. Everyone deserves one, I think, and I didn’t completely hate everything about this book.


3. Burn for Me – Ilona Andrews


THAT COMPLETELY WRONG COVER! It looks like an erotic novel, but it really isn’t. It’s an adult book, but the amount of romance scenes would be acceptable in a YA book (I’m talking about the first book, the other two are a little bit more heavy on the romance). Someone told me that this book really didn’t deserve this cover and it made me curious enough to give Ilona Andrews a chance. I’m so happy I read it, because now I’m an Ilona Andrews addict and I’m slowly devouring every book they ever wrote.

4. Warcross – Marie Lu


This was a book I started just because everyone liked it and it was that kind of day when I just really craved a good book. Sadly, this wasn’t that kind of book. In my eyes there were so many things wrong with this book. The romance was such a bad example, the science/technology part was just so wrong. I’m in my last year of my engineering studies and I just couldn’t take it anymore after a while (this is a problem I seem to have with the majority of sci-fi YA books).

You can read my review/rant, here.

5. Behind Closed Doors – B.A. Paris


I read this in 2016 and at that time I hadn’t read that many mystery/thriller novels yet and I really liked this book a lot. So much, that I was convinced that mystery was a new go to genre for me. I read a lot of mystery novels after this one and I actually didn’t like any of them. I was convinced that I was just reading the wrong books and I just kept reading them and not liking them. After a while I finally realised that this book was just an exception on the rule and I actually don’t really like the mystery genre! Definitely a good surprise though!


6. Origin (Robert Langdon #5) – Dan Brown


Normally I’m a really big Dan Brown fan, but this book really wasn’t that good. It was a lot more boring that Dan Brown’s usual books. If you compare this book to The Da Vinci code it’s just not possible to not be disappointed. I really hope this is just a one time event and that the next book will be a hit again!

You can read my review, here.

7. The November Girl – Lydia Kang


I really loved the characters in this book. they were everything but ordinary and a lot of time was put into the two main characters. A big part of the story is only about two people but it never gets boring. It’s such a good surprise because it was executed so amazingly.

You can read my review, here.

8. Secondborn (Secondborn #1) – Amy A. Bartol


This book really wasn’t my thing. It was overly dramatic, the main character was little miss perfect, the romance made me quite literally gag and nothing about this world made sense to me. It felt like a cheap rip off of the Hunger Games. I really couldn’t handle this book.


You can read me review, here.

9. Wicked Charm – Amber Hart


You can read my review, here.

This was a mystery but only barely. It had a lot of romance and the setting was amazing. This book made me really want to visit those swamps and that’s something that had a very low priority before I started reading this book! I think that books that are able to completely change your view on something are always a good surprise.

10. The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy #1) – Charlie N. Holmberg


I really liked the premises of this book. A lot of magic in an original setting. But the lack of details and the super long boring parts just were so disappointing. This book is only 200 pages but it feels like a 600 page book. Definitely a bad surprise.

You can read my review, here.


Thank you so much for reading my entire TTT of this this week! I hope you enjoyed it, see you next week!


  • I totally fangirled over Warcross. LOVE it!!

    Caraval is such a great debut novel. Legendary is going to be great!

  • I just bought Eliza and her Monsters and it’s been on so many people’s TTT list as not so good… I’m going to read it, but now I’m wary ??

    • ThePrintedGirl

      I actually loved the book so much! I really hope you’ll like it. I know many people have mixed feelings about it. But, for me it was a very good surprise ?

  • Bummer about Caraval!! I know other people who felt the same way you did– and OMG the hype probably didn’t help that book at all. Expectations were sky high for it.

    Eliza and Her Monsters looks FAB. I think I should defintely try it. Great list 🙂

    • ThePrintedGirl

      Yes, I would probably have liked it more if I had started it with no expectations! Reading other people’s reviews can be a curse! ?
      I really hope you’ll like Eliza and her Monsters. It’s really great .

      Happy reading! ?

  • I’m so curious about Eliza and her Monsters. I just know this is one of those few contemporaries I am going to like. I just have to buy it haha. Sorry to hear you didn’t like Caraval. I liked it, a 4 star read, but I can understand why it isn’t a great read to everyone.

    • ThePrintedGirl

      I really love the cover of Eliza and her Monsters ? it’s so gorgeous!!
      I can totally understand why people like Caraval. I just stared to get really annoyed by small things that kept returning. ?

      Ps. I didn’t include Strange the Dreamer this week. ?

  • I loved Eliza and her Monsters so much! Caraval I didn’t enjoy too much either + I’ve only read about 3 of Dan Brown’s books and I have really enjoyed them, so I a bit wary of Origin now. Great post!

    • ThePrintedGirl

      Oh, it seems like we love the same books ?
      I know many people who did like Origin. And it wasn’t that bad, just not as good as his previous books.
      Happy reading! ?

  • I hated Caraval as well, but I want to pick the sequel in hopes that well find more about Legend. He was the only interesting thing about that book. I really wished shell tone the metaphors though because how many times something can smell/taste/look like (insert colour) of… You get the point:))

    Carmen`s Reading Corner

    • ThePrintedGirl

      ABSOLUTELY. I really don’t know how pillows can be black like funerals. They’re pillows for Christ’s sake!! It drove me mad.
      The main character also wasn’t that bright and she fell in love way too quickly!
      I’m going to give the second book a new chance though. It can be more interesting.
      Happy reading!!

  • I imagine an engineer would find lots of problems with many science fiction and fantasy books. That’s too bad.

    • ThePrintedGirl

      Yes, sometimes I think it’s a shame. I would love to just enjoy these books without knowing it’s wrong ?

  • You’re the first person I’ve met who didn’t like Caravel. I haven’t read that book yet, but do you have any other non-spoiler-y reasons you can give for why you didn’t enjoy it?

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

    • ThePrintedGirl

      It’s been some time since I read the book and, honestly, I think you should read the book because I’m obviously a minority. ?
      I’ll try being really vague so I don’t spoil anything for you.

      A lot of things just didn’t make sense to me. There were a lot of weird discribtions that made absolutely no sense to me, a few examples.
      “It smelled like the middle of the night”

      “He tasted like midnight and wind”

      “Tella’s expression fell, like a doll Scarlett had dropped.”

      “Something about him made her feel perilous shades of silky black.”

      “The world tasted like lies and ashes when Scarlett woke.”

      “Something acidic and moldy and burnt bubbled up through Scarlett’s throat – the taste of death.”

      Everything was really vague and there were riddles were I couldn’t understand even after thinking about it for way to long.

      There is absolutely no world building, they don’t live on earth, but we don’t get any details as on which world/planet they do live.

      And Scarlett (the main character) was a bit dumb and did things that just were plain stupid.

      I’m someone who is very sensitive to those things, if it doesn’t bother you that much. I truly hope you’ll like it.?

      Happy reading ?

      • My sister read it and said the exact same things you did. I’ll read it eventually but I will be very wary.

        I’m interested in Eliza & Her Monsters. I’ll put it on my TBR.

        • ThePrintedGirl

          Maybe the book is automatically better if your expectations aren’t sky high ?
          I hope you’ll like both books, though! ?

  • Nice list! I haven’t read any of these but Eliza and Her Monsters is so high on my TBR. I am so waiting for its price to go down 🙁

    My TTT:

  • I didn’t like Caraval either but go back and forth on reading Legendary. On the one hand Tella was one of the few things I liked about Caraval but then I have to ask myself, “Did you like her because she was barely in it?” 🙂 I might wait for some reviews this time! Great picks on your list though!

    • ThePrintedGirl

      I ask myself the same thing about Tella. She seemed to be the only person who used her brains once in a while and wasn’t freaking out from the smallest thing!

      I think I’m going to give Legendary a chance though ?

  • I liked Caraval, but I have seen several people have it on their bad surprise list this week!
    My TTT:

  • I want to read Ilona Andrews-I would enjoy that book. Eliza has a lot of mixed opinions!!

    • ThePrintedGirl

      Ilona Andrews books are so fun to read! I hope you’ll enjoy them! ?
      I kind of understand why Eliza has a lot of mixed reviews, I totally didn’t expect to like it as much as I did.

  • Nice to see that Eliza and her Monsters was a good surprise, as I kinda want to try that one. Bummer about Caraval though… another one I’ve been eyeing but haven’t taken the plunge yet!

    The November Girl I remember seeing somewhere, and the Lake Superior angle got my attention since I live in Michigan. I do want to read that one. 🙂

    • ThePrintedGirl

      You should try Caraval though. Many people did like it. ?

      The November Girl is a book that deserves much more attention than it gets. It’s really good?
      Happy reading ?

  • Off your list this week I actually enjoyed Caraval. I can see it’s a bit syrupy though and also with very flowery prose – I didn’t really mind that. I think my biggest criticism was the relationship between the two sisters which I didn’t really ‘feel’.
    I loved Burn for Me and have the second book waiting to be read.
    Lynn 😀

Tell me what you think!