Going into a book with zero expectations and then discovering it is THE BEST OF EVER? I love that.
And now I knoooow what you’re thinking as you settle down to read this post whilst unwrapping an obligatory cupcake because cake + my blog has just become a natural cliche these days — you’re thinking: “Okay, Cait, but I have questions. WHY even would you pick up a book in the first place if you thought you wouldn’t like it????”
It is a sensible question. And I will reward you with not-sensible answers.
- I have this ridiculous desire to just read all the books of ever. I’m also currently in search for immortality to achieve this. But if anyone is disagreeable enough to have even Death avoid them? It’d be me.
- I get sent a lot of unsolicited books for review. So, ya know, I want to give them a chance instead of being a cover-judging shrimp like I truly am inside.
shouted at measked me to read it. And I’m either (a) terrified of them, or (b) like them a lot. So I read it. Good luck figuring out which it is if you’re shouting at me to read something.
- What if I MISS OUT ON SOMETHING??? Truly my worst terror. So even if a YA book looks like the underside of a whale’s left tooth, I still want to try it. And I never said there was sense to be had in my brain. Between all the books I acquire and how many times my TBR has crushed me half to death: I have no sense or cents.
Obviously my logic is pretty flawed.
But you know what? I make the rules in my bookworm queendom. And this post PROVES that it’s not a bad thing to pick up books you’re not sure about, because sometimes they end up being the most delicious things you’ve snacked on. I don’t want to miss out on that! It’s almost as good as that feeling when you trip over a rock and fall headfirst down a goldmine and realise all your book-buying troubles are over because YOU’RE A MILLIONAIRE NOW AND BRING ON THE SPINNY LADDERS AND FLOOR-TO-CEILING BOOKSHELVES IN YOUR LIBRARY. * Good surprises are to be cherished.
A few weeks ago I did a post on 10 books I thought I’d love but instead I hated them. Which was coincidentally a Top Ten Tuesday prompt. So I am (a) doing the reverse of that prompt and (b) rebelling this week’s actual prompt which is telling everyone what you’re reading in Spring and hELLO I LIVE IN AUSTRALIA AND IT IS NOT SPRING. IT IS AUTUMN. Yesterday I even wore a sock because it was 29 degrees Celsius (84 Fahrenheit) and woah. Icy.
And also, mate, I do not know what I’m going to read in advance. That’s asking for way too much organisation and life commitment. I barely know what I’m reading when I’m actually reading it because I have the memory of a wayward piece of holey Swiss cheese.
So #REBEL time.
* Ah no I haven’t had this feeling yet. I’m pretty sure it’s coming though. Any day now????? I can feel it???
1. A GAME OF THRONES
WHY I THOUGHT I’D HATE IT: Well. I mean look at it. Those books are at least 800 pages long and that’s terrifying. Plus I hadn’t read a lot of adult epic fantasy before these because adulting is contagious and I don’t want to catch it.
WHY I WAS OH SO WONDERFULLY WRONG: Okay, I 100% ADMIT THESE BOOKS HAVE ISSUES. And I don’t recommend them to just anyone, haha, because the sex/violence levels. But they tell really good stories and have really good characters and there are epic dragons and badass queens and I’m glad I read them. Also I didn’t like happiness anyway so it’s totally okay * that all my favourites are dead.
* Totally not okay, GEORGE RR MARTIN, YOU MURDERER. [insert angry fist shaking here]
2. THE GRACES
WHY I THOUGHT I’D HATE IT: I saw a ton of low-starred reviews and also the cover looks like a packet of those seashell chocolates. Do I judge books from their covers? Heck yes.
WHY I WAS OH SO WONDERFULLY WRONG: It was really whimsical and ethereal and mysterious and VAGUELY MAGICAL and I quite enjoyed it! I would’ve enjoyed it more if the protagonist hadn’t been narrating. But you don’t get everything in life.
3. WHISPER TO ME
WHY I THOUGHT I’D HATE IT: Did I say something about cover judging? Ohhhhh look. HERE I GO AGAIN. But in my defence, the cover is (a) pastels which are against my violently rainbow aesthetic, and (b) reminds me of the cover of a book I hate, and (c) is just BORING. Plus no one was talking about it at all. Ever.
WHY I WAS OH SO WONDERFULLY WRONG: It’s actually a really beautiful but heartbreaking story about schizophrenia and anxiety and family. All the good books hurt you. A book isn’t doing its job if it’s not slowly stabbing you.
4. QUEENS OF GEEK
WHY I THOUGHT I’D HATE IT: Erm, well for starters, it’s pink. And it looks like a hairball tried to attack the font. And even though I knew it was about the fandom life…I just…I GET SCARED OKAY?!?!? So often fandom books are actually making fun of fans. And that’s dumb. If someone gets wildly excited about something they love, why are you scorning them, you grapefruit lowlife? Go snack on bitter lemon waffle by yourself.
WHY I WAS OH SO WONDERFULLY WRONG: Least to say I was soooo wrong. THIS BOOK IS SO CUTE. It underlines why the fandom life is EPIC — plus it has a fully beautifully diverse cast with good Autism rep, Asian bisexual protagonist, anxiety, and zombies. (Shhh, zombies are diverse.) Oh AND it’s full of the kind of bookworms who will lug a 7 book boxset series around ComicCon to get it signed.
5. SIX OF CROWS
WHY I THOUGHT I’D HATE IT: HAHAHAHAH LET’S ALL JUST LAUGH NOW. Because this series is indeed like one of my TOP obsessions. Right after Maggie Stiefvater and VE Schwab. But you know what my initial reaction was?
I WAS CONFUSED OKAY?? The blurb was like a roller coaster that went upside down and I wasn’t that into the Grisha books at that point. I believe my ship!!! was!!! sinking!!! at that time, and I was in a crummy mood.
WHY I WAS OH SO WONDERFULLY WRONG: Obviously I still tried it because HEISTS ARE MY FAVOURITE. And thank goodness I did because hello new #obsession. I adore Kaz. I LOVE KAZ. Kaz and his evil scheming face are everything. Also there’s waffles and sass, two of the most beautiful things in creation.
6. CARRY ON
WHY I THOUGHT I’D HATE IT: Am I the only one who skipped all the Baz/Snow fanfic parts in Fangirl? Anyone? Are those CRICKETS I HEAR? Because they didn’t make sense and I wasn’t interested. I was there for Cath!! So why would I want to read an entire book about Snow/Baz?????
WHY I WAS OH SO WONDERFULLY WRONG: Okay I totally would read an entire book about Snow/Baz because (a) Rainbow Rowell, and (b) everyone else was reading it SO I’M A LITTLE BIT PEER PRESSURED, OKAY.
It was adorable and magical, once you get passed the intro where it 100% rips of Harry Potter. But apart from that!! So adorable!! So magical!!
And I absolutely always start singing the Supernatural theme song when I see this cover. I can’t help it at this point. Carry oooon my WAYWARD sooooooooon.
WHY I THOUGHT I’D HATE IT: I didn’t like Under The Never Sky like…at all. But yet someone whispered “horsemen of the apocalypse” and I had two thoughts being mainly, (1) what if I still don’t like this, and (2) BUT HELL* CAN’T KEEP ME AWAY FROM THE FOUR HORSEMAN OF THE APOCALYPSE.
WHY I WAS OH SO WONDERFULLY WRONG: It was so fun!! It was like Supernatural in a book and fully of humour and stupid but adorkable boys and I basically love how it did the mythology twists. They fight demons, they ride flaming horses, they use magical weapons, they make very bad mistakes and break the universe. SO. MUCH. FUN.
Should you read it?
Ya. You should read it.
* See what I did there?!? PUNNY!!
8. THE IMPOSTOR QUEEN
WHY I THOUGHT I’D HATE IT: Again this is a case of “ooh but I didn’t like the author’s other book at all”. And yet, here I am. Reading more. I don’t even know either.
WHY I WAS OH SO WONDERFULLY WRONG: It’s like a dark YA version of Disney’s Frozen with TORTURE AND BLEEDING and it’s so good. I am about to read the sequel, actually! Except I’m writing this post for you instead. Aren’t I lovely??? Aren’t you so thankful??? *
* Spoiler: you are so thankful. I see it in your eyes.
WHY I THOUGHT I’D HATE IT: Oh STOP JUDING ME. I read it back in 2013!! I WAS A MERE CHILD BACK THEN. I barely blogged and often I abandoned books at pg 1 if they were confusing. And for some reason the first sentence of Cinder left me going:
I literally looked like that. Short hair and ugly jacket and everything. It was an odd experience so I sent it back to the library.
Sometimes I look back at my life AND LAUGH AND LAUGH AND LAUGH.
WHY I WAS OH SO WONDERFULLY WRONG: Okay so obviously The Lunar Chronicles is the best and the books just get better and better. Thorne is a gift to humanity. And the sass is strong. And they’re beautiful and diverse and fun. Also it was my little sister who convinced me to give them a second chance, but shhhh, we won’t tell her that she was right and I was wrong. I CAN’T SAY THINGS LIKE THAT OKAY.
10. TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE
WHY I THOUGHT I’D HATE IT: It’s like a fluffy little contemporary!! C’mon!! I need dragons and blood and stabbing!! I am smol but yet fierce.
WHY I WAS OH SO WONDERFULLY WRONG: Apparently I’m absolute trash for an adorkable story about a girl who bakes and accidentally falls in love with a guy she was only pretending to be in love with. And they bake cupcakes together. And it’s stinkin’ adorable. And I’m actually ASHAMED OF MYSELF AND HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS BOOK. Like go sit down in a dark evil corner, Cait, and think about what you’ve become, reading all this fluff and happiness. Disgusting. Go destroy a planet or something.