Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Liked Just That Tiny Bit Less Than Expected

Hey guys!


As always, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish, and this weeks theme is:

February 21: Ten Books I Loved Less/More Than I Thought I Would (recently or all time) — or you could do something like books I liked more/less than everyone else.

So for this week’s post, I’m going for books I loved slightly less than I thought I would. In most cases, this isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the book, it just didn’t quite reach the levels I was expecting. (If I’d decided to do books I enjoyed more than I thought I would, this list would be about three times as long.)

1. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe


I read this book last month and although I loved the narrative style, I felt the overall story was lacking something. In the first half of the novel, Ari’s perspective is pretty dull and I didn’t really empathise with him. But my main issue was that throughout the story I was waiting for something bold to happen. I was hoping for more key moments or more twists to enliven the story, and they never came. Although you can argue there’s a crucial event (which won’t be named for spoiler reasons) that happens to Ari, it’s the only truly dramatic moment for me.

2. The Wangs Vs. The World


This book explored issues of family, identity and racial heritage really well, but I didn’t enjoy the story as much as I’d thought I would. I think some of this was down to the character of the father, who I really disliked for 80% of the book, because of his old-fashioned, anti-feminist views. You can check out my full review here.

3. With Malice


I’d seen this book doing the rounds on booktube, so I picked it up with high hopes. Which were then sadly dashed. Against rocks, walls and other hard surfaces. The characters in this book were so dislikable and almost all of their dialogue was petty and dull. On top of that, for a murder mystery, I didn’t find it particularly mysterous or engaging. For a full rant, check out my review.

4. The Blazing Star


OK, I’ll admit it, I was drawn in by the cover porn. (Come on, look at those colours!) But the entire book was a disappointment. It was sorely lacking in anything resembling a cohesive plot or engaging character development. You can find my full review here. But yeah, safe to say I liked this far less than I thought I was going to.

5. The Next Together


What disappointed me about this book was the ending. It was such an anticlimax. Through the course of the novel, the two main characters had been crossing paths throughout time, constantly finding each other again and again, and the narration had been building up the suggestion that it was for a hugely important cosmic reason. And when this reason was finally revealed at the end, I felt myself actually deflate. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read it, but the big reveal was such a disappointment and was far less imaginative than what I’d been hoping for.

6. The Girl from Everywhere


I liked the characters in this book, but I just found the plot very staccato and jarring at points. There were multiple occasions where the characters would do something or go somewhere (time travel, yo) that didn’t make sense or had little reasoning behind it. I really wanted to like this book more than I did, but it just lacked cohesion. Having said that, I’m still going to give the sequel a go, in the hopes that it’s more fluid than the first book. Full review here!

7. Angelfall


The dystopian world setting is crafted very well in this book, but it was the characters that let it down for me. We get barely any character description of Penryn, so I couldn’t build an accurate image of her in my mind, and I didn’t engage with her mother or sister because they spent most of the first novel absent.

8. The Elfstones of Shannara


This is one of those rare instances where the TV show is better than the book. And I made the mistake of watching the TV show first, getting completely drawn in to the magic and drama of the world, and then deciding to read the book, thinking that it would be just as good. Oh no, it was no as good. At all. The book lacked a lot of the show’s witty dialogue and perilously tense fight scenes, so as a result I liked it less than I’d assumed I would. You can find my full review here.

9. Wool


My uncle gave me this book, urging me to ‘read it as soon as possible’ as he thrust it into my hands. He told me it was a dystopian thriller and one of the best books he’d read in ages, and since my uncle usually has pretty good taste I was expecting good things. Now, it was good, but it was very much a slow-burn thriller. Incredibly slow, in fact. The plot seemed to move along at snail pace, and the MC spent most of the book on her own, so there was very little character interaction, which slowed the pace even further.

10. The Road


Look at that cover. It’s so bleak. Just like this book. Seriously, I went in expecting a profound existential commentary on society but came out having been drained of all feeling by the melancholy setting of this book. It wasn’t a bad read, it was just much more gloomy and less profound than I’d been expecting.

So that’s my ten for this week! Let me know what you guys think of these choices and if you agree or disagree with any of them! What would some of your ten be? Thanks for dropping by!


8 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Liked Just That Tiny Bit Less Than Expected

  1. Great picks for this week Kate, though it’s a shame that they were books you didn’t enjoy as much as you hoped you would. The Girl from Everywhere is a favourite of mine so it’s really a shame you weren’t a massive fan of that one, same with Angelfall actually. That is one of the only dystopian series I can say is a favourite of mine.
    Still I completely agree with you about The Next Together, I wasn’t sure what to expect from that book but it wasn’t a favourite of mine, and it wasn’t one I enjoyed as much as I think I thought I would you know. 🙂
    Still hopefully the next book you pick up will be better than these were for you! 😀 ❤

    1. Thanks Beth! I really wanted to like The Girl from Everywhere, so I’ll definitely be picking up the sequel and continuing on with the series, because I’m hoping the plot issues will be ironed out. Hehe, I guess we have very similar tastes in books, but still diverge in our opinions sometimes! (Which is totally fine of course! We’re all different!) I can’t decide whether to pick up the final book in The Next Together duology because I was left feeling so flat by the ending of the first book. Plus, there are so many other books that are higher up on my TBR right now!

      1. That’s all right, and it’s great that in spite of being disappointed with the first book you’re still carrying on with the series. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you do enjoy the second book more in that case! 😀
        We all have different tastes yes. Also I would recommend picking up The Last Beginning, simply because it had a lot of answers and conclusions to the first book. I read them both back to back and was glad I did it that way because The Last Beginning really did feel like the real ending to The Next Together. It answered all the questions I had and then some. 🙂

  2. I’m glad you included Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe- I love that book, but I have always felt as if it could have been a bit *more,* somehow. I definitely agree that some of Ari’s narration was dull. Great post!

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