Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today, the subject they’ve chosen is Top Ten Books That I Read That Were Outside of Comfort Zone. This includes books I liked or books I didn’t like (although usually I read books by authors I love or recommended by people I trust, so that doesn’t happen terribly often). So here goes.
1. The Duff by Kody Keplinger-You guys, my neighbors used call me Prudence McPrude the Mayoress of Prudytown (for those of you who recognize, that’s taken from Will & Grace). Anyhoo, I’m not uptight, but I’ve lived a pretty sheltered life. Growing up, teenagers didn’t have sex (or at least, they didn’t tell Prudence about it) and they didn’t use the f-word in almost every sentence. So, since I heard that The Duff was chock full of sexytimes which had…gasp…no real commitment involved and that the protagonist was slightly foul-mouthed, I didn’t expect to relate to it at all. But guess what? I thought it rocked. Yes, it was completely different from the choices I’d make personally, but I was still able to empathize with Bianca, the main character, and see the sweet, lusty draw of Wesley.
2. Across the Universe by Beth Revis– This is a science fiction book. And there really isn’t any sort of swoon. Oh and in the first chapter, Amy gets all kinds of tubes shoved down her throat as she’s put to sleep (to be kept cryogenically frozen). So, all in all, these are not factors I’d normally appreciate. But man oh man was this a fantastic book. It totally took me by surprise .
3. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin-Hello, it’s a book about a teenage girl who is killed in an accident and has to rebuild her life—albeit temporarily—in a place called Elsewhere. Not subject matter that totally appeals to me. But it was pretty good. Sad, but good.
4. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles– The cover worried me. And then the whole “guy from the wrong side of the tracks meets perfect rich girl” premise really worried me. But this book sucked me in, baby. And Alex, well, it didn’t take long for me to love him. Muy caliente.
5. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr- Yeah, I hate fairy books. Have I mentioned that before? I believe I have. So why would I pick this book up? I have no idea. I guess because I know that people love this series. But fairies and I don’t mix well. I want to love it like everyone else does. I worry that I’m really missing out and often consider picking it up again, but really why bother? I couldn’t finish it the first time.
6. The Road by Cormac McCarthy- This is not a YA book, but I had to mention it. This book didn’t appeal to me on any level. I mean, the characters don’t even have names for goodness sake!!!! I don’t even think there’s a single set of quotation marks in the whole thing (so its like this: The man says don’t go there and the boy said why. This is not a direct quote, but it’s how I remember it)! And worse, there’s a little boy in it who is starving and constantly in danger and a father who is barely able to care for him. Not a good combo for me. But, although I would never, ever read it again, it ended up being pretty decent. Not amazing. Not worth all the crazy Oprah hype, but solid.
7. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness- Again with the sweet children who are in danger! Ugh! I’m telling you, my little heart can only take so much. But lordy, this book was amazing. I knew it would be, but I was afraid of how it would affect me. I don’t like worrying about little kids who don’t exist. I spend enough time worrying about my own children. But this book was everything I’d heard it was. Seriously. Read it.
8. The Enemy by Charles Higson- I’ve mentioned this book before. It was excellent, but it was totally stressful because I was so worried about the kids and whether or not they would a) get eaten by zombies who may or may not have once been adults they knew and loved b) starve to death or c) kill each other as they battled to be in control. Still, it was so stinking good.
9. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer– Thanks to Jacob Black, wolves sort of annoy me too. I typically avoid books centered on wolf packs because wolves usually just remind me of dogs, and there’s nothing too interesting about the family pooch. I read Nightshade only because the protagonist, Calla, was set to be a pack leader, and I found that interesting. It was excellent. She was a great character and the story was good. And, I’m not gonna lie, Ren was a sexypants.
10. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare- These books have vampires, wolves, fairies and all kinds of other crazy business going on. You’d think I’d hate them. But here’s the thing: they’re pretty much awesomesauce. And they have Jace, who I love like crazy.