Top Ten Tuesday- Books that Are Deceiving

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by those awesome ladies at The Broke and The Bookish. This week we’re discussing books that are deceiving (either the covers, the descriptions, what you’ve heard…whatever).

I don’t know why, but I had a hard time with this one.  I’m sure there have been tons of books that have thrown me for a loop and have either been beyond my expectations or, sadly, have been not at all as I’d hoped–but I can’t remember any of them!  Sometimes my brain just won’t cooperate. And the worst part is that I’m sure I’ll read everyone’s lists and smack myself in the head, but here goes:

1. Any Sarah Dessen books- You guys, I am such a fan for Sarah Dessen. I love her characters, I love her writing, I absolutely love her books…but I have to be honest, sometimes I’m a little embarrassed to hand one off to another person. I feel like I have to explain how good the book is despite the headless card-you-might-buy-at-a-gas station look the cover photos have.  I feel so bad saying that, but it’s true. So, to any of you who haven’t read a Dessen, ignore the covers. They may look like a tampon ad, but they’re really great books. Trust me.

2. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin- I love this cover. I think it’s beautiful, gorgeous and wowzers…but you couldn’t pay me enough to ever read this book again. I was so thrown off by everything about it. And the cover has nothing to do with it.  Nothing! I’m still mad at how much I disliked this book! I feel like this cover took advantage of me in a very bad way.

3. Anna and The French Kiss by Stepanie Perkins-  You guys, like most people, I adore this book.  I think it is so funny and cute and romantic. And the author won me over within the first few lines, but truly, if I’d made me decision based on the cover and NOT on the amazing word of mouth, I would have skipped this book altogether.  A story of this level of awesomeness deserves a better, less hokey cover. Ya with me here?

4. Swoon by Nina Malkin- Have you read this book, because if you have then I think you’ll agree.  For some strange reason, I thought that perhaps this book would have, oh, I don’t know, maybe the teensiest amount of swoon.  Just a smidge. But alas I was wrong, dead wrong.  Oh, there was plenty of weirdness and um…an orgy (or something like it. Something where you’ll read it and go “Did they just…?”) but there was no swoon.  In fact, it was the opposite of swoon.

5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte- I’ve read this only twice, but I’ve never understood the way people idealize the love between Catherine and Heathcliff.  They are both awful, spoiled, selfish people.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a good book, but it’s not the epic love story I was led to believe it was in high school.  As an adult, I’d wondered if I’d misjudged it so I read it again. Nope. Same problem. They’re both jackholes.

Look! It's Bella and Edward's favorite book! Ha. Still obnoxious, no matter how many times I see it.

6. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling- If I went only by the adorable covers and the basic descriptions given by most (young boy at wizard school, blah, blah, blah), I may not have read these books.  I read them right after the last book came out and I was expecting to really enjoy a fun, whimsical story.  And I did–but holy cow I wasn’t expecting the story to be so incredible or the writing to be so well-plotted or for the characters to grab me in the way that they did. These were, after all, written for children, right?  Silly me not to have expected more.  I was blown away by the emotion, the humor and the real magic of it all.

7. On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan- This is not a YA book, sorry, but it really stands out in my mind.  I read it after Atonement, which I loved.  The problem here is that I expected a love story like Atonement. The book was supposed to be about a couple on their honeymoon, so I expected something relating to love and romance. And there was love, but there was such an awkward vibe and there was a couple who, in the end, turned out to be irrational and immature.  Or maybe I’m just not deep enough to get the real message of the book? I’m not really sure. I just know that the little wife was super-frigid and not all too excited about the sexy business and then, to make matters worse, the husband got to the party just a little too early if you know what I’m sayin’ and suddenly it was like… Divorceville.

8. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness- I read this book because so many bloggers I trust told me it was amazing–but I have to be honest, the description didn’t grab me.  It sounded too dystopian (there is such a thing for me, only because I like to have at least a little kissing).  And the first couple of pages were tough to get used to…but OH MY GOODNESS, I love this book! I love this series. I was prepared to think it was good, or at least okay,  but I wasn’t prepared to love it.  I love the characters, I love the story, I love the entire series.  And you know, I was able to love it despite the fact that it’s not a kissing book. It’s just stellar.

That’s all I’ve got!  I wish I had a better memory!

29 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday- Books that Are Deceiving

  1. I think I’m the only one who doesn’t have a problem with Anna and the French Kiss’s cover. I think it’s cute! haha. But yeah… it left me thinking “this is so much better than the cover!” Also, yeah, Sarah Dessen’s books DO kind of look like tampon ads! ha!

  2. Ahhh ha ha About Dessen’s covers looking like a tampon ad. At least they are recognizable. You know it’s her cover when its bodies, barefeet, no heads, and the photo is slightly out of focus. Honestly, I don’t mind the covers for hers, but Anna and the French Kiss looks much younger than it reads.

    • Now I feel kinda bad for the tampon ad thing. That’s just really what comes to mind when I see those covers. Ugh! Luckily the stories make up for the covers.:)

      • I totally love her. I feel like I just got caught gossiping about a friend! But seriously, those covers! I know she doesn’t choose them or anything, but who in the heck thinks they’re a good idea? The UK ones are so much better.

  3. Haha tampon ad. So true! I actually had trouble with it at first too. I guess it’s good that not many books have decived me though! Great list :p

  4. I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of Swoon. Exactly–the opposite of swoon. I wanted my time back after I finished that book.

  5. i’m apparently the only dummy that totally forgot to put Anna and the French Kiss on my list. i don’t know how that happened. That cover is totally deceiving. Because the cover is super cheesy but the story is super amazing!
    i agree with you about Sarah Dessen’s books too. Anyone who is new to reading YA must think that the genre is just full of headless people. 🙂

  6. I included Anna & the French Kiss on my list too! Very glad that I ended up giving in after reading a bunch of glowing reviews and taking it out from the library. Now I have my own copy 🙂

    Also, YES to the Wuthering Heights confusion. I don’t see how people view it as a love story either! I only read it once, but once was enough. Heathcliff and Catherine are both very unsympathetic characters and I don’t understand how readers can root for either of them. I found them selfish and vindictive! Romantic, not so much. I’m always glad to find someone who shares this perspective 🙂

  7. A tampon ad! Hilarious…and true! I just finished The Knife of Never Letting Go. I was never interested in picking it up (and was a bit turned off by the idea of a talking dog), but my boss recommended, so I kind of had to. Wow! So glad I did! I can’t wait to finish the series.

  8. I love your description of On Chesil Beach because that was a strange little book. Luckily I had some idea of the plot before I read it. I can’t imagine reading it expecting a romance!!

    • I normally try to stay away from reviews or too much info about a book before I read it, but in this case it totally worked against me! Ugh! “Strange little book” is the perfect way to describe it.

  9. They totally are tampon ads, right? That makes it sound like I’d thought about that… but I didn’t. Full creds to you, Tee. Also, if I had done this TTT, Anna would be numero uno. That cover is just… NO. I totally have to re-pick-up the Chaos Walking series. I also struggled with the first few pages but unlike you I put it down. Must try again!

  10. Ah! I so agree with you on Wuthering Heights! And I always feel guilty about it, because it is a good book, really, but I was always led to believe it was an epic, beautiful romance. But I totally hate Heatcliff. I mean, I’d totally pick Edgar Linton over that asshat. But I was kind of happy at the end, when Hareton and Cathy were engaged 🙂

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