Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and it's awesome.
This week's Top Ten was a freebie, or a Choose Your Own Adventure, if you will. So I decided to list the Top Ten Books that surprised me the most in the last year.
This book has A LOT of hype out there, but I'm here to tell you that it's warranted. I only pre-ordered this book because it was $2.99 on Kindle. I was only 3/4 of the way through it when I went ahead and also ordered a hardcover copy of it. It was that good.
Contemporaries are not exactly my favorite things, and it takes a lot for me to say that they're done well. There was a read-a-long called #MonthOfMatson hosted by Maureen Keavy on YouTube/Goodreads, and I decided to participate to get them off my list. I read all three books in less than a week. A better word would be devoured. They were engrossing, emotional, and funny. I cannot wait for Matson's upcoming release, I already have it pre-ordered.
8. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
I'd love to say I read this because the book sounded interesting, but I didn't. I read it because Pierce Brown was being lauded as God's gift to YA all over the internet, and I wanted to hate him. But I didn't. This was a great read. I like no mercy in my dystopian, and this had that in spades.
7. A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas
This is the only book on this list for a negative reason. I thought I was going to ADORE this book. feminist Sleeping Beauty?! Sign me up! TWICE! But no. This was one of my least favorite books I've ever read, and one of the few I've regretted pre-ordering in the past few years. I haven't unhauled it yet because I love the cover, but I doubt I'll be reading the second one.
6. The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
The majority of the people I follow the most on BookTube/Twitter/Goodreads, etc. ADORE this series. But when I first started reading it, I didn't think I was going to like it. This series was completely the opposite of what I was expecting, and it was a great read. It sticks with me a lot now when I read other fantasy.
5. Best of Enemies by Jen Lancaster
Jen Lancaster is one of my favorite authors, so the fact that I loved her writing was not the surprise here. This book was such a departure from everything else she has ever written (and I know, because I've read every one of her books, some multiple times) and it was absolutely amazing. If you're over 18, read this.
4. The Martian by Andy Weir
I'd heard amazing things about this book, so I bought it. Then Matt Damon was cast in the lead role in the movie, and I almost didn't read it. But I gave it a chance, and I learned a bunch, laughed a ton, and loved it. I highly recommend this. I haven't seen the movie yet, but won't go see it in theatres because I can tell from the previews that it's already been changed a great deal. But this story and Mark Watney were a very pleasant surprise.
3. The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel
This isn't just a secret anymore. Almost everyone who had read this book loves it. It was one of the first books I finished this year and it was so amazing. I read it in one sitting. You need to pick it up before the sequel comes out in the next few months.
2. The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall
I read this in January and it set the bar pretty high for debuts this year. I was shocked at how much I enjoyed this, and how it kept me on edge until the very end. I reviewed this as a "YA Dan Brown," and I stand by that. Give the sequel, and give me a movie.
1. Magnolia by Kristi Cook