Books I Didn’t Expect to Love

It will come as a surprise to no one that my go to genre is fantasy. I gravitate towards the stone castles, fierce dragons and magical powers that dominate the YA market. There’s a frustratingly simple formula for the books I love and I am exceedingly surprised when I find something so different that I love, but here’s a list, for Top Ten Tuesday, of exactly those.

The Raven Boy

1 Yes, it’s fantasy so it’s not totally crazy that I was hooked into this series but the blurb centres around Blue’s first kiss. It suggests soul mates with a sinister twist and honestly I would never have picked this one up if I hadn’t gone to a talk by Maggie Steifvater and absolutely fell in love with her wit and anecdotes, which dragged me into her weird yet riveting world.

The Great Gatsby

2 Since when was subtle mockery of the 1920s American dream, all topped with pretty purls, nasty cigarettes and doomed love spelled behind crimson painted lips, my thing?! Fitzgerald how have you done this?!


3 Non fiction was never my thing. I’d rather meet someone who never existed than follow a real human through their actual life. But it seems Michelle Obama is the one exception since her inspiring journey was a pleasure to read.

Pride and Prejudice

4 In fact, anything Austen is just crazy. It’s something about her supportive friendships, headstrong women and ridiculously quaint life that sucks me in.

A Curse so Dark and Lonely

5 Ok, yes, we’re back to fantasy, but honestly I did not think I would enjoy this book. I don’t even know why I read it, a story about a girl being trapped by a prince only to be freed once they fell in love is just everything I disagree with in one sentence. But this book removes everything I hated about the original tale and actually presents a pretty compelling read.

All Quiet on the Western Front

6 War books are not really my thing. I am easily creeped out, left feeling desolate and miss the comfort of ‘oh but it didn’t happen’. But this powerful, shocking, incredibly personal novel that my boyfriend recommended is the one exception I’ve found so far.

Watership Down

7 Does a book about many cute fluffy bunnies getting into danger, often not ending well, all for the sake of a subtle metaphor sound like my sort of thing? Well apparently it is! I read this book for a reading race (don’t ask) and have been glad I did ever since.

The Handmaid’s Tale

8 For most of the novel nothing happens. And I’m ok with that? I actually enjoyed it and, worse still, found the fake history notes at the close of the novel interesting?!

To Kill a Mockingbird

9 I am ridiculously grateful the English curriculum made me read this (there are some words I never thought I would type). Scout was so relatable, the writing style was ridiculously captivating, the story unbelievably relevant and I never would have gone anywhere near it if left to my own devices.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nigh Time

X My boyfriend got me to read this and at first I was very nervous. I’d not heard great things but as soon as I stepped into the tale I was hooked. It’s blunt honest realism was just amazing.

Let’s Compare Notes

So there you have it! Ten reads I did not expect to love and totally did. What novels made your list? Do you agree with any of mine? Love to hear from you in the comments section!

8 thoughts on “Books I Didn’t Expect to Love

  1. Scott Fitzgerald is my literary love!!! I could read anything by him and immediately fall in love! I’m glad you liked Gatsby!!!

    I’ve also been meaning to pick up Raven Boys, I’ve heard so many great things. I love when you meet/listen to an author and immediately fall in love with their work because they are so fantastic!!


      1. There’s always that struggle of getting really excited to read a book after meeting the author, and kicking yourself for not having read it before!!

        He’s got a lot of short stories that are to die for! And then “Tender is the Night” and “The Beautiful and the Damned”. SWOON. His writing is just so suave. I’m obsessed! I also just read “Z” by Therese Anne Fowler, that centers on him and his wife’s relationship. LOVE. (Sorry I could gush about Fitzgerald for days!)


  2. To Kill a Mockingbird and Watership Down are both on my top ten favorite books of a lifetime list, and I adored The Raven Cycle series. 💙

    I want to read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, sometime soon. 👍✨


  3. I actually didn’t like Curious Incident, but I’m glad you enjoyed it! This may be the first list of yours where I actually haven’t read most of the books on the list! I had Becoming on my list this week too though, not a massive non fiction reader but I loved that one.


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