Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (15)

Top Ten Books that Were Deceiving:
Hmm...for my list I don’t think the above title is very fair. To be more specific, this list will be comprised of both books I found deceiving and books that had summaries I misinterpreted due to a lack of attention and/or not reading the summary and making wild assumptions. It’s DEFINITELY not always the book’s fault in my case. Let’s get into it!
1. The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
I’m in the midst of reading this one right now! Rothenberg’s debut falls under the category of “dead girl” books, in which the main character is deceased and observing how life goes on without her. These books tend to be kind of serious, with protagonists that go through their afterlife with an almost ethereal, floating presence. When I sat down and realized that this was about a girl dying of a broken heart, I wasn’t all that excited--I thought that the story would end up taking itself very seriously and being a bit melodramatic. THIS IS NOT SO! The protagonist of this story is wonderful. She’s full of wit and pop culture references and doesn’t seem to be willing to let a little thing like her death get in the way of her living. I’m so curious about what’s going to happen. Bravo, Jess Rothenberg!

2. Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse by Lucas Klauss
I picked out this book purely based on the cover. Giving the summary a quick scan, I saw that it was about a fifteen year old boy struggling a bit with who he is when he attempts to change himself for a girl. I was surprised with how heavily religion weighed on this book--the protagonist Phillip begins attending church to get closer to Rebekah, then begins exploring religion in order to understand his mother before she died. Definitely more serious than I thought, but I found Klauss crafted the story well and handled the religion in an impressive fashion, condemning neither religion or lack thereof.

3. Cleopatra’s Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter
This one is a simple case of me picking books based purely on title/cover than summary: I saw the book and assumed that it was a fictionalized account of Cleopatra’s teenage years. Not so! Once again, I was wrong. The book is actually about Cleopatra’s daughter, Cleopatra Selene’s teenage years. I felt like I enjoyed the book more for it--I know various bits of information about the famous Egyptian queen, but I knew pretty much nothing about her daughter. Also, it was a fantastically imagined book.
4. Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales
I had heard wonderful things about Leila Sales’s books. All I knew about this one was that the titular girls attended a private school. Based on the very short skirt and heels on the cover and the title, I assumed that it would be about a bunch of popular girls getting up to no good while attending private school. I think I actually assumed that one of the girls either had an affair with a teacher or became pregnant or something (listen, I’m not sure why I thought this either, except that I was watching Pretty Little Liars when I started it). WRONG. The story is more about the best friendship between two girls and how it changes as they are growing up.

5. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
I’ve read this one twice: the first time was years ago. I was incredibly busy while I read it and didn’t pay a speck of attention to it. The second time was a few months ago and I completely adored it. Sometime in between readings, I convinced myself that the book was fairly focused on the mom--so much that I managed to believe that Francesca was actually Frankie’s mother rather than the main character. Oy. Thankfully, I revisited this one when I could actually pay attention and absolutely loved it.

6. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Based on the title, I assumed that this would be more of a saccharine sweet contemporary love story that I knew had travel involved. Maybe it would have some crazy misunderstandings thrown in there. In actuality, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight tells the story of two people that find each other on a plane. Hadley is heading to her father’s second wedding, something that she has dreaded. Oliver is heading back to England for something very serious. The book does develop the relationship between Hadley and Oliver, but ends up being more about how each of them (mainly Hadley) is dealing with their family issues.

7. The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
Based on the awesome cover, I thought Nina LaCour’s sophomore novel was going to be a light, summery read about a teenage guy going on tour with his best friend’s band. There were going to be wild antics and maybe some ridiculousness with rooming and the concert venues. This book was way deeper than I anticipated, exploring Colby’s love for and anger at his fairly damaged best friend, Bev, and how they deal with their complicated relationship during the tour. I loved reading about Colby sorting through his confusion and figuring out what he is going to do with his life.

8. The Compound by S.A. Bodeen
I was convinced, I repeat CONVINCED that this book was dystopian, probably because I heard of it around the same time I first read The Hunger Games back in 2009. It’s more of a post-apocalyptic with a twist. You’d just have to read it to see. Not dystopian, but seriously messed up in a incredibly readable way.

9. Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic
I knew this was a contemporary book about a teenage boy dying of cancer. I thought it was going to be about living his last days to the fullest, or maybe going on some sort of quest like the main character in Going Bovine does. I was wrong. If you’ve read my review, you know that I was not pleasantly surprised by this fact.

10. The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
First of all, I love this cover. Second of all, for some reason I was CONVINCED that this book was about a zombie disease. I have no idea where I got that, unless I’ve been hearing about so many zombie disease books that I decided any book about an island quarantine had to be zombie related. REGARDLESS, this book isn’t about a zombie disease--it’s about the opposite. The disease causes you to be super friendly to everyone, making it spread faster and faster. It was awesome! I’m looking forward to the other books in the series.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish


  1. I haven't read Mostly Good Girls, but based on the cover I would have thought exactly the same thing! I have similar feelings towards the covers of Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls' books - I assumed trashy schoolgirls, but got something completely different!

  2. I haven't read the Disenchantments but I got the same impression as you from the cover. Based on what you said, I feel more inclined to read it.
    Great list!

  3. Your list is fantastic!! And now I know I must read Cleopatra's Moon, The Way We Fall, and The Catastrophic History. Soon.
    I agree with your thoughts bon books 4, 6, 7- they have much more substance, more grit than the summaries and covers make them out to be.