Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Top 5 Tuesday: Books that Exceeded my Expectations

This week I decided to switch back over and participate in Top 5 Tuesday, hosted by BionicBookworm!

This week's topic is: Books That Exceeded My Expectations

This week's topic is a fun one that let me think about all of the awesome books I've read in the past couple years and how much fun it is when a book is even better than you hoped it could be. There's nothing I love more than closing a book and being almost in shock at what a great and unexpected story I just read--aren't unexpected gems some of the best reading experiences!? Here are five books that blew my expectations out of the water and I loved!

Night Film
Night Film by Marisha Pessl
Despite my attempts to not overhype books for myself, I had extremely high hopes for this book before reading it. I'd been wanting to read it for years before I finally got around to picking it up and I was both excited and nervous to finally dive into it. Somehow, I was still blown away by just how much I loved it. The general overall plot of a missing person mystery isn't something I'm typically drawn to, but it was the other elements and the incredibly dark, foreboding atmosphere that I adored. I loved the explorations of evil and darkness and so many other incredible themes in this book--I genuinely had a hard time putting it down while I was reading it. (Review)

This Tender Land
This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
This was an ARC that I unexpectedly received and that I knew pretty much nothing about going into it. I hadn't heard of it, I hadn't seen reviews for it, and I wasn't particularly sure if this would be something I'd like.
And then I started reading it, and it was beautiful.
This book moved me so much--it was beautiful, heartbreaking, funny, dark, and everything in between. It's a story of a group of orphans who run away from a horrible situation and embark on their own odyssey in hopes of a better life. I just can't recommend this book enough, it was so good. (Review)

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
I love books about polar/arctic explorations, and I also love books about disasters and wrecks, so this combination of the two made it pretty much perfect for me. That being said, I still wasn't sure if it would be as good as I'd hope, so I was thrilled when I started reading this and realized that I was immediately hooked. This story of survival is one that I've probably talked about on this blog a lot already (sorry!), but that I just can't stop talking about because it's truly incredible and unbelievable. Shackleton truly seems to me to be a true leader and his men great people for sticking together and getting through this nightmarish ordeal together. This was such a gripping book and I'm still planning to check out more about Shackleton and this journey!

The Heart's Invisible Furies
The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne
This was the first book I ever read by John Boyne and I managed to acquire an ARC of this as well that I wasn't anticipating. I thought it sounded interesting, but then I saw a few early reviews raving about it and my interest was really piqued. It was even better than the reviews said it was, and this ended up being yet another book that was so emotionally moving and beautiful and I still think about it all the time. (Review)

Dreamland by Nancy Bilyeau
A recent read and release! My expectations were a little high for this, but mostly normal in that I figured I'd enjoy it, but I had no idea that I would sincerely love it as much as I do. Not only is it set in an exciting historical period and place, it also covers some really tough topics and themes that we still struggle with today, especially in America. This book totally blew me away with its wide scope and deft exploration of difficult themes, I never expected it to resonate with me so much! (Review)

Have you read any of these? What are some books that have exceeded your expectations?


  1. I LOVE the cover of Dreamland! I haven't read any of these yet, but I'll definitely have to check them out!

    1. Me too, it's what first caught my eye and got me interested in it!

  2. I really need to get a copy of This Tender Land, I'm pretty sure I'd love it๐Ÿ˜

  3. Wishing you enjoyment in your reading. https://pmprescott.blogspot.com/2020/02/ttt-021120.html

  4. Oh, what a great topic! I love it when books exceed expectations.

    My TTT .

  5. Endurance is one I really should read- I love stories of polar exploration as well! And it's just amazing and unbelievable what some of these people went through.

  6. Endurance was really an incredible book - the whole time I was listening, I was like, whoa, how is this true??

  7. Love it when books exceed our expectations! It's always such a wonderful surprise. As for these books, I've only read The Heart's Invisible Furies and I ADORED it. Great picks!

    1. It's the best surprise! So glad you loved The Heart's Invisible Furies, it is such a beautiful story. <3

  8. Endurace sounds like such a good read.

    My TTT .