Top Ten Tuesday #144


Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great week since I last did one of these, mine has been rather mixed but it ended on a really good note as I’ve found Critique Partners for both of my WIPs and they’ve given me some really good, constructive feedback so far, so I’m really excited to carry on working with them and turn these stories into the best possible versions of themselves so that one day you guys can all read my work (that day will likely be a very, very long time from now, but one day).

Anyway, since it’s Tuesday, I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday from Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking Books I Can’t Believe I Read. I’m interpreting this in a rather loose way, this won’t necessarily be books I hated, just books that I would necessarily read and am surprised I did, whether I loved them or hated them. So here we go, Books I Can’t Believe I Read:

  1. PS I Love You-Celia Ahern

Romance novels are so outside my wheelhouse of fiction, in fact I’m pretty sure this is one of only three romance-centred novels that I have ever read! I only really read it because of the movie (which I love, despite Gerard Butler’s iffy Irish accent), and whilst I liked the premise, it is definitely one of those cases where it’s the sort of thing that works better for me as a movie than a book. Plus I found Holly in the book incredibly irritating!

2. The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants-Ann Brashares
Another one that is kind of out of my usual wheelhouse, I’m not usually the fluffy, summery contemporary type, my adventures into contemporary are usually the slightly darker kind, but I’m actually really glad I read this one, because although it’s not the sort of thing I would read now, as a young pre-teen, it was great to have an example of female friendship like the friendship between the girls in this book. I still can’t believe I dived out of my fantasy hole long enough to read this one, but I’m very glad I did. I even read all three sequels as well!

3. The Princess Diaries Series-Meg Cabot

I’m sensing kind of a theme here……yes, yet again, it’s another fluffy contemporary that I read in my pre-teens/early teens. In some ways this isn’t so much of a stretch as I’ve always loved royalty, but the fact that I read an entire ten book series where romance is a central focus? Yup that I can’t believe. I did like The Princess Diaries at the time, but looking back, Mia was kind of annoying and I much prefer her in the movies, in fact I prefer the movies in general!

4. What Katy Did-Susan Coolidge

For those of you who don’t know, I tend to shun classics, as the ones I have read have left me bored, but my mum loved this book when she was younger, so I read it and actually enjoyed it, to my shock, it was a nice coming of age story and I really liked Katy (although the disability portrayal is quite dated).

5. Lulu Baker Books-Fiona Dunbar

Again, not the sort of thing I would read now, a little bit too cutesy for my liking but when I was a kid, I loved these books, about a girl who got a magical cookbook and would make recipes from it in order to solve problems in her life. There was also a CBBC show based on the books that was quite fun.

6. Heading Home-Katie Flynn

Not only can I not believe I read this one, but I actually enjoyed it? Enough to read it more than once even. And it’s a romance novel? Just goes to show that stepping out of your comfort zone can surprise you sometimes! This really cute story follows the Muldoon sisters as they grow up and navigate pre-war England/Ireland.

7. Lord of The Flies-William Golding

I can’t believe I was forced to read this for school, it was so dull. I get that it’s supposedly considered this big classic and everything but I don’t really understand why, it was so boring. Sure the social commentary is decent, but the characters are totally flat, they all seem like archetypes, the pacing was awful and it’s so blinking predictable. Honestly I wish I could go back in time and force the government to change our English Literature GCSE syllabus, so I could get back the time I spent reading this book!

8. The Fault In Our Stars-John Green

I just can’t believe I gave into the hype on this one. I knew that it wouldn’t be for me, everything I’d heard about it made it sound like something I’d hate, but I wanted to know what it was everyone loved so much about it. It was so predictable, the plot was so slow and incredibly lacking, and the teen voices did not feel at all realistic (I read this in early 2014, I was 17 so around the same age as the characters in the book) and I felt like Gus and Hazel weren’t really developed at all. I should have listened to my gut on this one!

9. To Kill A Mockingbird-Harper Lee

This is another one I had to read for school, and I’m glad I did, although in terms of social commentary on racism, I much prefer Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses. I won’t go as far as saying that I loved this, because that wouldn’t be true, but in terms of school assigned readings, this was actually one of the better ones we got, it felt a lot more accessible than a lot of other classics I’ve read and although it’s very of it’s time, I still feel like it’s an important story.

10. The Time Traveler’s Wife-Audrey Niffenegger

The third of my three romance centred novels, I pretty much only wanted to read this one because my mum and sister were reading it and I asked if I could, surprisingly they agreed even though I’m pretty sure I was only 13/14 at the time! This is so far removed from anything I read today, even with the sci-fi elements, but I’m glad I did, because the romance between Henry and Claire was really beautiful and I thought the concept was quite creative. I remember being really disappointed at the movie-so that just goes to show how much I enjoyed the book, despite not being my usual genre!

So there we go, Books I Can’t Believe I Read, some good, some bad! Have you read any of these? Did you like/dislike them? What books were on your lists this week? And bonus question, if you’re a longtime follower of my blog, then which of these was the biggest shock to you, a book that you never would have thought I would read? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s list is Books that have been on my TBR the longest and I still haven’t read, aka yet another list of shame. I will be hiding under my covers in embarrassment all week long preparing for this list I’m sure!

In the meantime however, I am hoping to have a new Writing Corner post up this week, my first of the year, wherein I give you the inside scoop on my current WIP, Underground Magicians!

93 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday #144

  1. lilisblissfulpages 30/01/2018 / 2:56 am

    Thank God, I found an early post of TTT. I was really confuse of how I should interpret this week’s topic, but seeing yours, Im now confident to interpret it anyway I want. Hehehe.. Great post and list, by the way. To Kill a Mockingbird and Lord of Flies are on my 2018 TBR but I’m worried it would be so boring readng them. 🙂

    • iloveheartlandx 30/01/2018 / 9:55 am

      Glad to have helped you out! Thanks 🙂 I mean I do know people who have enjoyed both, it just depends what kind of books you like I think.

  2. Rissi 30/01/2018 / 4:46 am

    TFIOS really should have been on my list too if for not other reason than I knew there’d be tears, and I like happy reads. On the opposite end of that, I think I’d like to read the ‘Sisterhood’ books someday since I do so enjoy the films. 🙂

    Congrats on the progress for your WIPs! Best of luck in your future endeavors for them both. 🙂

    • iloveheartlandx 30/01/2018 / 9:53 am

      I don’t have a problem with sad books, in fact some of my favourites are really sad, but I just knew TFIOS wouldn’t be for me. Oh you definitely should, the films were great but the books are really good too. Aww thank you!

  3. Kay Wisteria 30/01/2018 / 6:30 am

    Aww I loved Princess Diaries! I think that might be because I read the books first though; it seems like most people saw the movies first. And I’m so glad I read TKAM too 🙂 great post!

    • iloveheartlandx 30/01/2018 / 9:50 am

      I honestly can’t remember if I read the books or saw the movies first, it was so long ago! I just remember finding Mia annoying! Thanks 🙂

  4. @lynnsbooks 30/01/2018 / 11:31 am

    I like your take on the theme – I also loved The Time Traveller’s Wife and was disappointed with the film.
    Lynn 😀

    • iloveheartlandx 30/01/2018 / 3:16 pm

      Thanks! Yeah I can’t remember exactly what it was about the film I disliked, I just know I didn’t like it.

    • iloveheartlandx 30/01/2018 / 4:25 pm

      Glad to hear it! I know right? Sometimes going out of your comfort zone works, but for the most part, if I think I won’t like something, my instincts are right!

  5. Michelle (@PinkPlkaDotBlog) 30/01/2018 / 4:20 pm

    I really liked The Time Traveler’s Wife, but like you, I don’t usually read super romance based books. I did like TFIOS, but I wasn’t a teen when I read it, so I guess it didn’t annoy me that the characters were really not TEEN-like.

    • iloveheartlandx 30/01/2018 / 4:28 pm

      I’m glad to hear it was a pleasant surprise for both of us. I mean that was just one of a myriad of things that bugged me about TFIOS but even if I hadn’t been a teen when I read it, the other things would have still bugged me.

  6. hannawsreads 30/01/2018 / 4:29 pm

    Great list you have! Haven’t read any of those though but I have seen couple movies of these.

  7. bookmuffin 30/01/2018 / 5:14 pm

    I’ve read a few of these, The Fault in Our Stars is one of my all time favourites! I loved The Time Traveler’s Wife, although I did find the concept a bit confusing at first. Great list 🙂

    • iloveheartlandx 31/01/2018 / 12:30 am

      I wish I could say the same! Yes it was, but I think it got better later on (as far as I remember, it’s been a while!). Thank you 🙂

  8. Aoife 30/01/2018 / 5:35 pm

    We also read Lord of the Flies at school and ugh. I also didn’t enjoy it (Though if I remember correctly we didn’t finish it in class and I then read the rest on my own…but I think that was rather because back then I still had a hard time not finishing books than because I actually wanted to know what happened).

    • iloveheartlandx 31/01/2018 / 12:30 am

      Yeah I’m actually pretty sure I did the same! So glad I’m getting better at that.

  9. thebookdutchesses 30/01/2018 / 5:53 pm

    I have only read The Fault in Our Stars and P.s. I love You. I have heard about a lot of these books, but haven’t had the chance to read them.

    • iloveheartlandx 31/01/2018 / 12:28 am

      Did you like them? Ah well some of them are decent, some of them aren’t!

      • thebookdutchesses 31/01/2018 / 11:56 am

        I loved P.S. I Love You. I actually think I loved the book more than the movie, even though they did do a good job with Gerard Butler ;).

  10. Michelle F 30/01/2018 / 6:14 pm

    My hubby had to read `Lord of The Flies`, also.
    He still talks about it..LOL
    Thanks for visiting my blog.

    • iloveheartlandx 31/01/2018 / 4:41 pm

      It has scarring memories for a lot of people! No problem 🙂

  11. Anastasia 30/01/2018 / 6:19 pm

    PS I Love You – Same as you, I don’t read romance yet I read this and I disliked Holly… Similar thing happened with Me Before You.
    The Fault In Our Stars, do not read Looking for Alaska!! I don’t know what it is about Green. I always end up following the hype and it’s mosly been a great big mistake.

    • iloveheartlandx 31/01/2018 / 12:24 am

      Glad I’m not the only one. I haven’t read Me Before You, I’ve seen the movie though and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t like the book (even though I found the movie kind of cute). Oh I have no plans to ever read John Green again, TFIOS was enough.

  12. ChrissiReads 30/01/2018 / 7:10 pm

    I was the opposite way with P.S. I Love You! I wasn’t the biggest fan of the film!

    • iloveheartlandx 31/01/2018 / 12:23 am

      Fair enough! I think it all depends on which one comes first for you, I saw the film first so that was the basis I had.

  13. everythingalyce 30/01/2018 / 7:11 pm

    I love this week’s topic, because I’m finally meeting people who also didn’t like TFIOS! I’ve always felt like the odd one out, but I completely agree with your comments – the characters really don’t feel realistic, and reading it while being the same age as them was unbearably frustrating.

    • iloveheartlandx 31/01/2018 / 12:22 am

      It is hard, but there are a few of us out there, I promise! I don’t know how so few people see it, you’d think with the audience being mostly teens, they would recognise that this is not how they talk to each other!

  14. Ha ha! I love what you had to say about Lord of the Flies. I remember being forced to read it in school. I still didn’t read it. I’m very curious about it now and want to read (sort of) and see if as an adult I’ll like it for think it’s awful.

    My TTT Post

    • iloveheartlandx 31/01/2018 / 12:21 am

      I still haven’t really forgiven school and the government for forcing me to read that book. Great reading time totally wasted! Ha ha well don’t say I didn’t warn you!

  15. ZoeHaslie 30/01/2018 / 8:35 pm

    Oww thanks for stopping by at my blog, it made my find out your blog and I love discovering new bookish people ♥

    All of the books you mentioned here are on my TBR, except PS I love you (btw, what were they thinking with Gerard in the movie?! I love him, but still…) and TFIOS, as you mentioned. It was a great TTT this week, I’m really glad to be part of this =)

    • iloveheartlandx 31/01/2018 / 12:16 am

      Aww no worries, I love meeting new bookish people too 🙂 Ha ha I have no idea what they were thinking with Gerard in the movie, especially when there’s so many Irish actors out there! It was 🙂

      • ZoeHaslie 31/01/2018 / 12:33 am

        Exactly! And good looking as well! Anyways, the movie was still nice if you don’t pay attention to certain details like Scottish accents in an “Irish” guy 😛

      • iloveheartlandx 31/01/2018 / 4:39 pm

        Ha ha yeah, small details like that!

  16. Greg Hill 30/01/2018 / 8:40 pm

    Congrats on the critique partners! I’ve seen The Fault in our Stars on a few lists, it seems to have mixed reviews for sure! And Lord of the Flies I’ve never read. Glad The Time Traveler’s Wife was good though!

    • iloveheartlandx 31/01/2018 / 12:12 am

      Thank you! It’s weird, for so long all I heard was raves about it, but I’ve definitely been hearing more mixed opinions recently. Oh save yourself the trouble, it’s awful. Yes it was 🙂

  17. camillesbookishadventures 30/01/2018 / 8:41 pm

    Oh you’ve reminded me of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. It WAS a great read as a young teen!

    • iloveheartlandx 31/01/2018 / 12:07 am

      It was! I’m not sure I’d love it as much now, but it was great for what I needed at the time.

  18. Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense 30/01/2018 / 10:24 pm

    I think a lot of the time, books you’re forced to read in school just do not connect with you. Wonder if it’s the book themselves or how they are not. Wishing you lots of luck with your WIP!

    • iloveheartlandx 30/01/2018 / 11:55 pm

      Yeah I think you’re right, I mean it’s hard to find a book that will connect with that many people and they’re not exactly looking for that anyway. Thank you!

  19. thebookishlibra 30/01/2018 / 10:40 pm

    I’m not much into light and fluffy contemporaries either but I also enjoyed reading the ones you mentioned.

  20. rantsandravesofabibliophile 30/01/2018 / 10:55 pm

    I’m so glad I read To Kill A Mockingbird in high school too. It was definitely a life-changing book for me.

  21. kozbisa 30/01/2018 / 11:57 pm

    I spy 2 books from my school reading (Lord of the Flies, To Kill a Mocking Bird). I also see one of my ugliest ugly cry books (TiFoS). I have read several Ahern books and really liked them, and PS I Love You is on my TBR (I am all about romance novels).

    • iloveheartlandx 31/01/2018 / 12:32 am

      Both pretty common school reads-the syllabus hasn’t been changed in like 30 years! I actually didn’t cry at all…..I hope you enjoy PS I Love You more than I did then.

  22. wulfluva 31/01/2018 / 1:18 am

    Yeah, The Fault in Our Stars is one I got on the hype train for and bought. It was just alright though. I cried, but that doesn’t take very much for me.

    Thanks for visiting Shell’s Stories!

    • iloveheartlandx 31/01/2018 / 4:37 pm

      The hype train is very misleading! I generally don’t cry at books, so I wasn’t surprised at that.

  23. Lee @ Rally the Readers 31/01/2018 / 1:34 am

    I somehow managed to not have to read Lord of the Flies while I was in school, lol, but I know so many people who did. It’s probably not the type of book I’d pick up without being required to read it.

  24. Cheryl Malandrinos 31/01/2018 / 2:26 am

    I’ve heard of most of these. Haven’t read many of them, but I am way older than you. To Kill a Mockingbird is still in my pile of books somewhere. I bought it when Go Set A Watchman came out. I wanted to read Mockingbird first. As you know from your visit to my blog, Lord of the Flies was a dud for me too. My daughter loved The Fault in Our Stars and most of John Green’s books. I just hate reading depressing stuff.

    Thanks for visiting The Book Connection. Good luck with the WIPs.

    • iloveheartlandx 31/01/2018 / 4:35 pm

      Most of them are relatively well known books, so I’m not surprised. I hope you enjoy TKAM, apparently Watchman isn’t that great. I feel like Lord of The Flies was a dud for most people. I don’t mind depressing stuff, in fact I quite like a lot of it, but John Green just wasn’t for me. No problem. Thank you!

  25. Megan @ Ginger Mom 31/01/2018 / 6:44 am

    To Kill a Mockingbird is one I read in high school and I did love it 🙂

  26. Holly 31/01/2018 / 7:56 am

    I always wanted to read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants when I was younger but for some reason I just never got around to it…. it seems like such a fun summer read 🙂 Great list!

  27. Olivia 31/01/2018 / 9:55 am

    That’s a great list you put together, loved reading your thoughts on why you can’t believe you read them! Thank you for sharing!

  28. Amber 31/01/2018 / 12:24 pm

    Hahah. I got a used copy of P.S. I Love You last year because I LOVE the movie and romance is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out of my wheelhouse as well. Although I found Holly irritating in the film, so maybe I’m well armed for Book!Holly.

    • iloveheartlandx 31/01/2018 / 4:10 pm

      Well I hope you enjoy it! Yeah Holly in general is just quite an irritating character but I found it worse in the book.

  29. taylortalksbooks 31/01/2018 / 1:42 pm

    Ahhh I loooove the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants! Granted, I’ve only seen the movies but i’m sure I would love the books just as much (probably, more!). 😊

  30. Katisha @ Reel Literature 31/01/2018 / 4:25 pm

    I read Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants a few months ago, and I really enjoyed it too! It even had me shedding a tear or two during some parts.

    I agree with you about Lord of the Flies. I didn’t have to read it during school, but I decided to read it because it’s considered such a literary classic. Boy was it a disappointment, but at least I can now say I read it, right?!

    • iloveheartlandx 31/01/2018 / 4:41 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it too! Gosh, I don’t think I’ve heard anyone inflicting it on themselves, I feel so bad for you! Yes, you can.

  31. flippingthruthepages 31/01/2018 / 4:54 pm

    Great list! But… I love John Green and The Fault in Our Stars is one of my all time favourite 😀 I can understand why you might not like it, but well, everyone has a choice 😛
    I read To Kill a Mockingbird last year and quite enjoyed it. And I agree, it is an important read 🙂

  32. fayecheeseman 31/01/2018 / 7:34 pm

    The Time Traveller’s Wife is a book I LOVED but then I’ll happily read anything Audrey Niffenegger writes because I think she is wonderful. Looking through the comments, it sounds like I didn’t miss anything by not watching the film. I’m always a bit wary when it’s a book I loved just in case it’s disappointing. Great list – I could probably have put a couple of fluffy romances on my TTT too as they’re not my usual picks either but I have, of course, read some!

    • iloveheartlandx 01/02/2018 / 12:09 pm

      That’s great to hear! I haven’t actually read anything else by Audrey Niffenegger, I didn’t know she had more books! You really didn’t. Thanks! Yes, I think it’s good to read outside your comfort zone occasionally-at least so if you say you don’t like a genre, you can at least say you have tried it!

  33. Lisa 31/01/2018 / 8:49 pm

    I love The Time Traveler’s Wife — but I agree that the movie was a big disappointment. I just reread To Kill a Mockingbird recently and thought it was wonderful. 🙂

  34. Aimee (Aimee, Always) 01/02/2018 / 2:02 pm

    I agree about The Princess Diaries! The movies are SUPER adorable, and my best friend (who I share similar reading tastes with) hated Mia in the books. D: Same with Fault in Our Stars–I thought it was okay, but I kind of hate John Green’s writing. The movie was so much better.

    – Aimee @ Aimee, Always

    • iloveheartlandx 01/02/2018 / 2:21 pm

      Yes, the movies are so great and Mia in the books is just so different! Yeah so do I! I didn’t mind the movie, not my fave, but definitely more tolerable than the book.

  35. lindseyhabets 01/02/2018 / 7:14 pm

    I remember loving The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants so much as well! Same with the movies actually. I loved the Princess Diaries movie the first one, second one not so much), but never read the books.

    • iloveheartlandx 02/02/2018 / 3:20 pm

      It was so good! And yes, the movies are very cute. Oh really? I liked the second one, but I do love Chris Pine. The books are okay, not my favourites.

  36. Mallory 02/02/2018 / 3:18 am

    The Time Traveler’s Wife was one of those “I can’t believe I’m going to try this” books when I picked it up and now I feel bad for not finishing it 🙂 I’ve read a few of your “Can’t believe” books, but can’t remember if I liked them or not. Oops!

    • iloveheartlandx 02/02/2018 / 3:18 pm

      I mean not every book works for everyone! Ha ha never mind!

  37. Verushka, an editor (@SydneyEditor1) 02/02/2018 / 11:35 am

    *shudders* Lord of the Flies. I am glad I never have to read that again. I did not enjoy it at all! I do however want to get to the Princess Diaries, mostly because the movies are so dated but still sooo cute in their way lol

    • iloveheartlandx 02/02/2018 / 3:16 pm

      Ha ha same, I actually don’t know anyone who did! The Princess Diaries books are just as cute, but very different from the films!

  38. foreverlostinlit 02/02/2018 / 11:00 pm

    I also read The Fault In Our Stars, Lord of the Flies, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and TKAM, and I’m probably surprised I read all of those as well! (except maybe Lord of the flies… it initially *sounded* like something I might like). i didn’t really like TKAM, which I know is a super unpopular opinion, haha. I would be surprised if I read a romance also! But I find sometimes it’s fun to read things that are completely out of the ordinary from what I usually read. Great list!

    • iloveheartlandx 03/02/2018 / 12:12 am

      Glad I’m not the only one! Ah it’s okay, there are plenty of people who don’t like it, I didn’t love it, I just liked it better than expected (by that meaning not at all). Yes it is fun to switch things up every now and then. Thank you 🙂

  39. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight 03/02/2018 / 3:10 am

    Ha, I think I felt that way about ALL the books I read in high school- that they were a waste of time (including Lord of the Flies!) The only other one I read was TFIOS, which I did love. But I am SO with you on the fluffy contemporary thing, I am always shocked when I read (and even more when I actually like) them! Great choices!

    • iloveheartlandx 04/02/2018 / 11:49 am

      Ha ha same here, the only one I even close to liked was To Kill A Mockingbird. I’m definitely the black sheep when it comes to TFIOS I think, but saying I don’t like it has brought me to other people who don’t like it, so I don’t feel as alone in that respect anymore. Yes, they’re just so out of my usual comfort zone that’s it’s a big shocker when I like them. Thank you!

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