So this post was inspired by Lizzy over at LizzyReadsBooks (nbd, but you should all read her recent post about the third Bronte sister – it’s amazing), but I’m putting a bit of a Halloween spin on it! Yay for October being ALL HALLOWEEN, ALL THE TIME.
Anyway, this post is about the Tricks and Treats of reading. I’m sure you’ve all dealt with them before. Aren’t you ever just so excited to read a book, and then it falls short (sometimes WAY short) of expectations? Well, HAHA YOU GOT TRICKED. Other times, you get lucky, and a book is just as wonderful or even better than you hoped. In those moments, lovely readers, you’re getting the best bookish treat of all.
So let’s start with the tricks first:
Zodiac, Romina Russell
I cannot even tell you how disappointed I was by this book. (Actually, I can and did, when I reviewed it last year). But anyway. Penguin hyped this book out for a long time, and I love YA, astrology and the way the cover looked, so I was all about it. I was so excited when it finally got to my apartment. It looked beautiful, felt beautiful, but I was sorely disappointed. While the concept of this book is top notch, it didn’t seem well written. It felt rushed, the characters felt poorly developed, and there were certain choices made that just simply made me angry because they didn’t seem to function for the plot of the book. I’m still curious about reading the next book in this series, but I won’t be keeping my hopes up.
Emma, Jane Austen
Whoops. I’ve had people tell me that this is Austen’s best book, and if it is… well that’s terrible for me and every reader. I literally couldn’t get through this book. I tried for weeks, and just couldn’t get into it. I know you need to give books a chance, but I felt that every word that came out of Emma’s mouth was childish and annoying, and I just couldn’t put myself through the whole book. Maybe I’m wrong and I just need to give it another go, but first impressions? I was definitely tricked by this one.
The Magician’s Nephew, CS Lewis
I could add multiple Narnia books in here, to be honest. I know I’m reading books for kids, but that’s never been something that has taken away from a story for me before. I had hoped for so much more when it came to building the world on Narnia. Reading this short novel, however, felt as though it was an afterthought. I know it was technically not the first book, and it was enjoyable, but it just wasn’t what I’d hoped it would be.
And for the treats:
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
This was the first Austen book I’d ever read, and it was way after I’d graduated from college, so the only reason I really did was to get people off my back about it – also, it was a Penguin Classics hardcover with the cool design, and I couldn’t help myself. Honestly, this book blew me away. I loved it so much more than I ever thought I would. I never expected to see such deep characters and such witty writing. My disappointment with Emma directly stems from how much I loved this book.
A River Runs Through it, Norm MacDonald
My other half suggested I read this story/novella around Memorial Day this year and I’m so glad I did. While I expected to like it, I couldn’t get over how incredibly well it was written. I cared about the characters and had an incredibly emotional reaction to a scene about fly fishing. It was surprising, to say the least. Definitely was a story that touched me on such a personal level, a true treat of a read.
An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir
This was another book Penguin seeeeeeeeeeeeriously promoted on Facebook. I won’t lie, I was initially drawn to this book because of the characters’ names: Elias and Laia. I bought it and was SO glad I did. Everything about this book lived up to the incredible hype. I enjoyed reading it so much, that even the minor things I didn’t like were irrelevant. I was just so excited to see what kept happening. I LOVED the ending – so clever, so smart, so touching. Tahir is really talented, and when this book’s sequel comes out, I’ll be one of the first on line.