There are over hyped books and underhyped books, there are books you pick up because you feel you ought and there are books you find in a charity shop and read on a whim. Some you devour, others you plough through, and some you forget about all together. But sometimes you pick up a book for whatever reason, it is nothing like you expected and it’s amazing. These were those books for me.
Gone With The Wind, Margaret Mitchell
There are not enough words to describe how I feel about this book. It’s been on my mental TBR ever since I saw the film years ago and a buddy read came up on Goodreads earlier this year. I took the opportunity. I picked up a beautiful copy of the book and I was just praying I would be able to get through it. As a bit of a trial, just to make sure, I decided to start reading before the buddy read date and uh, well, I couldn’t put the bloody thing down, could I? Scarlet. Rhett. Scarlet and Rhett. I mean, can we just? I love this book, this story, these characters, so damn much. To say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement.
The Road, Cormac McCarthy
It’s short. It’s got a rhythm of it’s own and it’s quite possibly the most dreary thing I have ever read. Did I like it? Why, I’m glad you asked. A huge, resounding, yes. I was expecting it to be literary and contrived and horribly dull to read, but it was none of these things. The pacing was great, the nameless characters were great. It was depressing and sorrowful – now there’s a word you don’t get to say every day – and I really, really, liked it.
The Affair, Lee Child
My grandma reads a lot, and most of what she reads is crime investigation type stuff. So when she exclaimed an incredulous, “You haven’t read any of the Jack Reacher books?” I stood up and took notice. I started with what was the most recent book at the time and oh, man. If you read that kind of thing but haven’t read this series; do it. If you’ve no interest in crime novels whatsoever; read this. Jack Reacher gets shit done. He’s like Daniel Craig’s James Bond crossed with The Punisher and he can MacGuiver his way out of any situation, which comes in handy, because he is always in the wrong place at the wrong time. But not only is he awesome, the stories are so well crafted and Lee Child churns out one or two a year. I mean, what? I never expected to like a crime series and yes, I was pleasantly surprised. Especially by The Affair.
White Cat, Holly Black
You can find my kind of gushy review HERE, but who knew teen angst and paranormal fantasy could be so… old world noir? I don’t know what I was expecting going into this, but whatever it was, is not what I got. It was dark and twisted and didn’t shy away from the gritty stuff. And sure, in a year’s time I might look back and demand to know what I was thinking, but when I read this, I was totally immersed and completely hooked. Great magic system, crazy flawed characters and an unreliable narrator. Pleasantly surprised, indeed.