Top 5 YA books I didn’t expect to LOVE // Friday Five


So this is my first blog post and it’s going to be a Five Friday. Why you ask – because I find it difficult to list 10 books in those Top Ten Tuesdays and I love lists! Anyway, today I’m going to be listing my top 5 books I thought I wouldn’t like from reading the synopsis (and judging the cover) but fell under the pressure to read them and absolutely loved them. Starting at number 5…

5. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
I actually only read this book this year so yes, late to the party. I read the Wikipedia synopsis of this series about 2 years ago and it didn’t really capture my attention. This cover didn’t quite catch my interest either. I also watched the movie (sorry) and it seemed like a fun, though confusing story so I decided to give it a go and enjoyed the book so much better. Yes, I didn’t get the full experience of the twists and climax of the story because I already knew the plot, but it was still really engaging and I think Mead captures the turmoil of emotions experienced by teenagers. I love how in books readers are able to get into the heads of the characters and this book especially, we are able to try uncover secrets with Rose (the protagonist) and she really is a hilarious narrator. What I really appreciated in this book was the creation of three different races (types?) of vampires and the author’s ability represent the ambiguity of morality in many situations. I will definitely be continuing on with this series and I recommend you pick it up if you haven’t yet!

4. On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Do you like contemporaries? Read this book. Do you like contemporaries that are realistic? Read this book. Do you like contemporaries that are realistic set in Australia? Read this book. Do you like contemporaries that are realistic set in Australia with beautiful writing? Read this book. On the Jellicoe Road is a fantastic novel. I didn’t know about this book until a friend who thoroughly enjoyed it recommended it to me. The synopsis actually does look intriguing so I don’t know why I passed on it the in the first round. However, when I read it I must admit I was a bit confused in the beginning and it does take quite a while to get into Marchetta’s writing. Once I passed that stage, it’s really hard to describe the the plot so it’s probably better if you read the blurb or a little synopsis if you want to know what it’s about. This book is full of mystery, tragedy and such a heartwarming story at the same time I cannot truly express the unstable and varying emotions I felt, laughing one second and crying a chapter after. The characters are constructed so well, so realistic and what I love is that all of them are just ordinary people reacting, coping but in no means boring characters. Just pick it up. I must warn you though that this novel does need patience, and with this style of writing, it could be a love it or hate it situation.

3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna and the French Kiss BOOK COVER
Ahhhh. Such a nice squeal-worthy book with flawed yet characters to be adored. I think you can partially guess why I wasn’t originally interested in this book *look at the cover*. Yes I judged the book by the cover and also was not that fond of the title to be honest. I did hear about this book bouncing around but I never took real interest as I don’t tend to pick up contemporaries too often. After the many raving reviews, I did eventually pick it up and loved every bit of it. One of my favourite contemporary romances now, and surprising Stephanie Perkins somehow manages to fit some serious issues into this entertaining story full of plenty awkward moments. I encourage anyone looking for humorous, romance filled book or even if you’re in a reading slump.

2. The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
The Naturals BOOK COVER
I think I came across this book after reading some Ally Carter books and was looking for some spy/espionage/mystery YA books . Reading the synopsis, I thought it’s kinda interesting but then continued on to looking at Goodreads lists for more YA spy novels. My thirst for more Gallagher girl-like books completely clouded my judgement because it is actually totally my type of story. Profiling. FBI. Mystery. Muuurder. YES!!! I actually got round to reading it after a friend recommended it to me and you guessed it, I loved it and picked up the next one in the series and swallowed that one too… and when the third one came out I was counting down the days until its release. I know this sounds quite gushy but I just didn’t expect to love this series as much as I do. It’s one of those series that gets better with each book and darker like you wouldn’t expect. So yes, highly recommend if your looking for a creepy YA mystery and suspenseful series.

1. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
City of Bones BOOK COVER
Okay so you might be going whaaat… but let me explain myself. I was on a dystopian kick after reading The Hunger Games and Divergent and totally like GIVE ME CORRUPT GOVERNMENTS AND BADASS FEMALE PROTAGONISTS. Once again I blame it on my weird moods. I’d never really read any paranormal fantasy books so when a friend recommended me this book and I read the synopsis I was hesitant especially looking at the cover (that is the original one). Also influenced by the negativity surrounding Twilight, the only insight I had into this genre (which I am not to judge because I still haven’t read it yet). However, this friend has recommended me many many books I have thoroughly enjoyed so I gave it a go. Anyway I was totally wrong to question her judgement because I devoured it and the rest of the series. I absolutely love this world Clare has created, so beautifully woven together; all the elements and parts of the story you thought weren’t relevant turning out to be extremely important. The rollercoaster of emotions and attachment to characters is something immensely enjoyable in her books, and you can see the growth in sophistication in writing as the books progress so don’t judge the first one too harshly.

I know my descriptions of these books are vague but I don’t want to spoil anyone so if in the unlikeliness that you haven’t read any of these books yet, you can have the full experience of reading them for the first time *sighing and dreaming of that experience for the Harry Potter series again*. Enjoy!!

Emily x


Let me know what books you thought you would dislike but succumbed to the pressure of reading and loved it (or didn’t seem as bad as you thought)? Comment below!

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