Ten Books That Surprised Me

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It’s all about love of lists, love of literature and bringing bookish people together.

This week’s list is all about the books that surprised us, be it in a good or bad way!

The Good

The Host- Marissa Meyer

The Host (The Host, #1)

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Twilight so I didn’t expect to like The Host as much as I did.

The Giver- Lois Lowry

The Giver (The Giver, #1)

I didn’t expect this book to be a 5 star! It totally was.

The Lovely Bones- Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones

I thought this book wouldn’t be for me, but I was captivated.

Lord Of The Flies- William Golding

Lord of the Flies

I didn’t like most of the books that I had to read at school so I didn’t expect to like this one.

As I Descended- Robin Talley

As I Descended

I was NOT a fan of What We Left Behind so again, wasn’t expecting to like this one as much as I did.

The Not So Good

The Fault In Our Stars- John Green

The Fault in Our Stars

I always feel bad for not liking John Green, but I just didn’t ‘get’ this book. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, I did. I just wasn’t blown away.

Girl In Pieces- Kathleen Glasgow

Girl in Pieces

This book was very slow in places.

The Girls- Emma Cline

The Girls

A bit strange! I don’t usually mind strange.

Dumplin’- Julie Murphy

Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1)

I wanted to like it more than I did.

Follow Me Back- Nicci Cloke

Follow Me Back

Great premise, but it didn’t work for me.

How about you? Let me know which books have surprised you! Feel free to leave a link to your list and I’ll stop by!


Round up of The British Book Challenge 2016

It’s that time of year again… time to reflect on the British Books I’ve read this year for the British Books Challenge. I read a grand total of 66 British books! (I shall add anymore to this post if I read more between now and 1st January) Yay!

The challenge involves reading 12 books from British authors, so I think we can safely say I smashed that number! 😉 I really enjoy finding British authors to read as much of my reading is dominated by US authors (they are amazing though!) Linked below are the reviews of the 66 British books that I read!

  1. Lighter Than My Shadow– Katie Green
  2. For Holly– Tanya Byrne
  3. Am I Normal Yet?– Holly Bourne
  4. The Demon Headmaster– Gillian Cross
  5. The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig– Emer Stamp
  6. The Haunting– Alex Bell
  7. In A Dark, Dark Wood– Ruth Ware
  8. The Number One Rule For Girls– Rachel McIntyre
  9. Carrie’s War-Nina Bawden
  10. The Sin Eater’s Daughter– Melinda Salisbury
  11. Radio Silence– Alice Oseman
  12. The Samaritan– Mason Cross
  13. Moving– Jenny Eclair
  14. More Of Me– Kathryn Evans
  15. The Next Together– Lauren James
  16. The Boy In The Dress– David Walliams
  17. Consumed– Abbie Rushton
  18. V is for Violet– Alison Rattle
  19. Read Me Like A Book– Liz Kessler
  20. Follow Me Back– Nicci Cloke
  21. Noble Conflict– Malorie Blackman
  22. When I Was Invisible– Dorothy Koomson
  23. Poppy’s Place– Karina Charman
  24. The Horse and His Boy– C.S. Lewis
  25. Orangeboy– Patrice Lawrence
  26. Always With Love– Giovanna Fletcher
  27. The Moonlight Dreamers– Siobhan Curham
  28. According To Yes-Dawn French
  29. The Borrowers– Mary Norton
  30. Swimming To The Moon– Jane Elson
  31. The Castle– Sophia Bennett
  32. The Woman Next Door– Cass Green
  33. Songs About A Girl– Chris Russell
  34. Maggot Moon– Sally Gardner
  35. Shtum– Jem Lester
  36. The One We Fell In Love With– Paige Toon
  37. My Embarrassing Dad’s Gone Viral– Ben Davis
  38. Cuckoo– Keren David
  39. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child– J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
  40. All About The Hype– Paige Toon
  41. The Girls– Lisa Jewell
  42. Head Over Heels– Holly Smale
  43. Crush– Eve Ainsworth
  44. Perijee and Me– Ross Montgomery
  45. How Not To Disappear– Clare Furniss
  46. A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding– Jackie Copleton
  47. Looking for JJ– Anne Cassidy
  48. A Boy Made Of Bricks– Keith Stuart
  49. Robyn Silver- The Midnight Chimes– Paula Harrison
  50. Isadora Moon Goes To School- Harriet Muncaster
  51. The Last Act of Love– Cathy Rentzenbrink
  52. Time To Say Goodbye– S.D. Robertson
  53. On The Other Side– Carrie Hope Fletcher
  54. Beautiful Broken Things– Sara Barnard
  55. The Widow– Fiona Barton
  56. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase– Joan Aiken
  57. Dead Romantic– C.J.Skuse
  58. Haunt Me– Liz Kessler
  59. Missing, Presumed– Susie Steiner
  60. Strange Star– Emma Carroll
  61. Ballet Shoes– Noel Streatfeild
  62. The Lie Tree– Frances Hardinge
  63. Into The Trees– Robert Williams
  64. Lighthousekeeping– Jeanette Winterson
  65. Infinite Sky– C.J. Flood
  66. The Sleeping Prince– Melinda Salisbury

A massive thank you to Kirsty from Overflowing Library for hosting this challenge this year.

As this is one of my favourite challenges, I am definitely on board for 2017. In 2017, the challenge will be hosted by Michelle from Tales of Yesterday. Sign up here!

Comparing ‘Follow Me Back’ by Nicci Cloke

Follow Me Back

How did I get it?:
Received from publisher, thanks to Hot Key Books


There was no sign of a struggle, they whisper to each other. She took her phone but left her laptop behind.

Apparently, she’d met someone online, they write to each other in class, phones buzzing.
She ran away. She was taken.

The first time Aiden Kendrick hears about Lizzie Summersall’s disappearance is when the police appear at his front door. He and Lizzie used to be friends; they aren’t anymore. And when Aiden finds out that Lizzie had been talking to strangers on Facebook; that the police think she went to meet one of them, he begins to wonder how well he ever really knew her, and Aiden doesn’t know it yet, but with Lizzie’s disappearance his life is about to take a twisted and desperate turn.

Thoughts before you started reading Follow Me Back?

CHRISSI: It looked really interesting and I love books based around social media.
LUNA: The premise sounded intriguing so I was looking forward to this.

What did you think of Aiden?

CHRISSI: I wasn’t a fan. I couldn’t find anything to really like about him. That doesn’t always bother me, I don’t NEED to like a character. But at the same time, I usually need to somewhat understand them, but Aiden just seemed forgettable to me.
LUNA: Normally I love unreliable narrators but there was no connection to Aiden.

Best bit?

CHRISSI: I liked how everything came together.
LUNA: The ending is quite intense.

Worst bit?

CHRISSI: I think the worst bit for me was that I just couldn’t connect to the story. There wasn’t really a character who I could really find myself liking. That makes the book as a whole really hard to connect with and enjoy.

LUNA: Follow Me Back did not work for me. I liked the premise but I feel like this book night have worked better a few years ago when the world as whole was still more naïve about online ‘friendships’. Also I didn’t care about Lizzie’s disappearance because I don’t know Lizzie or why everyone loves her.

The fact that more POVs are added to the story later was a good way to have more depth to Lizzie and what was going on, but for me, I didn’t think these new voices sounded that much different to Aiden’s.

Favourite character/moment?

CHRISSI: I enjoyed how everything came together at the end.
LUNA: I liked Aiden’s best friend Scobie at the beginning of the story.

Was Follow Me Back what you expected?

CHRISSI: Unfortunately not!
LUNA: Not really.

Would you recommend it?

CHRISSI: It’s not for me. It really didn’t work for me.
LUNA: Honestly I don’t think so, which is a real shame because it sounded great.