All, Blogmas, Miscellaneous

BLOGMAS DAY SEVEN: Books That Surprised Me

Sometimes you go into a book blind and it blows your mind. Sometimes the book with all the hype falls flat for you. Sometimes you pick up someone’s sketch recommendation and you absolutely love it. This post is all about the books that blindsided us in 2019.


Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

I had heard very little about this book when it came out in May, but it was on my witchy- book radar from the start. I thought that it might be a little cheese-y, and I worried about the zombies/witches aspect, but my worries were unfounded. Undead Girl Gang keeps the story fun and playful, while still delving into emotional depths and heartbreaking loss. This book was surprisingly witchy, and I kind of just want more of it. Also i LOVE the MC’s dark gallows humor. I elaborate more about this and some other witchy books here.

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

So, I read this book as an ARC in April before it had much hype surrounding it. I blazed through it, and I was not expecting to love it, but I totally did.This book is super intense, and I did not expect that at all. Wilder Girls is a feminist horror that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end. The main mystery of the book (what is the Tox and how it appeared) is revealed in bits and pieces without you really knowing it until all the pieces snap into place at the very end. I honestly had no idea where this book was going or what was going to happen the entire time. You can find my full review here.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

I was given a ARC of this book approximately 10 days before it released, and I had no idea what I was in for. I had thought “oh cool a m/m political romance” and left it at that. I ended up binging this book over the course of 3 days and fell completely in love with the characters (& their chemistry), the setting, and all the pop culture references. I wasn’t planning on this book being my favorite book of the year, but it totally ended up being it. You can find my full review here.

Sourdough by Robin Sloan

I literally went into this book with no expectations and ended up really loving it! This book is filled with the exact right amounts of wonder, futuristic tech, bizarre sourdough starter, ‘Mazg’ culture, and it’s all blended together perfectly. You can find my full review here.

A Match Made in Mehendi by Nandini Bajpai

I thought that because the main character was 15, that this book would read really young, but Simi is actually quite mature and on top of things for her age. The reasoning behind it being Simi’s sophomore year, is explained early and actually makes a lot of sense. You can find my full review here.

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

I was super excited when I managed to nab an ARC of Sorcery of Thorns at Yallwest this year. Having heard good things about Enchantment of Ravens, I was all set up to be wowed. (I mean, the premise is pretty intriguing too.) So, basically this book has everything I love in fantasy: living MAGIC books, a kickass heroine, shenanigans, demons, and an evil plot to end all. You would think that would have won me over completely, but something in the actual execution failed to click for me. I found myself often irritated and trying to not roll my eyes. You can find my full review here.


The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

I was seeing this one all over Bookstagram, but was skeptical. It sounded a little weird and I was thinking I would just pass on this one. But, I picked it up from the library and then read most of it in one sitting. I loved it and ended up rereading it a few months later. Here is my review.

The Simple Wild by K.A Tucker

Bree was not complementary about this one, but I fell in love with this story. I could not put this one down and this is a new all time favorite. I ended up rereading this one almost right after I finished it. I am so excited for the sequel, but also a bit apprehensive because it ended so perfectly? Here is my review.

Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry

I have very mixed feelings on this books.  I thought I would love it, Bree loved it and I love discussing religion critically. But, unfortunately I did not love this one. I appreciate what this did, but I did not get anything much out of it. I did like the characters and the sarcasm, but I could not connect to the main plots. I think that I did not get much out of this one because I already discuss religion critically and I have a complicated relationship with the Catholic Church myself and thus this book was nothing new for me.

I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan

I thought this book would be trash, but it was surprisingly good. It is a bit problematic and dated, but I had a fun time with this one. More of my thoughts can be found here.

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dumore

I struggle with historical romances, but I kept hearing so much good about this one I wanted to give it a try. I am glad I picked it as one of my Book of the Month picks because I really enjoyed it. See my full review here.

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

I had heard nothing but praise for this book, but I was not a fan. I will say that I read this while on vacation so I might not have been paying enough attention to this one. I also read later that someone did not recommend this being your first Alisha Rai book, which of course this one was for me. I am excited for the next one in this series though.

Vicious/Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

I LOVED Vicious so much more than I ever thought I would. I never thought I could like a story like this honestly only picked it up because of the hype. It is a beautifully crafted book and to be honest I have no idea how Schwab pulled this off. However, as a result I had mile high expectations for Vengeful which fell flat for me.

Walk The Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

I honestly did not know much about this series, but this book was a lot of fun. I kind of forgot how many books I used to read that followed the Oregon Trail and I missed the adventure and the struggle that people experienced on the trail. There is also a fun magic element to the world. I need to continue with the series.

What books surprised you?

xoxo, Bree & Tree

5 thoughts on “BLOGMAS DAY SEVEN: Books That Surprised Me”

  1. OMG OMG OMG OMG. I was listening to FlatShare on my library app as an audiobook. I enjoyed the story line but wasn’t really into the narrators. I want to try reading this again. I am so glad you enjoyed it, Tree! And Walk on Earth a Stranger! I bought this book last year but I have yet to read it. I love the cover so much. You just made me even more excited to read it!

    ANDDDD The Sorcery of Thorns! My friend just bought this book for me for Christmas! The cover is absolutely stunning. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, Bree!

    AH, you guys got me all excited for reading 😀

    Amber @ Escape Life in the Pages

    Liked by 1 person

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