Top 5 Tuesday #26: The Unexpected

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm.

This week’s topic:

Top 5 books that were not what I expected

The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis

Although I liked what I read, it wasn’t what I expected. The cover made me think the story would have a strong “Wild West” vibe. Although there are some elements of the Wild West and American frontier in the story, it wasn’t to extent I thought it would be. I thought that I’d feel transported to that time as I read, but that didn’t happen.

The Good Luck Girls is Davis’s debut novel. It’s the first in a YA fantasy series about a group of girls who escape from a brothel after one of the girls’ sister accidentally kills a client. The girls run away to escape the harsh repercussions but also to find freedom and a better life. I had some issues with the story, but it was a decent read.

Middle Passage by Charles Johnson

When I read that this book is about a freed slave who accidentally embarks a slave ship bound for Africa to collect people from a mysterious tribe, I didn’t expect that the tale would sometimes be funny. Harrowing, yes, which it was; but the humor was unexpected.

Middle Passage is a historical fiction novel (with a touch of fantasy) that begins in 1830 New Orleans. Rutherford Calhoun is trying to escape his debtor and a woman intent on marrying him. To do so, he runs aboard a ship he knows will leave soon, not knowing that it’s a slave ship. His experiences aboard the ship and his encounter with the Allmuseri, a mysterious African tribe, will change him forever.

Middle Passage was a great read and is one of the best books I read last year. The story is gripping and well written, and Rutherford makes it entertaining because of his sarcasm, wit, and lack of regard for authority figures, especially those who are White. I highly recommend you give this one a try.

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

Here’s another one I didn’t expect to be funny. In fact, I didn’t expect I’d like it at all. I thought it would be dry and boring, but I was so wrong.

Bythell kept a diary for a year writing about the comings and goings in and around his bookstore, called The Bookshop, in Wigtown, Scotland, and the daily management of it. I really expected it to be boring, but instead I got swept up in it, entertained by his and his customers’ eccentricities. By the book’s end, I wanted to go to Scotland and visit this bookshop.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Well, I thought I would love this one, but I didn’t. I thought it would transport me to a world saturated in magic, but that didn’t happen. I thought I would fall head-over-heels in love with the descriptive writing, but that didn’t happen either.

The Hazel Wood is a YA fantasy novel about a girl whose grandmother wrote fairytales that are apparently true. There is a dark undertone to the story that I didn’t mind, but the book didn’t work for me. I wasn’t crazy about the prose, did not like the characters, and did not care much about how the plot would progress. This one was just not for me.

Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff

The title made me think Sheff grew up taking meth his whole life. Although, considering how young he was when he started abusing drugs, I guess the book’s title is correct. I also didn’t expect the content to be so graphic because…

Tweak is a YA memoir about the author’s experiences while addicted to methamphetamines. It was an interesting read. It wasn’t until I got to the end that I realized that his dad wrote Beautiful Boy about him.

That’s it for me.
Let me know if you’ve read any of these.

14 thoughts on “Top 5 Tuesday #26: The Unexpected

  1. I haven’t read any of the books you’ve mentioned here but The Good Luck Girls sounds a lot like a film I remember watching … did a quick Google search – Bad Girls (1994) with Drew Barrymore, Madeleine Stowe, Mary Stuart Masterson and Andie MacDowell. I’d be interested to know how similar the plots are.

    Like

  2. Oh my. I wouldn’t have expected Middle Passage to be funny at all. Now I’m intrigued!

    I felt the same way about The Hazel Wood. I was expecting whimsy and got a lot of darkness. It was a bummer read.

    Liked by 1 person

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