Every once in a while, with this little hobby we all share, I get surprised. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes not so much. If you are like me, you go into a book with certain…expectations. But in the last couple of weeks I have come across a few books that totally did not go the way I had planned.
I have made it a goal of mine to read whatever books I have that are being adapted into movies before they actually come out. I want to be one of those people that sit in the theater and say loudly “it did not happen like that in the book!” (Not really, those people are annoying, but I will be thinking it). To that end, I tackled both the four books of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl‘s The Caster Chronicles, and Stephenie Meyer‘s The Host.
So, The Caster Chronicles. I went into these just knowing that they were a sure thing for me. They are everything that I usually love in a story, so of course they can’t miss. Except…they sort of did. They hit all the right notes, but I found myself struggling to stay involved with the story, the world, the characters, the whole works. But every time I decided to give up (and there were a few) and move on, things would pick up enough to make me want to read more. I obviously didn’t love the Caster Chronicles, but I didn’t hate them either. I skimmed way more than I should have, and ended up on the ambivalent side. I spent a good portion of my reading time telling myself that I really should be enjoying it way more than I was, until I finally just admitted that despite some good points (I did like several characters, and it did have a bit of a different vibe to it), that it just didn’t live up to my expectations. I can’t see the film being a monster, Hunger Games/Twilight sized hit, since it is just so darn angsty and slooooow, but I have been wrong before.
Now, The Host was not on my radar. At all. It is completely not my thing, since I have never been a bit sci-fi fan, and the fact that it seemed to be considered Twilight’s poor relation didn’t help. Seeing the trailer for the upcoming movie, and the fact that the hardcover was on sale for $8, I sneered, rolled my eyes, and ordered it. To say that I bought it with low expectations is quite the understatement, and I fully planned on skimming through the first little bit before bed and then giving to a friend that enjoys sci-fi. My half hour “skim” session turned into me reading straight through until 8:00 the next morning, anxious to find out how it all ends. It is a quiet, odd little love story that I couldn’t put down, and made me a bit ashamed that I was so determined that I wouldn’t like it. I do have to say that I wonder how well it will translate to the screen since so much of the story is internal between Melanie/Wanda, but I do know I will be the first in line with my ticket to find out.
What books have defied your expectations recently? Anything you should’ve loved but didn’t, or did you find one that you surprisingly couldn’t put down?