Top Ten Books That Were Totally Deceiving

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish! Today we have compiled a list of 5 books each that have tricked us somehow. Was it because of faulty cover art? Was the summary in the back completely different than the actual contents of the book? Or did you expect a book to be one thing and it turned into something else all together? So, as you can see or will come to see, the word deceiving isn’t necessarily always a bad thing…

ESTELLE:

1. The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes

As I’m sure you noticed from my review, I absolutely loved this book. Loved loved. But I was so surprised by how deep this story actually went. (The title suggests something entirely different.) There are also so many sensitive themes explored, as well as this undeniable affection for writing. So deceiving in a good freaking way. This book blew me away.

2. Other Words for Love by Lorriane Zago Rosenthal

I don’t know about you but when I’m perusing the bookstore, I read the backs of books to help me decide if I’m interested in. OWFL made me question those who wrote the back summaries because this one was extremely off. The description focuses on first love and the horrendous pain that comes with heartbreak. But the book was much more about the main character for me and dealing with pressure from her mom, crappy treatment from her sister, and finding her place. I think the love story, though significant, wasn’t the true focal point of this book. (My review.)

3. Various Positions by Martha Schabas

I don’t want to give that much away since I have my review coming up on Friday (finally!). I knew this book contained certain intense and uncomfortable moments, including some super weirdish sexual moments. I was most surprised by the feminine themes, as well as assuming a certain situation went one way because of incinuations on the back of the book. (They didn’t go the way I thought.) I know. Totally vague right? No, it’s not a book just about ballerinas but instead, the darker parts of this profession and self-discovery in dark and difficult ways. (And so worth reading.) (Goodreads)

4. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Judging by the title (and terrible cover), I never would have picked up this book if it wasn’t for a friend’s recommendation. Because, c’mon, what is a 27-year old doing reading a book about french kissing? I’m so glad I didn’t listen to my judgmental self or I never would have become so enraptured with contemporary YA. I still think this book deserves a better cover and title, but whoa it is so much more than a book about a girl getting kissed for the first time. It’s smart, it’s LOL funny, and it makes my stomach flip. Thank the YA lords for this book. (Goodreads)

5. Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

I have this terrible habit of buying a billion books on my Nook and just letting it sit there. At some point, in all my blog reading, I stumbled across this title and a raving review. When I opened it on my Nook though, it was about 700 pages. HOW WAS I EVER GOING TO FIND TIME TO FINISH THIS? I even told myself if I reached a certain page number and wasn’t into it, I would just give up. (I hate giving up.) But my god. Even though my Nook pages were drastically wrong, I would have read 700 pages. It was such an engrossing story about family and beginning college and relationships. (My review.)

MAGAN:

1. Crossed by Allie Condie

This may be an odd choice, and I’m fully aware of that. I suppose I felt most tricked by how captivated I was with Matched. I love, love, loved that book. Couldn’t have raved about it more than I did, and therefore pre-ordered Crossed to be delivered on the release date. I felt so let down. The whole mood had changed and things were so slow. I missed the action-packed, sit-on-the-edge-of-my-seat feeling that captivated me in Matched. I’m still holding out for book three, but my heart broke a little when it wasn’t what I expected. (My review.)

2. The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

I gave a lot of reasons for why I felt so deceived by The Disenchantments in my review. The cover implies a fun, light-hearted book. I didn’t find it to be that way. It also screamed female protagonist. That it was not. I felt pretty tricked because I fully expected to love every.single.thing about it, and it just kind of fell flat for me. (My review.)

3. The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

Estelle and I did a joint book report on this book. The impression I received from the summary on the flap of the book was that this would include quite a bit of a sweet romance. NO. Negative. False statement. That was such a minimal part of the book; I loved the bits that did exist, but I’m a girl who loves some romance and I felt betrayed.

4. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

The title of the book screams I NEED A BOX OF TISSUES WHILE READING THIS. But, don’t be fooled. The book is clever, witty, laugh-out-loud funny, and ridiculously original. (My review.)

5. Populazzi by Elise Allen

I saw this cover and thought it would be a lighter read that I’d breeze through. I did fly through the pages, but that’s mostly because I LOVED the humor and greater messages included in the book. Allen wrote the story so well, and everything felt so authentic. I didn’t want it to end. (My review.)

So, do you have a list of books that were deceiving? Let us know what’s on your list!

Estelle: Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
Pages: 400
Release Date: April 11, 2011
Target Audience: Young Adult/Adult Contemporary/Romance
Publisher: Createspace
Format: Nook eBook
How I found out about it: Read about it on a blog a long time ago & downloaded it.

Summary: Julie has just moved to Boston from Ohio to start her freshman year of college, and discovers her “apartment” is actually a Mexican restaurant. Lucky for her, one of her mom’s college pals lives in Boston and invites her to stay with them until Julie can find a real place to live. Pretty immediately, Julie can sense something is not so right with Watkins family. The parents are never home and depend on their college-aged son, Matt, to take care of his younger sister, Celeste. At 13 years old, Celeste talks a big game but walks around the house with a life-size cardboard cutout of her older brother, Finn, who is off traveling the world. She warms to Julie, so when the Watkins offer her free room and board, she jumps for the chance to help Celeste (and also continue to get to know the sweet and mysterious brother Finn through Facebook messages).

The day I started this eBook I was scrolling through some reviews on Goodreads, and saw that someone read the book in its entirely in two days. TWO DAYS. My Nook was not shy to tell me I would have 768 pages to read. In fact, I saw that once before and the page count scared me away. I’m not sure what made me give it another try. The reviews on Goodreads were SO positive; they were difficult to ignore. Magan and I laughed that anyone who read it in 2 days probably had no life. And here I am to tell you, I read it in two days too. And I am PROUD to say I have no life.

Flat-Out Love blew me away. Completely. I can’t even count it as a young adult novel because the circumstances are just so adult. Even though Julie is 18 years old, she acts much older. Her natural response to life is to help people and understand them. Perhaps this is because her own father left her mother, and is too much of a workaholic to pay attention to her. But this is a book that emphasizes the fact that the children are constantly taking on the roles of the parents. Matt, a geeky reclusive guy who has a fondness for t-shirts with funny messages on them, has so much responsibility when it comes to his younger sister. Julie can’t understand it. She’s 13 years old. She should want to be more independent. Matt goes to the teacher conferences, and picks her up at school. Matt is in COLLEGE. He should want to go out from time to time, and not be tied to his bedroom. Not to mention, the whole family seems to accept the fact that Celeste is walking around this with cardboard cut-out and actively talking to it. She knows her brother is away, and treats “Flat Finn” as just another member of the family.

Julie humors Celeste, and the young girl begins to trust Julie. I liked this relationship a lot. It’s not every day you read about the younger sister and the main character forming a bond. Celeste has a better vocabulary than I do, and despite her “issues” she can sound like a 50-year old lady. It’s actually quite funny when you are not wondering what the hell happened to this girl to make her want to detach herself from her peers and depend on a cardboard cut-out. I love Julie’s drive and passion for this family. She wants to get down to the bottom of it, and while other teenagers might go about it rashly, Julie is slow and steady when it comes to “resolving things”.

Then there’s Finn. Dreamy, dreamy Finn. When Julie finds out she is staying in Finn’s room, she sends him a quick Facebook message to introduce herself and so begins their flirty, intense back and forth. I so looked forward to reading their notes to one another, and even more so when they would chat online. Julie learns a little about the issues surrounding the Watkins’ behavior through Finn but he still avoids plenty of questions. She is convinced that him coming home will resolve much of the unhappiness of the family. (Not to mention she wants to see this guy in the flesh!) While Julie forms a close friendship with Matt, he is still unwilling to confide in her and she finds solace and a partnership with Finn (even from afar). It sets up an interesting dynamic because Matt gives off the impression that he is just living in Finn’s shadow and doesn’t seem to like that Julie is falling for him.

As you can see, there are many layers to this book. The author, Jessica Park, has a great handle on these characters. They are well-developed, they are imperfect, and they are all trying to figure crap out. Despite the length, the pacing is perfect. It never feels slow or rushed. I want to tell you what happens so badly. But all I can say is I was screaming WHAT WHAT WHAT very loud. I may have figured out a little something about the story along the way but I don’t think anyone can predict the final twists and turns. But they are rational decisions. Not all of them heartbreaking either. It all comes together in a way that makes sense even if it’s not what I expected at all or totally typical.

So here’s the rundown: there’s romance, flirting, geekiness, absent parents, some mystery, secrets, laughs, Christmas trees, and plenty of Facebook updates.

In other words, what are you waiting for?

BTW, the format of the Nook copy has the wrong word count. It’s basically half of 768. You can stop panicking now.

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