Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Defied My Expectations

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A shooting star zipping across a velvety purple and black night sky just after sunset. You can see the stars beginning to twinkle in the sky and the dim outline of a forest in the background where the last drops of sunlight are quickly fading out of view. This is going to be one of those tougher weeks when I do not have ten answers for the prompt, but I’ll do my best to come up with as many as possible.

Please note there are a few spoilers in this post, so reader beware if any of these books are on your TBR list.

It was interesting to me that all of the authors I picked this time around were women.

That was not done on purpose, and I didn’t even realize it until I was nearly finished writing this post.

Isn’t it interesting how our brains sometimes make patterns like that without us noticing it at the time?



Book cover for The Ghost and the Real Girl by Avery Carter. Image on cover shows a black and white drawing of the profile of a woman’s face. Her hair has been piled on top of her head in a Victorian-style puffy bun, and she has a scarf with a few sprigs of flowers tired around her neck. There is also an oval border around this drawing that has roses, vines, and leaves sprouting around it.









1. The Ghost and the Real Girl by Avery Carter (My Review)

My Assumption: It was going to be 90% romance and 10 % fantasy.

What It Was Actually Like: 90% fantasy and 10% romance. I ended up really liking this one.



Book cover for The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Image on cover shows a painting of a young black girl who is wearing a red coat and a dark grey hat. She is sitting slumped over beside a window whose blinds are opened. You can see the brilliant oranges and yellows of a setting sun in the sky, but the girl’s body language is sad and defeated in contrast to that brilliant display of nature.


2. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

My Assumption: The justice system would work in Pecola’s favour, and the person who abused her would be punished.

What It Was Actually Like: Beautifully written but sadly lacking in justice of any sort.



Book cover for Skylark (#2 in the Sarah Plain and Tall Series series) by Patricia MacLachlan. Image on cover is a painting of Anna, the little white girl who is the protagonist of this series, sitting sadly and petting her dog. She is wearing a green 1800s style prairie dress. Her dad, stepmother, and little brother are sitting in a wagon and looking at her from the background. The horse is about to take the stepmother and children away from the drought, but Sarah doesn’t want to go. All around them is dead grass, and there is a barn and a few green trees in the distance.


3. Skylark (#2 in the Sarah Plain and Tall Series series) by Patricia MacLachlan

My Assumption: The first book in this series was about a single woman named Sarah coming to visit Anna, Caleb, and Papa while she decided whether or not she was going to marry Papa and stay on the prairie. There was a lot of angst about her possibly leaving them in that tale, so I assumed the sequel would move on from that conflict now that Sarah and Papa are married.

What It Was Actually Like: I was wrong. Everyone still worried about Sarah leaving because of how homesick she was for Maine. It was cool to revisit characters I originally met as a kid, though.


Book cover for Still Stace: My Gay Christian Coming of Age Story by Stacey Chomiak. Image on cover shows a drawing of a plump white girl with glasses and straight shoulder length brown hair sitting on a brick wall next to a lake. She’s wearing a white shirt and shorts and looking wistfully into the water as she dips one foot into it.


4. Still Stace: My Gay Christian Coming of Age Story by Stacey Chomiak

My Assumption: This is an autobiography of the author’s evangelical childhood as a deeply closeted lesbian. I thought that Stacey’s parents were eventually going to accept that both of their kids were gay.

What It Was Actually Like: Based on the post-script, her parents are more accepting now but their relationship still sounds pretty strained.  I wished she could have had a happier ending before she became a parent herself, but it was honestly pretty realistic for the time and place Stacey grew up in based on my own experiences with that denomination.


Well, that was a short list this time! There aren’t a lot of books that defy my expectations these days, but I hope the rest of you had better luck coming up with answers.


Filed under Blog Hops

44 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Defied My Expectations

  1. Still Stace sounds interesting – although it’s always heartbreaking for me (especially as a queer person) when people’s families don’t accept them 🙁

  2. I’ve never read the Sarah, Plain and Tall stories but watched the movies ALL THE TIME as a kid. They were family favorites. 🙂 Thanks so much for visiting my website today.

  3. I recently read Sarah, Plain and Tall and Skylark, having not read them (but seen the 2 movies) as a kid, and my pre-teen daughter read them at the same time. We really liked them both!

  4. I didn’t know Sarah Plain and Tall had a sequel

  5. I love that you gave your expectation and how the books weren’t what you expected! I had to go back in time a bit for my list this week, and as a result I don’t usually remember what my expectations were (or sometimes, what the book was like).

    My TTT:

  6. I loved reading your thoughts on #4, how you thought it would end differently and how you respect that it was more true to the times.

  7. This week was challenging for me, as well. I resorted to looking through my yearly-read lists and letting titles jog my memory as to whether they surprised me in some fashion. I’m with you on being happily surprised when a title has far less romance than expected!

  8. I love how your arranged your list with your assumptions and how you actually felt. Really shows how our opinions change as we read!

  9. I love how you shared your assumptions too! I skipped this topic for now, LOL! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier.

  10. A nice list. It is interesting to see what you thought and what actually happened.

    Have a great week!

  11. Athena

    I haven’t heard of any of these, a good list! Thanks for dropping by mine!

  12. I like how you formatted this post. I haven’t read any of these books or even heard of most of them. THE BLUEST EYE is one I’ve always meant to read and just haven’t gotten around to yet. One of these days!

    Happy TTT!


  13. The Ghost and the Real Girl sounds great

  14. Still Stace sounds like a really interesting read, but does sound like a pretty realistic scenario. Very sad.

  15. Sometimes the best books are the ones that surprise us

  16. I would love to read The Bluest Eyes, but knowing that it’s not an easy read (very emotional), I’m not in a hurry to read it. Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier.

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

  17. You’re welcome. Good for you for knowing your limits.

  18. The Ghost and The Real Girl sounds great!

  19. I like how you formatted this post with your assumption and then the reality. Very smart!

  20. What a wonderful list! Still Stace sounds wonderful, and I was heartbroken about how Pecola’s story turned out in The Bluest Eye, even though it reflects the justice system pretty accurately, sadly.

  21. I really need to read Skylark (#2 in the Sarah Plain and Tall Series series) – I love the first book.

  22. Vidya

    I recall reading and liking Sarah, Plain and Tall when my kids had to read it in elementary.. will go look for Skylark now..
    thanks for visiting

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