Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Were Totally Deceiving

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today's topic is: Top Ten Books That Were Totally Deceiving

1. Liar by Justine Larbalestier
This is the ultimate book of deception. When you read the synopsis, you get the sense that it's realistic fiction, but then you get midway through and the author adds a strange fantasy turn, which makes you wonder: is this really true, or is this all part of the protagonist's grand deception?
2. The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex

The cover of this book is rather banal and passive compared to the brilliant humor and action that resides in its pages. This is one of those books that has gained popularity in my classroom based on me being a book pusher. Then kids talk to other kids and the book gets passed around a lot. (Plus it doesn't hurt that I played them a snippet of the audiobook which is, as I have said many times already, the best audiobook in the history of audiobooks!) Otherwise, it would probably just sit on the shelf because kids look at the cover and don't get a sense of the hilarity they will experience between the two covers.

3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
You only have to read the first six words of the plot synopsis and many immediately think to themselves, "This book is going to be sad. I don't want to bum myself out by reading it." But here's the thing: not only is the sadness worth experiencing, but it is full of humor and beauty too. Yes, this is a book about cancer, but it is so much more than that.

4. The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
I was expecting this book to be more profound than it was, but it was just an easy fluff read. Not to mention the fact that it's written as YA, but I almost think people in their 30s who were in high school in 1996 (like me) will enjoy this book more than teens. Lots of feelings of nostalgia bubbled up in me as I read this book. And I hate that even though this story takes place only 15 years ago, it reads like historical fiction.
5.  Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

 I had the opposite reaction to Beauty Queens as I did The Future of Us. A book about marooned beauty pageant contestants? I was expecting fluff: a wild, campy romp through a desert island with some ditzy cheerleader types, which is how the story starts off, but the more invested in the story you become, you begin to realize that this book is also a political statement, an imploring to get the reader to question the gender roles and stereotypes we've become accustomed to in our society.

6. Pie by Sarah Weeks
There was a piece to the mystery of this book that I felt was not addressed at the end and it kind of deceives the reader, which is normally fine because mysteries are all about red herrings and having us believe one thing only to realize it was something else entirely, but the problem is, that something else entirely was incomplete and left the reader feeling dissatisfied (at least it did in my three literature classes of 60 sixth graders).

7. Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris
 I hate zombies. There. I've said it. And I don't apologize for it. But Carrie Harris doesn't take herself too seriously and neither does this book. The light-hearted, silly humor is what kept me reading and reminded me that anything done with enough kitsch and camp can turn something dreaded into something fun.

8. Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez
So the synopsis of this book makes you think that Carmen's prescription drug addiction will be one of the main conflicts of the story. That is so not the case. It's only really briefly mentioned in a couple scenes. The main conflict is really Carmen's crazy, psycho stage mother and how her overbearing attitude leads her into the arms of her fiercest competitor.

9. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
I had heard so many great things about this book but the historical period and heft of it left me feeling intimidated and worried that the subject-matter would be dry and boring. How wrong I was. In fact, the historical aspect of the book is merely just one layer of a very complex, contemporary story. 

10. Shine by Lauren Myracle

First of all, the cover and title of this book don't really seem to quite mesh with the story. This is a story that could appeal to boys with a different cover. But another reason for the deceptiveness of this book is that it is about so much more than a hate crime. And I don't want to say anymore for fear of giving too much away.


  1. This is the second list that I have seen LIAR on. I have not heard of this one before but I am going to have to check it out!

  2. Oh, LOVED Revolution! And I didn't in the beginning. I found the character of Andy to be awful at first, but oh, how I grew to love her. Plus it takes place in Paris (sigh). And! I hate zombie's too, ick. Glad to meet someone else who feels likewise! Great Top Ten picks:)

    My TTT

  3. Great list! Some of your descriptions make me want to read the books, just so I can see what you're talking about; especially in regards to LIAR, and THE FUTURE OF US.