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Topic: Your HF Challenge Books - Name a Book That Did or Did Not Live Up to Your E

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Subject: Your HF Challenge Books - Name a Book That Did or Did Not Live Up to Your E
Date Posted: 4/15/2010 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Your HF Challenge Books - Name a Book That Did or Did Not Live Up to Your Expectations.

For me, The Sunne in Splendour surpassed my expectations!

Last Edited on: 4/15/10 8:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/15/2010 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Argh! Other than Whiskey Rebels, I've done a terrible job of picking my challenge books. My two disappointments were Lion of Ireland and The Swan Thieves. My expectations were high, and they didn't live up to them.

Date Posted: 4/15/2010 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,175
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Biggest let down for me was Echo in the Bone, I could have cried I was so frusterated by it and I really don't know if I am going to put another penny in Diana Gabaldon's pocket.  Ooops I missed" challenge"

I really loved the Lady Julia Grey series by Deanna Raybourn, though I had no expectations, I was suprized how much I loved it.

Last Edited on: 4/16/10 7:58 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 4/15/2010 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 41,911
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For exceeding my expection MIstress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin (and the other 3 in that series)

My biggest let down was Bone Rattler by Eliot Patterson. Just couldn't hold my interest. 

I have 3 more to finish for challenge 1.


Date Posted: 4/15/2010 9:28 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 3,028
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The Song of Hannah was deeply disappointing for me.  Guess I expected something as good as The Red Tent.  Enough said.  See my review for details.

The best books to date have been The Shadow of the Wind and Company of Liars, both of which I just loved.  While the stories were vastly different both were wonderful reads.

Last Edited on: 4/15/10 9:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/16/2010 7:44 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,718
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I'm not done, and so I may change my mind, but so far Helen of Troy by Margaret George is a bit of a let down for me.  I'm 2/3 of the way through, and I don't feel a real connection to Helen.  Everything feels the slightest bit distant for me.  I'm trying to understand the characters, but motivations are not ringing true...I don't know.  It's hard to put my finger on, but I thought this story would completely suck me in, and it only does so for certain scenes, not the entire story.

Date Posted: 4/16/2010 10:15 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,757
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Hands down, Aztec blew my expectations out of the water.  Never have I been so surprised to love a book so much.  Although it got raves around here, going into it I wasn't even sure if I'd like it.  Now it's a contender for one of my favorite HF books of all time!

Another one which exceeded (by far) my expectations was The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society. I was "eh" on the book going into it. Wasn't sure if I wanted to read it or not (WWII era stuff is not my bag) but since I could use it for one of the HF #1 Challenges, I bit the bullet.  A few pages into it and I thought I was doomed.  An entire book of correspondence?  Didn't bode well.  However, I soon feel very much in love with the book, and it is definitely one of the best I've read all year!  I love when that happens!

The Sunne In Splendour is a FABULOUS book (another favorite), but it is a Penman, so I had very high expectations.  It delivered!

Is there any question as to what fell far short of my expectations?  That dog Wolf Hall, of course.  I didn't have sky high expectations, but I was fairly confident that I would like the book.  The premise sounded good.  It received good critical reviews (I guess that should've been a red flag), and I actually enjoyed the first few chapters. Something (I think the author's writing style) went horribly wrong, and I really struggled to finish the (loooooong) book.  I did though.  I'm glad the experience is behind me.

Last Edited on: 4/16/10 1:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/16/2010 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2008
Posts: 772
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It was for the AU category, Hades' Daughter by Sara Douglass. So horrible I didn't even finish it, and moved me one step closer to realizing that fantasy just ain't my thang. I was at least expecting that I'd be able to finish it.

Date Posted: 4/16/2010 11:45 AM ET
Member Since: 2/4/2010
Posts: 89
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I loved the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Peel Society which was a surprise because I didn't think I would enjoy an entire book of letters written in the 1940s. Also loved The Red Tent and Year of Wonders (who enjoys a book about the plague?)

I really couldn't get interested in the characters of The King's Grace.

Date Posted: 4/16/2010 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,544
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I have to agree with eveyone else that Guernsey really far exceeded my expectations.  I too thought how goood can a book about letters be?  Boy was I wrong.  So far (knock on wood) I haven't read any real stinkers for my challenges but the year is still young.


Also as some of you know, A Murderous Procession by Ariana Franklin had me screaming at the end.   I guess you could say that one exceeded expectations too.  Thought I was so smart and had it all figured out.  HA!!!


Last Edited on: 4/16/10 7:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/17/2010 12:20 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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The last book that exceeded expectations was Sarah Donati's Into the Wilderness.  I was concerned about not living up to the hype, and damping my expectations, but it easily lived up to hype.

The biggest disappointments have been Gabaldon's last two, because the expectations were so high. 

Date Posted: 4/18/2010 1:39 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
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I've been very pleased so far with the books I've read for the challenge. Like Shelley, my biggest surprise was Aztec.  I've had it on my shelf for quite awhile, but it had just never piqued my interest.  I'm so glad this challenge and the read-a-long inspired me to pick it up, because I loved it! 

I can't really say that there are any that I've really disliked.  However, my biggest letdown is probably Shanghai Girls.  I had such high hopes for it after enjoying Snow Flower.  And while it was an entertaining read, I felt it was also disjointed and sloppy in alot of ways, and I HATED the ending.