Books that Exceeded your Expectations

These are books that pleasantly surprised you. They could be classics that you really loved or more recent fiction that just caught you off guard by its greatness.
1

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4.33 avg rating — 6,336,058 ratings
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2

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4.37 avg rating — 1,820,446 ratings
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3

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4.30 avg rating — 2,408,929 ratings
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4

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4.47 avg rating — 6,981,447 ratings
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5

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4.09 avg rating — 1,372,408 ratings
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6

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4.47 avg rating — 2,149,308 ratings
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7

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4.28 avg rating — 4,467,815 ratings
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8

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4.14 avg rating — 2,591,596 ratings
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9

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3.97 avg rating — 1,565,775 ratings
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10

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4.26 avg rating — 2,973,280 ratings
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11

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4.12 avg rating — 1,709,410 ratings
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12

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3.88 avg rating — 1,184,410 ratings
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13

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4.62 avg rating — 2,787,077 ratings
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14

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4.29 avg rating — 2,493,535 ratings
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15

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3.60 avg rating — 4,931,409 ratings
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16

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4.38 avg rating — 1,143,092 ratings
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17

by
3.82 avg rating — 2,005,352 ratings
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18

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3.84 avg rating — 889,398 ratings
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19

by
4.13 avg rating — 1,613,958 ratings
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20

by
4.57 avg rating — 2,779,369 ratings
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21

by
4.18 avg rating — 3,110,016 ratings
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22

by
3.91 avg rating — 1,331,127 ratings
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23

by
4.28 avg rating — 897,061 ratings
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24

by
4.08 avg rating — 1,052,902 ratings
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25

by
4.56 avg rating — 2,572,590 ratings
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26

by
3.96 avg rating — 270,937 ratings
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27

by
4.30 avg rating — 1,070,921 ratings
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28

by
4.45 avg rating — 1,989,471 ratings
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29

by
4.17 avg rating — 605,792 ratings
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30

by
4.27 avg rating — 457,152 ratings
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31

by
4.06 avg rating — 656,338 ratings
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32

by
4.01 avg rating — 579,603 ratings
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33

by
4.27 avg rating — 2,873,767 ratings
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34

by
3.88 avg rating — 2,086,859 ratings
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35

by
4.06 avg rating — 1,112,003 ratings
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36

by
4.23 avg rating — 816,341 ratings
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37

by
4.18 avg rating — 517,852 ratings
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38

by
4.11 avg rating — 1,444,722 ratings
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39

by
3.92 avg rating — 3,750,240 ratings
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40

by
4.30 avg rating — 1,122,987 ratings
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41

by
3.97 avg rating — 712,046 ratings
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42

by
4.04 avg rating — 2,331,006 ratings
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43

by
3.99 avg rating — 1,665,253 ratings
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44

by
3.57 avg rating — 1,465,991 ratings
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45

by
3.86 avg rating — 1,332,660 ratings
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46

by
4.18 avg rating — 679,377 ratings
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47

by
4.01 avg rating — 586,813 ratings
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48

by
4.24 avg rating — 805,561 ratings
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49

by
4.25 avg rating — 1,974,268 ratings
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50

by
4.22 avg rating — 517,316 ratings
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51

by
3.68 avg rating — 2,249,528 ratings
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52

by
4.19 avg rating — 2,884,193 ratings
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53

by
3.97 avg rating — 378,369 ratings
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54

by
3.89 avg rating — 658,990 ratings
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55

by
4.53 avg rating — 707,481 ratings
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56

by
3.79 avg rating — 240,966 ratings
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57

by
4.08 avg rating — 748,003 ratings
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58

by
4.08 avg rating — 381,089 ratings
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59

by
4.13 avg rating — 60,658 ratings
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60

by
4.25 avg rating — 742,281 ratings
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61

by
4.13 avg rating — 1,770,634 ratings
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62

by
4.21 avg rating — 450,351 ratings
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63

by
4.10 avg rating — 1,606,434 ratings
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64

by
3.91 avg rating — 437,312 ratings
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65

by
4.26 avg rating — 141,887 ratings
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66

by
3.88 avg rating — 1,931,292 ratings
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67

by
4.12 avg rating — 544,798 ratings
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68

by
4.35 avg rating — 8,767 ratings
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69

by
3.99 avg rating — 1,430,783 ratings
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70

by
4.26 avg rating — 774,488 ratings
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71

by
3.95 avg rating — 2,717,359 ratings
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72

by
4.21 avg rating — 3,522,546 ratings
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73

by
3.81 avg rating — 2,719,649 ratings
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74

by
4.14 avg rating — 190,264 ratings
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75

by
3.78 avg rating — 535,189 ratings
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76

by
4.26 avg rating — 810,162 ratings
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77

by
3.93 avg rating — 238,468 ratings
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78

by
4.07 avg rating — 952,122 ratings
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79

by
4.16 avg rating — 61,192 ratings
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80

by
3.82 avg rating — 1,147,548 ratings
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81

by
3.98 avg rating — 353,400 ratings
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82

by
4.01 avg rating — 271,628 ratings
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83

by
4.26 avg rating — 301,437 ratings
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84

by
3.99 avg rating — 597,376 ratings
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85

by
4.39 avg rating — 5,176 ratings
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86

by
3.69 avg rating — 352,053 ratings
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87

by
3.98 avg rating — 699,863 ratings
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88

by
4.19 avg rating — 627,291 ratings
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89

by
3.87 avg rating — 295,753 ratings
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90

by
3.92 avg rating — 408,633 ratings
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91

by
3.82 avg rating — 466,755 ratings
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92

by
4.03 avg rating — 577,491 ratings
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93

by
3.53 avg rating — 571,027 ratings
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94

by
3.65 avg rating — 324,890 ratings
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95

by
4.19 avg rating — 288,803 ratings
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96

by
3.78 avg rating — 205,557 ratings
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97

by
4.34 avg rating — 12,694 ratings
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98

by
4.24 avg rating — 192,735 ratings
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99

by
3.81 avg rating — 240,401 ratings
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100

by
3.99 avg rating — 516,894 ratings
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7,123 books · 9,716 voters · list created July 29th, 2008 by Rob (votes) .
570 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Rob 232 books
24 friends
Robert 368 books
13 friends
Lauren 1363 books
305 friends
Corina 3368 books
196 friends
ExistenGuy 123 books
0 friends
Aaron 2498 books
275 friends
Rae-Nani 1517 books
140 friends
Matt 367 books
222 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-36 of 36 (36 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Ale and Vicki (new)

Ale and Vicki Why Twilight? That was a let down..


message 2: by X (new)

X The Hunger Games. I thought it looked dumb when I read the description, but once I started the book I couldn't put it down...


message 3: by Alenka (new)

Alenka Unk Aurora wrote: "The Hunger Games. I thought it looked dumb when I read the description, but once I started the book I couldn't put it down..."

Same here.


message 4: by Breanne (new)

Breanne The Tiger series definitely fit in this list :)


message 5: by Ðɑηηɑ (new)

Ðɑηηɑ I have to admit, not many books exceeded my expectations. In fact, I was very dissapointed of a great amount of the books considered to be "amazing", such as The Time Traveler's Wife, The Shadow of the Wind, Pride and Prejudice, Twilight and Eat, Pray, Love - all of them really really bad, in my opinion ><


message 6: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Bempong Ale and Vicki wrote: "Why Twilight? That was a let down.."

Despair not! That simply means expectations were piss poor to begin with. :)


message 7: by Jen (new)

Jen Ale and Vicki wrote: "Why Twilight? That was a let down.."

This was the first book I read since high school, and it just drew me in and reminded me how much I love and miss reading. For that reason it will always be one of my favorites.


message 8: by Grace (new)

Grace Hamilton I must admit I do love a good romance and Twilight is certainly one, the thing I do like however is not the vampire or werewolf aspect but the differences I discover on each reading. The movies tie in very well with the written word and I personally have never been disappointed by either. The supernatural just makes the story different but the ability to make a FF of the characters shows how the general writing public adores the presentation of those personalities.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Great list! Awesome books!


message 10: by Booklovinglady (last edited Mar 30, 2013 05:59AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Several titles in this list made me wonder whether some voters also voted on books that lived up to their expectations, instead of just voting for books that exceeded their expectations...

And yes, I only voted for books that exceeded my expectations, not the ones that lived up to it :-) Some authors I expect exceptional books from, like Jane Austen, George Eliot, Margarat Atwood, Thomas Hardy, and so on, and I've have never been disappointed so far. But their books do not exceed my expectations, as I already expected a lot of them before I started.

@Hercina
You are not the only one with doubts about this list :-)


message 11: by Grace (new)

Grace Alenka wrote: "Aurora wrote: "The Hunger Games. I thought it looked dumb when I read the description, but once I started the book I couldn't put it down..."

Same here."


I'd have to say I was the opposite. I heard so many great things about the Hunger Games and then I was really disappointed by the development of the plot and the characters. I feel like the story had a great concept but that the characters ruined it for me.


message 12: by Ashley (new)

Ashley hi everybody


message 13: by Cherryl (new)

Cherryl Chow I don't understand why this page shows that I've read 0 books on this list when I've read quite a few. I've voted on the books I've read.


message 14: by Booklovinglady (last edited Jun 08, 2015 09:56AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Cherryl wrote: "I don't understand why this page shows that I've read 0 books on this list when I've read quite a few. I've voted on the books I've read."

Did all the books you voted for show up as 'read' in this Listopia?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Were the ones you read in the top 100 of the list? I don't think it reports numbers for lower down.


message 16: by Booklovinglady (last edited Aug 15, 2015 06:15AM) (new)

Booklovinglady With some modern authors, like Tim Winton or Richard Flanagan, I've come to expect an excellent read, based upon previous experiences :-) I truly hope I won't be let down (haven't been so far) :-)


message 17: by Selina (new)

Selina Maruura Ale and Vicki wrote: "Why Twilight? That was a let down.."

SHUCKING YES


message 18: by Donna (last edited May 11, 2018 03:59PM) (new)

Donna Davis It works! It works! The system found and removed 1 duplicate.

This is an interesting concept for a list. I found myself trying to decide how to order my votes--by how much I liked the book, or by how surprised I was? (I went with the surprise factor.) Then I began looking for common threads. I noticed that a relatively small number of my choices were books I'd purchased for myself. I guess I am a conservative shopper. I was more likely to be surprised and delighted by books I was required to read when I was in school, and by review copies I received for free. Fiction surprised me more often than nonfiction.

Great idea, Rob.


message 20: by ~☆~Autumn♥♥ (last edited Jun 01, 2018 06:19PM) (new)

~☆~Autumn♥♥ Grace wrote: "I must admit I do love a good romance and Twilight is certainly one, the thing I do like however is not the vampire or werewolf aspect but the differences I discover on each reading. The movies tie..."

Thanks Grace as it made me happy to read what you wrote. I read so many bad reviews of Twilight on goodreads that I almost didn't read it. I was amazed how much I liked so I don't trust goodreads reviews anymore.


message 21: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis *sound of plane engine dying; crash, explosion, flames*

The duplicate link is broken.

The list is broken; long live the list.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Well, with creeping on 5000 books, I'm kind of not surprised. Alas.


message 23: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis Susanna - Censored by GoodReads wrote: "Well, with creeping on 5000 books, I'm kind of not surprised. Alas."

Yeah, I guess it's a category that is doomed to outgrow itself, since it can never be edited down. Hadn't thought of it.


message 24: by Greg (new)

Greg I read Hunger Games #1 cause it's been, or still is, at the top of a number of lists, including best novel ever. So I read it. It wasn't absolutely awful, like goodreads Best of the Year "Go Set a Watchman" a few years ago, or last year's weird (and for me, completely confusing and pointless) 'Lincoln in the Bardo." But it was better than I expected and I gave it two stars: it was okay. But if I hadn't already seen the exact same story on film (Battle Royale, Japan, same story, same end with two victors) I would have liked it better. I've been studying some Egyptian Heiroglyphics and even some ancient Sumerian texts, and oddly, this very same story shows up in about every civilization and is at least 6,000 years old.


~☆~Autumn♥♥ Greg wrote: "I read Hunger Games #1 cause it's been, or still is, at the top of a number of lists, including best novel ever. So I read it. It wasn't absolutely awful, like goodreads Best of the Year "Go Set a ..."

I agree with you. I don't understand its popularity. I read it so I could do all the quiz questions.


message 26: by Booklovinglady (new)

Booklovinglady vijay govind wrote: "Maze of Deceit"

Don't use this section to promote your own book!


Vijay Narayan Govind My sincere apologies - I'm a new user on Goodreads and was not aware that I should not talk about my own work. Will try to participate more creatively in general discussions hereafter.

Apologies & regards


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads There are places for it; but this isn't one of them. It may be OK in groups; check if they have an author's section.


message 29: by Booklovinglady (new)

Booklovinglady vijay govind wrote: "My sincere apologies - I'm a new user on Goodreads and was not aware that I should not talk about my own work. Will try to participate more creatively in general discussions hereafter.

Apologies ..."


Delete your previous comment if you're sincerely sorry...


Vijay Narayan Govind Not sure how a previous comment is to be deleted - may I request the admin to kindly do it if possible on my behalf. Else - request that it may be kindly ignored as my inadvertence.

Thanks and best regards


message 31: by Booklovinglady (new)

Booklovinglady Vijay Narayan Govind wrote: "Not sure how a previous comment is to be deleted - may I request the admin to kindly do it if possible on my behalf. Else - request that it may be kindly ignored as my inadvertence.

Thanks and be..."


The person who placed a comment is also able to delete it by clicking 'delete' at the bottom of the comment...


~☆~Autumn♥♥ Breanne wrote: "The Tiger series definitely fit in this list :)"

Definitely NOT!


message 33: by AshleyS (last edited May 01, 2019 09:14AM) (new)

AshleyS Every list on this site gets taken over by the Hunger Games, Harry Potter and Twilight. I wish there were lists created by experts that other people couldn't add to and screw up (he said, adding The Lord of the Rings)


message 34: by Booklovinglady (new)

Booklovinglady AshleyS wrote: "Every list on this site gets taken over by the Hunger Games, Harry Potter and Twilight. I wish there were lists created by experts that other people couldn't add to and screw up (he said, adding Th..."

Try lists of most horrible books, books one doesn't like, and so on. They won't appear as the first few there 😃


message 35: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl 55 duplicates removed.


message 36: by Pat (new)

Pat Stockey Ðɑηηɑ wrote: "I have to admit, not many books exceeded my expectations. In fact, I was very dissapointed of a great amount of the books considered to be "amazing", such as The Time Traveler's Wife, ..."

Eat Pray Love was a real disappointment. They made a movie of it. Why?


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