Saturday Conversations: Surprisingly Good

Posted September 21, 2013 by Jen in Saturday Conversations Tags:


It was surprisingly good…

Earlier this week, I was talking with a coworker about the movie, Avatar. She mentioned how she didn’t care for it; felt it was overdone and overhyped. On the other hand, I actually liked it and thought it was… surprisingly good. Do those words ever slip out of your mouth?

Why is it surprising that I enjoyed the movie? Well… before the movie came out, I actually didn’t want to see it. I thought it looked bad, and I was also mad the producer was using the title Avatar since I was a huge fan of Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender. So I went into the movie (which I agreed to see because my dad wanted to see it) with low expectations. I didn’t expect much from the film, so it surprised me that it was good. On the other hand, my coworker wanted to see the film and felt it didn’t live up to expectations and hype.

The same happens with books that we read. I have had a few titles that have fallen into the “surprisingly good” category. However, since I generally read books that I want to read, I don’t end up surprised with goodness, rather I end up like my coworker: disappointed. You know when you are really looking forward to the next book in a series, and when you are done reading it, you feel like it wasn’t worth the wait. I’d say I’m about 50-50 for books that are my *most anticipated*, with half of them being not as good as I hoped and the other half being spectacular. It’s scary and hard to love books sometimes! 🙂

While it can be disappointing to want to love a book only to end up discouraged and saddened, it doesn’t stop me (generally) from continuing forward with the series. Usually it’s a one book slump (and if it turns into more… well, that’s a different post!). However, I’ve had major disappointments in books that are the end of a series before, as well. That is the worst because there is nothing after to prop me back up and lift my spirits. But the highs and lows are what makes reading so wonderful!

What about you? Have you ever seen a movie or read a book that was surprisingly good? What about a sad disappointment? What factors impact your judgement? 

Thank you for stopping by to chat! Happy Reading!


6 responses to “Saturday Conversations: Surprisingly Good

  1. Jules

    I think you’re right with the concept of expectations. The element of surprise supposes that you expected something less. I admit I generally don’t have high expectations of debut authors or the first book in a series. I’m often pleasantly surprised in those two categories. I’m also surprised by some book/movie adaptations. They are different mediums with different strengths and weaknesses. It’s difficult to make that transition in either direction. Red Riding Hood was a great example of that it really didn’t work movie–>book. And people complain all the time when it happens book–>movie. When it does work, I’m always pleasantly surprised.

    • I hear what you are saying about debut authors… I think pre-release buzz will influence my “attitude” going in to the book. But that is also why I stir clear of reviews before I read any book – if I don’t want to have a preconceived notion.

  2. I suppose I’m in the minority. I always look forward to authors that are new-to-me, whether they’re debut authors or not. Every book is a new adventure for me. I think the fact that I’m not afraid to DNF something empowers me to thoroughly enjoy the great stories I’ve been reading.

    With that said, however, I’m quite skeptical of book –> movie adaptations. I’m either really excited to see the movie because I’ve seen prior successes from a director or screen play writer, or I’m ambivalent. One of my favorite book –> movie adaptations was The Great Gatsby. I think it was more of Baz Luhrmann’s influence that made it work for me. I also adored his Romeo + Juliet, though. So I was expecting great things. I would have been majorly let down if the flick hadn’t delivered.

    Maybe I’m one of those cup-half-full girls.

    • I pretty much look forward to every book I read… that’s why I get down when I don’t like the book as much as I hoped, especially if it’s one I’ve been longing to read!