Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Ten Books I Struggled With

So the theme for this week was basically books we struggled with (whether it's ones we DNF or ones we loved in the end or whatever).

This topic interests me because I have such a hard time giving up on books, even if I'm struggling with them. There haven't been many books I've definitively decided to DNF, usually I put them down with the intention of going back to them at some point...and that frustrates me so much. I wish I could quit books more easily, but this list explains why I don't.

The Ones I've Left in Limbo

These are books I've been struggling to finish for over a year but haven't entirely given up on yet.

And I Darken by Kiersten White - I started reading this book last year. Still haven't finished it. So many people seem to love it and I can get why they do...the main character is really interesting, she's so unlike most of the female narrators I've read...the problem is the book is boring. At least, it's boring to me. I'm determined to finish it, I just don't know when. 

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray - I tried reading this one a couple of times but the style just isn't my kind of thing...but everyone speaks so highly of it that I feel like I can't just quit it entirely. I will read it. At some point. Someday. In a galaxy far far away...perhaps. 

Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey - I absolutely adore the first book in this series and I was so excited for this one...but what I read of it was kind of boring and I wasn't really into the way the plot was going and it lost the spark the first book had...but my love for the first book is making me refuse to quit this one entirely.

The Ones I Loved in the End

These books were ones I struggled with, but I ended up loving... More than that, they ended up on my favourites shelves. These books are to blame for my inability to just put a book down and decide its not for me -- because had I given into that impulse to give up on these books, I would have missed out on fantastic books, so whenever I'm struggling with a book there's always that little "but what if it gets good?" voice that won't shush.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - I had so many false starts with this book. The writing was beautiful, but I found it so easy to put down and forget about...until one time I just sat down and finally read it all and I've never forgotten it since. 

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta - The first 50-100 pages of this were...not a struggle, per say, but it took me a while to get into the rhythm of the story, to really click with the characters and get what was going on. Melina is now one of my top 5 authors, this book is my favourite of hers. 

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein - The first two thirds of this book were quite dull...and then the last third happened and it was love at first big plot twist. I adore this book so, so, so much and I was majorly close to giving up on it, was so baffled by all of the hype surrounding it because I was so bored...and then that last chunk of the book totally made up for it. 

The Ones I'll Never Go Back To

I should maybe explain the primary reason I struggle with certain books: boredom. I can hate the characters, hate the story, be absolutely furious at the content...or a combination of all of these things (lookin' at you, Fifty Shades of WHY DID I READ THAT BOOK?!). I can tolerate a lot of crap in a book, is what I'm getting at. But I hate being bored when reading, that's one of the worst things a book can be for me, and these ones bored me (as well as having other issues).

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff - This book was...Well. It had potential to be fantastic (and this was before all of the issues with the author happened) but it felt like it was trying way too hard and the footnotes were so beyond annoying and completely boring and ruined the whole book. The footnotes were what made me quit the book entirely, but the plot moving at a snails pace didn't help matters.

A Brighter Fear by Kerry Drewery - This was a combination of boredom and hating the writing. I remember this book was one I was so excited for but I just could not finish it. 

Off Magazine Street by Ronald Everett Capps - I love the movie A Love Song for Bobby Long and then I found out it was based on a book. The book was not only duller than watching paint dry, but what I read of it was such pretentious, misogynistic trash. It's one of the rare occasions where the movie is better (the movie was written by a woman, I don't know how she managed to create something beautiful from the hot mess that was this book but she did). I think I got about a third of the way into the book before I threw it (literally) across the room and decided I was done with it.

The Ridiculous One

Just to make it an even ten...

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente - This book makes the list through no fault of its own  really. I remembered it when trying to think of DNF books for this section and this one made me laugh. 

What it boils down to is this: I'm scared of chalk. The sound of chalk, the feel of chalk...it makes me feel sick, it makes me want to cry. I cannot touch it. And this book had chalky pages (because of the paper it was printed on). I literally tried wearing gloves to read the book but I could still feel it and just - it's bothering me even trying to explain it. Trying to read this book was the biggest of reading struggles and in the end I gave the book to my best friend and sulked about the whole thing because I'm ridiculous. I'll probably read the Kindle version at some point.

There are way more books I could include on this list (especially the limbo section) but let's just leave it with the ten.


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