Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, I got back from Scotland on Friday, but it’s not exactly a very long trip away as I’ll be back up there this Friday, before moving into my new Uni accomodation on Sunday. My 21st birthday is also exactly one week from today, so I’m pretty excited about that! Anyway, another Tuesday means another Top Ten Tuesday from the lovely ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish, and this week we’re talking about books we struggled with, whether we struggled to get into them and ended up loving them, thought we would love them but struggled with them or just flat out didn’t finish them. So I’m going to talk about Books I Thought I Would Love But Really Struggled With, as that seems to happen to me a lot! So here we go, books I thought I’d love but struggled with:
- A Court of Thorns and Roses-Sarah J Maas
As I’m sure you all know by now, I’m a massive fan of the Throne of Glass series, so when I found out Sarah J Maas was doing another series and it was a Beauty and the Beast retelling, I was really excited. Sadly it took me forever to get into ACOTAR, I was close to putting it down so many times. It does usually take me a while to get into Sarah J Maas’ books, but nothing like it did with this one. Fortunately I really loved the second book, so all hope is not lost for this series!
2. The Bone Season-Samantha Shannon
I thought I would really, really love this one because it sounded like the sort of book that was right up my alley, but it was really confusing to start off with, the chapters were lengthy and the writing was overcomplicated, it took me a long time to really get into it and even by the end, I wouldn’t say I loved it. Luckily the second and third books are so much better and I’m now addicted to this series!
3. A Study In Charlotte-Brittany Cavallaro
I love Sherlock Holmes, so I was really excited for this book as I knew it was a genderbent retelling, but the characters felt flat, the chapters were overlong and whilst the mystery was fine, it was nothing mind blowing.
4. Dangerous Boys-Abigail Haas
I was obsessed with Abigail Haas’ first book Dangerous Girls (which isn’t actually in anyway related to this one), so I was all prepared for my mind to be blown once again with this one. I mean it’s probably safe to say my expectations were a little too high, but this book was just a lot more predictable than Dangerous Girls and not quite as exciting, which was a shame because I really loved that book.
5. Trust In Me-Sophie McKenzie
I love Sophie McKenzie’s teen books, and I had read one of her adult thrillers that I had found reasonably enjoyable, although not as much as her teen books, but this adult thriller was unevenly paced and I didn’t love the characters and it felt overly similar to her other adult thriller. It’s a shame because Sophie McKenzie is one of my favourite authors, I just didn’t love this book.
6. Queen of Shadows-Sarah J Maas
Of the Throne of Glass series, this is definitely my least favourite. I think perhaps because it was the first book where Celaena has embraced her identity as Aelin and SJM made that transition rather clumsily, as it seems like a total 180 rather than a natural progression. It was also very much a set up book, there were two things that needed to happen and the entire book is basically devoted to the planning and executing of those two things. It was a shame because I loved Heir of Fire (the previous book) and was really hoping I’d love this one just as much. Luckily Empire of Storms brought it back up!
7. Graceling-Kristin Cashore
I was really hoping to love this one, as the concept sounded like something I would love, but it was just so slow! It was basically just one big extended journey book without many of the exciting fights that those books usually have. Katsa also rubbed me the wrong way, I know the author was trying to be feminist but it was the kind of feminism where it seems like in order to be feminist, a girl has to totally despise feminine things, be incredibly physically strong and total emotionally dense and I took issue with that.
8. Resurrection-Derek Landy
I absolutely loved the original Skulduggery Pleasant and don’t get me wrong, this book was still good, but I was disappointed that I didn’t love it as much as the original series and I did struggle to get through it in some places.
9. The Invisible Library-Genevieve Cogman
I loved the idea of this book, a world where there is a Library that harvests fiction from different realities. I love books about books but this one was super confusing, the world building was weird, there were way too many elements, the characters were bland and I found it really difficult to read. I put this book down for weeks because I was so confused!
10. Stealing Snow-Danielle Paige
I was really excited about this book, as I thought the whole idea of a Snow Queen retelling was pretty cool (pun not intended, just fortunate) but it was slow paced, the romance was awful and the characters and world building were pretty flat.
11. One of Us Is Lying-Karen M McManus
I really wanted to enjoy this one, I love YA mysteries and the premise of The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars sounded so intriguing, but in the end I found it a bit lacklustre.
12. The Archived-Victoria Schwab
Victoria Schwab is one of my favourite authors, and I still loved the concept, I thought it was great, but the characters and world building weren’t as engaging as I have come to expect. I read it in 10 days which isn’t bad for me but I did feel like I struggled with it more than her other books that have taken me longer to read.
13. The Night Circus-Erin Morgenstern
I really wanted to love this book, I’d heard so many people rave about how amazing it was, but I struggled with it a lot, it was confusing and disorienting for the most part and although I loved the circus, I didn’t love the plot or characters.
14. Look Who’s Back-Timur Vermes
For a political satire, this just wasn’t particularly funny. I thought it was such a cool concept, Hitler being alive in the 21st Century and becoming a YouTube star because no one believes he’s really Hitler. I was hoping this would be hilarious, but it was very info dumpy and I felt like some of the German references got lost in translation and it was kind of dull to read.
15. Cinder-Marissa Meyer
I had heard from everyone about how amazing The Lunar Chronicles were, so I was fully expecting to love Cinder, but I found myself kind of underwhelmed? It was just incredibly slow and I found that the primary characters were very archetypal and didn’t really stray beyond their archetypes. I’m hoping that I enjoy the second one more.
16. Slated-Teri Terry
The concept for this one sounded so cool, but I struggled so much with it! The author’s writing style meant that I just couldn’t get into it at all, as well as the main character being kind of bland. It had potential, it just took forever to get to fulfilling it!
17. Panic-Lauren Oliver
I thought this was going to be a dystopian Hunger Games type book because that’s what it sounded like from the blurb, but the blurb was incredibly misleading, it was a contemporary and aside from the brief bits where they were actually playing Panic, it was more just about the mundane details of Heather’s everyday life.
I’m going to stop before I go too overboard! Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them more than I did? Let me know in the comments!
Next week’s TTT topic is actually perfect timing, as it’s a Throwback freebie which coincides with my 21st birthday, so I’m going to be cheating a little and doing a Top 21 next week (as it is my 21st), and talking about 21 books that have shaped my life so far, which should be a really fun one to do. In the meantime, I’m going to hopefully have a discussion post up in the next week (basically before my birthday), inspired by one of the panels at YALC, I’m going to be talking about the Books That Made Me as it was such a fun panel to listen to and I thought it would be a cool topic to coincide with my birthday. I’m also hoping to finish my current read Glass Sword this week so will hopefully have a review of that up very soon.