Top Ten Tuesday • Books I Almost Put Down But Didn’t

top ten tuesday bannerTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Top Ten Books I Almost Put Down But Didn’t

Warning: this post will contain whining and complaining about books I didn’t like. When I started thinking about books for this theme, I wanted to pick books that I almost put down but ended up liking. Unfortunately, it seems that I’m bad at judging books by their covers but very good at judging by the first few chapters: if I force myself to finish a book despite my misgivings, the book ends up being terrible most of the time. So I’m taking this theme literally and just listing ten books I wanted to put down, good or bad that they turned out to be.

The Casual Vacancy 1. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
Why I wanted to put it down: extremely unlikeable characters and sudden POV switches made it really hard to get past the first chapter.
Why I didn’t put it down: because I love Harry Potter and I know that J.K. Rowling is a good storyteller.
Verdict: good, I ended up hating most if not all characters but the story was compelling and kept me up reading until late into the night.
Royal Blood 2. Royal Blood by Rhys Bowen
Why I wanted to put it down: extremely annoying characters, the protagonist is convinced that the murderer is a vampire, and also she’s a complete pushover.
Why I didn’t put it down: I loved the first book in the series and I hoped the story would redeem itself.
Verdict: no redemption, just a steaming pile of bad. I gave up on this series. :(
What's Left of Me 3. What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Why I wanted to put it down: halfway through the book, the plot became stagnant and boring.
Why I didn’t put it down: the first half was good, with an interesting premise and good characters, so I hoped the finale would wow me.
Verdict: disappointing, the plot goes nowhere in the end, really. There’s just a big sequel hook for the second book in the series, which I won’t be reading.
A Bloom in Winter 4. A Bloom in Winter by T.J. Brown
Why I wanted to put it down: it’s the second book in a trilogy and feels very much like a filler — plus, Victoria’s stupid subplot really grated on my nerves.
Why I didn’t put it down: I’m pretty sure I did put it down for a while, but it’s quite a short book and I figured I could at least finish it and count it for my 2014 reading challenge.
Verdict: this book was so-so, but I’m glad I stuck with this series and read the third book because it had a lovely conclusion to the story.
13 Little Blue Envelopes 5. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Why I wanted to put it down: I felt uncomfortable because the (17-year-old) protagonist goes on a trip to Europe with no cellphone and no money and ends up trusting strangers more than she should, I kept expecting her to be assaulted or kidnapped; also, annoying stereotypical description of Italy.
Why I didn’t put it down: Isa really liked it and usually our tastes are similar.
Verdict: nope, this was my first and last book by Maureen Johnson. Sorry Isa!
The House Girl 6. The House Girl by Tara Conklin
Why I wanted to put it down: awful purple prose and dull story.
Why I didn’t put it down: I thought the premise was interesting and I wanted to know what happened to the titular girl.
Verdict: dreadful, the book ended with a series of contrived coincidences and “revelations” that make no sense.
Poison Study 7. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Why I wanted to put it down: the stupidity of the characters made me facepalm so much.
Why I didn’t put it down: I tried to, but something would happen that made me think the book wasn’t so bad and I should read another chapter… and then the characters would act stupidly again and the cycle would start over. Also, I kept hoping Valek would act more like the Darkling.
Verdict: mostly bad; it had some good parts, like I said, but the characters frustrated me to no end.
Peacemaker 8. Peacemaker by
Why I wanted to put it down: the beginning is boring and the prose is very dry, I couldn’t get into the story at all.
Why I didn’t put it down: it was an ARC, so I made an effort to read a little more before giving up.
Verdict: good, eventually, when the story finally picked up; there was no salvaging the lacklustre prose, though.
The Secrets of Jin-Shei 9. The Secrets of Jin-Shei by Alma Alexander
Why I wanted to put it down: halfway through the book it turned out that the book was fantasy instead of historical, there was magic coming out of nowhere and nothing made sense any more.
Why I didn’t put it down: I had already read two or three hundred pages about those girls; I told myself that the plot would make sense in the end.
Verdict: the plot didn’t make sense, it was a clusterfuck and I was relieved when everyone died and the book was over.
Fangirl 10. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Why I wanted to put it down: everything about it was sooo bad.
Why I didn’t put it down: everyone and their aunt loves it! It has a super-cute cover by Noelle Stevenson! It has to be good, deep down, hasn’t it?!
Verdict: nope. Nope nope nope. Do not talk to me about this book.



8 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday • Books I Almost Put Down But Didn’t

    • I figured I might as well try to give some information about why I almost put down the books, because the reasons were very different. Aside from Fangirl, because I’m trying to forget I ever read that book.

  1. Pingback: What’s Up Buttercup • May Edition | Words in a Teacup

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