Top 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.
|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.
|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. :(
|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.
|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.
|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!
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.