15.5.18

Top Ten Tuesday: Books we disliked but are glad we read anyway

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl



CJ's Selections

"Glad" might have a broad definition here. Does hate-reading count? 
1.Queen of Shadows / Sarah J. Maas - This book killed my love of that series. The first three were pretty tight and interesting and compelling and this was just...so bland. Dense. Plotless. The ships changed for no reason and the characters seemed different. At the time I was disappointed, but at least it dulled the pain when I later became disillusioned with her.


2.Turn of the Screw / Henry James - When I read this for my senior year AP Lit class, I'm pretty sure I compared it to watching an actual screw turn. But it's one of those books that you can commiserate about with most lit majors or AP lit kids, and it's one that I might read again someday...and maybe I'll like it this time?


3.Breaking Dawn / Stephanie Meyer - I don't care how much shade I get...I thought this book was awful. Even my super-Twilight-fan friend hated it, which was why she gave it to me. And it was so hysterically bad. Renesmee!? JACOB IMPRINTING ON A TODDLER!? I'm sorry. I can't. We can agree to disagree. But I'm glad I read it so that I understand years of memes and pop culture bits, or else I'd be lost.


4.Trylle / Amanda Hocking - Speaking of hysterically bad. It's just really hard to get past the idea of sexy trolls. Plus the guy basically stalks her and then she's in love with him? Eep? Plus there was a word misspelled with a zero in it? But I read it with my (at the time) friend in our mission to come up with the next bit PNR, so it was a fun bonding activity.


5.The Girl From the Well / Rin Chupeco - I didn't hate this book, I just didn't like it that much. It was like reading two different books smashed into one. But the one about the origin of the Ring/Ringu story was really badass. I wouldn't have known otherwise that it was a real legend, and even though I'm sure that Rin took liberties, it was a really cool intro to some Japanese folklore. I do love my creeptastic urban legends.





Whitley's Selections

This was a really interesting topic and really made me think, and as usual I come up with a few different answers on the same prompt.
1.Fifty Shades of Grey / EL James - Yes. That book. I suppose I'm glad I read it because this is the book I used to launch my Reading with a Vengeance blog, and picking FSOG certainly got me a lot of activity right off the bat. But more than that, I had a lot of really great comments while working on this project that were highly informative about the kink lifestyle and community, so I wound up learning so many things that I didn't even know I didn't know.

And even more than that, although it took a few years, I found some really great conversations revolving around the appeal of these books (and others like them) and how much of said appeal is rooted in purity culture. I realized the question of "why do women like this stuff" is...an actual question, and not just a prelude to eye-rolling the way I had treated it at first. It's a question with fascinating answers that can be discussed at length for days, and I'm very glad I read the books enough to be part of it.


2.Daughter of Smoke and Bone / Laini Taylor - "Dislike" probably is the best word for this one, as I can't really say I had...strong feelings for it any direction. However, I adored the second book in this series - Days of Blood and Starlight - and of course I couldn't have enjoyed #2 without having gone through #1. So in that sense, yeah, I'm glad I read Daughter, even though it'll never be on my reread list.  [[C.J.: We almost had words.]] 


3.Battle Magic / Tamora Piece - It...just...um...oh Tammy.

To be fair, I don't think Ms. Pierce could have won with this book. It was announced and anticipated so, so long before the actual book came out that there was no possible way to live up to the imagination of die-hard fans. But even with that in mind, this one...fell short. In a sense I'm glad this came out and I read it just so I can stop anticipating it. It's over, it wasn't great, now on to the next thing (and fanfiction) with clear slate.


4.Ship Breaker / Paolo Bacigalupi - I absolutely adored this book....for about the first third of it. At about that one-third point, certain characters and tropes wound up taking center stage and and I disliked the book from there on out, but wow that first third still sticks with me. It's some excellent worldbuilding and emotional scene-setting, and I'm very glad I got to read that good part, even if the rest of it still sits sour with me.

5.The Assassin's Blade / Sarah J. Maas -I can go back to people who said "it's all justified if you read the novellas" and cry "NO IT ISN'T."

...kinda worth it?





Your turn! Have you ever been glad you read a book you disliked?



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