Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, which features (you guessed it!) top ten lists on a given topic each week. This week’s topic is an Top 10 books I Put Down. Some of these I set aside because I wasn’t in the mood but still want to read them, and some of these I have no desire to ever get back to.
1. Carry Me Like Water by Benjamin Alire Saenz
This one pains me because you know, if you’ve been around my blog for awhile, how much I love Benjamin Alire Saenz’s books. I do love Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, his most popular and my favorite, but I’ve also read and adored a LOT of his backlist, from He Forgot to Say Goodbye to Last Night I Sang to the Monster. This one, however, I struggled with. I didn’t find the writing engaging and the magical realism elements kept throwing me off. I might return to this one someday, but it’s not a guarantee.
2. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Y’all, I don’t know what it is, but this book was just okay (at least as far as I made it). Part of it might be that I listened to it on audiobook, but I got about seventy-percent of the way through the book and felt no great compulsion to finish. I know everyone LOVES this book and I adore Celeste Ng on twitter and what I’ve seen her say in interviews and such, so I really, really want to like her books. But I’m not sure this one is for me. I might keep this one on hold and just pick up her new one when it comes out.
3. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Illuminae was one of my favorite books of the year when it come out, but how I have STRUGGLED with Gemina. First, I borrowed Gemina from the library, and kept renewing. . . and renewing. . . and renewing. I RAN OUT OF RENEWALS. Do you know how long my library allows you to renew books? TEN times, and the checkout period is three weeks. I had this book for thirty weeks, the better part of a year, and couldn’t finish it. I think my issue was two-fold: at the time, I wasn’t really in the mood for sci-fi, and two, while I loved Illuminae’s unique format and sci-fi story, what I read that book for was the characters. The new set of characters just didn’t charm me.
4. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Considering the new popularity of this book because of the Netflix series, it seems fitting to add it to the list. Unlike many of the other books on this list, I know I’ll never go back to this one. I made it halfway through, but I was really unsettled by the entire book — and not in a good way. There’s a lot of praise for this book out there, but also a lot of criticism. I agree with the criticism.
5. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
The year this book came out, it was everywhere. Barnes & Noble had it front and center in every store I went in for months. And when I learned what it was actually about, I was incredibly intrigued. I went into this book expecting to love it. You have to understand how disappointing it was, then, when I couldn’t finish it. I made it 50 percent through, and I was just. . . bored. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t interesting and fascinating like everybody had claimed, either. And again, by that point I hadn’t come across any characters I cared about, so I had no impetus to keep reading.
6. Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
Lauren Oliver’s books are always such a hit-or-miss with me. She writes so differently from project to project, and I’ve loved some (Delirium, Before I Fall), felt meh about some (Panic), and hated one in particularly (Requiem), but this is the only one I’ve never finished. I’m particularly saddened by this one because on the surface it seems like such a me book, but I got about thirty percent in and had a hunch of how it was going to end. I read some spoilery reviews, and yup, I was right. Most of the time that doesn’t bother me, but I wasn’t interested in anything in this book besides the mystery, so. . . away it went.
7. Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente
I have never actually read a Catherynne Valente book, but I am convinced I will love her writing. I have both Deathless and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making on my shelves, waiting to be read and adored. However, I had trouble with Radiance. I’m very willing to pick this one back up in the future, but it’s a confusing book, at least at first, and I was never at a point in which I felt I had enough brainpower to devote to it. Maybe after I’m done with school for good.
8. Feed by Mira Grant
“I dislike zombie books,” I said. “Read Feed,” They said, “It’s different,” They said. I thought I could like this series because I love Every Heart a Doorway and Down Among the Sticks and Bones, which Seanan McGuire wrote under her own name, but. . . it’s still zombies. And yes, it is very different from other zombie books I’ve read, focused a lot more on political intrigue and a plot that just so happens to take place post-zombie apocalypse, but. . . STILL ZOMBIES.
9. Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit
I am sure there are a lot of great things in Hope in the Dark and I will read it someday and love it, but I tried to read it at a period in time where it just wasn’t going to happen. I was too burned out and stressed to think these about these big, thought-provoking questions about who we try to enact change for and I had to set it aside.
10. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I WILL pick this one back up. I even bought my own copy. But when I checked it out from the library and tried to get through it, I really, really was not in the mood for long, dense fantasy. However, now I have my own kindle copy and I can one day return to this book and read at my own pace.