Tuesday 30 September 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Books That Were Hard For Me To Read'.

This is such an interesting topic, I remember there was a previous Top Ten Tuesday with a similar subject. I've done quite a lot of reading since then, and can't wait to share my list with you guys.

1) 'The Luminaries'; Eleanor Catton.

This book has appeared on my lists a few times. Sometimes I'm praising it, others I'm most certainly not. As mixed as these messages are, I shall explain as best I can. This book was written beautifully; it was intricate, it was complex and massively detailed. A colossal amount of hard work and effort had clearly gone into it. Unfortunately, it was also long. It took a long time to get to the point, and when it did reach the climax of the story, it felt a little like if I blinked, I would have missed it! This book was one of those that frustrated me and I became a little bored while reading it. It was an intriguing concept though, and I wish that all Historical Fiction would be this accurate in it's detail.

2) 'A Red Tale'; Nicola Mar.

I wanted so badly to enjoy this book, but unfortunately, it just didn't work for me. Everything felt rush and there were certain areas that seemed contradictory. The plot-line was okay I suppose but I just felt a bit confused as the plot progressed and that always turns me off of books. None of the large number of plot elements seemed to tie up overly well for me and in the end, I gave it two stars  for it's efforts. I ended up getting pretty annoyed with some of the characters too.
3) 'One Hundred Years Of Solitude'; Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Oh I think this could be controversial and I'm really sorry, but I find this one quite hard to get through. I did enjoy it in the ed and Marquez has a fantastic imagination, I'll say that much for it. But why must all of the characters have the same name? I became so lost and confused at points in this book (purposeful I'm sure, but I didn't like it) and some of the strange events that happen just seemed to happen for no reason at all. In fact, they were often never mentioned again. How could I become attached to characters who at any minute could fly off, never to return or be heard from again?
4) 'The Queen Of The Tearling'; Erika Johansen.

This book has received some negative reviews and for the most part, I disagreed with them. I enjoyed the story-line and I liked the multiple viewpoints and the world-building was actually okay. My issues came with the main character, and some of the opinions expressed. She was far too fixated on beauty, and her own looks, and her constant insecurities bored me to death. It felt like every other line mentioned how plain she was or how no one could ever fancy her because she was ugly. I didn't understand the need to constantly mention it. The setting too was very confusing and I think it very much befuddled others who read this book too.

5) 'A Discovery Of Witches'; Deborah Harkness.

This book was actually pretty gripping, I did enjoy it. But I did not like the Main Character and having to read from her perspective constantly just made it a struggle. I suppose I liked her better towards the end, but for most of the book she made me very angry. She was spoilt, selfish and frankly a little idiotic. I want to continue with this series, but I really hope that she as a character improves.
6) 'Before I Die'; Jenny Downham.

This book was hard for me to get through purely because it dealt with a difficult subject. Seriously, it broke my heart a thousand times over, and fans of 'The Fault In Our Stars' might want to consider this one. Downham approaches Terminal Illness in a completely different way to Green, but I liked both interpretations. I would love to get round to reading more of her work.

7) 'Breaking Dawn'; Stephanie Meyer.

Now normally I would band the whole series together, but in this case I will mention this book specifically. I didn't enjoy any of these books particularly, but 'Breaking Dawn' in my opinion had one of the worst endings I've ever read! I know there are people that adore these books and please believe me when I say that I am not picking on Meyer because I loved 'The Host'. I just felt that this book was very rushed and it felt like I was thrown into something completely different from it's predecessors. I spent the whole time that I read this book looking very confused.

8) 'This Lullaby'; Sarah Dessen.

I actually ended up liking this book, but I won't be reading any more of Dessen's work. Why? Because 'This Lullaby' just summed up everything I don't like about Romantic novels. Sure, the male lead was sweet and the plot-line was okay. But the grumpy, bitchy, cynical female lead irritated me so much and I predicted the end so quickly that I was very disappointed that this book surprised me in no way. I'm not a fan of predictable stories.
9) 'If On A Winter's Night A Traveller'; Italo Calvino.

This book was such a frustrating read! It started off so well, and then as time went on, it just became harder and harder for me to finish it. Everything just suddenly trailed off in a ridiculous and unbelievable direction for no reason, and the fact that this book was about a man with writer's block essentially told me everything. Because I figured out pretty quickly that Calvino himself must have suffered the same thing and tried to turn a hundred beginnings into a genius masterpiece. By the time the book ended, it just felt like a man with writer's block trying too hard to be clever and not pulling it off.

10) 'Demolition Queen - Champagne, Murder & Chaos'; Betsy Speer Cook.

I was sent this book to read by the author and while I thought it was alright, there were points that I did not enjoy. I found the main character a little cocky and irritating and I just wish that it hadn't taken me so long to get into the story. I love strong and independent women but not when they come across as completely heartless. I'm glad I stuck with it because I liked it by the end, but it should not have taken me so long to do so.

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