Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Top Ten Books That Were Hard to Read

Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This Week's Topic:
Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Us To Read (for whatever reason)

Racquel's picks
01. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard: this book had Racquel written all over it but I just could.not.do.it. It wasn't for me at alllll. I'm pretty sure I'm one of the .00001% that didn't enjoy this book.

02. OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu: I had to take breaks while reading this because it made me so uncomfortable and I had to breathe but I mean this in the most positive way out there. This is a gigantic compliment because OCD Love Story is just THAT GOOD.

03. There Will Come a Time by Carrie Arcos: I had to take crying breaks while reading this because it just affected me so much. It's such a beautiful book that packs SO MUCH emotion. Gah. Read it.

04. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas: I LIVE on spoilers. I read the last page before I first page. I wikipedia the entire season's summary when I binge watch a TV show. I do everything possible to everything TV, movie and book related so it was SOOOO difficult for me to NOT spoil Dangerous Girls and I DID IT! I did not spoil it for myself. This is a MIRACLE! I literally had to talk to myself and talk myself out of looking at the end.

05. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay: I flip-flopped between THIS IS BRILLIANT and UGHHHHH WHY USE THAT STUPID CLICHE PLOT DEVICE so much while reading The Sea of Tranquility, it was just exhausting. I loved it for a few chapters, hated it for the next chapters, loved it again, repeat. It's definitely a book that made me think.

Sharon's Picks
I'm so excited about this list! I know, it's a weird thing to be excited about, but I am. Books can be hard to get through for a variety of reasons, and I think those reasons can add to my overall enjoyment of a book, or at least the experience of reading it (I know, I'm weird, but does this make sense to anyone else?). It can also obviously cause major problems. I have some examples of both in my following list!

01. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. I normally enjoy classics, and I'm all for shipwrecked/alone on a deserted island stories. I probably devoured Island of the Blue Dolphins twenty times growing up, and that's not an exaggeration. But UGH, this book was possibly the most boring thing I've ever read. I only slogged my way through it because it was for school, and I'm not a CliffsNotes kind of girl.

02. Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams. I actually devoured this book pretty quickly, because it was addicting (plus the fact that I read it during Bout of Books). But it had some really tough subject matter that made it hard to read emotionally. Plus, physically, it's really hard to read when you're pretty much constantly crying for half the book. (SO worth it the challenge, though, because the book is fantastic and all kinds of beautiful.)

03. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. This book packs a punch so intense it almost physically hurts to read it. It's dark and hard and forbidden and twisted. I was completely sucked in, captivated from start to finish, reading the entire book in one sitting. I felt like I barely breathed for hours, but it just made the experience that much more intense. Not a book I plan on re-reading, because it's a tough one, but WOW. If you're up for the challenge, I recommend it.

04. Falling into You by Jasinda Wilder. On the other side of the coin from Forbidden, though, we have Falling into You. It could have been a similar experience, but it wasn't at all. Aside from the first portion of the book before the "real" story began, there was barely a glimmer of light to be found. It was like I was drowning and couldn't get back up for hours. And not in a good way. It was all of the suckage without any of the good parts (emotional impact, connection to the characters, a good love story, etc.). It took every bit of optimism I possess (and that's quite a lot; I'm a pretty happy person) to make it to the end of this book.

05. Heaven, Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. This one was a challenge for me to read because I found both of the main characters annoying. And by that, I mean I didn't like the heroine much at all, and by the end of the story, I still thought she was way too good for the sexist idiot of a hero. I'm all about the characters, so since I didn't really have much to root for in this story, it was a challenge for me to finish it.

06. Ashes in the Wind by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. I started referring to this book as The Book That Will Never End. Every time it seemed like the hero and heroine could have their HEA, a villain sprang to life, or they randomly needed to relocate across the country from some vague reason. It was still pretty good, but it was a challenge to make it through the whole thing.

07. The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines. This one's pretty simple. It's hard to read a book when you're alternating between annoyance, incredulity, and rage.

08. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. I wanted to read this for years. It was supposed to have this huge, epic, forbidden romance. The book was freaking long, and the Ralph and Meggie interacted for like 50 pages interspersed through the entire book.

09. Ulysses by James Joyce. I know a lot of people hate this book. If I hadn't first been introduced to it in an English class where my professor was a total James Joyce fanboy scholar who wanted to help us understand, I may have been among them. It was a huge challenge, and it it took a good chunk of time and effort to read. But this was one of the cases where the effort made the experience that much sweeter.

10. Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas. I hesitate to add this one to the list, because I wouldn't exactly call my experience a challenge. It was pretty easy to read, compelling even. My eyes were moving of their own volition, independent from my brain which alternated yelling "THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE GOOD. STOP READING!" and "OH MY GOD WHAT IS HAPPENING, READ FASTER." It was a rollercoaster, and I was pretty sure I didn't want to know what was going to be waiting at the end of it. I struggled against myself while reading, so it was a challenge in that aspect. (Obviously, I finished. My mind was blown.)

Honorable Mention: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I didn't want to include this on the actual list because it doesn't apply to the entire book. Basically, the first half required some major pushing through. I was confused as all get out, hadn't the faintest idea what in the freaking universe was going on. And I didn't care. If I hadn't been reading this with Racquel, I most definitely would have abandoned it. Pushing through was a major challenge. But then it changed and everything made sense, and it became super addicting and and wonderful and not hard to read at all. It's now one of my life goals to encourage everyone to read this book, and then give them the following advice: "Whatever you do, DON'T STOP READING."

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