Books I Struggled to Get Into But Ended Up Loving
Ohh, this is an interesting topic. I have read quite a few books that were initially hard to get into for whatever reason; the most common being that I am definitely definitely a mood reader and if I try to force myself to read something I’m just not feeling at that time it can make me really struggle to get into the book.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that I will NEVER enjoy it and I frequently revisit books that have been a struggle just in case it was just how I was feeling at the time.
Here are some examples of books that I now adore but I had a hard time with initially:
1. Magician by Raymond E. Feist
Now, I actually think Raymond E. Feist is something of an acquired taste but I definitely have enjoyed reading his epic Riftwar Saga (which reminds me, I still have to read the last couple of volumes – must get on that). However, I seriously struggled with Magician. I think I must have picked it up over a dozen times but could never get past the first couple of chapters.
I persevered though and I am glad that I did. It may not be the most impressive fantasy series out there but I do really love the characters and I feel a connection with them throughout their many struggles. | Goodreads |
2. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
I had enjoyed Rachel Vincent’s Shifters series (well, until the love triangle took over) so I thought that My Soul to Take would be a slam dunk for me but I really struggled through My Soul to Take and ended up abandoning the book at around the halfway point.
I put it out of my mind for a few years but when I saw praise for later books in the series, I knew I had to give it another shot. I ended up adoring it the second time around and it is one of my favourite YA series. | Goodreads |
3. Cress by Marissa Meyer
This really surprised me because I loved both Cinder and Scarlet and was really looking forward to Cress coming out (mainly because I wanted to see more of Thorne but also because Cress intrigued me as a character). I was gutted to find myself unable to get drawn into the book. I tried several times but to no avail.
I knew I would just wind up unable to finish it at all if I tried to push myself through it so I decided to put it on the back burner and go back to it when I felt more in the mood to read it.
I ended up not getting to it until just before Winter was released but I was happy to find I really enjoyed the book the next time around and Cress and Thorne are now by far my favourite couple of the series. | Goodreads |
4. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
This is a funny one because I actually really enjoyed this first book A Court of Thorns and Roses but I was very reluctant to start the second book A Court of Mist and Fury.
I think it boils down to the fact that I knew ahead of time that there was going to be a change of love interests and I wasn’t sure I was going to be a fan of the whole bait and switch thing that Maas seems to like to do (I haven’t read Throne of Glass as yet but I am aware that the same thing happens in this series too).
Now, it wasn’t like I was a huge fan of this particular love interest, but I was wary about his character becoming vilified in order to facilitate the main character moving onto a new love interest. I did start reading the book a few times but I kept putting it aside when the character (I am trying to avoid spoiling people who haven’t read the books but I think most people know who I mean) starting behaving in a way that seemed a bit incongruous with how they were in the first book.
I did eventually give in and forced myself to read the book and I actually now think it is the best of the series (thus far anyway). The way the situation was handled actually did make sense and, in hindsight, I actually realized that the character always did have certain ‘traits’ that was indicative of his later behaviour. | Goodreads |
5. Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb
Now, this may surprise people because I have made no secret of my love for Robin Hobb and this series on this blog, but I really had trouble with the beginning of this book. I think some of it was that I was a little bit scared to find out what the fate of these beloved characters was going to be.
I was very worried for my dear Fool and although I did not think Hobb was going to kill him off in the second-to-last book (although there would be no guarantees for the very last book) I was distressed at his fragile state at the end of Fool’s Assassin and did not see how he could recover from such hurts.
When I did finally summon up the courage, I thoroughly enjoyed this middle book. I always seem to enjoy the ‘filler’ books in this series best – probably because they hit all the right character beats for me. I love a good tale but it is characters that keep me interested in a series and the characters in Hobb’s books are among my very favourites. | Goodreads |
6. Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
This series is one that I had wanted to read for ages but it took me awhile to actually get over some of the more problematic elements of the story and I actually had to quit reading a couple of time because it turned my stomach a little (actually a lot).
When I eventually got myself past the beginning of the first book, I zoomed through the whole series. I still have some issues but I couldn’t help but fall in love with the characters and I really enjoyed Pacat’s writing style and storytelling flair. This series will not be to everyone’s tastes but it definitely held my attention when I finally got over some of my initial reservations. | Goodreads |
7. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
I really love Melina Marchetta’s contemporary novels and I adore fantasy so I was super-excited to read her first fantasy series. However, I really struggled with Finnikin. I didn’t warm up to the characters at first (I still hate Evanjalin to this day *sorry, not sorry*) and I really slogged through the initial chapters.
I persevered though and the book did get better for me. I ended up loving the next two books so it was worth it in the end. It was hard going for a while though. 😉 | Goodreads |
8. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Sacrilege, I know but I didn’t initially enjoy this book at all. I found it hard to warm up to Katniss and being in her head was difficult for me. I soon gave up and vowed never to go back to these books. I actually ended up trying to read this again after seeing the movie and actually was able to enjoy it that time around. Katniss was still a difficult character but I found her more relatable if not likable. | Goodreads |
9. Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling
This is now one of my favourites but I really struggled with the first book and didn’t give it a proper chance until I read and enjoyed The Bone Dolls Twin which is a something of a prequel to this series. When I went back to Luck in the Shadows I tore through it and thoroughly became enmeshed in the lives of Alec and Seregil. | Goodreads |
10. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
Juliet Marillier is one of my favourite authors and I absolutely adored her Sevenwaters series so I was very surprised to find myself initially unable to get into Wildwood Dancing. I’m not sure if it had something to do with the change in tone given that it is a YA book and the rest of her books that I had read up to that point were adult in tone, but I really struggled with this book even though Marillier’s gorgeous prose was still very much in evidence.
I stuck with it though (I wasn’t about to let a Marillier book get past me) and it eventually won me over. One of the very few times pushing past initial trepidation worked for me! | Goodreads |
Wow, this post went waaaaayyy long (sorry about that!) If you managed to get to the end of this, well I applaud your tenacity and determination. 😉 Until next time…