Top 10 Tuesday: Books I Struggled to Finish

On this week’s instalment of The Broke and the Bookish‘s meme we’re talking about books that gave you a hard time. I tend to get a bit (okay, very) critical when it comes to books I don’t like so I apologise in advance if any of the ones listed here are books you like. This list is quite an odd mix of different things but I think it’ll be pretty obvious that I’m not great with classics.

1. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

I hated every character in this book. Every. Single. One. They were all absolutely terrible people and they deserved every bit of suffering they got. Only problem was that they were clearly set on me suffering along with them.

2. The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger

I don’t think I’ll ever come across a book character as whiny as Holden Caulfield. I know he’s supposed to be the voice of a generation, yada, yada, blah, blah… don’t care. Kid was a damn nightmare. Go home and find a bigger question in life than where the ducks go in winter.

3. A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness

This one had potential at the beginning but by half way I just couldn’t deal with how sickening the romance had become. The moment the term “Vampire wife” came up, I was well and truly done. Vom.

4. The Bronze Horseman – Paullina Simons

Another one I had such high hopes for but once again, the romance was just too melodramatic for me to take anything seriously. Honestly, when the most enjoyable part of the book is the section where everyone is starving and freezing to death, you know it’s bad. And yes, I’m fully aware that I’m a terrible person.

5. Earth’s End – Elise Kova

I actually really enjoyed the first two books in this series but by this point the plot had started to verge on silly and the characters were doing so many stupid, annoying things, I was in struggle town. Population me. I didn’t continue with the series after this.

6. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

This is a bit of a weird one. I had to read it for school and while reading it was the biggest chore of my life, I actually really loved discussing and analysing it. However, if I hadn’t been required to, there’s no way I would have finished it. Every character is frustrating as hell and nothing ever seems to make sense – obviously absurdist, non-chronological books aren’t for me.

7. Soundless – Richelle Mead

I absolutely love Richelle Mead as an author. Her urban fantasy books are great and her characters are both witty and wonderful. This book probably should have been titled “Soulless” because that’s how it felt. It wasn’t terrible, just as boring as a block of wood and a massive disappointment.

8. Fallen – Lauren Kate

I think I risked rolling my eyeballs out of my head at the sheer ridiculousness of this book. The plot is, to put it bluntly, stupid and all but about one character lacks any sense or personality. The love interest acts like a complete jerk to the main character and yet she’s still drawn to him *face palm*. YA romance at its trope-y worst.

9. The White Queen – Philippa Gregory

I found this an okay read for the majority of the story but boy, does the last third of the novel drag. *Spoiler* Once Edward dies, you really just want it to be over but on it goes, and on… I think I’d kind of stopped caring even before that happened though.

10. Atonement – Ian McEwan

It’s odd, because while I feel like this is actually a decent book and the plot was engaging, it was the writing style that bogged me down so much. McEwan loves description. Like, REALLY loves it. As in willing to spend an entire chapter from the perspective of a woman with a headache listening to the sounds of the household and thinking about her family. I know there are people that love this kind of thing. I just don’t have the patience for it. I want to get to the dramatic bits, now!

Which books have you guys struggled to finish?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Back to School

So, first up, sorry for the lack of posts last week. Turns out that getting home at 8 PM multiple days in a row is not conducive to publishing blog posts but I promise that this week I will back in full force – tags, memes, reviews and discussions. Let’s get the ball rolling with TTT.

This week’s topic is Back to School and the lovely ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish  have given us quite a bit of freedom as to how we interpret this. I’ve decided to go fairly literal and discuss books that involve schools or academies of some kind. It’s a bit of an odd collection of books but eh, my blog, my list. In no particular order…

1. Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

My current, amazing read. This novel features a “school” of sorts except that in this instance it’s focused on shaping its students into proficient assassins. With the teachers not above theft, poisoning, dismemberment, and torture, the trick is surviving the training process. Yikes!

2. Vampire Academy Series – Richelle Mead

I was the biggest fangirl of this series in my mid and later high school years. You’d think it’d be the most trope-y, lame thing ever, but it’s not (well, in my opinion). This series was when I first fell in love with one of my favourite authors – Richelle Mead.  A school that teaches it’s students to use elemental magic and kill bad vampires, yep, sign me up.

3. This Savage Song – Victoria Schwab

To be honest I actually wasn’t expecting a school setting for the first half of this book.  I don’t know what I was expecting, really. Regardless, the two main characters meet at school while one is doing reconnaissance and it all ends up a mess from there (for the characters that is, not the plot because this book was great!).

4. Nineteen Minutes – Jodi Picoult

Quite a socially relevant book for the United States when it came out, a time in which school shootings were regularly in the news. It’s an interesting look at the students, teachers and families linked to a high school in the lead up to and aftermath of a shooting by one of the students. Both emotional and a little scary.

5. Harry Potter Series – J. K. Rowling

I’ll probably use Harry Potter on almost every list I ever create from here until the end of time but I think you can see why it’s justified here. Hogwarts: the most awesome magic school in literature. Enough said.

6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

The events that make up this novel are triggered by the main character, Charlie, starting high school. It’s here that he meets the interesting cast of characters that we follow throughout that year. We get the usual high school story plot points – the big dance, relationship dramas, bullying, house parties – and yet they never seem to feel cliché here.

7. The Raven Cycle – Maggie Stiefvater

The focus of these books isn’t the school setting, especially considering the characters always seem to be busy dealing with other things like disappearing forests, mixed up timelines, searching for dead kings, and so on. However, Aglionby Academy does play a role in shaping the characters’ identities – Ronan’s disregard for his studies, Adam’s dedication to them, Gansey’s outward appearance as the almost stereotypical Aglionby student, etc. Plus, it’s the whole reason the boys are referred to as ‘The Raven Boys’.

8. The Austere Academy – Lemony Snickett

Across the thirteen books that make up A Series of Unfortunate Events, the Baudelaires find themselves in every possible setting you can imagine – a circus, a reptile house, ski slopes, a submarine, a mill, and of course, a prestigious preparatory academy. As with every book in the series, it’s weird and yet very enjoyable.

9. The Mediator Series – Meg Cabot

Going back to my tween years with this one. I used to love this series. Suze is a catholic school student with the ability to see ghosts. She often has to work with her school principal, Father Dominic, to work out what’s going on with restless spirits in order to get them to move on. The first book involves her trying to rid her school of a very angry former student turned poltergeist.

10. IT – Stephen King

I’m probably stretching things with this one but whatever. In one of the two concurrent story lines, the characters are all kids aged about 12 or 13 and attend the same school which is how they meet one another. It also means they all happen to attract the attention of the same awful, older bully.

The Six of Crows Book Tag

No Mourners, No Funerals

I’m sure there have been a whole heap of these already (including the booktube one which honestly didn’t really float my boat) but I’ve decided to do it anyway.  It’s been on my mind for ages to create my own Six of Crows tag. I’ve never made a tag before and I really love Six of Crows, so why not just go for it? The characters in Six of Crows are so diverse and fantastic that they just scream book tag so here they are – 6 characters, 6 questions. Sounds easy, right?

Rules:

  1. Link back to my blog, The Infinite Library, so I can check out your answers!
  2. Thank the person who tagged you.
  3. Answer the questions
  4. Tag as many or as few people as you wish to spread the fun and Six of Crows love

The Thief

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KAZ BREKKER: A LAYERED OR COMPLEX CHARACTER

Holland – A Darker Shade of Magic Series by V. E. Schwab: Holland’s an interesting character in that you’re unsure for quite a while as to what his nature truly is. A Conjuring of Light was great in that we learnt more about Holland’s history and how he came to be where he was when we first began the series. He’s a character far more on the grey scale than Kell due to the nature of the life he’s led. Although Holland’s means aren’t always the purest, deep down his intentions are good.


The Wraith

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INEJ GHAFA: A BOOK WITH A TWIST YOU DIDN’T SEE COMING

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – There’s a twist about two thirds of the way through which I really wasn’t expecting. It turned out not to be true later on but at the time, I was so shocked. I couldn’t believe I’d been so easily manipulated for so many chapters, much like one the main characters. Pesky AI…


The Sharpshooter

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JESPER FAHEY: AN AUTHOR THAT NEVER MISSES THE MARK

I’m going to cheat a little here and say Richelle Mead for this because until I read Soundless, I absolutely loved every book of hers I’d ever read and trust me when I say that her books take up a good shelf and a half of my bookcase all on their own.


The Heartrender

Nina

NINA ZENIK: A BOOK THAT BROKE YOUR HEART OR GAVE YOU ALL THE FEELS

My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult: This book was a roller coaster emotionally. The characters are written so well that you feel everything they do as if they were your own family. And just when you reach the end and you think it’s all over, the story punches you in the gut with the most devastating moment ever. I cried, massively. Then I re-read the book a few years later, and cried again. The final chapter was an absolute sob-fest.

Also special mention to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: So many character deaths plus having to deal with it being the end to one of my favourite series ever. * cries*


The Convict

Matthias

MATTHIAS HELVAR: A CHARACTER CAUGHT BETWEEN TWO WORLDS

Two for the price of one for this question.

Simon Lewis – The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare: Simon is a vampire and thus a downworlder. This makes things a little tricky as the members of his close circle of relationships are nearly all shadowhunters who don’t always have the best interactions with the downworlder community. Finding his place in between the two sides and working out where to stand on certain issues is a constant challenge for him but it also adds interesting conflict to his storylines.

Eugiene Markham (Dark Swan Series): Eugenie is a shaman, which means she’s paid to deal with troublesome fey who make their way into the human world. However once she becomes queen of a fairy dominion, things become very messy. She often faces difficulty reconciling the needs of her fey subjects with what she knows to be the right thing to do for humans. And of course, the fact that her two potential love interests also fall on different sides of the equation makes it even harder.


The Explosives Expert

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WYLAN VAN ECK: A BOOK THAT WENT OUT WITH A BANG OR A CLIFF-HANGER

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – It was all happening at the end of this book. We had a massive lightning bolt blow up an arena, Katniss being rescued by the resistance, finding out about the existence of District 13, Peta’s capture, and a whole host of other things. Definitely a bang.


And there you have it!

If you feel like engaging in a little bit of Six of Crows tagging fun, I tag you! Go forth and enjoy! Otherwise, here are nine lovely people I tag to share in the fun. As usual, if you don’t want to or don’t usually do these, I completely get it.

Nadwa @ Painfully Fictional

Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews

Raven @ Dreamy Addictions

Jackie @  Too Much of a Book Nerd (Maybe this will push her to actually read it!)

Nicole @ Live Life Reading (Same for you, Nicole!)

Judith @ Chain Interaction

Emma @ A Dreamer’s Library

Kawther @ The Villain Library

Sydney @ Fire and Rain Books