Paying my Respects to Books I Probably Shouldn’t Have Finished but did Anyway.

Throughout the several last weeks I have been noticing a lot of books that I struggled to finish that people loved. This is a list of these books and my explanation of why they are probably great books but also why I should have never read them.

  1. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

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This is a great book and I love Cornelia Funke. One of my favorite books is Ingraine the Brave, in fact it is up for a reread. Why did I dislike Inkheart so much that I quit reading it for several weeks and then come back and force myself to finish? I honestly do not know. I really liked the story going in but then it kinda got creepy and I think it honestly just scared me. I was pretty young when I read this book and I think the concept of the lines between the book world and reality blurring was not ok. I wasn’t sure how it was going to end and the antagonist just creeped me out. I did finish it but I never read the next two books.

2. The Giver by Lois Lowry

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Another great author whose books I love except for this one. To be fair when I first started reading this book I had no idea it was dystopia so I was really confused the whole time I was reading it. I am not a huge fan of dystopia in fact the Hunger Games is probably the only dystopia series I really enjoyed. I did like Fahrenheit 451 but more on “literary I would like to study this book” than a pleasure read. Why did I not like The Giver? It’s dystopia and the whole idea of dystopia creeps me out. The idea that as a people we have given control of our lives to a select group of rulers is disturbing and makes me want to not live on Earth ( I hear Mars might become an option). The scene with the twin babies made me stop reading and I almost didn’t finish but again I hate not finishing so I did. I never had a desire to read any more of the books in this series or watch the movie despite the fact that Jeff Bridges was in it.

3. Unwind by Neil Shusterman

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I physically cannot talk about this book. It scarred me so much so that I cannot talk about it. It’s a great book and it explores an interesting concept but that is what scarred me. The idea of an abortion war is not so far fetched and it’s aftermath is not so far fetched. Out of all the dystopian books I have read and I’ll admit that’s not a lot this is the only one that I can see actually happening and it scared me. It also made me cry like I have never cried before. Thank goodness the scene that made me cry was at the end of the book otherwise I would have never finished it.

4. Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore

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Alright this is going to sound like a rant because it is. All I really have to say is that Kristin Cashore is a feminist and I don’t like her ideals and I don’t like that she made her characters fantasy feminists. I am all for strong independent women but I am not for idealizing flings or meaningless sex. The characters in her stories want love but for some reason they don’t want to commit and I feel if you truly love someone you commit to them because that’s love.

5. Looking for Alaska by John Green

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I had to read this for a book club and by the time I got to the predictable climax I just skimmed the rest. The narrator Pudge was unlikable and unreliable. His love for Alaska was nothing more than puppy love and she herself was wishy washy. Other people loved this book probably because it explored the idea of mixing rich privileged kids with underprivileged kids. Alaska may have been more three dimensional if she was less wish washy. It was hard to understand the characters because we only saw them through Pudge and Pudge was terrible at understanding people. The colonel was the only likable character in my opinion because he showed more depth than any of the other characters.

6. Paper Towns by John Green

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This was the first John Green novel I read and I only read because it was a different book club read and the hype. I’m trying not to sound like a hipster but I am book snob when it comes to books that have a lot of hype. Either they are going to be great or terrible. There is not middle ground. I just remember hating the ending and thinking it was so stupid! It was just like Looking for Alaska. The ending did not satisfy and ruined the rest of the book. I really liked The Fault in Our Stars because those characters were believable and relatable. Like all books I had friends that liked this one but I really am not liking John Green.

7. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

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I love Sarah Dessen and I love her books but for some reason I could not get into this book. I didn’t finish it and I am going to blame it on the fact I was sick when I read it. Usually reading while sick makes me feel better but in this case it caused to not finish a book and really dislike the book. I am seriously thinking about giving this book a second chance but not likely.

8. A Child Called It by Dave Peltzer

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This is an extremely popular non fiction story and I am not saying it’s not good because honestly I liked the first book but I struggled through the second and third. I seriously wonder why I read the third book because honestly it became a pity story after the first book. I know his life was tough and I commend Peltzer for writing about it but move on. I don’t think he needed to write a second and third book. I really recommend reading Glass Castles by Jeanette Walls. She wasn’t necessarily abused but she did have a tough childhood.

9. Sold by Patricia McCormick

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There is a battle waging inside of me about this book. There is a part of me that liked it because it exposes the world of human trafficking and makes it real but it was just a tough read and I really personally like Little Peach by Peggy Kern better. Kern’s story hits closer to home and really shows that human trafficking doesn’t happen just in foreign and to foreign girls.

10. Eragon by Christoper Paolini

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I honestly don’t know why I couldn’t get into this book because I love fantasy and I love dragons. I just remember thinking that the book wasn’t moving. The action was slow and nothing was happening. I think if I reread it now I might like it more but I don’t know. When I read a book and dislike I have a hard time going and rereading it. My brother loved this series and it is probably one of his favorites but I just couldn’t do it. P.S. a word of warning don’t watch the movie.

11. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

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I did not like this book. I honestly can’t remember all the reasons but I know there was this one scene where she let a guy grope her and she didn’t do anything about it. She just accepted it as her fate. Also there was a scene where she went to a widow’s house to help and all the kids were outside because mama was inside prostituting herself. The man’s butt was described in great detail and it was just distasteful. I understand that women in dire straits do what they can for their children, but I don’t need to describe a man’s butt. It’s an interesting book but honestly The Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins is a much better murder mystery plus the movie is coming out this fall.

12. Identical by Ellen Hopkins

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I may have already talked about this book ,but I read it when I was in seventh grade. I was a sheltered home schooled child whose reading list consisted of Little House on the Prairie. This book was a shock to my system and I don’t care to read any more books by Ellen Hopkins. I have heard great things about her books and I know they deal with issues teens face and they are written in verse. These are all pluses, but I just cannot handle the bluntness of her books. I can read about sexual abuse but I personally don’t like it detailed. You can tell me the story without the intimate details.

13. The Sister Hood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

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I also may have talked about this book and again I read it at too young of an age. I didn’t know what a condom was at this point and I had to ask my mom. I don’t think she even told me. That being said I really didn’t like the book or the fact that one of the girls had an affair with a married man. Their story just didn’t seem to go anywhere and I just didn’t like it.

14. The Wake series by Lisa McMann

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If you are looking for a graphically sexual novel then this is it. I would never recommend these books to anyone or have them in my classroom library. The second book especially is sexually explicit and there is a ton of cuss words. I really did not like these books because the focus seemed to be all on the sexual actions of the characters rather than the characters themselves, plus these books are pretty bleak.

There are probably more books that I just struggled to get through but these are the ones that stand out to me.

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14 thoughts on “Paying my Respects to Books I Probably Shouldn’t Have Finished but did Anyway.

  1. I love this list! Kudos!
    I actually stopped reading Inkheart last week and returned it to the library this morning – it was too slow and I felt that we were not learning anything about any of the characters. Maybe one day I will pick it up again.
    I also actually stopped reading Hollow City last week too! I love the premise and the first one was good. BUT, I couldn’t get into Hollow City at all.
    Kudos to you for paying homage to the ones you wish you had not read. I really like how you shared your reasons for not liking the books. If you could pick one book on the list that wasn’t for you, but others would love it, which would you choose?

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  2. I heard the sisterhood of the traveling pants was a great one! A bunch of my friends read it together in high school. It is crazy to see how many books you have and got through. I don’t think I could do it. Good for you!

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  3. I find it really intriguing that I really loved Unwind and yet you had difficulty with it. It was very well written, and as you said with several, there are some really well written books on here, but I understand that certain books are not for everyone. Plus, I am glad that we have a common distaste for John Green!

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  4. Carlie, you are killing me here. 😥
    Kidding! I love the fact that you made this list and gave reasons as to why you couldn’t finish the books. 🙂 I may have to make a list like this myself! Also, as a side note, I also REALLY enjoyed “Glass Castles.” It was fantastic.

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      1. It’s so great!! I had completely forgotten how wonderful it was until I read the comment in your post. I had a long-term sub read it to my class in high school. Powerful read and a great read aloud experience! I hope that your mom found it! 🙂

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