Books I’m Glad I Gave a Second Chance (and ended up loving)

 

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I will admit, talking about books I no longer like is not always the most fun- nothing hurts as much as falling out of love with a series 😉 Which is why, after yesterday’s post, it seems only fair to talk about some books I very nearly gave up on… yet won me over by the end!

game of thrones book

Game of Thrones– okay, starting with a *shock, horror* confession: when I first picked this up, I wasn’t sold. I know, I know, it’s got a great opening, but I didn’t click with the writing style. What ended up happening was I saw the show and read a spoiler for the second season… which meant I inevitably felt I had to read them all that summer to make sure I wasn’t spoiled again! #bookwormlogic Anyway, I picked it up again and realised what a BIG MISTAKE I’d made- I may never be in love with the writing style- still these books are ridiculously exciting.

the-black-magician-trilogy

The Black Magician Trilogy– I was actually warned that the first book in this series might be a struggle to get through… and it was. That said, the last act convinced me that I *needed* to keep reading- and I’m so glad it did, because by the end of the series I’d done a complete one-eighty on my feelings for the series and fallen irrevocably in love with it. The only problem is I frequently think of this book and series when I’m considering DNFing- cos it’s that one time I cling to as proof that *it can get better*!

prince-of-thorns

Prince of Thorns– I’ve always been drawn to darker fantasy, yet it took me a very long time to take the dive into the more adult grimdark section of the genre. The number of times I considered reading this before I finally picked it up was ridiculous- and it’s ridiculous how much I loved it given my hesitation. I’m so glad I got over my initial trepidation- cos if I hadn’t I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of reading this intense and wild series!

wolf speaker

Wolf Speaker– alright, time for another admission: this was possibly the first book I ever DNF’d. The worst part is my reason SUCKED (I think it had something to do with the list of made up terms at the beginning- is it obvious I was so young I didn’t really understand how world building worked? 😉 ) Fortunately, my sister read it instead and told me I was completely wrong. To prove to her I was right, I read the whole thing… and, yeah, she was right. The book was awesome. Thus begun my lifelong love of Pierce’s books!

percyjacksonseries

Percy Jackson– when it came to this book I simply felt it was good, but I was too old for it. And while that isn’t any less true now than it was a couple of years ago, I did decide to give it another shot- and whaddya know, I had a lot of fun with it!

six of crows duology

Six of Crows– this one is sort of cheating, cos it’s more that I read the previous Grisha series and, while I liked it, wasn’t as blown away as everyone else seemed to be. So when a new Bardugo series came out, I wasn’t rushing to put it on my shelf. Somehow though the hype train caught up to me and I couldn’t help but jump aboard. Turns out I wasn’t a complete sucker- this duology ended up stealing my heart!

court of mists and fury

Court of Mists and Fury– there seems to be a trend for me with Maas’ books- I don’t generally speaking end up sold on the series openers- HOWEVER once the series gets going, I become more than a little enthralled with the characters and relationships that I forget all my misgivings. This was precisely what happened with Court of Mist and Fury– while I wasn’t a fan of Court of Thorns and Roses, I was told book 2 redeems the series and that was one hundred percent the case for me.

pride and prejudice

Pride and Prejudice– to be fair, I never thought this was a bad book, I simply thought it wasn’t for me (oh how wrong I was 😉 ). Like a lot of books on this list, one of the greatest obstacles to enjoying it came down to poor timing. Personally, I think I was too young to properly get the wit and irony. When I got a bit older, I gave Austen another try (well I had to read Emma for school) and you know what? My taste had completely evolved and now I’m complete Austen stan 😉 Turns out our kid-selves don’t know everything- who’d have thunk it? 😉

canterbury tales

Canterbury Tales– this is simply another case of reading it too soon (and not having the faintest idea how to tackle the Middle English). So when I had to study this at uni I was DREADING it. Fortunately I was told a great tip to read it aloud- sure, I sounded like I had a funny accent, but once I got going I realised how easily I was able to make sense of it that way- and more importantly discovered the brilliance of the characterisation and stories for myself.

simarillion

Silmarillion– alright, this is admittedly not the best book ever. Certainly, it’s still not my favourite Tolkien. Nonetheless, even though I came close to DNFing this twice, I’m glad I eventually got past the midway hump- especially since some of the more beautiful stories come after that point! I also really liked the quasi-Biblical style of the prose. So in the end, I thought this was a worthwhile read. Plus, it never hurts to delve further into Tolkien’s wonderfully crafted world 🙂

So are there any books or series you nearly gave up on, yet ended up loving? Let me know in the comments!

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Court of Mist and Fury Appealed to my Dark Side

*Some spoilers for book 1*

court of wings and ruinWell hello again! I cannot believe it’s already May!! And because it’s May, we all know that means the release of Sarah J Maas’ next novel, Court of Wings and Ruin.

 

court of mists and furyNow if you saw my review of Court of Thorns and Roses, you’ll know, I really wasn’t sold on the first one. BUT boy, did this book change my mind. Though it was not without its faults, it was an *astronomically* better book.

One of the first differences I noticed in this book was that the remaking of Feyre, the main character, had given her a spine- and thank goodness for that! Sure, she was still a little whiny, but this time she had a reason to be *and*, what’s more, she grew out of it by the end of the book!!

And oh-my-days did I prefer the love interest in this one! I know I am far from the first person to say this, but Rhys is just *the best*. In fact he’s definitely my favourite of Maas’ love interests to date (admittedly I am a total sucker for secretly-a-sweetheart characters). Also, I really liked his Circle- not only were they so much better as secondary characters, but the relationships between them reinforced my impression of Rhys and endeared me to him all the more. And EVEN BETTER, this book leaves me free to hate Tamlin as a part of me has always wanted to.

I also preferred the setting in this one. Perhaps it was just on a subconscious level, but I found spring court a little sickly, but *loved* the court of dreams and nightmares. It was far more immersive, interesting and lent much more to the plot.

Now, it’s no secret I was bored in a lot of the last book, but this was a complete change of pace. There was never a dull moment and I was always left wanting more. Highly addictive, so fast I constantly had to catch my breath- I barely even noticed the flaws in the plotting. Of course, it was not perfect, and had I been more in love with the story going in, I probably would not have noticed the issues. But it was blindingly obvious to me that some of the plot devices- like there’s this magical thing that can destroy the universe, but don’t worry there’s this other magical thing that can stop it– were just lazy. Plus, it didn’t help that Feyre went from being a minor thorn in the side for setting the story in motion, to *SUPER SPECIAL-SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE*. There are always some plot points I can do without, because nothing takes the tension of a story out more than “oh don’t worry, the protagonist can do all the things now”.

As for other issues, I’ve said this about Maas before, but she’s not the best at erotic scenes. Admittedly this was better than whatever that weird scene that shall not be named in Empire of Storms was… but I still could have done without a lot of it. But I have to be fair that, while there’s a lot of people annoyed at pornographic elements, there are warnings for mature content on the blurb. If that kind of thing bothers you, then don’t read this series. And even if you do like it- well, don’t expect too much.

But when all’s said and done I am now- finally– looking forward to the finale. Despite all the gut-wrenching chaos and calamity of the ending, I actually enjoyed how it setup for the next book. I seriously cannot wait to see what happens next.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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Alright, enough fangirling for today! Have you read this book? Did you like it? And what book are you looking forward to getting released this month?