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

 

booklove orangutan

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!

Let’s Cut to the Chase About Tempests and Slaughter

*Received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

tempests and slaughterOkay, so as I could have predicted for this month, my ARC review is coming a little late- but on the plus side, right now I should be travelling back to London (and to more blogging activity!)

One of the reasons I took so long with this one was because, as you may or may not know, I am a MASSIVE Tamora Pierce fan. Even if I hadn’t been ridiculously excited to receive this as an ARC (which, OMG, I was!!) I would have wanted to do this justice- but I also had more mixed feelings about this one that made me hesitant to put pen to paper.

This didn’t stand out to me as the best Tamora Pierce book- though even “not the best Tamora Pierce book” is still a good shout. What Pierce is famous for, and delivers here, is good, traditional fantasy fare. There’s plenty of adventure to be had and it was above all a lot of FUN- which is exactly what you want from a Middle Grade series opener!

In some ways, it was what I’d come to expect from Pierce- and yet there were also some innovative elements to the world building, which made it stand out from some of her other works. The setting alone added complexity to the story and transformed the tale into a more unique saga. In particular, I loved aspects like the crocodile god and hints at an intricate religious system.

While I did enjoy most of the narrative, I did feel much of it felt more like set up than plot. On the positive side, it made me feel like I’d love later books more- but this particular book felt a little overlong.

One other question mark I had was over the more educational aspect of the book, where Pierce attempted to show male puberty. I felt like this was adequately done, but I will admit the choice of the word “member” was somewhat off-putting and I wondered at the target audience’s response.

Overall though, I liked the characters and bully antagonists. The relationships between characters were well done and the romance, though not swoonworthy, was sweet. I definitely want to pick up the later books in the series and see where it goes!

Rating: 3½/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana half-a-hand-drawn-banana

Have you read this or Pierce’s other works? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!