Ten Books I Struggled To Get Into But Ended Up All-Time Favorites Anyway {Top Ten Tuesday}

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Hi everybody, and welcome to a new Top Ten Tuesday!

Today’s Top Ten is all about books that I struggled to get into. Now, beginnings are something I usually struggle with. As much as I love reading a new story and getting to know new characters, the beginning is almost always a struggle.

I start reading and find I have to force myself to continue reading. But usually when I’m reading and get a few chapters in (this can be from the 2nd or third chapter, but it can also be about halfway the book), I start getting invested in the story and attached to the characters. And THAT’s when I switch from forcing myself to read to really enjoying a book. And this struggle with beginnings is something that’s a ME-thing, not a BOOK-thing. Because some books or series that have become my all-time favorites started as a book I was really struggling to get into.

You may be surprised by some of the books I had this issue with…

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Though these characters have become one of my all-time favorite group of friends and I ADORE this series to pieces, it honestly took me like half the first book in this series to get used to them. Also, the gorgeous lyrical writing that I’m raving about now, took me quite a while to adjust to.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I know I’ve been describing this series as pretty much the PERFECT trilogy (and I still stand by this point), but to be fair I only REALLY got invested in the storyline and the characters near the end of the first book.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

My most recent read of this list is one of my favorite reads of the year, but I struggled with the beginning. It took me about two weeks to read the first few chapters, but somewhere near the point where Monty was running around naked I naturally got invested and finished the rest of the book in a day or two.

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

I adore this series to bits, but it took me quite a long time to fall in love with these characters, none of whom really stood out to me at first. Now on the other hand, I can’t get enough Magnus, Cleo, Felix and the gang.

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

This series is such an underrated gem of a fantasy, but the beginning was tough to get into! The world, the characters, they only really took a hold of my heart near the end of the first book.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Adam Silvera owns my heart (and my tear ducts). But as much as I loved More Happy Than Not, the beginning really frustrated me (especially the slang and just the awfulness of some of the characters) and I almost stopped reading. Thankfully, I didn’t or I would have missed the unique feeling of having Adam Silvera tear my heart out.

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Another favorite read of mine this year. But yes, it took me a bit to get into. Now I’m just eagerly waiting for book two!

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Lindsey, WHAT? I know, I know! I LOVE this duology. I ADORE these characters so, so much. But it took me about a third of the book to get there. Once I was there, however, there was no going back. I am officially a huge Six of Crows fangirl.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Even though I love this series now, I kind of struggled with Cinder. Though this maybe had something to do with the fact that I was really skeptical of this book before I started it (a cyborg Cinderella? Eh…) I shouldn’t have been, because I soon fell in love with Cinder and the rest of these characters though!

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

This book was my favorite even before reading it, because I already was in love with Simon and Baz by reading about them in Fangirl. So I should have gotten invested in their story easily, right? Wrong. I think it was the fact that there was a lot of recapping previous events in the beginning, not to mention the absence of a certain character for too long. Still a favorite nonetheless!

Do you also have this problem with book beginnings? any all-time favorites that you at first struggled to get into?

42 thoughts on “Ten Books I Struggled To Get Into But Ended Up All-Time Favorites Anyway {Top Ten Tuesday}

  1. Sarah says:

    I totally understand what you mean about ‘The Demon King’. It starts out as as your average Fantasy with stereotypical characters but the more you read, the better you realize that it’s actually has a gripping storyline and some of the characters are not clichees and might surprise you.

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Yes, exactly! Glad to hear I’m not the only one who felt this way about Six of Crows! Once all characters are introduced and get together is when it all really kicked off for me 🙂

  2. Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books says:

    It took me FOREVER to get through each of The Raven Boys Books. And I loved all of them, but just could not read them at a normal speed at all!! I was SUPER skeptical about Cinder, but ended up LOVING IT!! It was a very welcome surprise because I don’t read a lot of retellings or sci-fi/dystopia, so it was a risk for me. Great list 🙂
    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday– The StruggleMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Glad to hear I’m not the only one who had this issue with Six of Crows! It did end up an all-time favorite for me, so I’d definitely suggest to keep reading a bit more… Hope you’ll get more into it soon!

  3. Julie @ Happily Ever Chapter says:

    Flame int he Mist is one of my favorites this year too. I LOVE Carry On!! I’ve been wanting to find time to reread it soon. I do agree that it took way too long for a certain someone to show up tho! That was frustrating. I plan on reading Six of Crows later this month. I’ve heard great things about the duology, but it’s funny that I’ve seen this one on a couple lists today too. lol! I’m going to be trying to squeeze in Gentlemen’s Guide this month too. I’m hoping I can make it happen. I really liked Cinder but I went into it very skeptical for the same reason as you (cyborg Cinderella? meh) but I liked it a lot. I haven’t read any of the others, but I have a couple on my list. Great list!
    Julie @ Happily Ever Chapter recently posted…10 Books I Struggled With (or DNF)My Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Flame in the Mist was amazing! And OMG yes, a Carry On re-read sounds like a PERFECT idea 😉 If you have the same problem with the beginning of Six of Crows, I’d definitely suggest to keep trying because it’s really an amazing duology… Glad to hear you felt the same way about Cinder! 🙂

  4. Amy @ A Thousand Worlds says:

    I can totally sympathize with Falling Kingdoms. When I first tried to read it, I think I made it about halfway then gave up because … well, honestly, I cannot remember. I just wasn’t enjoying it. Then, about a month later, I picked it back up and really enjoyed it. *shrug* Now I like the series and, to think, I almost didn’t even finish the first book.


  5. Madalyn @ Novel Ink says:

    We must have very similar reading taste, because I also found so many of these slow to get into! Like you, Six of Crows and ADSOM are two of my all-time favorite series, but I wasn’t fully invested in the world or characters until well into the respective first books. I also struggled a bit with Cinder, More Happy, Carry On, and Gentleman’s Guide, too. Great list this week!

  6. Angela says:

    I have a few of these on my TBR, so I’ll keep in mind that they may start a bit slow before they get really good! I’m bad, though, with DNFing – if a book doesn’t grab me within the first few pages, I have a tendency to DNF, so who knows how many books I’ve DNFed but would have liked had I given it more time!
    Angela recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Couldn’t FinishMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      It can definitely be a good thing to DNF – so little time, so many books, so why waste time on books not your thing? – but it does have disadvantages as well. I know I usually struggle with beginnings, so I rarely DNF because I can still get into the book a bit later and end up loving it. 🙂 Though yes, I can also end up disappointed and with wasted time anyway. It’s a struggle 😉

  7. Jo says:

    I struggled with Cinder too, so I’m glad to hear it got better for you. I love ADSOM, I remember it taking me a while to get used to the structure of the book (with the different parts) but I was addicted to the world and characters pretty much from the start. The Raven Boys, it definitely took me a while to get into, I almost DNF’ed it, the horror!
    Jo recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #123My Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Glad to hear I’m not the only one who felt that way about Cinder at first! ADSOM is so amazing indeed, I’m glad I pushed through the beginning 🙂 And I’m happy you pushed through The Raven Boys 😉

  8. Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books says:

    Oh great post, Lindsey, we quite have a lot in common here 🙂 It took me a little while to get to The Raven Boys series just as well, the writing took me a bit to adjust to but once I did, I fell in love with it!
    I had the same issue about ADSOM, but it was about the pacing – there were many characters at the beginning and it took a little while for everything to get into place. Once it did, I loved it, but yes… it took me a bit of time as well 🙂
    Great post! 🙂
    Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books recently posted…Books, writing and a little bit of myself: some questions answered!My Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Thanks Marie! I’m happy to hear I’m not the only one who sometimes needs some time to really get into a book – especially some of these really popular ones. But it shows that I need to push through, because they might end up a huge all-time favorite, like The Raven Boys and ADSOM 🙂

  9. Di @ Book Reviews by Di says:

    Hmmm. STARTING is also the hardest thing for me on a new book – it’s difficult to bring yourself to learn an entirely new world, a new set of characters to love and care about!

    I need to read Raven Boys. Gosh. And Gentleman’s Guide. And Falling Kingdoms… Yikes. I’m just going to go hide somewhere before my TBR pile crushes me!

    I loved the Shades of Magic series and 6oC! It was difficult for me to get into 6oC too! But I think because it was all so confusing at first. I also struggled with Cinder! But I’m loving Cress so far.

    Well, I guess I’d better go get reading… Great list!
    Di @ Book Reviews by Di recently posted…Weekly Round Up #44: The One Where I Summarise Three WeeksMy Profile

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