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Thread: Books you thought you would like but didn't?

  1. #51
    New year, new avatar. hester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    On the edge.
    I had a very hard time with Outlander (it's pretty much a DNF at this point). Definitely a case of "it's not you, it's me." The writing's good, the characterizations were fine, it was just that I found the MC's reaction to being transplanted to 1700s Scotland unrealistic and I found I couldn't get over that particular hump...

  2. #52
    Handsome servant of a redhead Gilroy Cullen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Deep in the State of Confusion
    Oh, I do have another author I can't seem to stomach the books of:

    C. J. Cherryh -- I tried two different books. I kept falling out of the stories due to too much backstory, too much jargon, and just disconnected plots I couldn't follow. Downbelow Station and Foreigner both ruined my taste for her writing.
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  3. #53
    The new me oneblindmouse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    St Albans, UK
    Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - I absolutely hated it from the word go.

    Lovely bones - by Alice Sebold

    Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett

    by Bernard Cornwell

    Angela's ashes by Frank McCourt

    To name but a few......

    "Strange Destinies" by Guillermo Rubio Arias-Paz, translated from the Spanish and out now on Amazon and the Endless Bookcase.


  4. #54
    Beastly Fido Roxxsmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Lost in space. And meaning.
    I couldn't really get into Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell either. The "dear reader" style of omniscient was jarring, even though I knew the author was shooting for a period feel. It felt too diffuse and "telly" for my taste.

    The Lies of Locke Lamorra. I really wanted to like this book, as it has all the elements I usually look for in fantasy, but I just couldn't connect with the story and characters. I may give it another try soon.

    Sorcerer to the Crown. I'm about three chapters in, and again, I'm not connecting to the protagonist much. The diffuse, telly thing again.
    Please excuse me, I was raised by wolves.

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  5. #55
    practical experience, FTW LJD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    The Corrections (Jonathan Franzen) - could not handle the unlikable characters
    Good Omens (Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman) - didn't hate it and it had its moments, but it was kind of meh overall

    Bet Me (Jennifer Crusie) - This is often recommended as a "starter" romance and so it was the first romance I read. Was not terribly impressed.
    Last edited by LJD; 06-03-2016 at 02:16 AM.

  6. #56
    Get it off! It burns! Dennis E. Taylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Beautiful downtown Mordor
    Quote Originally Posted by Gilroy Cullen View Post
    Oh, I do have another author I can't seem to stomach the books of:

    C. J. Cherryh -- I tried two different books. I kept falling out of the stories due to too much backstory, too much jargon, and just disconnected plots I couldn't follow. Downbelow Station and Foreigner both ruined my taste for her writing.
    Foreigner was the only Cherryh book I ever tried. Got about 1/3 of the way in, and quit.
    Formerly Angry Guy.

    Speak the truth, but not to punish


  7. #57
    Epic procrastinator
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    The Dark Tower.

    It has everything I usually like about a story, but I just couldn't get into it. Still don't know why.

  8. #58
    practical experience, FTW Maze Runner's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Augie March, by Bellow. One they cite as The Great American Novel. Language is thick. I thought it was me until I read that Norman Mailer had the same trouble with it.

  9. #59
    practical experience, FTW aleighrose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Somewhere in time and space
    Gideon's Trumpet by Anthony Lewis - The true story of Clarence Earl Gideon, a criminal defendant who declared that the state of Florida had to provide him with an attorney since he couldn't afford one on his own and took that argument all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The information about Gideon's life is fascinating, but it only makes up a small fraction of the book. The rest is mostly explanations of legal procedures (which is why it was required reading for my Intro to Paralegal Studies class). The author also could've done a lot more with the oral argument before the Court. I mean, the argument is what it is. I'm not saying he should've altered the argument to it to make it more riveting. But he could've presented that portion of the book in a more suspenseful way. Overall, the book was just okay.

    Myst: The Book of D'ni - The third book in the Myst series. (Yes, I am such a nerd that I read the Myst books.) I really liked the first two books, especially The Book of Ti'ana. But this one felt like it wasn't finished. And it wasn't. I looked it up, and it turns out that David Wingrove was rushed through writing it because of a deadline that had to be met. He didn't have enough time to properly revise and edit the novel. The result is that it feels a lot like an early draft that needs work.
    ~ Leigh

  10. #60
    brushing off the diamond dust shivadyne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    the shadow realm
    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierJoe View Post
    yeah, same. i thought i'd like it because it had a lot of elements to it that i appreciated, but it seemed to drag on and on and on. i just wanted it to end.

  11. #61
    practical experience, FTW autumnleaf's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
    small rainy island
    Quote Originally Posted by oneblindmouse View Post

    by Bernard Cornwell

    Angela's ashes by Frank McCourt
    Stonehenge was the first book I read by Bernard Cornwell, and I found it completely "meh", so I decided not to read another by him. Then, some years later, I picked up The Last Kingdom and it was only after I'd finished (and loved) it that I realised it was the same author. So don't let Stonehenge colour your view on Cornwell; he can write much better.

    Angela's ashes reminded me of that Four Yorkshiremen sketch, "You were lucky. We lived for three months in a brown paper bag in a septic tank...."
    I reject your reality and substitute my own
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  12. #62
    practical experience, FTW L. OBrien's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by Roxxsmom View Post
    The Lies of Locke Lamorra. I really wanted to like this book, as it has all the elements I usually look for in fantasy, but I just couldn't connect with the story and characters. I may give it another try soon.
    I so wanted to like this book, and I couldn't get past the first few chapters. I got maybe fifty pages in and had to put it down. It was a combination of Locke feeling like an unlikable smartest-guy-in-the-room stock character, the author being overly impressed with Locke's cleverness, and the fact that I was reading this during a bout of feminist frustration with the epic fantasy genre and had yet to run into a single female character. I can't think of another book that I've taken such an active disinterest in.

    I've also disliked Jack Kerouac's On The Road with a cold dispassion ever since I read it in high school, which is odd because everyone else I've ever met seems to think that book is eye-opening and life-altering.

  13. #63
    figuring it all out allthefeels's Avatar
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    May 2016
    Game of Thrones - With the caveat that I finished (with much effort) the first two books. I gave up in the middle of the 3rd. I found the gaps between perspectives and multiple stories to much to stay engaged in. I didn't feel compelled to keep going so I took a lot of breaks. That lead to me forgetting a lot of what I had read. By the time I got back around to a character's story, I couldn't remember what came before. Not to mention the number of POV characters I found completely disinteresting.

    The Hobbit - I learned very quickly I am not a Tolkien fan. Leave SOMETHING to the imagination, would you?!

  14. #64
    Another vote for the Hobbit. Was not at all what I thought it would be. Written a little like the Bible if I remember.

    The City and the City by China Mieville. At a time when I was picking up everything he was putting down, this seemed like a surefire "win." I tried three times to pick it up but couldn't stick it through and this coming from a gal who'll let a book be bad the whole way through if only to find out how it ends. Mieville's chameleon-like style turned his narrative into something unlikable for that book.

  15. #65
    Dancing Through Life SallyB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    The Glove of the Southwest
    Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien

    I had my eye on this book for like a year before I bought it, then was sorely dissapointed. The story wasn't what I thought it'd be, also it had a tendency to not have anything interesting happen for 10-50 pages at a time. I finished it but with lots of skimming.

  16. #66
    practical experience, FTW Oldborne's Avatar
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    Mar 2015
    I picked up First and Last Men a earlier this year but didn't get past the second chapter.

    It sounds amazing from the blurb, a chronicle of alternative history past the end of the second world war. But it's written like a history book and lacked (from where I was reading) and sort of characters. I flick through and the entire book seems to just be a great big wall of text. I'm sure it's interesting, but not in the sort of way that engages me, personally.

    It's a shame because I really expected to love it.

  17. #67
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Sapphire at Dawn's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
    Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel. I love the time period just couldn't get past her style.

    Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I tried, I really tried, and in the beginning I liked it. However, it became very repetitive in style (good thing happens, then bad things happen, then good things, then bad things) and just so long! I gave up half-way through.

  18. #68
    The first draft of anything is shit A.E.Fisher's Avatar
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    Jul 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by blacbird View Post
    Ender's Game.
    I loved Ender's Game, so I was really excited for the Pathfinder series. It was garbage, though, and I couldn't push past the first quarter of the book.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brightdreamer View Post
    Witch & Wizard, by James Patterson and Elizabeth Charbonnet - A popular YA fantasy series that read like someone trying too hard to be "hip" with them thar teenage readers.
    I tried really hard with this one too, but I agree about trying too hard. The story and the characters felt very generic to me as well, I couldn't connect with them on anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierJoe View Post
    The Alchemist. I lasted about 75 pages on this one.
    It took me 2 years to push through The Alchemist, and I can't say I am glad that I did.

    Others I thought I'd love:

    Scarlet--especially with the voracity in which I devoured Cinder.

    The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennett--this one was DOA; I couldn't finish the first chapter.

    Mortal Instruments series--I just couldn't get past the shoddy writing. I wanted to love the story, characters, and world, but it just didn't happen for me. I was amused by the Shadowhunters tv show, though.

    Sky Key--I really enjoyed Endgame, and the Endgame diaries, but I haven't been able to force myself through the sequel. The story is flat, the characters are boring, and it doesn't have the same punch as it's predecessor.

    Me Before You--I'm not sure this one even had a chance, honestly. It's not my typical read, but I gave it a chance based on the hype. Sorely disappointed.

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  19. #69
    Not so new, really dirtsider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    The Lies of Locke Lamorra - I'm another one who didn't like it. The narrative was too choppy and I couldn't get into the characters. The plot kept jumping around which bothered me. It was almost as if the author was trying to recreate the TV "X hours/months/years earlier" plot device. But instead of completing a scene, it kept happening in the ~middle~ of the scene and then land back where the scene left off. Back and forth, back and forth. At least that's what I recall.

    The Wheel of Time series - the first one was a bit slow but all the female characters were nagging, bitchy, know-it-alls who had to keep "their" men in line. Once the characters got separated from each other, the pacing turned glacial. But at least each POV section completed a chapter before switching to the next POV.

    Game of Thrones - pretty much the same problem as the WoT series. The pacing was glacial, especially once the characters split up on their own adventures. The one redeeming quality of the series was the fact I did like some of the characters (the usual suspects - Jon Snow, Arya, Tyrion) but others were overly annoying.

    I did like the first two Dragonlance trilogies although I'm not sure if I'd like them now if I picked them up for the first time.

    Funny thing is, I find I'm enjoying non-fiction more than I am fiction.

  20. #70
    figuring it all out
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    I'm still undecided on Looking for Alaska by John Green - it promised to 'stay with me forever' and have a profound effect, and while I found some of it touching and I enjoyed parts, I sortof got really bored in parts as well. I don't know, maybe it's me not the book.

  21. #71
    Scribe of the girls in the basement Marissa D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    New England but hankering for the old one
    The Temeraire books. I soooo wanted to love these, but found the plotting in the first so predictable and the characterization so two-dimensional that I couldn't continue the series. Loved Novak's Uprooted, though. I also wanted to love the Soulless books, and didn't get past page 20--I found it annoyingly "cutesy" and haven't picked up any others of hers.

    And the Amelia Peabody series, which should have been catnip for me--I enjoyed the first one, thought the second was "meh", and by the third, put it down a few chapters in; the characters had turned into parodies of themselves. I tried another of Peters' series, and disliked it too...but was mesmerized by her non-fiction books on ancient Egypt.

  22. #72
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    In America
    Quote Originally Posted by emstar94 View Post
    I'm still undecided on Looking for Alaska by John Green - it promised to 'stay with me forever' and have a profound effect, and while I found some of it touching and I enjoyed parts, I sortof got really bored in parts as well. I don't know, maybe it's me not the book.
    Ugh...John Green is so overrated. I made it to the end of Looking for Alaska, but was left kind of Meh about it. I made it to the end of Paper Towns, but only because I was fervently hoping, hoping that someone would smack the shit out of Margo either literally, metaphorically, but both would be nice. I know I shouldn't be in favor of beating up teenage girls, but good glob, someone needed to do something to Margo. Maybe it's proof that I'm a crusty old fart, but even though the book says we're supposed to see her behavior as all cute and quirky, I found myself thinking what a nightmare it would be to deal with her, especially as her parents. But apparently running away constantly, leaving insanely elaborate puzzles for your parents to decipher, then getting upset when they don't readily figure it out, and :gasp: are mad at you for putting them through emotional hell, in addition to repeated lying, theft, burglary, and vandalism, are all just a hallmarks of cute and quirky behavior. It was okay for Margo to screw around with the feelings of others and do all the stuff mentioned, because the people she was doing it to, are just such squares who couldn't understand her vibe.

    John Green, you claim to be deconstructing the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but you're doing an exceptionally bad job of it, unless deconstruction means "playing the trope completely straight with no hint of irony whatsoever."

    The Fault is in Our Stars was the only other Green book I made it through. It was the first Green book I read and I was kind all "Meh" about it. Looking for Alaska was the second, and Paper Towns will be the absolute last until I receive conclusive proof that he has been replaced with a Bizarro version of himself that can actually write compelling female characters who don't exist to be all quirky and teach life lessons to buttoned-up teenage boys. Of the three listed, The Fault is the most tolerable in that since it is told from the perspective of a female character, it is a little less Manic Pixie Dream Girl fantasy, but it is still pretty Manic Pixie Dream Girl and is entirely too twee for its own good.

  23. #73
    ....... Harlequin's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    The land from whence the shadows fall
    I thought I'd like Name of the Wind because all my friends raved about it, and the writing seemed solid, but I didn't. It was the epitome of human mediocrity, in book form.

    I'm more commonly surprised by what I *do* like, though--lots of books I'm not sure about which turn out to be pleasant surprises.
    Happiness, is just a word to me
    And it might have meant a thing or two
    If I'd known the difference.

  24. #74
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Jul 2017
    Quote Originally Posted by allthefeels View Post
    The Hobbit - I learned very quickly I am not a Tolkien fan. Leave SOMETHING to the imagination, would you?!
    Completely agree!

    I can't tell you how many times I started Ergaon. I just could not get into it. No idea why.

    Tried reading Jurassic Park. Couldn't get into it. I didn't understand it! It was recommended to me by a new friend, who didn't know me very well, to be fair.

    Then I went back into books that would be up my alley:

    Tried reading Divergent. Nope.

    Tried reading Uglies. Nope.

  25. #75
    Talking Fruit Melanii's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    South Carolina
    The YA book THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST by Holly Black.

    It's not that disliked the book or anything, but I kept hearing things about "lesbian fairies" and other things that I didn't find at all. By the end of the story, the ending seemed so unsatisfactory to me.

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