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

  1. #76
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by ValerieJane View Post
    Tried reading Jurassic Park. Couldn't get into it. I didn't understand it!
    I'm curious. Frankly, I don't find Crichton's work very appealing, either, but for a completely opposite reason: Because it's soooooo bloody obvious, and that leaves me lacking interest. So I'm curious about why you didn't understand Jurassic Park.

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  2. #77
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    I first read Shirley Jackson's "We Have Always Lived in the Castle," and was terrified, unnerved, and totally in love. I read "House on Haunted Hill" with the same incredibly high expectation. I wanted to love it, but at most? I was -unsettled- the entire time, but not -scared-. I put the 1937 (? the old black-and-white one) movie on my hold list at the library, and apparently -it- is -the scary-. Apparently it completely sticks to the book and brings it to life. I've watched clips of it and am excited. I am still working on reading other works of Jackson's.

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacbird View Post
    I'm curious. Frankly, I don't find Crichton's work very appealing, either, but for a completely opposite reason: Because it's soooooo bloody obvious, and that leaves me lacking interest. So I'm curious about why you didn't understand Jurassic Park.

    caw
    It was several years ago (I think I was in high school). I considered myself a mature reader, but I was not a science person. I just remember pages upon pages of technological and science jargon. It was just too difficult for me to follow.

  4. #79
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    Misery by Stephen King. DTFed about halfway.

    It felt like a novella stretched into a novel, filled with weird analogies and faux-emotional tangents, both pretentious and verbose. I feel Stephen could have easily sliced the word count in half without hampering the quality of the story.

  5. #80
    figuring it all out airandarkness's Avatar
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    Ember in the Ashes. Heard a lot of good things about it and was expecting lush worldbuilding, since it was supposedly epic fantasy based on the Roman Empire. Instead I found the worldbuilding incredibly simplistic, and it read more like dystopian than epic fantasy to me.

  6. #81
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    I don't usually read fantasy, but a student gave me a copy of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, and I was enthralled. I enjoyed the second novel of the trilogy, A Court of Mist and Fury, and liked the way the second novel acted as a sort of reprimand to the reader for liking the traditional gender stereotypes of the first novel. I was so excited to read the third in the trilogy, A Court of Wings and Ruin, but...it just fell flat for me. I couldn't even finish it.

  7. #82
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    the harry potter series.

    i seriously couldn't get past the first two sentences of book one. my mind was like...NOPE!
    oh well..LOL

  8. #83
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    The Selection.
    The Lies of Locke Lamore.
    Last Song Before Night.
    Tempestous.
    The Queen of the Tearling.
    A Torch Against the Night.
    Throne of Glass.
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  9. #84
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    The Kite Runner.

    Fall of Giants. I loved Pillars of the Earth and World Without End-- the characters and plotlines felt very natural-- but this one seemed mechanical to me.

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmilyEmily View Post
    I don't usually read fantasy, but a student gave me a copy of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, and I was enthralled. I enjoyed the second novel of the trilogy, A Court of Mist and Fury, and liked the way the second novel acted as a sort of reprimand to the reader for liking the traditional gender stereotypes of the first novel. I was so excited to read the third in the trilogy, A Court of Wings and Ruin, but...it just fell flat for me. I couldn't even finish it.
    Interesting. I haven't read Wings and Ruin yet, and that's partly because my interest in the series has waned, and I'm not sure why. I tore through the first two books in the trilogy and really enjoyed them, but I haven't been very excited to read the final book. I hate to say it, but I think I was put off a little when I read the fifth book in her other series - Empire of Storms - because, even though I liked that book too, the ending was kind of similar to the end of ACOMAF, and I didn't like that.

  11. #86
    not lurking so much anymore Jaymz Connelly's Avatar
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    The Lies of Locke Lamora - it's good if you're suffering insomnia. An example of an interesting idea with poor execution.

    The Rithmatist - Sanderson is far too enamoured of this 'different' magic system he created. Absolutely NOTHING happened in the first quarter of the book. The prologue was interesting, but that was about it. Put it down and never picked it up again. I'm very reluctant to attempt anything else by him even though he's apparently all that and a bag of chips.

    Nightfall - by Asimov and Silverberg. I keep trying, but I keep jumping over vast chunks that are just boring as all hell. The story apparently started life as a short story. It should have stayed there.

    Also, the Harry Dresden books. I read the first couple, but then it all just became SSDB (same shit, different book). But having said that, #2 son really enjoyed the series.

    Overall, I keep trying to read urban fantasy because I like the idea, but I just can't maintain interest past one book. It seems like, when you get a series in urban fantasy, the first book is interesting, and then the subsequent books are just a rehash of what happened in the first book.

    The Iron Druid series - really enjoyed the first book, but then subsequent books just became all samey-same and the enjoyment went down and down. I finished the 6th book, but only barely. I don't know if there are any more after that, and quite frankly, I don't care.

  12. #87
    figuring it all out EmilyEmily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by airandarkness View Post
    Interesting. I haven't read Wings and Ruin yet, and that's partly because my interest in the series has waned, and I'm not sure why. I tore through the first two books in the trilogy and really enjoyed them, but I haven't been very excited to read the final book. I hate to say it, but I think I was put off a little when I read the fifth book in her other series - Empire of Storms - because, even though I liked that book too, the ending was kind of similar to the end of ACOMAF, and I didn't like that.
    I haven't read any of her others, though I have a copy of Throne of Glass somewhere (gift). I do think she should have ended the Court series with ACOMAF. ACOWAR reeked of rush to throw together a third.

    Also, I LIKED Tamlin. I did not care for Rhys.

  13. #88
    figuring it all out airandarkness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaymz Connelly View Post
    The Iron Druid series - really enjoyed the first book, but then subsequent books just became all samey-same and the enjoyment went down and down. I finished the 6th book, but only barely. I don't know if there are any more after that, and quite frankly, I don't care.
    Oh, this one for me, too. I was really excited that it was based on Celtic mythology, but after the first book, it started to drift from that. I did enjoy the second one, but stopped after that.

    Also, I LIKED Tamlin. I did not care for Rhys.
    Weirdly, I liked Tamlin a lot when I read the first book, but I guess the second book succeeded in what it meant to do and made me dislike him. Which is kind of sad, because I think if I were to try and reread the first book, I wouldn't like it anymore. And I really, really liked it.

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaymz Connelly View Post
    The Rithmatist - Sanderson is far too enamoured of this 'different' magic system he created. Absolutely NOTHING happened in the first quarter of the book. The prologue was interesting, but that was about it. Put it down and never picked it up again. I'm very reluctant to attempt anything else by him even though he's apparently all that and a bag of chips.
    I'm going to still recommend ALCATRAZ VS THE EVIL LIBRARIANS. Alcatraz is in the same vein as SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT, which NYT called a "screwball fantasy," and I love it. (The main character's superpower is breaking things.) I'm actually using Alcatraz to fill the time while the rest of SP ships to me. It is a very over-the-top world, I'll warn, and much of the worldbuilding is tongue-in-cheek. (The world is run by evil librarians. This is redundant, because librarians are evil. It's in their name--"lie.") STEELHEART, meanwhile, is a really good supervillain story, but I have serious problems with books two and three so I'm not going to recommend it as wholeheartedly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaymz Connelly View Post
    Also, the Harry Dresden books. I read the first couple, but then it all just became SSDB (same shit, different book). But having said that, #2 son really enjoyed the series.
    I try SO HARD to get into Dresden, because I love the world and the magic system. But I spend most of any given book wanting to punch Harry Dresden in the face. So I fail every time.

    My personal disappointment, quite recently, was TRUTHWITCH. Female-led secondary-world fantasy used to be my jam. This book, however... It's not a bad book. It's not. But I really, genuinely, 400 pages later, do not care about the characters or what happens to them. I just don't. And from there, the problems I have with this book spiral. The whole concept of Threadfamily and Heart-Threads drove me quietly nuts. It's too simplistic. As a linguist, I was disappointed that every name and place sounded like it came from the same language, despite the fact that we are told each country speaks a different one. When the Nubrevnan king, Sefina, was first mentioned, I mixed him up with the main character Safiya. You should not have two characters with such similar names in the same book, especially when their names are supposed to come from two different languages and cultures.

    The author and book are very much plot-focused. Dennard and the publisher are counting on people reading to find out what happens. But I already know what happens. (SPOILERS) Safi and Iseult become the Cahr Awen (also, an aside: It wasn't until around page 350 that we found out the Cahr Awen were real, verifiable historical figures and that there's a lot of them; I thought until this point they were myths). Iseult learns to be a Puppeteer and out-Puppeteers the "shadow" who haunted her through book one. Aeduan either dies horribly or decides to save the girls and fight with them (maybe he can marry Iseult, since Safi is apparently going to marry Merik). Ryber (is that her name? Frick, I already returned the book...) will never get over losing Kullen, unless it's to hop in bed with a surrogate introduced in book three. The somewhat disturbing claim by Kullen that witchery goes nuts in response to lust will never have any negative consequences, like, I don't know, demolishing a building while you have sex and not having the money to fix it. Also, the heteronormativity will never be undercut by someone showing that *gasp!* non-cishet identities exist.

    No thank you. I'll go read Tamora Pierce for the bazillionth time.
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  15. #90
    not lurking so much anymore Jaymz Connelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JetFueledCar View Post
    I'm going to still recommend ALCATRAZ VS THE EVIL LIBRARIANS. Alcatraz is in the same vein as SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT, which NYT called a "screwball fantasy," and I love it. (The main character's superpower is breaking things.) I'm actually using Alcatraz to fill the time while the rest of SP ships to me. It is a very over-the-top world, I'll warn, and much of the worldbuilding is tongue-in-cheek. (The world is run by evil librarians. This is redundant, because librarians are evil. It's in their name--"lie.") STEELHEART, meanwhile, is a really good supervillain story, but I have serious problems with books two and three so I'm not going to recommend it as wholeheartedly.



    I try SO HARD to get into Dresden, because I love the world and the magic system. But I spend most of any given book wanting to punch Harry Dresden in the face. So I fail every time.

    My personal disappointment, quite recently, was TRUTHWITCH. Female-led secondary-world fantasy used to be my jam. This book, however... It's not a bad book. It's not. But I really, genuinely, 400 pages later, do not care about the characters or what happens to them. I just don't. And from there, the problems I have with this book spiral. The whole concept of Threadfamily and Heart-Threads drove me quietly nuts. It's too simplistic. As a linguist, I was disappointed that every name and place sounded like it came from the same language, despite the fact that we are told each country speaks a different one. When the Nubrevnan king, Sefina, was first mentioned, I mixed him up with the main character Safiya. You should not have two characters with such similar names in the same book, especially when their names are supposed to come from two different languages and cultures.

    The author and book are very much plot-focused. Dennard and the publisher are counting on people reading to find out what happens. But I already know what happens. (SPOILERS) Safi and Iseult become the Cahr Awen (also, an aside: It wasn't until around page 350 that we found out the Cahr Awen were real, verifiable historical figures and that there's a lot of them; I thought until this point they were myths). Iseult learns to be a Puppeteer and out-Puppeteers the "shadow" who haunted her through book one. Aeduan either dies horribly or decides to save the girls and fight with them (maybe he can marry Iseult, since Safi is apparently going to marry Merik). Ryber (is that her name? Frick, I already returned the book...) will never get over losing Kullen, unless it's to hop in bed with a surrogate introduced in book three. The somewhat disturbing claim by Kullen that witchery goes nuts in response to lust will never have any negative consequences, like, I don't know, demolishing a building while you have sex and not having the money to fix it. Also, the heteronormativity will never be undercut by someone showing that *gasp!* non-cishet identities exist.

    No thank you. I'll go read Tamora Pierce for the bazillionth time.
    Hmm, I looked up about both Skulduggery Pleasant and Alcatraz... I might give the first book in each of those series' a go. If I don't care for them, I'd be willing to bet #2 son will enjoy them. Thanks for the recs! (lately my choice in books has really sucked)

    Truthwitch sounds rather like it would be a waste of time and money. I always thought one of the basic rules of writing was 'don't give your characters similar sounding names'.

  16. #91
    tiny hedgehog JetFueledCar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaymz Connelly View Post
    Hmm, I looked up about both Skulduggery Pleasant and Alcatraz... I might give the first book in each of those series' a go. If I don't care for them, I'd be willing to bet #2 son will enjoy them. Thanks for the recs! (lately my choice in books has really sucked)

    Truthwitch sounds rather like it would be a waste of time and money. I always thought one of the basic rules of writing was 'don't give your characters similar sounding names'.
    I have absolutely no shame in the fact that most of my book recs lately are for people's kids.

    I really wanted to like Truthwitch. I finished it, just so I wouldn't be left wondering in the end. But... yeah, I didn't enjoy it. I didn't even finish my list of peeves with this book--I hated the first scene because:

    1) It was almost totally unrelated to the rest of the book--it served only to introduce Aeduan.
    2) Aeduan only gives a s*** about the girls because of some petty profiteur or whatever, who is rendered completely irrelevant after being in all of two scenes.
    3) After the very dramatic fight, the girls use ropes they'd prepared to escape. So... why didn't they just jump down the ropes immediately? Besides, of course, that Dennard needed Aeduan to smell Safi's blood.
    4) The "Chiseled Cheater" (I am not kidding that's what Safi calls him for the entire book) never appears on-screen, nor is it explained how he was able to con a Living Lie Detector through enough rounds of cards to take her whole savings. They don't even mention him again until around page 300. He's a plot hook for the next book, and presumably a hypotenuse to throw at Safi and Merik.

    You know, looking back... I thought at first that the book just needed another proofreading, but now I'm thinking it needed at least another round of content editing. It's not bad writing, there was clearly something there that could have been amazing, but it desperately needed further editing. (Actually, if you look it up on Goodreads and read anything that gave it less than four stars, I agree with pretty much everything that was said there.)
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  17. #92
    not lurking so much anymore Jaymz Connelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JetFueledCar View Post
    I have absolutely no shame in the fact that most of my book recs lately are for people's kids.

    I really wanted to like Truthwitch. I finished it, just so I wouldn't be left wondering in the end. But... yeah, I didn't enjoy it. I didn't even finish my list of peeves with this book--I hated the first scene because:

    1) It was almost totally unrelated to the rest of the book--it served only to introduce Aeduan.
    2) Aeduan only gives a s*** about the girls because of some petty profiteur or whatever, who is rendered completely irrelevant after being in all of two scenes.
    3) After the very dramatic fight, the girls use ropes they'd prepared to escape. So... why didn't they just jump down the ropes immediately? Besides, of course, that Dennard needed Aeduan to smell Safi's blood.
    4) The "Chiseled Cheater" (I am not kidding that's what Safi calls him for the entire book) never appears on-screen, nor is it explained how he was able to con a Living Lie Detector through enough rounds of cards to take her whole savings. They don't even mention him again until around page 300. He's a plot hook for the next book, and presumably a hypotenuse to throw at Safi and Merik.

    You know, looking back... I thought at first that the book just needed another proofreading, but now I'm thinking it needed at least another round of content editing. It's not bad writing, there was clearly something there that could have been amazing, but it desperately needed further editing. (Actually, if you look it up on Goodreads and read anything that gave it less than four stars, I agree with pretty much everything that was said there.)
    The more you say about Truthwitch, the less I want to read it.

  18. #93
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    I quite enjoyed Fall of Giants. True, it did seem a bit of a potboiler for someone of KF's stature, but I had never read an historical novel set in that time period before, and I liked it.

  19. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaymz Connelly View Post
    The Lies of Locke Lamora - it's good if you're suffering insomnia. An example of an interesting idea with poor execution.
    I had the same issue. I really wanted to like this book. I liked Lynch's defense of his inclusion of a black, female pirate captain in one of his books (when a sexist, racist twerp criticized it). His books always pops up as a recommendation for someone who has enjoyed many of the authors I enjoy, but I just couldn't get into it. I think it was the omniscient pov or something. I would have liked it better if it were told from the protagonist's pov, I think. As it was, I spent too much time wondering what was going on and being unable to relate to Locke, because I didn't know why he was doing the things he did. Of course, that might be a selling point for some readers. I tend to like that sense of connection/empathy with the main character(s).

    There are some other SFF novels where I really like the authors' blogs and their talks at conferences and so on, but I can't really get into all their books. There are some classics I'm supposed to love but don't too, both in SFF and in other kinds of literature. I'm not even sure why, but my e-reader is filled with books I thought I'd like, books that came highly recommended, but I couldn't get very far into them.
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  20. #95
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  21. #96
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    I didn't hate Shadow and Bone, though it was pretty generic and I thought the fantasy conRussia was not very deep or exciting. But ok, that's fine, it wasn't the worst either. But it really bothered me (and continues to) the way the 1000 year old wizard character (unforgivably, IMHO, named 'The Darkling'), grabs the MC's butt in one the least sexually charged scenes imaginable, followed by several paragraphs about how she's kinda into it. I hear the rest of the series is great, and people love Six of Crows too, but that was where I stopped.

  22. #97
    figuring it all out hereticdoll's Avatar
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    Anna Karenina. Not because the writing was poor, the writing was excellent. I simply wanted to strangle Anna the whole book. At least there was some satisfaction in the ending.

  23. #98
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    Wuthering Heights. I had been told so many times by so many different people that it's brilliant writing, and, hey, I really like the Kate Bush song. But the book? Too many drama queens festering in their own misery. Not my cup of tea.
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  24. #99
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    The Shining.

    I loved the movie and thought I could get RIGHT into the book. It was a disappointment to say the least.
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  25. #100
    practical experience, FTW autumnleaf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by underpope View Post
    Wuthering Heights. I had been told so many times by so many different people that it's brilliant writing, and, hey, I really like the Kate Bush song. But the book? Too many drama queens festering in their own misery. Not my cup of tea.
    Oh Lord, I had to do that one in school, and even as a moody teenager I found the moodiness overdone. But the worst was some of the other girls thought Heathcliff was some kind of hero.

    One of the "Thursday Next" books by Jasper Fforde had a brilliant parody where the characters in Wuthering Heights are forced to go to Anger Management classes.
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