I expected a frog but got a prince in its stead! Top 5 books I nearly DNF that ended …wow!

Ever began reading a book that you saw like …everywhere and then 10% or 30% or …in the book you are thinking: What did I do requesting or ordering it? This is SO NOT what I love reading.

 

I can’t either connect with a character or he or she is grating on my nerves!

It has huge triggers and pet peeves, things that I can’t stand.

The plot is all over the place, nothing makes sense!

You are seriously thinking DNFing the book (for the newbies or clueless like I was some months ago DNF means did not finish). Yet you think that if everyone loves that dang book there HAS to be MORE.

You give it a second chance thinking: OK I read another 50 pages and if it does not get better I let this toad down! Finished! I have better thing to do with my precious time. Either everyone is out of his mind either I am the odd one, the black sheep, it’s a case of “it’s not you it’s me”, blahblahblah.

And then…

Something magical happens!

 

This disappointing piece of literature you hold in your tiny hands *or big paws if you are a big man* progressively or suddenly morphes into your next book hangover. Because it’s that brilliant. Or because you finally got what the author wanted to convey *granted you’ve been barely hanging on after all your crazy nights out or your grueling work days and were slower than usual*. But the fact is that your frog is becoming a dashing prince!

 

Well this is today’s topic at Top 5 Tuesday organized by Shanah @bionicbookworm : books you almost DNF but end in love with.

 

Once again Shanah had me thinking hard! Because I could not think of a single book that I nearly DNF and ended loving. Not out of the blue like that. So I grabbed my headlamp and got down in my book vault called Goodreads and began perusing my “read” shelves.

I had to go deep and for a long time as I’ve read many books and 99,99% of the time I love them right from the beginning.

Then I recalled one that I wanted to stop reading but the author and a fellow reader told me “to have faith” and I soldiered on.

Another came to mind and another and…

Victory! I got my five books.

I had to dust them somehow but here I go:

 

Love My Way by Kate Sterritt

Let me tell you a little story here.
I bought this book at RARE London. I had never read anything written by Kate ( but had drooled on the cover). In the queue my friend Jennifer told me that “I had to read Love My Way!!”. She was pretty insistant.
So I went to Kate’s table and told her that “I had never read anything by her but my friend made me.do it. So could she sell me the book and sign it pretty please, with a cherry on top?”
Kate has been genuinely charming and sweet telling me to read with an open mind.

Well I took her advice to heart and I really had to hold on tight to my trust in Jennifer and Kate because this book hit a huge trigger of mine.
But…
It was bloody brilliant!!!

Emerson is someone you will instantly relate to. She is sweet and strong. A chance encounter at an art market will catapult her life on a whole new trajectory.
I’m a firm.believer in life altering encounters. Sometimes words by someone passing by, a look, a quote can resonate deep in our soul and change our path.
Emerson will find her calling and will lose it for years. She will experience perfect hapiness to be thrown into a pit of sadness. Going through life drifting through fog. Not really living.
And I was sad with her.
Then anothet encounter will have her live again. Her emotions were in turmoil and so was I. I was…conflicted like Emerson. Then angry. Very angry and ready to stop reading. And…BAM!
Never saw it coming!

It’s a character driven story with a stunning plot. Kate Sterrit took a huge risk with this one.
When I told her I nearly DNF (because you bet that I reached for her as soon as I finished!) she told me that she knew the risks but she had to write the story “her way”.

So go into this story “my way”: blind and trusting. “

 

Second book today: Flow by Kennedy Ryan

This book got many many many enthusiastic reviews. When I saw it was free I got it thinking I had my next best book yet ….

I was mad at Bristol for her comments on “blonde” and “tits going in her face” and … I also did not follow their discussion about niggas (too deep for my sleep deprived brain). The only saving grace: Bristol was open minded and willing to change her mind. I thought that the male main character Grip was a coward and a fool.

So not the best debut.

Now I must confess that I still read Grip because I thought “there has to be more if everyone is raving about it.

And that’s where the magic happened! In the second book. Pfew!

 

Third book: Wish you Were Here by Renee Carlino

This was my first Renee Carlino ever but everyone raved about her and I was determined to read her book. I requested the ARC as soon as I saw it was available. Then ….

“What have I done?” “That was my first thought as I did not love Adam at all that first night. I could not connect with him and found him too peculiar for my personal taste. Why was he acting so erratically? And why did Charlotte find his behavior acceptable?
I also thought Charlotte was a fluke. She never finished anything, was adrift in life, without solid plan or goal. I’m the polar opposite of Charlotte and I must reckon that I was judgmental.
As you can see I was really regretting my choice.”

I loved Seth but as I hate love triangle I also feared where this was headed to. I wanted to kick Charlotte’s behind so bad as she had a perfect man pinning for her and yet she was quite standoffish. I must confess that I was no better than her family.”

“When Charlotte learned the truth about Adam. I was warming up to Charlotte and began to understand her. I even wished her to live happily ever after with Seth and then BAM! I discovered Adam’s secret and I never saw it coming.
From that moment on I had a tissue glued to my hand and running eyes.
Charlotte’s evolution impressed me. She had an inner strength I never imagined and … yes I was in awe and in tears.”

This story surpassed my expectations. I never expected that level of emotions neither this turn of events. I did not expect to love Adam so much when I began despising him in the very beginning. I did not expect to get not only one but two perfect men in this story. I don’t know how Renee Carlino managed this high feat but she has created two exceptional heroes, different from each other but both extraordinary. Renee’s writing is astute as she slowly but surely sucked me in her story and made me fall hard for her characters.

 

Fourth book: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

I had a HUGE problem with Fynch in the beginning as he was all over the place. Now if you know that book of course he had to behave like that. To my big surprise I ended loving this book! So much that I wrote a letter to Jennifer Niven.

Letter to Jennifer Niven

Dear Jennifer (the “dear” is because my mummy raised me to become a lady but right now I’m mad at you! So it’s barely there but still…),

HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME????Seriously! (I’m puffing and pouting and jutting my hip here)

I wanted a teen/YA novel easy to read but interesting and I saw your book with many reviews and I thought: “OK this one seems to please many it has a great probability to be my cup of tea”
So as every normal being I did what was expected and bought it.

Little did I know I would be days later angry and sad and so utterly gutted I could not find sleep yesterday evening when I finished your story.

And yet, I thought many times to stop reading because I could not connect with Fynch for 40% of the book. I could not decide if he was playing a role, had a mental problem hid some dark secret that would make him behave like that. I was dizzy just reading about his personality changes.
Violet I could not really feel either in the beginning.
But as he made her feel better, more like her “old self” I could see the guy had some potential.

On I went …

And all was good even very good as I fell into their world and love. They were wandering and being happy. Fynch was my buddy, the one to take me on adventure in my backyards and discover the wonder of the world just 3 miles from my house. I loved his quirks and how he had a unique perspective on life.

I was in Sophie’s (that would be me) Merry Reader World.

And then …

So now I’m furious, mad, enraged, incandescent, incensed, irate …sad, heartbroken, crestfallen, inconsolable.

Yours (Un)Sincerely

Sophie

PS It’s the books that hurt that I remember best so you did a great job and I’m sure I’ve already forgiven you because well… it’s Fynch.

 

Last book for the day (yes I made it!) is Moonshot by Alessandra Torre

I loved reading about Ty’s childhood, her love for baseball, the strong bond with her father and her relationship with the Yankees players as they were all a big family. The attraction between Chase and Ty was palpable and Chase will soon change his way for the refreshing Ty. She’s strong and pure at the same time. I loved how he really worshipped her and never pressured her in any way, respecting her youth.

In other words:
 photo 88945a55-b809-4c39-8d88-489eeac6f727_zpsmgajc4wr.jpg

But it was too easy of course and Mrs Torre had to spice it up, to crank up the angst level and I was all:
 photo 1583041d-5ae3-48d0-b60d-39afd7ad284d_zpsjlzv10id.jpg

Second part of the book and this is a second chance novel but…there’s a twist or a slight problem. Something I usually HATE reading in books, something that makes me stop reading under normal circumstances. But this is Alessandra’s book we’re speaking of so I still plowed through the book.

And I was:  photo 9affdb7a-d72f-4502-90b3-6da08c0c0385_zpsamnyd3tp.jpg

Let me tell you this was a very, very good read but also one with much angst and highly frustrating at times. Everything was conspiring against their happiness and I wanted to yell many times or take Fate by the balls and force a happy conclusion!

By the end I was:
 photo 5eff7450-21f2-43cb-87c3-f876b5d0d145_zpsh5nycqpe.jpg

I think I could not explain things better…

 

Now it’s your turn! Do tell me all about your “nearly DNF and loved it” books.

Thanks for reading!

Sophie

 

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29 Replies to “I expected a frog but got a prince in its stead! Top 5 books I nearly DNF that ended …wow!”

  1. Haha, great post! Loved the cat GIFs. I’ve never read any of these books. Glad they turned out good for you.

  2. I really enjoyed Wish You Were Here but even so it’s probably my least favorite by Carlino. The story sucked me right in and I found it impossible not to be swayed by the situation and the emotions invloved. But at the same time, I found myself often disliking Charlotte. Or at least being very frustrated by her. I felt like she was completely self-involved and when Seth came into the picture she was so cavalier with his feelings. She strung him along (whether on purpose or not) and was with him/not with him and then ditched him. And in the end, she got him anyway. Yes, what she went through was horrible (with Adam) but I really hated how she treated Seth. 🙁

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Well Tanya that makes two of us! I really struggled with her.

  3. This is such a great list!! I love to hear that books got better for people. And I ended up loving all the bright places- glad you felt the same way. Awesome list!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you so much!

  4. I’m actually in this debate right now with an ARC I’ve been trying to finish. I don’t want to DNF it because I hate doing it and I Iove the author so I’m reading a few pages at a time in the hopes it will get better. EEEK!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Trisy you will have to dish! LOL

  5. I am such a fan of ATBP, even if it made me bawl, and I still cry just thinking about it, but I never even attempted Grip after reading Flow. I finished Flow, but was not that into it, even though I usually love Kennedy Ryan books. I may have to take a look.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      ha Sam so I was not the only one struggling with Flow? I felt so bad at the time as everyone raved about it!

  6. LOL I laughed so many times while reading this. Great post, Sophie. You make me want to rush right out and grab these books now:)

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Laura!!!

  7. SCrEECH !!!
    FINCH !!! and a renee carlino !! aaaah !!! I haven’t read the others, but you know how I love thoses two (specially finch!! ahah)

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahaha yes and they were nearly DNF!!

  8. I’m surprised to see All the Bright Places on your list. It’s one I’d like to get to at some point. I will try to stick it out if I also don’t like this Fynch character.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Fingers crossed for you Alicia!

  9. Great Post! I haven’t read any of these books but I’ve heard great things about Alessandra Torre’s books.
    I nearly DNF’ed Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, and Illuminae by Amie Kaufman but I ended up loving them. They’ve become my favorite series!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Well Raven let’s hope that I will love them too as I have Nevernight and Godsgrave on my shelf now! Just waiting for the third one to be published to binge read!

  10. I’ve been pushing All the Bright Places to the back of my mind where is the books that I’m never going to read, just because of the hype around that book. But I think that after reading this, I need to reconsider digging that out from the I DO NOT READ THESE – list. Great list Sophie, as always!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you so much Hanna!!! I hope you’ll love it.

  11. This post makes me think I better give some of the books I gave up on another chance 🙂

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahaha Jacquie yes but you’d have to be in the right mood or it won’t work either 😉

  12. Great list! I actually ended up DNF-ing All the Bright Places but I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahaha Ruqs I am glad I was not the only one having a difficult time with it!

  13. You’ve completely sold me on Love My Way. I’m adding it to my wish list IMMEDIATELY!! It sounds amazing and there’s just something about the cover that screams READ ME. I can’t explain it! Thanks for sharing these books! Added you to the list 🙂

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Shannah! I hope you’ll love it because it’s not what it seems at all!

  14. sometimes, just sometimes, it’s worth pushing through a book to the end and realizing, it wasn’t that bad a read after all! 😀

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Exactly Alexandra but if by 50% I am still not feeling it I will usually stop reading …

  15. wonderful book choices Sophie!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Kayla!

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