Top Ten Tuesday- Books I Struggled With

TopTen Tuesday (1)

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun meme that was created over at The Broke and the Bookish! This weeks topic is books that you struggled with.  I decided to talk about five books that I struggled with at first but ended up loving and five books I struggled with and ended up not enjoying!

Books I Ended Up Loving


The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Definitely a slow-paced read and beautifully written, but it was difficult to get in to.  Not a lot happens, and it took me awhile to really appreciate the story for what it was.  By the time I finished this book I was completely in love with it, but I recognize it is not for everyone.  There was a point where I thought I might DNF it but I am so happy that I didn’t! I grew so attached to all of the characters and became invested in them.

The Martian by Andy Weir 

At first I thought The Martian was too repetitive and too scientific, but I eventually got really in to it.  I was laughed out loud at the humour, and really loved all the chapters back at NASA! I will admit that I still did skim a lot of the science stuff!

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

I was so confused when I first started this book! There were so many characters and we got chapters from all of their perspectives.  It was a lot to keep track of. Once I got all of the characters straight I really enjoy it! I have seen a lot of mixed reviews but I think I liked it even more than The Girl on the Train.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

I have never read anything by Vonnegut so it took me a while to get used to his writing style and I was a little bit confused by the story.  I eventually started to understand where he was going with the story and I now adore his writing style.  I want to read more books by him so please give me some recommendations!

The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

This was my first Ernest Hemingway novel, and much like with Vonnegut, I had to get used to his writing.  The story also seems so boring at first but once I started to read in to all the symbolism I grew to appreciate the novel so much more.  Hemingway is now one of my favourite authors!

Books I Ended Up Not Enjoying


Uprooted by Naomi Novik

I wanted to love this book but that she never happened for me.  I found it to just be boring.  The story had so much potential but it just never reached it, in my opinion.  I was also not a fan of the romance!  There were many sections of this novel that just dragged on for me and I almost put it down.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

The nature of the story means that it is bound to be repetitive, but I was just so bored! I did not like any of the characters and I truly wanted to pull my hair out reading about the same day over and over again.  I kept reading because I thought there would be more character development, and there was, but not enough to redeem the story for me.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Rigg

I was so excited to read this book but it just dragged on for me. This was another story that I didn’t feel like lived up to its potential or its hype!

The Girls by Emma Cline

Emma Cline is a fantastic writer, and I would read another book by her but I was again bored by this book.  I was expecting more action but the main character of this book is not even present during the climax of the novel which was such a disappointment! I struggled reading The Girls because I just wanted to see what would happen and it felt like such a let down.

The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

The author of this book is a naturalist, and boy could you tell! I did not expect to be reading so much about animals and animal behaviour, but that is what I got! It seemed to me that the book was less about the lives of Jan and Antonina Zabinski and the amazing things they did during the war, and more about educating the reader about zoos and animals. I ended up skimming a lot of it.


I would love to know what books you struggled with! Did you end up liking it?


45 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday- Books I Struggled With

  1. I can relate to your opinion about Before I Fall. But I ended up DNFing it.
    Miss Peregrine’s I did finish but was left with meh. Pretty soon after finishing it I found booktube and I was pretty surprised to see that being so hyped up.

  2. I love this question! While I really loved Before I Fall, I lent to all my girlfriends and they had the exact same problem as you so I completely get it. While I loved the moral of the story and found myself reading it more than once through, it did get repetitive towards the middle. I struggled with Unwind by Neil Shusterman at first and then it became one of my favorite books to this date. Like you with The Martian, I was worried because I thought it was heavily Sci-Fi…in the end though, I felt super drawn into it!

  3. I loved Before I Fall, but I know a lot of people who struggled with it and I can totally understand why. But I definitely agree with Miss Peregrine! I thought it was interesting, but I was left kind of unsatisfied at the end?

      1. The movie was pretty good and I liked it too!

        The movie for Before I Fall was pretty good! It was a really pretty movie, and I thought they changed it enough to make it a bit more interesting for a movie

  4. I’m happy to see you ended up enjoying Into the Water because I’m reading that right now. I came so close to returning it to the library at about 17 pages. I’m 100 pages in now and it’s getting better. Although, I have to admit – Jules and Lena are annoying the heck out of me! Jules’ way of talking to Nel bugs me for some reason. 😀

    Ugh at The Old Man and the Sea. I never did like that book.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thanks!

      1. I’m a little over 40% now and am having an easier time sorting who’s who, but it’s still a lot.

        As much as I tried, The Old Man and the Sea was just so depressing – you knew how it was going to end and after all that guy went through to get the marlin home… yeah.

  5. The main issue I had with Uprooted was the pacing of the story and the flowery writing. Normally that wouldn’t bother me as much but I felt like it could have used a bit more impact so that it was more consistent. I’ve put the Miss Peregrine’s books on hold for now. I’m sure the books are interesting but it’s one I have to be in the right mood for.

  6. I only got 50 pages into Before I Fall before I had to quit it, way too repetitive! I actually quite liked The Zookeeper’s Wife, but it’s been a while since I read it so I can’t remember if there was too much focus on animals and animal behaviour. Uprooted is on my TBR, so I hope I enjoy it more than you did. I got The Essex Serpent for Christmas, still haven’t finished it!
    My TTT:

      1. I know, I’ve tried two of hers though and haven’t done very well, so I don’t think I’ll read any of her others. Thanks, I hope so too! Well i’m glad to hear it’s not just me.

  7. I loved Miss Peregrine’s but I can definitely understand why other readers end up being let down by it. For me, I loved the pictures that were included in it so much that I didn’t give myself much time to think about the other details, hahaha.

  8. You should read Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut! It is one of my dad’s favorite books and he got me to read it awhile back and it’s definitely amusing! I’ve been hearing from a lot of people that The Girls isn’t very good. It sounds like such a good story, but I have a hard time with slow books and it always bums me out when I have to give up on a story. But there are too many good books to waste time on books I don’t enjoy!

  9. I struggled with The Martian and Uprooted too. I didn’t finish the first one, but I did get through the second. I didn’t end up loving it as much as others.

  10. I need to read The Essex Serpent! I so struggled with Into the Water and didn’t enjoy it like I did The Girl on the Train! All the POVs drove me insane, but I listened to the audiobook of it and now wonder if that’s what through me if. It might have been easier to get through if I was reading it, so I might reread! The Girl was so odd for me..the hype was unfounded in my opinion. Love The Old Man and the Sea…I believe it was meant to be a struggle. Most Hemingway is. Difficult man though….

    1. It definitely took me awhile to get my head around all of the POVs in Into the Water but maybe it is easier to grasp when you read a physical cop because you can see the names and everything?

      I was so sad about The Girls as well. I was so looking forward to reading it..

      I think you’re definitely right! Hemingway meant for that book to be a struggle, which makes complete sense!

      1. Yeah, I think Into the Woods needs a physical copy reread to keep it all straight.

        The Girl had its good moments to me, but it was a struggle then a let down. I thought it was going to be something brilliant after all the hype.

        Hemingway was ultra complex, and his life and writings showed that. The man is really revealed in his works. He’s one of my favorite authors to teach about because students are like “Oh God, he’s boring!”. But then we really get into his life in France and how he lived and died and he takes on new life.

  11. I also had a hard time with Into The Water, but ended up really loving it; it was so good and everyone was so unreliable! The Girls is another one I finished, but didn’t particularly enjoy – it was such a chore to get through 🙈

  12. ! It definitely took me awhile to find my caput around all of the POVs in Into the Water but maybe it is easier to reach when you study a physical pig because you can realize the names and everything?

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