Monday, February 19, 2018

4 Books I Did Not Finish // 4 Books I'll Never Start

Book bloggers like to talk about books they love and books they want to read, and we readers always eat it up because it seems we have this incessant itch to constantly add to our TBR piles. Even though the last thing our TBR piles need is another book.

I think this is also one reason why it's less common for book bloggers to post about books they've DNF-ed, or books they plan on avoiding like the plague for the rest of their lives. We're more hesitant to mark those kinds of books as Want to Read just because other people's opinions do influence us, even if it's only a little bit.

BUT, I decided it might be interesting anyway: to list four books I started but never finished (+ reasons), followed by four books I don't want to read and probably never will (+ reasons).

Let's get started!

~Books That had Their Chance but Screwed up Big-Time~

1. Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

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After trying to read this, I unashamedly proclaim that I won't be picking up a book by this author again. 1) All the rest sound either lame or bleck, and 2) this one actually sounded good but... hahaha it WASN'T.

I picked it up because it's a YA Red Riding Hood retelling that legit sounded cool. When it started off eerie and a bit disturbing, I put my guard up, but it wasn't long before the odd vibe I was getting became a demonic vibe. My heart was beating fast, and not for a good reason. I just couldn't handle it.

What little I read of Crimson Bound was really dark, had some lusty romance that was only going to get worse, and was rather confusing. So...

2. Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

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This is a Middle-Grade historical fiction, and what I read of it disappointed me on so many levels. I'm still confused as to why it was given a Newbery Medal??

The plot was all right, but the occasional foul language (including the s-word drawn out so long you can barely recognize it, but STILL CAN), the frequent crude (I'd even say inappropriate) comments, and the bad role models (grrrrr, I remember what the dad was like!) made me stop. I don't even like to see that kind of content in Young Adult books, for goodness' sake.

3. The Siren by Kiera Cass

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I tried to read The Selection a few years ago, but the romance was just ick (WHY is it always the romance??). For some reason, I was determined to read a Kiera Cass novel, so I picked up The Siren. Now that I think about it, I would almost be willing to try it again - I remember finding the sentient ocean who basically controlled the girls' lives reeaaaally weird, but that was about the only reason. The thing is, I'm afraid I'll be just as weirded out the second time around and end up DNF-ing for a second time.

It's probably safer just to let it go.

4. Dangerous by Shannon Hale

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This one sounded amazing. Danger was the main character's middle name - no, literally, her name was Maisie Danger Brown - and she got accepted to this NASA-like boot camp where she'd learn a bunch of awesome space stuff and most likely embark on an astronaut mission. And it started off great, with a love interest and everything! You know how I feel about romantic subplots.

But this subplot didn't stay a subplot. An impromptu make-out session before they even really know each other (like, AT ALL) quickly turned into living for this out-of-the-blue crush. Every time Maisie went to her space school/training/whatever... well, she was all about Wilder. Meanwhile, the actual space stuff (that would have been cool) faded into the background.

Of course, I didn't get very far, so maybe the book would have redeemed itself later on, but the kissy-kissy romance was waaaaay too prevalent and waaaaaay over the top.

It chased me away.

~Books That Will Never Get Their Chance~

It was a lot harder to choose four books I don't want to read than it was to choose four books I never finished. Believe me, this selection barely scratches the surface.

(Note: I know some of you have maybe read - or plan to read - one or several of these books, and so I just want to say that I'm not trying to send you on a guilt trip, or tell you not to read them, or ANYTHING LIKE THAT. Please understand that this is all purely my personal conviction! <3)

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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Along with every other John Green book that has ever been written or ever will be written.

I've heard enough about this book. I've heard enough about the romance, the language, and the writing style. I've. Heard. Enough.

I can't believe I'm doing this, but here is one of the several cringe-y snippets I've seen from this book:

"I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you."

Who even talks like that??? I refuse to read John Green mainly because of content, but believe me, if dialogue like this - dialogue that would fit better in a Jane Austen novel - fills the pages of this YA medical contemporary, I don't think I'm missing much.

2. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

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Part of me wants to read this series, considering all the hype and the awesome-sounding plot. But I've looked up the books - especially the later ones - and I see that the language is too much for my taste, the romance sounds a bit iffy, and one of the primary characters is (or becomes) gay.

Simply put, what I've heard of the content informs me loud and clear that I wouldn't be comfortable reading it. Again, personal conviction.

3. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

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I don't know anything about these books except that there's a group called the Shadowhunters, and they hunt demons. Something about that whole concept has made me want to avoid this series (and the TV show too). Maybe they're against the demons, but I still don't want to be reading about the demonic world all the time, even if the book's representation of it isn't realistic.

4. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
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When I first heard of this, I thought it sounded interesting. I thought that maybe it would be something I'd like to read. But since then, I've heard that it glamorizes suicide. Maybe that's true, maybe it's not, maybe it's subjective - I DON'T KNOW. (I read somewhere that a school district took it off their libraries' shelves, I guess because it's potentially harmful to teenagers who are depressed or already having suicidal thoughts??) Besides, when I saw it at the store one time, I flipped through it a little out of curiosity and didn't like what I saw.

All right, now that I've blabbed and ranted for long enough, it's comment time! What are your thoughts on these books? What are some books you couldn't finish, and what are some books you don't want to read? <3

~ Lila Kims


  1. I always love seeing your posts pop up in my reading list. I get excited because 1) Your posts are always awesome and 2) Your blog is so aesthetic. This is a great post and I liked how you broke out of the "only talk about books you want to or have read" shell. (Haha, did that even make sense?)

    I agree with everything you said and I didn't know The Raven Cycle had that kind of content. I had been considering trying to find it. I mean, if it comes to the library one day, I might pick it up just to see what I find, but I'm not going out of my way to find it. (I wasn't really, anyway. Haha, #lazybookdragon. XD)

    A book I dnf-ed, most recently, would be that red riding hood retelling. I literally deleted it off my kindle because the lust was the only plot. *gags*

    A book I don't want to read... well you listed them. I heard (of course with how our society is today, you don't know if it's truth or just someone trying to bring a successful person down...) that the author of 13 reasons why supposedly sexually assaulted someone. I don't have enough proof, which is why I'm not sure I believe it just yet. They seem to be going after successful authors all of a sudden. Makes me wonder...

    Anyway, long comment made short, this is a great post! <3 <3

    ~Ivie|Ivie Writes

    1. Ivie, that makes me SO happy to hear!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!! <3 <3 <3 (and yep, that made perfect sense!)

      Common Sense Media is a great site to look up the content of popular books. I was considering it too - before I looked it up - because it sounds like an amazing story! I hope you like it if you decide to read it! :D

      Uggggghhhhh. *headdesk* Why must there be so many icky YA Red Riding Hood retellings???!!!

      Oh, dear. Well, if it's true, that's terrible! :/

      Thank you so much, Ivie!! <3 <3

    2. I've used common sense media before. They do have great warnings, which is helpful. I've noticed some bias on things, but overall it is super helpful.

      I can't stand icky retellings. Blech.


  2. This was a totally different post from a lot of other bookish blog posts, and I loves it dearly :). It's super great to see what books to avoid as well.

    @Raven Cycle, ewww, really?? Wish I had known that last week as we were doing the BSB!!! I really need to look into these books that come in better (just haven't had time, really). I'll make some inquiries and put a content warning on there.

    Lust is often the thing that makes me DNF a book. And gut feelings are also a high indicator of my satisfaction of a book.

    Awesome post, Lila!!


    1. I need to clarify....The Raven Cycle appeared in the first BSB we did on RW and that was before we put the content warnings into place. It's got a bad review anyway, but maybe I'll put in a content warning anyway.

    2. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Catherine!

      I knoooowwww! I'm so disappointed! I don't know if it's in the first book - it seemed like it popped up in later books, so maybe it's all good. :) But idk.

      Lots of lust is a big no-no for me. I'm always super wary of romance.

      Thanks, girl! <3

  3. It's too late for me for The Raven Cycle, I just finished the first book and I AM IN LOVE. Also I'm not super convicted about not reading books with homosexual characters, sin is sin is sin. Idk, it's not something I really care about, I love all of the characters as of now. Although I DO respect your opinion and understand it. XD

    I've read The Fault in Our Stars and it was just meh. You aren't missing much.

    Great post!

    1. I'm sincerely glad you're liking the series, Gray! And I totally respect that - everyone draws the line at a different place! For me, the fact that's it an entire lifestyle sets it apart from certain other sins - not that any sin is worse than another, but that I do think there are some differences. :)

      But hey, the deal with the Raven Cycle is just ME. I'm glad you like it!

      I didn't think I was.

      Thanks so much, Gray!! <3 <3

  4. Well, I haven't read any of these and don't plan to. But you know me an books. *goes to library**looks at books**throws them all behind shoulder* Meh.


    But thank you for the warning on these. You never know when we have to put down books (and I hate doing that. UGH. Again, why I started writing. *runs away*)

    1. Snapper, I will forever be confused as to why you love writing so much, yet aren't that big of a reader. *scribbles mathematical equations trying to figure it out* xD xD

      No problem. And I definitely agree. It's no fun having to DNF!! *runs like the wind*

    2. Don't look at me, I'm as confused as you are... *tosses math over shoulder* *writes a book*

  5. Ahh, the Raven Cycle. I completely respect your decision not to read them :). I LOVED the characters (Maggie Stiefvater has the best characters and descriptions!), but the foul language increased in the second and later books. And yes, the extreme plot twist in the fourth book. Argh.
    "The Fault in Our Stars". Ahh. I read it, and I kinda liked it--I loved the characters, but not the language and other *ahem* stuff. I'm not a John Green fan (his latest book was awful).
    A book I don't want to read...hmm, probably the sequel to "A Study in Charlotte". I thought that it would be good--a twist on Sherlock Holmes, but the amount of language and crude-ness was awful! Ugh. :))

    1. Hey there, Allison! The Raven Cycle characters DO sound amazing!! I read a sample of the first book, before looking up the series, and thought the style was beautiful as well. <3 But I'm pretty picky about language and... other things, so yes to the ARGH.

      Well, I'm glad you kinda liked! It's no fun NOT liking a book. :/ And I'll take your word for it that his latest book is awful - I'm kinda confused that so much hype surrounds John Green books.

      A Study in Charlotte... that sounds SO familiar, I just can't place the book. I've never read it, but lots of language and crudeness? No thanks...? :)

      Thanks for commenting, Allison! :D

  6. I love this post, and thanks for the warnings! I hate putting down a book (I like reading book reviews and looking at Goodreads before I read one so I don't end up reading anything crude), but*sighs* I've had to do it many times. I also heard that 13 Reasons Why glamorizes suicide, so I'm not planning on reading it, either. Thanks again! :)

    1. Thanks, LHE, and you're welcome! I hate it too, and the fact that no matter how many reviews I look up, I can't be 100% sure about the content! :/ And yeah, 13 Reasons Why sounds very iffy...

      No problem, girl!!!

  7. Do not read 13 Reasons Why. It glamorizes suicide, features reverse bullying, and basically has a TOOOON of content. Absolutely hated it and while I finished it because it was one of those where it was so awful I simply could not look away, I will never recommend it to anybody.

    I actually really loved the Fault in our Stars, but that may be just me. I was always a precocious teen so I identify with it. :P

    I DNF’d The Selection most recently. Just #No.

    And I wish I’d DNF’d a few more books that i made myself complete not too long ago, but...I didn’t. :P

    Not a bad list! Good job being discerning <3

    1. *nods vigorously at your warning* Okay, I shan't read it. It sounds VERY iffy indeed. Thank you, Faith!

      I'm quite honestly glad that you loved it, Faith! It's no fun NOT liking a book, after all! :D

      Definitely #No.

      Well, it can certainly be hard, but stopping is more often than not the best option!! :)

      Why, thank you, Faith! <3

  8. Yikes! I really enjoyed Shannon Hale's Bayern books...but never heard of Dangerous. Guess I may not be reading that one... (which is sad, because I've enjoyed her books that I have read)

    I haven't DNFd a book in a while....mostly because I haven't read a bunch of new books lately, and I tend to do a TON of research and waiting and deciding before finally picking up a read so fast I tend to skim over scenes...and then forget half the book...

    1. Yikes indeed! I've read Princess Academy, and it's squeaky clean. Also, I still plan on reading The Goose Girl one of these days. So, it was an unpleasant surprise to encounter such... mehness... in Dangerous.

      Bravo for your carefulness, Faith!! I don't do a TON of research, I don't think, but I do look up content reviews for quite a few of the books I plan on reading, especially popular YA books...

      I'm the opposite! :D I read so slow and can't stand skimming over scenes. I like to take my time and absorb everything, lol. xD

  9. I didn't like Crimson Bound either, I thought it was a bit demonic too and made me sick. Cruel Beauty by the same author, I actually did like!

    1. Yessss, the demonic vibe was real for me. :/ :/

      You know, Cruel Beauty is one I haven't looked into that much. I may have to look into that more, actually...

      But idk. :D

  10. I love that you are such a discerning reader. I did listen to 13 Reasons Why but can definitely see why a school library would pull it off it's shelves. And now all sorts of ugly things are coming out about Jay Asher too. I've had other books I've put down--but I can't even remember them!

    1. Thank you SO much, Ms. Baldwin! Quite frankly, I don't know what to think about the Jay Asher rumors.

      I couldn't name all the ones I've put down! There are too many!

  11. Ugh, I tried so hard to enjoy Dangerous, but I just couldn’t get into it! :/ I love all of Shannon’s other books, but this one was such a disappointment. *sniff*

    1. I've read one other book by her (Princess Academy) and it was a fun, cozy read! But I want to read some of her other books too! :)

      Ikr, it was definitely a disappointment! *sniffles with you*

  12. I've never read the Siren. The Selection was only so-so, but I might simply pick it off the shelf and read it someday just cause it's there.

    And I can tell you that Dangerous doesn't get any better. One of the worst books I think I've ever read. It was awful, I only have bad memories from that book.

    I would really like to read the Raven Cycle, but I've heard the same things you have about it so I'll probably not :(

    1. Yeah, I might try it again. But I really don't know, ya know? xD

      Uuuuuugggghh, I thought as much!! I have bad memories from it too, even though I didn't get far at all. :/

  13. I know that I started Crimson Bound, but I can't remember if I finished it or not... (I guess it didn't make much of an impression, lol.) I don't think I liked what I read either, which is sad, because... RED RIDING HOOD. *sighs*

    Dude. I read The Raven Boys, and... SO. MUCH. BAD LANGUAGE! I couldn't really enjoy the story because of it. :(

    I doubt I'll ever read a John Green or Cassandra Clare novel either. I can't say that they're bad books since I've never read them, but it's the same for me as it is for you - personal convictions because of the content.

    Why can't all of the books be clean? *headdesk*

    1. Ikr, RED RIDING HOOD. Wherefore art thou, clean Red Riding Hoods???

      Really? Even in the first one?? I think I'm totally good with not reading it, because even a little bit of bad language makes me squirm! :/ :/

      Yeah, something about what I've heard of them makes me not want to read them.

      I KNOW, RIGHT??? *a million headdesks*

  14. Dangerous - yep, that "romance" was waaay inappropriate; I guess for YA it would be "normal"? but I'd just finished the Bayern Chronicles and I was rudely shocked because I'd thought I could tRUST Shannon Hale.

    The Raven Cycle - Aside from the language (strong) and gay romance, this series was super witchy in tone. The women scry and talk to dead people and read Tarot cards. It made me pretty uncomfortable. (I was invested... much like Gray ;) ...but I was uncomfortable. Which was awkward.)

    Thirteen Reasons Why - this one had some language and some content (teens getting drunk, off-screen rape, "blurred-out" [retreating into her mind] sexual assault). I bought it, unread and unknown, from an op-shop, something I'd normally never do. And yet - I was glad I'd read it.

    It make me think. It made me feel. It made me cRY. I NEVER CRY FOR BOOKS. It made me consider whether there were tiny things I was doing that were hurting people, and whether there were tiny things I could be doing, even to people I don't know, to be helping them. I'm not sure why people say it glamorizes suicide; I've never been in close personal contact with suicide, so I'm in no position to judge. (Perhaps it's because she gets "revenge" on the people who hurt her? but it's hardly "revenge" if you're dead?) (and I did feel far more for Clay than for Hannah, if that affects anything?)

    Anyway. Just thought I'd throw in my opinion (because this isthe internet xP) on the books I've read. And good on you for being careful what you read, Lila! :)
    - Jem Jones

    1. After Princess Academy, I thought I could trust her too! #notcool

      Oh my... really?? Well, that's just extra incentive for me not to read it, because I don't that kind of stuff either! It sounds AMAZING otherwise, so... I'm sad. But also determined.

      Thank you for sharing your opinion on 13 Reasons Why! It's really interesting how opinions differ. And I'm beginning to think the suicide thing is pretty much a matter of opinion...

      Thanks again for your thoughts, Jem!!! :)

  15. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy 'Dangerous'! Though the romance felt a little over-the-top for me, I was interested in the plot enough to keep reading, and ended up enjoying the book. :) Generally, Shannon Hale's books are wonderful!

    One book series I'll never be able to finish is the Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas. I used to LOVE her books, but her latest books have wayyyyyy too many explicit bedroom scenes, and I can't read them anymore. Which is real shame, because I do love her world-building... :(

    Great post! <3

    1. Thank you, Melissa! I'm glad you enjoyed the book! And goodness, I need to read more Shannon Hale books... :D

      Oh my, YES. I'm 99.9999% certain I'm never going to read a Sarah J Maas book. :/ There definitely seems to be quite a few explicit scenes. Her world-building does sound excellent, though! :)

      Thank you so much, Melissa! <3

  16. Interesting post!

    I've also decided not to read Thirteen Reasons Why and City of Bones. I just don't think I'd personally be very comfortable reading them with all the baggage they entail *shrugs*

    That snippet of The Fault in Our Stars made me laugh. I had no idea the characters in that talked so oddly :D Like you said, who even talks like that??!!

    I actually have decided to read the Raven Cycle though. Usually gay characters don't stop me from reading a book as long as it's not a massive part of the story and the book itself has enough positive things about it to be worthwhile.

    And as for books I stopped reading or books I never want to read, I recently tried reading the Throne of Glass series, but didn't get further than book 2 ( Way too much smut). And I don't really have ANY intentions of reading Game of Thrones. I'm sure it's a well written series and all, but the amount of content is way past my comfort zone!

    Once again, interesting post! It was fun to read!

    1. Thanks!

      SAME. Just not getting a good vibe from them, I suppose.

      Me neither, until just recently when I read a review and they included the quote!! Like, it's HILARIOUSLY RIDICULOUS! xD

      That's cool - I hope you're liking it! I know quite a few others who look at it the same way, and I TOTALLY respect and understand it. I'm okay with some mentions, but I am pretty picky. :)

      Oh, yes, I've avoided the Throne of Glass series. And UGH, I avoid Game of Thrones (both books and TV show) as well! It sounds pretty cool except... for... all... THE CONTENT.

      And once again, THANK YOU! I'm glad you enjoyed. :D

  17. Hey, we agree! I don't want to read any of those books either. Just no. Bleh!

  18. It might just be me, but I really love The Fault in Our Stars...and that quote is actually one of my favorites. It's a lovely quote (in my opinion) because Augustus is saying it to Hazel and she needs to hear it and he's recounting something that they talked about before and...this book just makes you think. It makes you question things and it forces you to consider other options and think about things from a new perspective.

    I love this book because despite the language and despite the sex scene and despite the uncomfortable content, it forces you to look at some real stuff that actually happens to teenagers sometimes and it's raw and real and basically everything I love in a book.

    It may not be your cup of tea, and I respect your opinion. But if you ever feel up for trying something different, I do recommend giving it a shot. ;)

    1. Okay, so first off, your comment was soooo beautifully-written and wonderful. :D

      Secondly, I really appreciate hearing your thoughts on The Fault In Our Stars! It's really cool that you enjoyed it so much. And maybe it is raw and real and has elements that I would enjoy... it's just that I know the content would make me uncomfortable. Which I why I really don't think I'm going to read it. :)

      I love your comment so much!! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, it means SO much to me! <3 <3

  19. This is such an interesting and unique post! It's so true that we always focus on what we recommend, cause ya know, we love books. But, sometimes, I think it can be just as important to know what to steer clear of. This should totally become a book tag. Just sayin'

    I agreed with a few and disagreed with a few. Personally, I'm not into John Green either. I'm not a huge medical book fan. Maybe I just don't like tear-jerking for the sake of tear-jerking? Either way, I've never read any of his books and don't really care to. Too many other good books to focus on to bother with the ones I know I'll only find mediocre.

    Same with City of Bones. I read Clockwork Angel, the first book in the prequel trilogy/series? I liked the characters a lot, and even the plot was intriguing, but I just don't like vampires. I really don't do demons. I gave it a shot because a friend of mine said she really enjoyed them, and while I don't regret the read necessarily, I don't plan to read any more of them.

    Now, as for The Siren. I physically gasped. Not to brainwash anyone or say you aren't aloud your own opinions--cause you totally are--but that one hurt. Made me cringe. I positively adored it. I read it before it was republished, so I haven't read the newest edition yet, but it was a phenomenal read. I thought the ocean was clever and she became one of my very favorite characters. The story was simply breathtaking. I hope one day you will give that one another go!

    Dangerous was...not my favorite, which was sad because I love Hale. I've read nearly everything she's ever written. It wasn't like any of her other books, though. I hope you'll try out some of her better works, like The Goose Girl or Princess Academy one day. :)

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! And oh my goodness, now that I think about it, it WOULD make a cool tag! :D

      Glad to know I'm not alone about John Green! Also yessss about there being too many good books to have time for mediocre ones. ;)

      Vampires are not my fave either. I usually steer waaaay clear of them. :) Some of my favorite booktubers RAVE about Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices, so a little part of me is sometimes like... I could try them...? But I know I wouldn't be comfortable with some of the content, so I hold back.

      Ack, I'm sorry you found that painful! I can still imagine myself trying it again sometime, so... yeah, maybe I will. :D It's cool that you love it so much!

      I've actually read Princess Academy and enjoyed it! It was such a sweet, cozy read. I have yet to pick up anything by her, though. XD

      Thank you soooooo much for your wonderful comment, Corky Bookworm! :D It was fun chatting with you about these books!


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