The Struggle is Real

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten Tuesday invites bookish bloggers to share lists based on a given topic. In this week’s edition, I’ll be focusing on books I either DNFd or came VERY close to giving up on!

The List

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens was a humongous disappointment for me, as I’d looked forward to reading it FOREVER! I made the tough choice to DNF the classic after making it through nearly 100 pages. I hope to try it again one day and definitely plan on reading a manga edition by Stacy King. Hopefully, with the manga version, I’ll get a clue regarding what is actually happening in the book!

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate was another disappointment – I wanted to like it SO badly! The book started out by sucking me in, but I lost interest about halfway through the tale and struggled to finish it. I adored Redgate’s debut, Seven Ways We Lie, so I was really sad that I didn’t take to Noteworthy.

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi is the follow-up to the author’s debut novel, The Star-Touched Queenwith which I was absolutely enamored and fascinated by. I really think I wasn’t into A Crown of Wishes because it focused on Gauri’s journey, while I really wanted more of Maya’s story. While I adore Chokshi’s writing style and beautiful descriptions, this is a tale I just couldn’t get into.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab is a book I had to put down pretty soon after starting it. I feel like the only person in the world who wasn’t sucked into the plot, sadly. I am, however, planning to do a buddy read of the book this month, so I’m hoping it will be more appealing to me the second time around.

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins is a book I’ve been listening to on audio. While I enjoy the story so far, I sometimes have a difficult time keeping up with what’s happening in audio editions, especially if they’re long and because my mind tends to wander. Perhaps this is a book I need to actually read in print…

Night by Elie Wiesel is a book I was assigned to read in high school. I really wanted to love this book and I think I set my expectations way too high. I’m one of those readers who enjoys really feeling the horrors experienced by those at the hearts of stories. While this is a memoir of Wiesel’s time in a concentration camp during the Holocaust, it wasn’t detailed or graphic enough to hold my attention.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins was a really hyped book, obviously, and loved by many, so I wanted to find out for myself what the big deal was. I had to DNF this book, as I got so tired of reading about Katniss wandering around in the wilderness playing the ‘game.’ I kept waiting for excitement and got totally bored before I ever got to anything remotely interesting.

Othello by William Shakespeare is another book I had to read in high school and I never could figure out what the hell was going on. I’m certainly not a fan of all of Shakespeare’s works, but this one is definitely my least favorite. It was homework that definitely felt like homework.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is honestly a beautifully written book – I love Tartt’s style. However, I felt like nothing really exciting happened in the book and the plot just seemed to go in circles. The ending was predictable and just altogether disappointing.

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs was a book that was recommended to me by someone who turned out to be a total fake, so perhaps this fact clouded my judgment. As with Night, I wasn’t impressed by this memoir about Burroughs’ supposedly messed up childhood – it just wasn’t messed up enough to hold my attention at all.

Love, Maggie


  1. The Book Wench

    Great list! Though I am sorry that you didn’t like them, but life would be so boring if we all loved the same books! I’ll still check out a bunch of these but I will definitely make a point not to get my hopes up!

  2. Nicole @ Boundless Bookaholic

    Great list! I love the hunger games myself, but to each their own. Most of the others I haven’t gotten around to reading, or don’t plan on reading.

    • Maggie

      Yeah, I’m certainly not jumping up and down pushing any of these books! LOL! I hate to hate The Hunger Games, but I just couldn’t get into it. 🙁

  3. Fernanda

    Maggie, you’ve wounded me with A darker Shade of Magic. Buuuuut I can see why the plot may not captivate some people. I’m currently reading A Crown of Wishes, which I’m loving so far so hopefully that continues!

    • Maggie

      I hope you love all of Crown of Wishes too! I’m so sad I couldn’t get into it; maybe I just wasn’t in the mood – I’m a total mood reader. I am going to give A Darker Shade of Magic another shot; I think I’m about ready for it again! 😀

  4. jessica | ReadingwithJessica

    Rebel belle was pretty good but the sequel fell flat for me. I still haven’t read the last book but not sure that I will. I also need to pick up star touched queen. Where is my reading time?! lol!! Great list!

    • Maggie

      LOL! Thanks, Jessica! 😀 I just can’t get into Rebel Belle at all on audio – hopefully, it’ll make more sense if I actually read it. Star-Touched Queen is so good – I hate that I didn’t love Crown of Wishes too; I’m sure I’d read a third book if it’s a trilogy though!

  5. Sarah Campbell

    The Star Touched queen is on my TBR! I hope I love it as it looks so good. Also never read the hunger games and I don’t think i will. Lovely post!!

    • Maggie

      I adore The Star-Touched Queen! So I was super sad Crown of Wishes didn’t live up to my lofty expectations. 🙁 Thanks so much; you’re so sweet!

  6. Cassie Winters

    I read Night when I was in a holocaust literature course. It was one of the books that i actually enjoyed during that course. By the end of it though I personally had to step away from reading anything related to that particular era of history. I have heard of several of these, but i have avoided them. They just don’t seem like books like I would honestly get through either, so I avoid them. The only one that I want to read is “The Goldfinch”, which will probably be in like 5 years with the way my tbr has grown recently. 🙂

    • Maggie

      Looking back, I was pretty young when I had to read Night; I may want to revisit it sometime and see if my perspective is different now that I’m old. The Goldfinch was so promising; Tartt is truly an amazing writer – I just got so bored! Thanks so much for stopping by! 😀

  7. Danielle

    Oh Maggie, you’ve hurt my heart! I adored ACoW but could not get into tsTQ! Giess we had opposite opinions on that series. Night was one of my FavoriTe books growinG up! I think i’ve read that one at least 3 Times if mot more. And The Hunger Games?! I’m crying!! One of my favorite series!!

    • Maggie

      LOL! I’m so sorry to go breaking your heart! I’ve been thinking I may want to revisit Night at some point – I was so young when I had to read it, my perspective would probably be so much different now. And I’m so disappointed in myself for not getting into The Hunger Games – I wanted to like it so badly!

  8. Diana @ The Bookish Sisters

    I haven’t read any of these books. Probably becauSe I already know most of them i will for sure do not finish. 😂

  9. Shawn

    I ended up finishing Rebel Belle, but I won’t continue with the series. I just didn’t like it all that much. I can see how you DNF it.

    • Maggie

      I can’t really decide if I like it or not…seems sort of silly…but I’m curious, so I may borrow the real book from the library instead of listening to it!

  10. Jenn

    Oh, great Expectations… I had to read that my Freshman year of high school. It was the absolute worst! If I Didn’t have to finish it for class, I would have definitely DNF’ed it!

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