Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish that other bloggers are welcome to join in, to create Top Ten lists on varying topics. This week,books that were hard for us to read (for various reasons.)
1 The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
I struggled with this one through no fault of the books. I was really into reading it and at bedtime I skimmed ahead, desperate for more I unfortunately went to far. The prospect of re reading all of that, because you have to, a skim barely picks up anything important except for the general gist, coupled with massive excitement over another book just made getting to the end of this one a slow process. It’s also put me off the others, but I do still plan to read them when they are both available in paperback so that I can have a matched set.
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.
Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.
When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.
When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.
2 Splintered by A.G.Howard
I was so frustrated with this book! I borrowed it from Ms4Tune and I just didn’t get on with it till the end. You know when you read something about something you know a lot of, or set somewhere you live and everything is just wrong? This book here. It would have been fine had the author not constantly mixed the Southern (London) ‘Luv’ and the Northern ‘Pet’ into a sentence together from the same guy, who was ‘Cockney’ (of which there is little to none in London these days). Coupled with a love triangle I’m surprised I finished it. Luckily it had a good ending and I intend to ignore the sequels.
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.
3 The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Another book I borrowed from Ms4Tune. I’m not sure why I had issues with this one but I still haven’t finished it, I just found it hard work. I do hope to try again, but I may just wait for the film…
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker.
Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
4 A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
I watched the first 4 episodes of the tv series before deciding I wanted to read the books. Of course, that took up far more time in book world and I’m yet to pick up the book again and keep going. I joined audible to attempt to listen to the audio book and see if that helped any, but I haven’t yet tried. I do hope to try again with them as I want to read them before I watch the series, but with so many other books to read I may just give in and watch the action instead.
Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.
As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must … and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.
The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.
5 The Farm by Emily McKay
I borrowed this from Ms4Tune and I was quite excited to read it but I never got past the first chapter. I live with autism as well as work with it and I became quite frustrated with how it was written about. Looking back, perhaps it was deliberate, perhaps it was the CHARACTER and not the author who had no idea what they were going on about, or perhaps more understanding came later. I just couldn’t deal with it.
Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…
And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.
Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…
Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race…
1. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
I had previously seen the film and really enjoyed it but always thought that perhaps the film had missed out some really important details that would have helped make this film perfect. Boy was I wrong. I found that all the major plot points had been included in the film and that the only bits that had been removed… well let me just say they did well to remove them! I ended up hating the main character Meggie… she was such a brat! and Mo wasn’t much better. I’m glad I saw the film first as I loved the magic and the relationships but there was just to much book! Everything ended up like bad cake… over done.
Meggie loves books. So does her father, Mo, a bookbinder, although he has never read aloud to her since her mother mysteriously disappeared. They live quietly until the night a stranger knocks at their door. He has come with a warning that forces Mo to reveal an extraordinary secret – a storytelling secret that will change their lives for ever.
2. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
God this book was a slog! I really liked the beginning. It was an interesting world and Juliette’s fatal touch was a really good plot twist. But what was promised to be an amazing dystopian novel ended up just being a drippy romance, in which there was not one man who discovers he can touch her but TWO! What’s the likelihood of that huh? I wouldn’t have minded so much if it hadn’t been full of purple prose. I really dislike unnecessary metaphors and similes and this was riddled with them. Damn you gorgeous cover for making me buy you!!
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.
3. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
Now this one was for a completely different reason! I loved this series and knowing that, when I’d finished this one, it would be all over made me feel sooo sad! We lost soo many characters along the way that it made my heart hurt. The only thing that annoyed me was that at this last part of the journey, Laini Taylor throw in another character who, although turned out to be important at the end, just disrupted the flow for me cos I just wanted to know what was happening with Karou and my favourite character Ziri.
By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.
Common enemy, common cause.
When Jael’s brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.
And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.
But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz … something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.
What power can bruise the sky?
From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.
At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?
4. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
It was the subject matter that made How I Live Now difficult to read. Maybe I’m a prude but reading about a teen romance blossoming between cousins just seemed weird to me. It was a brilliant dystopian otherwise.
Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she’s never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy.
As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it’s a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy’s uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary. But the war is everywhere, and Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way.
5. Vernon God Little by D.B.C. Pierre
This is a book that has stuck with me ever since I read it in 2003. It’s very much a Love it or Hate it kinda book. I loved it, it was mind-blowing to me at the time. It was hard to read because of two reasons. Firstly it was written in an American slang dialect with lots of swear-words in every sentence making it very difficult to understand at times. And secondly because it was a bait book. By bait book I mean, it would throw you a little bit of hope every now and then, only to drag you further into the black hole of despair. I kept reading only in the vain hope that it wouldn’t have a sad ending, because everything that happened to Vernon was out of his control and yet he got blamed for everything! Bloody brilliant book, in my opinion.
The surprise winner of the 2003 Man Booker Prize, DBC Pierre’s debut novel, Vernon God Little, makes few apologies in its darkly comedic portrait of Martirio, Texas, a town reeling in the aftermath of a horrific school shooting. Fifteen-year-old Vernon Little narrates the first-person story with a cynical twang and a four-letter barb for each of his diet-obsessed townsfolk. His mother, endlessly awaiting the delivery of a new refrigerator, seems to exist only to twist an emotional knife in his back; her friend, Palmyra, structures her life around the next meal at the Bar-B-Chew Barn; officer Vaine Gurie has Vernon convicted of the crime before she’s begun the investigation; reporter Eulalio Ledesma hovers between a comforting father-figure and a sadistic Bond villain; and Jesus, his best friend in the world, is dead–a victim of the killings. As his life explodes before him, Vernon flees his home in pursuit of a tropical fantasy: a cabin on a beach in Mexico he once saw in the movie Against All Odds. But the police–and TV crews–are in hot pursuit.