Books I'm Not Sure I want To Read

Finally. An easy topic was this week's Top Ten Tuesday meme. Yes. (It's the small victories, peeps.)
This second Tuesday in August asked us to pick out those books that we're no longer sure we want to read. I had a relatively easy time pulling them out and putting them in that pile. Some of them I got purely for their popularity, others I picked out years ago (literally) and never read and some I've found out deal with things I'm just not in the mood for...
Here is how the "official" topic stacks up from the ladies at...

Top Ten Books I'm Not Sure I Want To Read
(books you may have bought but aren't sure if you are into it anymore, books you wanted to read but heard mixed things about, hyped books you aren't sure about --- basically any book that has you going, "TO READ OR NOT TO READ?"

Top Ten Tuesday August 12-001
The Mortal Instruments, City of Bones

saw the film adaptation for this and while I know that whole adage "the book is always better" would apply to this, I don't always feel that way. plus, the things I didn't love about the film are likely more ingrained in the novel because it has more time to explain.
Lost Melody

picked this one out way back before I understood the concept of knowing what I like vs. what I don't.
Just Listen

there were so many good reports on Sarah Dessen that I kind of binge bought her books prior to knowing much about them. now, I'm just not sure: do I still want to read them...?

Top Ten Tuesday August 12-002

The Fairest Beauty

I feel really "odd" not falling for these fairytale retellings because a.) I love me a good fairytale and b.) nearly everyone I know adores Melanie's sweet novels... but I just couldn't get "into" them as everyone else has - or that was the case with the Cinderella novel.
Where the Stars Still Shine

read a decent chunk of this novel before marking it "DNF." the cover is gorgeous, the story just isn't for me. technically, this is one I know I won't finish.

Top Ten Tuesday August 12-003
not a fan of this era. or that has been my experience.
it's probably not fair to put this one in this group because chances are I will get around to reading this one, I just don't ever seem to be "in the mood" for what its synopsis promises - plus, it's unusually long and I'm a big fan of the shorter works of fiction. 
aside from its cute cover, I'm really not sure why I have this book.
There you have it fellow book addicts.
Am I crazy for possibly giving up on these titles?
The comment section is yours; justify my choices.
Or if you must, convince me otherwise.


  1. I actually posted a Top Ten Tuesday on my blog for the first time today, and City of Bones was also on my list. I've read one book by Sarah Dessen but I didn't really connect to it that much. Nice list, Rissi!

    1. Awesome! I'll be by to read yours, too, Jillian.

      I saw the film for 'City of Bones' (and liked it), but am just not that "into" the story so that I'm feel a "pull" to read the stories. It's a dilemma, though chances are, I'll get rid of it at some point.

      Good to know as regards Sarah Dessen. I've heard A LOT about her books, but of late, I've been waffling on whether or not to read them. Guess, if I want to know for sure, I just need to read them.

  2. Great list. I love this subject.

    I usually give Gist a go but I'm so with you on City of Bones.

    1. As do I, Juju. It was a fun subject that was "different" than the norm.

      Me, too and chances are, I'll try reading this one from Gist (I just haven't had the luxury to read this one) and yay for 'City of Bones.' I think that was a smart pick. :)

  3. Interesting list, Rissi. Most of these books I doubt I'd ever try, but some I might.
    I used to be a BIG Deeanne Gist fan, but I had a hard time getting into her last novel with Bethany House, and haven't fully read her other books. I know she can write a good story, but the synopsis of "Fair Play" just did not fully capture me. Still, I might go back and try hers again because, once upon a time, she was one of my favorites.
    I've only read one book from this list, "The Fairest Beauty." Sorry to see that you can't seem to get into Melanie's books. I personally think "The Fairest Beauty" was a good retelling (but, then, I liked all of Melanie's books). I say go for it- just as any fan of a certain author would. ;-)

    1. I understand that mentality. For some of these, my reasons are probably inline with yours, Grace. :)

      Same here - Deeanne used to be an "always favorite," but I kind of fell away from her novels for some reason (back when she was with Bethany House). I did enjoy book one to this title, which means I may try it some time.

      Thanks for the thoughts as regards Melanie's book - and I am sorry, too. It feels so odd NOT to love her books because of all the fanbase for them as well as the fact that I adore fairytales (plus, those covers...!). Maybe I should give this one and shot and see if I like it better. Is The Fairest Beauty a favorite or do you like one of her others better?

      Glad you stopped in - and gave me some new thoughts to think about. :)

    2. My favorite of her book is currently "The Merchant's Daughter," which is her "Beauty and the Beast" retelling, but "The Fairest Beauty" is good, too. I wrote in my review of it :

      "The Fairest Beauty" is definitely a keeper. Dickerson was able to write the story of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" without magic yet still interweave fairy tale charm in it. It had the evil stepmother, seven unlikely helpers, and even an apple. Plus the added tension that Gabe's brother Valten, not Gabe, was betrothed to Sophie. Oh dear!

      My BIG problem with it was I felt the hero seemed to like the heroine mostly for her looks. But the actual story is nice. :-) Hope you decide to give the book a chance.

    3. Cool. Now, I'll have to try reading The Merchant's Daughter. Now you mention it, I think I actually have that one as well... not sure. Thanks for sharing a portion of your review; The Fairest Beauty sure does sound exiting - and my interest is piqued.

      I have that issue in many novels also. Sadly, I think it's becoming a trend in Christian fiction and while I understand WHY it's going on, I don't have to respect it or appreciate how and what it suggests about the hero. Thanks for chatting about these. :)

  4. I'm also not sure about Sarah Dessen. I own three of her books (about 50 cents each at the thrift store- I'd heard such good things that I couldn't pass them up!), and I really do plan on reading The Truth about Forever in the next month or so. But honestly, I've never been particularly into "teen books," and I find that the older I get the less interested in them I am...

    I also own The Fairest Beauty but haven't read it yet. I enjoyed her first two novels a lot. They're not perfect and there is something a bit off about them that keeps them from becoming absolute favorites of mine, but overall I still really like them.

    I've read all but about three of Deeanne Gist's books and loved most of them (all except one, I think?). She's the author that got me back into Christian fiction. Actually, I just bought It Happened at the Fair today, because I've been meaning to read it. If I like it, I'll pick up Fair Play eventually! :)

    1. Sarah has lovely covers and her stories sometimes sound interesting (plus I have a friend - Kara, who raves about several), I just haven't stepped into them yet. Not sure. If/when you read The Truth about Forever, let me know what you think. :)

      What you say about teen fiction makes perfect sense! I like it (when it's not too awful in terms of content) because like movies, I enjoy "lighthearted" fiction and most the time the books I read are - that and some of those fantasy/dystopian books are WAY clever. What does interest me is this new genre of New Adult, because that's more in my age range and often what I do miss in fiction is characters who are closer in age to me - some of the Christian fiction characters are ten plus years older than I and often, I just don't relate.

      Thanks for your perspective on The Fairest Beauty/Melanie's other books. I'm thinking I should give another novel a shot. :)

      Awesome! That's neat to know Deeanne's books were what brought you back to Christian fiction - I am able to say that about Becky Wade's first novel, it was that book that reminded me how much I adore contemporary fiction and I've not looked back since. Between her and Dani Pettrey, I rediscovered my love of Christian fiction and the "what" of what it is I like best. :)

      Enjoy It Happened at the Fair. It was cute.

    2. I see my name up there..... ;)

      I DO tend to rave over Dessen's books, don't I? But then, I also enjoy lots of YA stories. I really can't even explain why. I don't really relate, except somehow I kind of do? I don't know. Maybe I'm just really young at heart or something. *shrugs* :)

      I can say with absolute certainty that reading should be a pleasureable thing. Why spend time on a book if you aren't enjoying it? And if you're not sure you'll enjoy it, I say don't bother with it then either. I have found in my experience that whether it be a book, or a new pair of shoes, or a new outfit, or whatever, if I have to think about it and think about it, and can't make up my mind, then most of the time, it's way better that I don't purchase it or read it. Because usually if I do, I'm disappointed. There are exceptions to this theory of course. But overall that's been my experience. So read what you want. And don't worry about the rest! And someday, that book you have no desire to read now may just end up in your "read" pile and you end up loving it. Or maybe you never read it. Who knows? :)

    3. I totally agree with you- I loved YA fiction when I was in my 20's, but now that I'm in my 30's I enjoy reading about characters closer to my own age.

    4. Kara: you spotted that?? ;)

      ...and I love your raving - being able to gush and such is part of what makes this book community such a cool place to hang out. Keep the raving coming. Yeah, I think I get what you mean. Some YA authors are EXCELLENT at mature, interesting writing which in turn often makes the reader forget that we're maybe reading about 17-year-olds. Then there are those books that are merely "entertaining" and it doesn't matter if the writing isn't the best. Either way, I still enjoy YA novels now and again, particularly those that are well written.

      Right on. You preach it, girl. Well said - this does apply to many of life's choices which is why it's better to know what you like (at least at the time, since our tastes do change and grow) so we can make the best choices. Life is tough enough, the fun stuff should remain just that. :)

      I like what you say about a book being interesting down the road, too! That's so true and you know what? Those books that wind up being surprises are always the best.

      Heidi - nothing wrong with that. :)

    5. Don't you worry, I'm pretty sure more raving will happen in my future. I can't seem to stop myself! ;)

      So true! Some YA authors are amazing at what they do. And as you say, I forget that the characters are still teenagers. But I also confess that the entertaining ones I still enjoy reading as well. Sometimes I'm just a sucker for a cute romance, especially when I've had a hard day and am in need of some mindless entertainment and a happy ending. Know what I mean? :)

      That's one thing I find so fascinating about stories. Certain ones we seem to enjoy better at certain times of our lives. Kind of like how friendships come and go, so do stories. There's a quote I read once that says something about how stories we liked when we were a child we will enjoy as an adult or something like that. What I mean is, we read a book and love it now, in a few years we may look at it and wonder why we liked it. Vice versa we might have one we can't finish now, yet in a few years it turns out to be the perfect story for then. Perhaps there are things in our lives that we relate to more at a given moment than we do at another, based on our life experiences. Whatever makes the difference it's fascinating to think about. :)

    6. Yes! I am so glad - love that about reviewing. :D

      I absolutely know what you mean! Some nights, my mom and I will be chatting and ask each other what we want to watch, if we've had a busy day, we'll be like, "let's watch something funny!" No matter what, it's surprising what a lighthearted movie or book can do - it's in the "nothingness" that makes the viewer/reader feel so happy. :)

      (Oh, and I love the sappy romances - all you have to do is look at my bookshelf or shelf FULL of Hallmark movies to know that. ;D)

      Beautifully written, Kara! I agree with your analysis. The books I read as a kid don't "get" me like they did when I was a child, but they hold a special place and even though I don't (because I don't have extra reading time), when I see a new American Girl doll and books out, I have a silly thought that I'd like to read them - just because they have wonderful memories and AG's product are still one of my favorite guilty pleasures because of those memories.

  5. I have to admit, I am a Sarah Dessen fan. My absolute favorite of her books is Just Listen. And nooo! You must try The Fairest Beauty... ;D I love all of Melanie Dickerson's fairytale retellings but that one is my favorite in the series. I haven't read any of the other books in your post yet, but they do look interesting-- especially the Deanne Gist and Lori Copeland ones. ;D Love this weeks TTT post, Rissi!

    1. Thanks, Bekah! I'm glad to hear from someone who has read some of Sarah Dessen's novels. I'll maybe try one of hers - and oh, look! I just happen to have your favorite. ;)

      I'm pretty sure the consensus is that I should try another of Melanie's novels, lol.

      Always glad to have you drop by and get your take, Bekah. Thank YOU. :)

  6. I've read all of Melanie's books but The Captive Beauty. I haven't been able to get into, I guess because Cinderella was one of my least favorite fairy tales. The Fairest Beauty was fairly good, it made me look at Snow White in a different light. But my favorite book of Melanie's was The Merchant's Daughter, but then again Beauty and the beast is my favorite fairy tale, and I love a good retelling.

    1. That makes sense, Carissa. What you like the least is always the hardest to get through - I'm like that with many books, which is why I try to read what I expect will be my least favorite first (sometimes they surprise!) and work up to my favorite authors. :)

      Yay! The Merchant's Daughter should perhaps be my next attempt with this series. Thanks, Carissa - and for visiting. :)

  7. The Fairest Beauty: This was the first of Melanie's books that I read, and I actually almost didn't read any others after it. It's by far my least favorite, though I haven't read them all. The Cinderella one was actually my favorite so far, but I know you said you weren't real thrilled with that one. Anyway, I'm sort of in the same group you are...I want to *love* them all, but they are just sort of "okay".

    And about Fair Play: Go for it! I enjoyed it for the most part, and I'd say it's worth reading. :)

    Lots of comments already about Melanie Dickerson and Deanne Gist, but I thought I'd add my 2 cents as well. :)

    1. Did you read The Merchant's Daughter? I'm getting that recommended a lot, so perhaps that'll be the one I try. :) Yeah, I didn't love The Captive Maiden though by no means did I dislike it, it was just "okay" and was certainly entertaining. I cannot remember all I didn't care for, though it's probably documented. Somewhere. ;)

      Thanks! I will probably at some point - I cannot see me getting rid of Fair Play without reading it. It's just a matter of finding the extra time. :)

      Absolutely! Add your two cents anytime, Valerie. I always appreciate it. :)

  8. It's strange isn't it, sometimes you pick up a book which seems to have all the 'right' ingredients: time period you enjoy, interesting synopsis etc., but still you try it and it doesn't 'click'. In the last few years I've never not finished reading a book I've started (I'm stubborn that way), but I did have these kind of dissapointments.

    1. It is, Birdie! It's helped (a lot) to know what I like in terms of genre, time period or author, but yes, as you say, there are still some disappointments that sneak through. I'd rather do the best I can picking out review books because a.) it's not fun to write a negative review and b.) I don't like to feel as if reading is a chore. I want to enjoy my book without feeling "forced" to finish it. Right or wrong, if it's a book I've agreed to review, I do finish it no matter what because I believe I owe it a fair and honest assessment.

      Glad you stopped in. :)

  9. Definitely with you on City of Bones! I skimmed the first three books and have no desire to go any farther. And you're not alone when it comes to Melanie Dickerson's stories. I enjoyed her first couple, but then haven't been able to get excited for the rest of them at all. Her covers are always so lovely! But something about the writing hasn't drew me in. Perhaps someday I'll change my mind?

    I love Sarah Dessen. But if you're not sure you want to read them, then don't! Why waste precious reading time with something you're not sure of? Time goes quick and that means we should only read what we're enthusiastic about, right? Right! :)

    Funnily enough, as much as I loved Gist's first Fair book, I haven't been able to get enthused for Fair Play either. Not sure why. But as I said above, I figure I should only read something I want to, and forcing myself to start a book when I don't have to (unlike when I have to give a review for it) is not my idea of fun. Does that make sense?

    1. Oh, good! I'm glad to feel justified in my disinterest for the 'City of Bones' tomes. If more films get made and my interest is piqued, I may (someday) give them a shot, but now? Yeah, they just aren't my thing. As for the fairytale novels from Melanie, I agree! Her covers are pretty! I love the sense of color and the "look" of them, but yeah, I'm the same. I mean, I liked the Cinderella re-telling, just didn't fall for it. And I feel bad. :/

      I knew I remembered you liking Sarah's novels. :) Since I have several, I'll likely try one of them, but yes, your mentality is mine also. I don't like to "force" myself to read something because that takes the joy out of reading. Do you have any favorites of Sarah's?

      That is ironic! We're in the same boat. I enjoyed the first novel in Deeanne's new series too. Just can't get the enthusiasm to read this sequel. Not sure why.

      All that you say is getting a big high five from me; yes! Well said - reading for pleasure vs. those review reads. Just... well said.

    2. My favorite is The Truth About Forever. The main girl is dealing with her father's death and trying to move forward with her life. It was the first of Dessen's books that I tried and I fell in love with it. Stories that deal with death or disease seem to connect with me for some reason. If you ever do decide to try one, I'd recommend that one. But they're all very good! Dessen writes the teenage voice really well, but she doesn't give them tons of bad language or more maturity than is real. At least in my opinion.

      Thank you! *high fives back* :D

    3. Wonderful. Since I have that one sitting around, I'll have to pull it out to remind me to give it a try *goes to pull out of pile* - it seems like that was one of the titles was waffling over, maybe because I've seen it recommended so much. Thanks for sharing - it does sound really good.

      The Truth about Forever is not sitting beside me. ;)

  10. I did not enjoy The Mortal Instruments series, I only read the first three and don't want to continue.
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    1. Good to know, Missie! Thanks for sharing. :)

  11. oh i'm with you on every single one of these on your list! the mortal instruments series was not all that { in my opinion } and I've never really enjoyed sarah dessen. this is a great topic - I could have made several lists with this topic ;-)

    1. Hi, Stacy! How awesome to see you over here. Thanks for visiting. :)

      Yay! I feel so good to know my readers are not exactly the biggest supporters of 'City of Bones,' I wondered if I'd regret adding that in the list because far as I knew, "everyone" loved the series. Thanks for sharing your impression. :)

  12. The only one on this list that I've read is "The Other Countess." I was NOT a fan. Honestly, I don't remember it at all, so I just looked up my review on Amazon (I didn't even bother reviewing it on my blog)--I gave it 2 stars and called it "simple and unbelievable." So yeah ... I would not recommend it :-)

    1. Good to know, Becky - thanks! I got that one quite a while ago (when I had just started reading some YA fiction) and now? Yep, I've lost interest. :)

  13. What a great topic! Okay, here's my opinion on a few of the books you listed... Skip City of Bones and the rest of the series. It's a hot mess, and while several things bothered me while reading them, I had to know how it all turned out... which was a big fat disappointment. Sadly, I credit that series for turning me off of YA for a while and moving more solidly into Christian fiction.

    Sarah Dessen's books were hit and miss for me. Some of her philosophizing can be a little cliche and forced, but I *loved* the characters in Just Listen and The Truth About Forever. (Re-read both several times). This Lullaby was also good. I never got to What Happened to Goodbye, but it's still on my to-read list.

    I was obsessed with fairytale retellings during my YA phase, so when Melanie Dickerson's books went on sale I got them all for my kindle... but haven't read any of them yet. I'm not sure what's holding me back other than I haven't read that genre in a while.

    My author friend Amber Perry is a huge Deeanne Gist fan, but didn't like Fair Play. I trust her judgement so I skipped it since I only end up liking about half of her books anyway.

    Now I want to go through my goodreads to-read list and do a little purging... :)

    1. Wasn't it, Heidi? I had fun with this topic because it was... well, different.

      Thank you! Can you tell how happy I am to know skipping 'City of Bones' is the best choice?? Makes me glad I put it on the list - I did hesitate at first. I'd probably want to know what happened too, so it's just better I've not started down that mess. :)

      I'd bet Sarah Dessen's books would be the same for me. I'm glad you shared some you like best/the most. Perhaps I'll try and read one you suggest and see what I think. If/when you read Melanie's books, I hope you enjoy them! Those covers are really pretty.

      Good to know about Fair Play. Maybe there is a reason I've not picked it up yet.

      Right?? That's not a bad idea - and is something I actually like to do now and again, because first and foremost, reading should always be a positive experience. :)

      Thanks for this insightful comment.


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