Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read

Hello there! Today I’m linking up over at The Broke and the Bookish for their weekly prompt, Top Ten Tuesday. This week’s prompt is, “top ten books that were hard for you to read” and it goes on to say that the books I select may be difficult in all sorts of ways: subject matter, cringeworthiness, et cetera.

Let’s get started!

Books That Were Hard To Read Because They Were Dull

1. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I had to read this for school recently, and while I’m glad that I now better understand its use as a cultural reference, I was SO NOT HAPPY about its boring-ness. Seriously, Hawthorne takes five pages to say what could be said in one. He’s a little too fond of symbolism that goes on and on and on

Books That Were Hard To Read Because They Were Just Plain Bad

the fault in our stars2. Eragon by Christopher Paolini. When this book wasn’t blatantly ripping off of Star Wars and/or Lord of the Rings, it was overly wordy – which is even worse. Hint: Writing a lot of words isn’t impressive if the words aren’t quality.

3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. My reaction when I started the book: “OMG all my bestest bookish friends say that this book is amazing! I cannot WAIT to read it!” My reaction upon finishing: “Why did I even keep going? I’ve never read anything so pretentious and stuffed with purple prose. How did this book become so popular?!”

4. Planet Urth by Jennifer and Christopher Martucci. What did you just say? “I’ve never heard of this book!” GOOD. KEEP IT THAT WAY. This absolutely terrible dystopian story taught me not to download random ebooks just because they’re free.

Books That Were Hard To Read Because Their Writing Style Was Odd

5. Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines. The story was slow anyway, and I felt the ending was a major letdown, but mostly I noticed the odd dialogue.”I prefer quotation marks,” said Engie. <Not these weird angle-y arrow-y symbol thingies. What’s up with them?>

6. Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris. I’m pretty sure the authors’ list of five hard things for teenagers could have fit onto an index card. They didn’t need to write a whole book. Enough said.

Books That Were Hard To Read Because They Were So Terrifying

7. Misery by Stephen King. I wouldn’t recommend ANY of the books listed previously, but this one? It’s amazing. And you should totally read it. It has beautiful writing and a gripping plot, but it’s also extremely violent. And scary. I read it late at night, fool that I am, and didn’t want to turn the lights off afterwards. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Books That Were Hard To Read Because They Were So Sadthe miseducation of cameron post

8. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I had a pretty good idea of how this story ended, but that didn’t stop me from crying at the conclusion. It’s a beautiful little book, and from the very first chapter you feel this sense of dread.

9. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth. Most of the sad books I’ve read revolve around death, but this one doesn’t. I still cried, though. A LOT. Because it’s about being lonely and pretending to be someone you’re not (because people don’t want you to be who you are) and getting your heart broken and… READ IT. IT IS SOOOO GOOD. And will probably make you cry, too.

Books That Were Hard To Read For A Variety Of Reasons

10.  A Game of Thrones (and sequels) by George R.R. Martin. All the A Song of Ice and Fire books are AMAZING but also tough to read. Why? Because A) they’re sooooo loooong and B) they’re super sad. Don’t even talk to me about how Steven Moffat is such a mean writer because he kills off loads of characters. Martin kills off even more and doesn’t bring them back. SOB.

Which books were hard for you to read? Tell me why!

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth, University of Iowa class of 2019. Double majoring in English & Creative Writing and Journalism. Twenty-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, and aspiring writer. Passionate about feminism and lesbian positivity.
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26 Responses to Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read

  1. Sunny Smith says:

    The Miseduction of Cameron Post sounds very intriguing. 🙂 It’s going on the to-read list! Although I didn’t dislike TFIOS, I can completely understand where you’re coming from with your comments.

    • nevillegirl says:

      It’s a great book. 🙂 I haven’t read anything else like it, honestly.

      I’m hoping John Green’s other books will be better? I’ve only read TFioS and An Abundance of Katherines (which I liked) so I definitely have more to try…

  2. Awww I’m so sad that you didn’t like TFiOS. But obviously not everyone is going to 😛 I reaallllylylylylyy need to read The Miseducation of Cameron Post now, though. It sounds amazing 🙂

  3. Yeah, Game of Thrones is hard for a variety of reasons. (Though Moffat’s pretty bad too.) I liked your categories. Yeah, that’s what my sister said about Eragon, rip off of Lord of the Rings, Pern, and others, so I never tried it. I’d like to add a category, fantasy books that were hard to read because of so much invented language.

    • nevillegirl says:

      *has all the sads because GoT*

      Ooh, yes. LotR would probably go in that category. 😛 I mean, it was wonderful and I loved it, but reading it was very tough because it was so wordy and there were all these made-up words and complicated character histories and stuff.

  4. Cait says:

    *gulp* I don’t think I’m ever going to get the courage to try Game of Thrones. I’ve even toyed with getting the audio out, but that’ll be like hundreds of hours. ARGH. I still am so desperately curious about it.
    Agreed with Eragon. -_- I didn’t even finish it.

  5. Miriam Joy says:

    A Place Of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel was hard, because it’s long. And the writing style changes all the time. So sometimes you’re reading letters and sometimes narration and sometimes a script and the tense keeps changing and also who are all these people because the list of characters at the beginning spells their name differently? Like, is d’Anton the same as Danton? Oh man. (That one got resolved.) And it had these truly incredible moments and Camille, well, was Camille Desmoulins, what else can I say? But it was hard, and it took me months. I got there in the end. Didn’t regret it.

  6. bookworm445 says:

    I read the entire Inheritance series, and trust me, DO NOT READ BRISINGR. MOST BORING BOOK OF THEM ALL AND THAT’S SAYING ALOT! It’s like, I don’t know, 25% or maybe 35% a Dwarfish meeting. A very long, very boring dwarfish meeting.

    • nevillegirl says:

      OK I WON’T. I wasn’t going to anyway, but thanks for the… warning? xD
      It makes me wonder what Paolini is like irl. Is he just as wordy when he talks, or does that come out in only his writing? Hmmm.

  7. Ashana Lian says:

    I wanted to get round to reading Eragon… eventually! But it does annoy me when books are overly wordy. OOooo I want to read Misery! I saw the film with Kathy Bates and she was just a terrifying woman O_O Funnily enough, I didn’t find The Fault In Our Stars hard to read but I think that’s because I accepted beforehand these characters were going to be those types that thought themselves quite clever. I wasn’t a fan of the characters but I thought the story was okaaay.

    When I think of a book that’s hard to read, I immediately think of David Mitchell. The Thousand Autumns Of Jacob De Zoet is incredible but the way it’s written makes it TOUGH to get through. I have Cloud Atlas on my shelf and I’m eager to get to it but apprehensive for this reason!

    I enjoyed this post, great stuff ^.^

    • nevillegirl says:

      Misery is amazing. 😀

      Ahaha, that’s a good description of Hazel and Augustus. 🙂

      Thank you! Thanks for reading and commenting, and I’ll be sure to take a look at your blog too!

  8. Ugh, The Scarlet Letter’s that bad? I was thinking about reading it, but if it’s gonna be all Tolkien-esque (aka describing a tree for like 20 pages––I love Tolkien but the descriptions…) I’m not reading it.

    Well, guess that kicks Eragon off my reading list as well. My best friend loves that series, so I was thinking about it, but nah.

    Yeah, TFiOS is really pretentious. I liked it the first time I read it, but I reread it recently and no.

    Misery sounds nice, but I’m a wimp and if I watch or read something terrifying I usually have to have the lights on for the next hour or so. I think I’ll read it, but it’ll probably have to be in broad daylight, from how you’re describing it 🙂

    It got really hard for me to read the Heroes of Olympus series by the Mark of Athena. I don’t really know why, but I found myself skimming over a lot of the details and I got bored with the plot about halfway through. So I stopped following that series, though I still take some details as canon even though I’m not into it anymore. Nico, man. Nico. You know what I mean.

    Did you notice all the Christian undertones to the Narnia series when you read them? I didn’t really see them until the 7th book, but then that one got really annoying to read because I was so done with religion at that point. You?

    • nevillegirl says:

      *nodnod* The Scarlet Letter is terrible.
      …aaaaand so is Eragon.

      Oh god, I’m glad you think it’s pretentious too. Most people I know think Gus is cute???? No, he’s annoying.

      Ehehe, definitely read Misery with all the lights on.

      Have you read The Blood of Olympus yet? 🙂

      I didn’t see them until the 7th book, too. Tbh, I think I liked The Horse and His Boy & The Voyage of the Dawn Treader so much because A) they’re beautifully written and B) there are’t any Christian allegories in them, as far as I can tell.

      • Even when I read it the first time, I just found Gus really fake. He just had this air of ‘I’m so much better than you and I’m a pompous know-it-all’ surrounding him. And yeah, he’s really annoying. Like, one of the most famous things he gets quoted as is “It’s a metaphor, Hazel Grace,” and to refer to smoking in front of a girl with a cannula as a metaphor just sounds like a really dickish thing to do.

        I will, thanks for the tip lol.

        No, I haven’t yet. I placed a hold on it, but I’m like 12th in line right now so I probably won’t be able to read it for another few months. Is it good?

        I loved The Horse and His Boy so so much. I can easily say it’s my favorite of the series. And yeah, I didn’t really see any veiled references, but the last time I read either of those books was around 3 years ago.

    • nevillegirl says:

      IKR? He’s totally pompous. And I’d never thought about that cigarette thing, but…. yes.
      (Also, when they made out in the Anne Frank house? Ewwwwww. It’s like… no. Just no. That’s disrespectful and inappropriate. It’s like making out at, IDK, Auschwitz or some battlefield or the Vietnam Wall. No. But most of my friends think it’s just the cutest thing ever? Bleh… Like, if I had a gf and we were at the Anne Frank house and she tried that, it wouldn’t matter if I thought she was the greatest thing ever, I’d still be like wtf are u doing girl.)

      It’s very good! 😀 ❤

      • Ugh, yeah, I completely forgot about that part. Like, there’s a time and place to make out and it is not the Anne Frank house. Yeah, same with my friends. It’s a major part of their fangirling and I’m just off to the side like “hey guys I hate TFiOS for /that reason/” and so basically no.

        I knowww like the world building was A+++.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Basically I resent that book SO MUCH and lots of people have online-yelled at me for not thinking it’s the bestest thing ever. 😦

      Andandand older Pevensies! It was cool to see them as grown-up kings and queens.

      • I mean, I thought it was pretty good the first time, but now it’s like no guys why. And then I see people getting online-yelled at (and irl-yelled at) for not loving it and it’s like guys. People are allowed to have individual opinions, it’s what makes them people.

        Yesss I loved Susan and Peter in that book. It’s just kinda cool to see how much they’ve changed from the tiny kids in TLTWaTW to regal, magnificent kings and queens that totally kick ass.

        On another note: What’re you planning to do for NaNo this year? Is your word count hella again? (I changed my NaNo username to hawkeye_jr, btw, because my nerdiness needed indulging)

    • nevillegirl says:

      Yeah, I’ve been told quite a few times that I’m not smart enough to understand the book, or whatever. Like, no, I just didn’t like it.

      Also Susan became kind of hot like oh my gOD

      I’m writing an apocalyptic story with two girls who fall in love. 😀 And I don’t have time for a hella word count this year, so it’s a 5,000-word short story. 🙂
      (Oh yeah, I saw that!)

      • Yay for pretentious John Green fans, right? Like, guys, you love his writing and all and I get that, but please don’t go around with your noses in the air because of it.

        Oh my god ikr like dudeee. And Lucy’s sister (the girl who played older Lucy in TLTWaTW) is like hella pretty

        This is absolute brilliance oh my god.

    • nevillegirl says:

      The cute queer girl at work and I had an awesome geeky discussion about John Green the other day. 😀 *happy squees because she found another person who doesn’t like Green*

      Ooh, really? *scurries off to google for pictures*

      Ehehe, glad you think so!

      • Ooh damn you go girl~ How goes that, btw? The cute queer girl, not the John Green probs lol.

        Yesss. (Have you seen Karen Gillan lately though bc all I can say is damn she’s got it going on.)

    • nevillegirl says:

      Actually, I’ve since found out that they’re genderfluid! 😀 And I’ve given up on trying to figure out if they’re flirting with me. xD

      (I know, right?)

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