Why Did I Add These Books To My TBR List?!

I’m pretty sure everyone here has made some weird/bad/questionable decisions in their lifetime, right? The big ones, naturally, tend to linger in our minds, but the smaller ones have an impact too. For example, every so often I scroll through my “to-read” shelf on Goodreads, looking for something new to read – and every so often, I stumble across a story that makes me wince and wonder why on earth I ever added that one to the list.

I’ve added sooooo many books to that list because… because I wasn’t thinking clearly, I suppose. I was being unrealistic (“Of course I can read this five-thousand-page book!”) or got swept up in the storm of my friends’ fangirling (“Even though nothing about this book really appeals to me, I’ll add it to my list because everyone I know is giving it a five-star rating!”).

It’s kind of embarrassing.

And that leads me to this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt – hosted, as always, by The Broke and the Bookish: “ten books I will probably never read.”

1. Going Bovine by Libba Bray

I tried to read this aaaages ago (OK, maybe four years ago) and just couldn’t get into it. I mean, I’ve loved some of Bray’s other books, but this one is about a kid who has contracted mad cow disease and starts having all these hallucinations and I just… gah. It was super weird, but there wasn’t any point to all this weirdness, and the overuse of slang irritated me.

sherlock bored gif2. Crossed and Reached by Ally Condie

To be honest, I don’t have a clue why I kept reading the first book, Matched. I guess I thought it would get better? But it didn’t. It was the stereotypical “YA dystopian with a girl who finds herself in a love triangle with two boys” and it was SO FREAKING BLAND. I would rather watch paint dry than finish this series.

3. It by Stephen King

First of all, I am extremely squeamish when it comes to horror. I enjoyed some of King’s other books, such as Misery and Carrie, but even then I had to read a LOT of happy “fluff” books in order to feel less freaked out. And this one? It’s about some sort of creature that’s terrorizing children, and I am just not sure if I can handle that.

4. InsurgentAllegiant, and Four by Veronica Roth

DIVThese definitely fall into the “added because of fangirl hype” category. I loved the concept of a dystopian Chicago, but the whole faction thing had so many plot holes (…seriously, your future is determined by whether you choose the knife or the cheese? and hasn’t anyone heard of cheese knives?), and the addition of a romantic subplot basically ruined the book for me. I’m interested in dystopians for the WEIRD FUTURISTIC WORLDS, not yet another girl-meets-boy story.

5. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

OK, I’m cheating here: This one’s not actually on my TBR list. Because I’m not foolish enough to put it on there in the first place! Christian Grey seems creepy and abusive and controlling and I just… like, if I’m actually going to read a guy/girl romance, I want something CUTE and well-written and not this… nonsense.

6. The Host by Stephenie Meyer

I tried to read this book last summer, but I couldn’t even get past page twelve! And I am practically the QUEEN of Stubbornly Slogging Through Dull Books Until I Reach The End. But I felt sleepier with each page, and I kept… um… making up excuses to set the book aside and go do something else. That’s never a good sign, right?

7. Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Because I read the first book in this series – Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist – and it was HORRIBLE. I’m not exaggerating here, it made me go “BLEHHHH” and regret the time I spent on it. (I guess I was so disappointed because I’d heard that it was an Amazing Book That Will Change Your Life and it just wasn’t, in any way.) Anyway, this one seems even more cringe-worthy because it’s all about a straight girl who’s in love with a gay boy and how miserable (note the sarcasm here) that makes her and I’m just like [Rolls eyes so hard that that they now permanently face the back of her skull].

8. Every Day by David Levithanevery day

…I don’t have a good history with Levithan’s books, all right? I’ve given all the ones I’ve read (which includes those he co-wrote with Rachel Cohn and John Green) two-star ratings because they bored me. And I just don’t know if I have it in me to try another Levithan book in the hope that maybe, just maybe, I’ll like this one better.

9. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

This story sounded AMAZING – outer space! dystopia! ridiculously fancy dresses! – until I heard that the main characters (who are, eventually, mutual love interests) hate each other at the beginning of the book. And that bothers me. It really, really bothers me. How on earth is that a healthy relationship? To tell the truth, I’ve only ever seen this trope in stories about straight people… seriously, why do they think it’s hilarious when a boyfriend and girlfriend have a love/hate relationship? Does no one else find that disturbing? Gaaaaah. I’m not talking about occasional bickering because that happens in every relationship: I’m talking about hating the other person’s guts. Whyyyyyy.

10. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson

Just look at that title! LOOK AT IT. Isn’t it the most pretentious thing you’ve ever seen?! I tried reading it when I was about twelve or thirteen, and it bored me to tears. It was really, really slow.

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I know I use this gif too often, but it perfectly expresses my feelings about the books listed here.

I know I use this gif too often, but it perfectly expresses my feelings about the books listed here.

Well, that was fun! Writing frustrated/ranty posts is always rather cathartic, isn’t it? It’s, like, the writer’s equivalent of turning into the Incredible Hulk and SMASHING THINGS. Only we smash words together. We’re talented that way.

So, what did I learn from writing this post?

  1. I am picky about dystopians, particularly YA dystopians
  2. I have very high standards concerning guy/girl romances
  3. Sloppily-written romances irritate me, whether they’re a subplot or the story itself
  4. I have hardly any patience for stories that are slow to start
  5. Horror is not really my thing

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Which books do you think you’ll never read? And tell me… are there any books on this list that you think I should reconsider?!

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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.
This entry was posted in Books and Reading!, Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Why Did I Add These Books To My TBR List?!

  1. I actually really enjoyed ‘Every Day’ and a lot of the things it did (the way it deals with depression was refreshing, even if it was only a chapter) but I agree, Levithan’s work is very slice of life and if you aren’t grabbed it can be a bit of a slog. I also had it pointed out to me that for a story about a genderless, body-hopping character who goes through a diverse range of lives, ‘Every Day’ played off remarkably heteronormatively. And I haven’t been able to get that out of my head since, since, well, it’s pretty true :/ awkies.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Yeah, that’s what I’ve heard – it’s still VERY heteronormative, and that just doesn’t appeal to me. :/ It seems like the straightest queer story ever, which is just like… what’s the point?
      (Also it seems a bit stalker-ish? With the main character endlessly pursuing their love interest?)

  2. OH OH BUT THESE BROKEN STARS IS SO GOOD. ANd normally I hate sci-fi! Also Every Day is really good – actually, the only good book I’ve read of David Levithan’s.

  3. moosha23 says:

    Reconsider Fifty Shades! Darn near changed my life, that one did! It’s absolutely beautiful and taught me so much about relationships! Go for it!

    ….
    I JOKE.
    Mwuhahahaha.

  4. Cait says:

    Well, These Broken Stars doesn’t really have a “loathe” relationship. It’s definitely love/hate, but they kind of dislike each other on principle instead of “he/she is really rude and cruel or condescending”. SO YEAH. But, hey! There are too many books in the world to read to bother with ones that don’t appeal. 😉 The Matched/Crossed/Reached are on my list too. After reading Matched and then Atlantia, I’m officially sworn off Ally Condie. xD

  5. HOLLY says:

    Good move with Going Bovine! I read it a few years ago and really didn’t care for it. Everything that happens is super random and the ending just made everything so much worse. I was expected a fun, quirky read, but it was so much weirder than I thought it would be. It’s too bad, because I like a lot of Libba Bray’s books otherwise.

    • nevillegirl says:

      *nodnod* I think her book Beauty Queens had a similarly “random” feeling, but… it also managed to tie all that together into a cohesive plot? I mean… gah, I can’t remember the name of the dictator character, but a lot of his sections were pure silliness? And yet eventually they went towards a plot? I got bored waiting for Going Bovine to actually develop a plot. 😛

  6. Miriam Joy says:

    I enjoyed ‘The Host’ when I read it. That said, it was a really long time ago — I was probably about twelve or thirteen, as it hadn’t long been out. So that’s not much of a guarantee or a recommendation. I thought it was a lot better than Twilight, though.

    • nevillegirl says:

      There’s really nowhere to go but up with Twilight, though, isn’t there? 😛

      I dunno. If I ever do get around to reading it, I might try the audiobook? Maybe that would keep me interested/awake.

      • Miriam Joy says:

        It’d do the opposite for me — audiobooks send me straight to sleep. As do lectures. My inability to listen for any length of time is a problem in my life.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Pffft. As long as the narrator varies the sound of their voice and doesn’t use a monotone, I like listening to lectures, audiobooks, et cetera. It reminds me of being read to as a little kid. 🙂

  7. I had the Matched Trilogy on my list, I was bored just from reading the synopsis. I actually liked Divergent & Insurgent but I have yet to read Allegiant and everyone seems to hate that one the most (I know why). Fifty Shades of Grey was also on mine.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/top-ten-tuesday-3/

    • nevillegirl says:

      Ehehe, that makes sense. 🙂

      Ooh, I’ll be sure to check out your TTT post! Sorry this reply is so late; I’m still checking comments from a few days ago.. I’ve been pretty busy this weekend!

  8. matttblack42 says:

    In Defense of “It,” the creature doesn’t just terrorize children. He’s also eaten some of them. Plus, all of his victims get sent to this spiritual place where It “feeds” off their souls for the rest of eternity.

    Admittedly, I’m not doing a great job at endearing you to this book. Maybe try The Stand instead. It’s more of an action/adventure story than a horror one.

  9. I thought Matched was okay (but that’s only cuz it was like my, 3rd or 4th YA dystopian) but then I started reading Crossed and stopped at some part where they were climbing some mountains. Which is like, no description at all cuz during the WHOLE BOOK THEY’RE CLIMBING FREAKING MOUNTAINS!!!!! D:

    I thought Divergent was okay but I totally agree about the plot holes and I think I liked it more cuz I was surrounded by people who loved it and they kept on telling me ALL THAT THEY LOVED and my brain convinced myself that I like those too. My brain is stupid.

    Let’s not talk about 50 shades unless you want me to write a 5 page essay. (seriously, why does school not give essays like this?! I’d be getting A+)

    I only watched Nick And Norah’s… oops? I didn’t read the book. I didn’t really know what Naomi and Ely was about but now that you just said it, I feel like I’d probably want to smash the heroine’s face through a wall… But I can kinda relate cuz so many book guys that I actually like, turn out to be gay. AND I SWEAR WHERE ARE THE LES GIRLS?! Tis so annoying. Like, the girls I like, straight straight straight. The guys I like, gay… WHY!?!?!

    Anyways, I actually liked Every Day. I feel like you might not enjoy it but I did. It was pretty good, though I don’t know how I feel about there being a sequel…

    Ya… I have much more to say but I Realize how long my reply is already so…
    Great post!
    ~Fari 0:)

  10. Mo says:

    Oh my god, Matched and the subsequent novels were even more boring than the Divergent trilogy.

    Okay, I know I’m a bigger fan of David Levithan than you are (and by “bigger” I mean I’ve actually enjoyed a few of his books), but I’m gonna say once again that the only Rachel Cohn/David Levithan book that I actually liked was Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, because they do actually seem to get to know each other and it’s also a very geeky book.

    • nevillegirl says:

      *nods* I know, right? And that probably takes some talent, to be more boring than Divergent… 😛

      “And by ‘bigger’ I mean I’ve actually enjoyed a few of his books,” HAHAHAHA.
      Do I need to read Naomi & Ely to understand Dash & Lily, or is it not necessary? Because I might try the third book, then…

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