I’ve had a really great streak going lately – the last several books I have read have all been great. I’ve really been on quite a roll.
Which got me thinking about books that I didn’t mesh with – specifically ones that I wasn’t able to finish. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t make them “bad,” they just weren’t for me. Usually, if I only get a couple chapters into a book and realize it’s not for me, I don’t post a review. I don’t feel I can truly review a book having only read maybe two or three chapters.
So for the first time, I’m admitting which books I couldn’t finish – at least the first time I picked them up (See more on that below).
- A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) by George R.R. Martin: After hearing all the hype about the TV series, I was really curious about the books, because that’s how I think. But I couldn’t get more than 100 pages in. Even though I knew it was a fantasy/epic/drama, it was just SO MUCH of all of that. I couldn’t stomach it, I guess for the same reasons I don’t like soap operas. Oh well.
- The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff: I have always been fascinated by the Salem witch trials, and have even visited Salem, Mass. But I couldn’t get into this book, which blended reality and legend and lots and lots of small details. I couldn’t follow it at all.
- One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell: I got about halfway through this book before letting it just drift off and finally putting it away. I just couldn’t really sympathize with others the characters here. But maybe that’s because they were just so different from me. Or the fact that I never liked “Sex and the City.” *shrugs*
- The Girl with the Dragin Tattoo by Stieg Larsson: Ok, so the first time I picked this book up in an airport bookstore, I let the Swedish names trip me up. I couldn’t focus on the Tory because I was distract d by the hard to pronounce names and places. But then, maybe 2 years or so later, I decided to give it another try. And I DEVOURED the entire series. I absolutely loved it. Which goes to show you: never give up on a book totally. You may change your mind.
What books have you never been able to finish? Or do you think I should give one of these another chance? Let me know!
The Lost Woman by Sara Blaedel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I didn’t know if I’d like this novel from the description. It seemed interesting, by more focused on characters than plot.
But I am so glad to say that I was wrong. This novel was incredibly intriguing and I loved every page.
The story begins with the murder of a woman in England, Who turns out to be a Danish woman reported missing nearly 20 years earlier. Louise Rick is plunged into the case when it turns out the dead woman is her new boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend. As they dig into her pass it becomes apparent that her murder may not be random, The culmination of nearly 20 years of events.
Don’t want to give away too much because the reveal is very good but this novel is so much deeper than just a police procedural. The background is explained along side of the modern case story; we learn about Sophie’s background and what led to her actions, and therefore the actions of her killer, as police investigate her murder.
It’s really good because it involves a modern-day issue that is complex and nuanced and the story is too. Even the ending is incredibly complex and makes you think. It’s not a black-and-white story and that makes the novel even better.
Some of the danish names were hard to keep straight but the main characters have fairly simple, Anglicized names, which made it a tad easier.
This is a novel in a series but I read it as a standalone. It certainly can’t be read as a standalone and I had no problems picking up the storylines. The only thing I didn’t like about this book being part of a series is the fact that I feel bad that I missed such great novels – I’ll be going back and looking up the rest of the Louise Rick series.
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Stone Coffin by Kjell Eriksson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book has great potential, but doesn’t to the exciting action promised in the description. It’s more a crawl through an intriguing-enough mystery, rather than an action-packed escapade.
The book follows Ann Lindell, who is investigating the murder of a woman and her young daughter soon be husband is tracked down, and his fate leaves more questions than answers. Why would a successful young man on the brink of taking in some big money run down his family? Or if he didn’t do it, who did?
Sounds good right? This book had so much potential but gets bogged down in the personal trials of the investigative team and action that unfolds fairly slowly. The action never really gets going and the mystery just ends up….solved. They figure it out and move on, I guess.
I wasn’t too worried about who the culprit was by the end of the novel – but I was interested to see how it all fit together. More because I did like the idea of the novel, and wanted to see it through. But I wasn’t turning pages frenetically or anything.
And there is an interesting twist, don’t get me wrong. But the pace of the novel is so slow. It really takes away from the excitement that you get from most thrillers and police procedurals.
Plus, because it’s a series, the personal issues presented in the novel don’t get solved. They’re left for the next installment – boo!
So, I don’t know what to say about this one. It has the potential, but it’s not there yet. Not my cup of tea.
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