Top Ten Tuesdays

Ten books I disliked initially but ended up pleasantly surprised by

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted at The Broke and The Bookish where they post a list idea and everyone is welcome to post the list with their own answers. This week’s theme is “Top Ten….Books you had a hard time with“.  I didn’t want to do just books I decided to DNF, because that’s a bit depressing, but I’m also not sure I can think of 10 books I’ve DNF’d but then gone back to love, so I’ve tweaked the theme a little, to Ten Books I disliked initially, but ended up being pleasantly surprised by.

Pre-reading prejudice

Wolf of the Plains – This is one of the very first books I can think of where my initial snap-judgement was totally wrong. This was recommended to me, and I promptly turned my nose up – Genghis Khan? I knew literally nothing about him, but I knew I didn’t read historical fiction. That remained true, until I got nagged into reading this by the person who’d recommended it, and I ended up loving it. I still don’t read much historical fiction, but I don’t dismiss it straight out of hand any more, and this remains one of my favourite books.

Am I normal yet? – Contemporary? Not my thing, and I found Holly Bourne’s covers kind of cheesy-looking if I’m 100% honest. I picked this up after reading the third book in the series, and ended up being very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed both.

Graceling – I missed this when it initially came out, and by the time I got around to it, I’d sort of decided in my head that you were a fan of Graceling OR of Throne of Glass – and I loved Throne of Glass. How could Graceling compare? (Or, a tiny part of me worried, what if I loved it and ended up hating Throne of Glass?). Slightly irrational? Absolutely, but it did put me off for ages. When I finally picked it up, I loved it, and I discovered that I didn’t have to pick one over the other – I could just love both (I don’t know why I ever thought this would be an issue to be honest, but I did).

Harry Potter & The Cursed Child – Oh the fear of this one. The epilogue of Harry Potter is my least favourite part – I regularly tell people I’d rather just ignore it’s existence and pretend it never happened. How could I possibly like a story about the ridiculously named children, born of all the canon-pairings? I’m a fanon shipper all the way, and I resented that JKR hadn’t let us go off and make our own endings, but I knew I’d get spoiled for this so I picked it up to at least make my own mind up. I ended up actually really enjoying it (and Scorpius is awesome).

Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Demons and romance? BORING AND CHEESY. Er, wait, actually, when I finally picked it up I burned through all three books rapidly and Laini Taylor went onto the list of favourite authors. Oops.

Didn’t like on first attempt

The Lord of the Rings – This is still probably never going to make it on to my list of favourite books, but I enjoyed it SO MUCH MORE when I picked it up at the right time. The first time, I didn’t even finish the first book. Second time, I made it part way through The Two Towers before I decided it was too much like hard work. Third time, I read through the whole lot in one go.

A Game of Thrones – I picked this up and thought “It’s another Tolkien. Everything is so slow, and boring, and so damn wordy.” I came back a year later and absolutely devoured the series, couldn’t get enough of it. Now an absolute favourite.

Fool’s Errand – I know, I know, this one seems weird. I’ve loved everything I’ve ever read by Robin Hobb, and the Fool is my favourite character, how was this not an instant favourite? I don’t know either, all I know is that I absolutely loved these when I came back to them a second time (AFTER reading the Liveship Traders) I enjoyed them a lot more, even though the recommended reading order is these first and the Liveships later.

A Discovery of Witches – Too urban, too modern, too cliche-romance, I didn’t even make it through the first chapter the first time.  After someone recommended it to me I went back and gave it another go and got engrossed.

The Final Empire – I started this on audiobook the first time, and I couldn’t get on with it AT ALL – I ended up returning it to audible because it was all so bleak, and depressing, and I found the narrator just put me to sleep (definitely a personal preference, I know lots of people love him). I picked it up in paperback a few years later though and really enjoyed it.

Which books did you dismiss out of hand but end up loving? And have you ever had a book you initially dislike turn into a favourite, or am I being very weird?


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