My Biggest Struggle As A Reader

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Books I Almost Put Down But Didn’t…I couldn’t think of 10 for this so I changed it up a bit!

If you know me or have been reading this blog for a while, you know I REALLY REALLY struggle to put down books though I’ve been trying to be better about it. I just have the hardest time ever. On one hand I’m all, “YOLO. Life is too short to read books I’m not into” but then that is easier said than done and the other half of me is all, “WHAT IF IT GETS BETTER?? WHAT IF I AM MISSING OUT ON GREATNESS??” And then the battle wages on in my head whether or not to put the damn book down or not.

So my two lists of 5 books reflect both sides of my struggle with putting down books!!



Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: This is one of those books where the payoff was big in the end for me! It was sooo confusing but it comes together. Such an amazing book!

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: How funny that one of my favorite books was one I almost put down (which does not help me in my efforts to get better at not finishing books)! I just couldn’t get into this at first but kept pressing through and I’m so happy. WOW.

A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty: This was one that was so strange and hard to get into at first. I couldn’t keep track of what was going on. While it wasn’t ever an OMG I LOVED IT BOOK, I’m glad I kept going because I really enjoyed it by the end and I plan to read the second book which I hear was even better!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: Another favorite book! I was intrigued by this book from page one but I first read this one back when I was first getting back into reading and it was a bit of a hard time in the beginning of The Book Thief. SO GLAD I DID NOT PUT IT DOWN. That book.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: So I had to read this for college and I was sooo not into it at first. I almost put it down and just tried to write my essay using my savvy college student ways that aren’t reading the book. However, I decided to press down and it ended up being quite an interesting book!


Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook: This book irritated me from page one and I thought maybe it would all come together for me but NOPE.

The Ward by Jordana Frankel: I LOVED this premise and I longed for it to get better but I just had the hardest time visualizing everything and it was just so confusing and convoluted and I wish I had just put it down.

Eve & Adam by Katherine Applegate  & Michael Grant: UGH THIS BOOK. I got done with it and was like HAHA OMG THAT WAS ALL? The concept was there in ways but I seriously wish I could beg the book gods for the time back I spent on this one. Luckily it was a quick read. Just definitely not for me…very different than what I had thought it would be!

Liar by Justine Larbalestier: I think the thing that frustrates me about this one is that one hand this book was brilliant and unique but on the other hand I just…couldn’t handle it. It was definitely an experience but to this day I almost wish I just stopped listening to it so I wouldn’t feel so crazy when I think about this book haha

Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes: I love travelogues and OMG ITALY. I’m normally just sucked right into living vicariously through someone else but this one was so boring. I wish I would have stopped and just watched the movie instead.


So tell me…which books did you almost put down but are glad you didn’t?? Were there any that you wish you listened to your inner voice and put it down?? Does anyone else struggle with putting down books??

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I definitely understand your struggling with whether or not to DNF a book. I get the same nagging feeling that I could be missing something if I put it down, plus I hate not knowing what happens. So I usually a) at least read the ending, or B) skim really really fast to the end lol.

    I’m glad you stuck with Jellicoe Road, as it’s my favorite book of all time! 🙂

  2. I find it hard to put down books too, and although I reallyenjoyed the weirdness of Liar, I am 100% with you on Eve and Adam!

  3. Okay, I’ll admit. I put down Code Name Verity despite (or perhaps in part due to) the huge amount of hype leading into my picking it up. Whaddaya think? Is it worth going back and finishing? Does it actually get better? The journal format was bugging me, and the story just wasn’t grabbing me at the time. But I’ve heard SO MUCH good about it… What do you recommend?

  4. I am SO glad you didn’t put Jellicoe Road down. That book is SO special to me… I am glad you enjoyed it in the end. I have seen Code Name Verity on a number of lists and I am curious about whether or not I would have the same experience.

    I feel like I have some pretty controversial books on my list this week. We shall see what everyone thinks.

    Great list, Jamie!

    ~Sara @ Just Another Story

  5. I felt weird about Liar too!! It wasn’t bad, but it was SO odd. Jellicoe Road also made my list, but because I never got fully into it. It was SOOOO confusing in the beginning and I think I held a grudge against it because of that 🙁 Great list!

    My TTT

  6. Kimberly says:

    Aww it’s a shame you didn’t enjoy Eve & Adam more, I loved it but I get it’s not for everyone. I haven’t read any of the others you mentioned though.

    Here’s my TTT post
    Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

  7. I used to have the same problem, but I’ve become better since I started book blogging. I think that’s because my TBR pile just grows and grows. Mainly because of this meme! I really need to read Jellicoe Road. I keep seeing it appear this week which just shows to me how good it is! 🙂

  8. The freaking Book Thief was a DNF for me, and I’m glad I abandoned it before I could become even more bored and annoyed by just about everything. Just thinking about the smug, gimmicky narrator with his constant parade of spoilers and obscene language passed off as cute terms of endearment makes me angry.

    I had to read Frankenstein for two different university classes, but didn’t quite get to the end for the first class. For the second class, I think I relied on my memory, or else looked over the book again. One of these days, I really should read the entire thing and not stop.

  9. OMG I definitely struggle putting down books. I just feel like a quitter when I do, and get no sense of closure. There are some books that I wish after the fact that I had put down instead of buckling down and finishing! It’s just so hard when you get a book that is hard in the begining but then becomes AMAZING in the end (Jellicoe Road I’M LOOKING a AT YOU) because now every time I struggle with a book I think, “what if it becomes great later…?”

  10. I actually did put down Nobody But Us =) Great list!

  11. I struggled through the beginning of Code Name Verity as well. It’s very plane heavy at first and it was just a bit dry. But I am so so glad that I pushed through because it is seriously one of my favorite books ever. So amazing. Such a beautiful story of friendship. I’m seriously tearing up thinking about it.

  12. I’m slogging through Frankenstein right now actually. For awhile I’m good with it, then it loses me, then it gets me back… I’ll finish, but not my fastest pace that’s for sure 🙂

    Now Jellicoe road is so on my TBR pile.

  13. I agree with CNV, I almost put it down but I’m glad I didn’t. I really enjoyed it along with The Book Thief. I want to check out JELLICORE ROAD and TUSCAN SUN. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Interesting choices. Jellicoe Road was quite tricky in the beginning. You almost have to read it again immediately after finishing it to really appreciate it. So much love for The Book Thief. I’m very glad you didn’t put that down.

  15. Ashling says:

    I struggle with not putting down books too. I think part of me feels guilty not finishing it, and another part of me keeps hoping it’ll get better. But sometimes a book is SO bad that I put it down without any guilt at all. For me, that book was Under the Tuscan Sun. I saw the movie first, so I figured the book would be even better. Nope. It was just like you said – boring! That one chapter where she talks about all the wells/underground springs they keep finding on the property is the chapter that made me just give up. This is one of those rare cases where the movie was a thousand times better than the book.

    If you love travelogues and Italy as much as I do, you should check out Marlena de Blasi’s books, especially A Thousand Days in Venice and A Thousand Days in Tuscany. And bonus – they’re also great books if you love food too.

  16. I struggle with putting down books too, though I’ve gotten a little better at it. Usually it’s because of the character (I can’t relate or they did something I can’t get past…)

  17. I really liked Jellicoe road too, the book thief as well. fun list. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

  18. brandon says:

    To be honest, two books I read that I really wished I had pit down are Indelible and Dorothy Must Die. Indelible had an interesting premise bit the flattest and most uninspired characterization (plus a romance that I guess was supposed to be hot but it was just creepy at worst, cookie-cutter at best.) Dorothy Must Die also had an interesting premise but the main character bored me (I actually forgot her name at one point) and Dorothy, as a villain, had no believable motive.

  19. You and I went through the same thought process while making this list, and I did exactly as you did, listing both sides of the issue. I’ve read most of the books on your positive list and enjoyed them, but I will probably avoid the ones on your other list. Thank you for sharing.
    My TTT

  20. Cool list, Jamie. Well put together – and I love how you split it up. 🙂

  21. I totally hear you on Under the Tuscan Sun. I adore the movie and like a good travel memoir buuut…it took me FOREVER to read it. Wish I had skipped it. Oh well.

  22. My mom just started The Book Thief after I recommended it to her, but she’s having a really hard time starting it. I remember it took me a long time to read the book because I had the same problem, but it’s definitely worth sticking it out.

  23. ahh I LOVED Under the Tuscan Sun 😉 I almost always finish books because I do the same thing, and convince myself they’re going to get so much better– only sometimes they just don’t, but at least if I finish them I know I have a fully formed opinion.

  24. I have the same “biggest struggle”. It’s so hard for me to put down a book, because “what if it gets better???” I actually made it a New Year’s Resolution to be better about this. I’m not doing so great though…

  25. I had a hard time with Code Name Verity at first too, but did end up really liking it! And The Book Thief too when I think about, though I didn’t include it on my list today.

  26. YOU ARE SOOOO RIGHT ABOUT JELLICOE ROAD. (Although I didn’t get to the point wherein I wanted to put it down.) It took me sometime to get really into the story (I had moments when I had to read the blurb at the back of my copy I MEAN WHAT IS THIS I’M READING ALL ABOUT AGAIN) but when I had HOLY MOTHER OF BOOKS it made sense! After reading it (and okay, Graffiti Moon, too) I officially had to watch out for Aussie authors.

    And oh, The Book Thief. The Book Thief! I think I tried reading it about four times already? Or five? But every time I open it, I don’t get past the second chapter because it’s so difficult to get into! Like I’m not feeling it or something. Now I have to rethink of picking it up again.

  27. I’m having the same problem with The Book Theif, even though I’ve heard great things about it. Good to know I should keep reading!

  28. It’s really fun that 4 out of the 5 books you almost put down are also 4 books that I nearly put down – The Book Thief, Code Name Verity, Jellicoe Road and A Corner of White. So, so good though, right? HOWEVER, I’ve become so much better at DNF after a horrendous read from two months ago. That’s a story for another day though 😉

  29. It’s rare that I don’t finish a book. It’s happened sometimes when I tried to read books that were way out of my comfort zone and which were very long. I’ve dropped series books midway without an issue though.

  30. Ugh. Yes! Under the Tuscan Sun. I beat myself with this one too. I just kept thinking, “This HAS to get better. Why would they make a movie out of something this boring?” But it never got better. And I wasted a lot of perfectly good reading time. It’s because of this book that I have now instituted the 30 page rule. If I’m bored by page 30 with no redeeming facts, it goes in the DNF pile. Donesies.