Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring Cleaning--Give These Books Another Chance or Clear them Out?

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book blog meme now hosted by Jana over at The Artsy Reader Girl!

This week's topic is:  Spring Clean--Should I Keep These Books I DNF'd?

This week's topic is a "Spring Cleaning Freebie," so I'm taking this as a time to look through some books I've set aside over the years without finishing and try to decide (and hopefully get some feedback and opinions on them!) about whether or not I should give them a second chance. These are books from a shelf I have on Goodreads called "to-be-finished," which is where I put books that I didn't enjoy at the time, but might want to pick up again at a later date. I also have an "abandoned" shelf for books I have no present intention to ever pick up again. Some of these are very tentative and I wouldn't mind trying them again, and some I'm very close to just abandoning forever. 

The Traitor Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade, #1)

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

From what I've seen, this book seems to be a pretty divisive one, so I wasn't really surprised to discover it wasn't working for me. I think my main issue was that I just found the narrative remarkably dry and a bit confusing and I just had no interest in the plot, characters, etc. I don't really feel inclined to finish this one and am tempted to just move to the "abandoned" shelf, but if you love this book--make your case for it!

Song of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles, #1)

Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope
I remember when I started this book I was surprised that it didn't have the greatest review at the time because the beginning was such a strong start! I don't have any bad feelings towards this book and I think the only reason I ever stopped reading it was because it was starting to drag and I didn't feel a major connection or motivation to keep going. If you've read this one, let me know your thoughts! I actually am thinking I'd like to maybe try it again someday, but I'm not overly sold on it, either, so I feel like it's just been hanging in limbo for ages, haha. 

The Rage of Dragons (The Burning, #1)
The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter
Okay, so I'll just preface this one by saying that I am about 95% sure I'm going to move this to "abandoned" and not finish because it doesn't sound like my style. The general premise and characters all sound amazing and like something I'd like, but from what I read of it (and what I've heard from others), it's very action-heavy, and I'm really not someone who loves to read a lot of action because I just tend to get a bit bored. Let me know if you think it's something I'd like or if you agree that it's pretty action-based!

The Library of the Unwritten (Hell's Library #1)

The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith

I thought that this would be a book I'd love, but I could not connect with the writing style at the time I read it, and I found myself a bit confused about the world and characters. I feel very ambivalent about keeping this one on my list and have no problem moving it to "abandoned," but I'd love to hear other people's opinions. 

The Beginning Woods

The Beginning Woods by Malcolm McNeill

This book was so frustrating because I genuinely loved the first half of this book. I couldn't understand why it had a lower Goodreads rating and why I hadn't seen the best reviews for it.... and then I hit the second half, and things got weird. Not the kind of weird that I like, but a weird that just felt out of place and confusing and didn't match the magical tone of the first half of the book. If you've read this, let me know if the latter half gets better or if the ending is any good and maybe I'll pick it up again, but as it stands I was just so disappointed by the second half that I am hesitant to try it again, haha. 

Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky, #1)
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
I am probably most open to trying out Black Sun a second time, but I'm also still fairly hesitant because the things that other people loved about it seemed to be the areas I struggled with. I didn't care the world-building and felt that there wasn't quite enough of it, and I also found myself very uninterested with most of the characters. Still, I find the premise extremely interesting and I wouldn't mind trying it again, though perhaps reading it in a physical form and not Kindle would benefit me more next time... If you have any opinions either for or against continuing this one, let me know!

Down Comes the Night

Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft

This one just came out last week, so I know a lot of people haven't read it yet, but I struggled with the copy I got from NetGalley. From the very first chapter I found myself getting annoyed at the protagonist and general setup of the story--it just felt like something I'd read a thousand times over. I read a bit longer into the book before deciding it just wasn't something I wanted at the time. I am leaning towards trying it again if I hear some good things about it, but I'm not sure yet. If you've read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty, #1)
The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu
This is another case of great premise, poor execution. Something about the characters and world-building felt so incredibly dry to me, which is surprising considering how much love I hear people give this series. Is it worth it give it another go, or should I just finally clean it out and put it on the "abandon" shelf?

The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire, #1)
The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
I started reading this so long ago that I honestly don't really remember why I DNF'd it at the time. I'm assuming I just wasn't connecting with the plot. If you've read this and have any feedback, I'd love to hear your thoughts because it sounds like a really fun fantasy!

We That Are Left
We That Are Left by Clare Clark
This is another one that I read so long ago that I hardly remember anything about it or why I stopped. Should I abandon it forever or give it another go? I'm still very undecided and will probably check out Goodreads on it before deciding, but if you've heard of this or read it, do let me know your thoughts.

Have you read any of these books? I would really love your opinions on whether I should give them another chance or not if you have! Are there any books you've DNF'd and can't decide if you should continue? Let me know!


  1. The only one I've read from this list is The Shadow Queen, and I ended up giving it 2.5 stars - it just didn't work for me!

  2. I often thought when reading a book that I kind of didn't like but I thought maybe it will get better - sometimes it pays off and sometimes you wish you have not even tried to read that book. I can't tell you if you should read any of these as I have not read them but it sounds to me you don't want to continue them. Maybe flip toward the end and read a bit of that - that usually helps me decide but it's a gamble.

    Have a lovely day.

  3. I have Down Comes the Night and I really want to try it, but I've heard more than one blogger say they struggled with it, so I'm not sure what I'll do. It will probably come down to how much time I have!

  4. Good for you for knowing your limits!

    My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-books-about-fresh-starts/

  5. Great list! I had a similar problem with The Grace of Kings and ended up putting it down the last time I tried to read it. I'd like to give it another try, but I don't know if I'm going to love it. I really enjoyed Black Sun, but if you weren't feeling it then why force your way through it? Life's too short to read books you're not enjoying!

  6. I've got some of these on my TBR too -- We That Are Left, Black Sun, and Traitor Baru Cormorant. I really liked Roanhorse's other books, so I'm looking forward to that one.

  7. Black sun is one I've been curious about too... and yes sometimes reading a physical copy makes a difference. Funny how that is!

  8. What a great idea. I have such a hard time labeling a book as DNF. I've gotten better, but now I have book languishing on my "currently reading" shelf because I just stop reading and never actually take them off that list.

  9. Oh man! I have a lot of books that I haven't finished that I need to! Great list!

    Here’s my TTT!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  10. I've read none of these. I always have a difficult time leaving a book as dnf, but I also think it's important to do so, since reading is supposed to be fun and not a task!

    Btw, I love the design of your blog and the lovely book shelfs in the background :)