Bookish List

On The Fence: Should I Read These Books?

Hey all, it’s Sabrina 🙂  I have a lot – a lot – of books on my TBR and I know that at this point, I’ll never read them all in my lifetime, especially considering how each month brings more new releases.  I’d be lucky to get to all the new releases I want to read in my lifetime, lol.  There are some books on my TBR that I’m unsure if I’ll like, but there’s something in me that says I should read them anyway.  Today’s post is all about those books and why I’m hesitant to pick them up!

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby

Bone Gap was one of my favourite books I read in 2017 – I don’t remember all that much about it now, but I thought the writing style was lovely and I believe I really liked the main characters.  I looked into what else the author has written, and she does have quite a few books, though none that I’m interested in or have heard of before except this one (Thirteen Doorways, etc.).  The only concern I have with this book is that it takes place during WWII and that is something I try to avoid for a great many reasons.  Still, the listed genres on Goodreads say that this is a fantasy, and perhaps in that case it won’t revolve so heavily around the war?  I can’t know until I read it, and because of that, I still think about reading this book sometimes.

A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma

This is sort of the book that inspired this post!  You may have noticed that the title is very similar to the previous book mentioned, and um, for a long time I thought this book was that book, so I never picked it up.  After recently discovering that this was something totally different, I’ve looked at some reviews and… I am still hesitant to read it!  There are vast differences of opinion amongst my GR friends and I now have the knowledge that this book deals with some darker topics, so I will need to pick the right time to read it if I read it at all.

The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

I didn’t love the first book in this series (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms), but I still appreciated the author’s writing style – it kept me reading until the end despite my disinterest in certain other aspects of the book.  I have heard that this sequel follows different characters and a different story to the first one, so that does make me hope that maybe I will enjoy reading it.  If it was another author, perhaps I wouldn’t bother with this book, but I feel like this book has the potential to be a favourite, so I don’t feel like I can just let it go.

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

I read Seraphina by this author back in high school and I absolutely loved it!  I thought it was so unique, I’d never come across anything like it before.  I didn’t like the ending, however, and I heard that the sequel was overall unsatisfying (I won’t spoil it here), so I never picked it up.  I was so excited when I heard the author was coming out with another book, Tess of the Road, but I never heard anyone really talk about it and I my library didn’t have it in their collection at the time I was most interested.  Because I haven’t heard many people talk about this book since, I don’t have a good feel for what it’s like, and I worry that maybe I’ll have grown out of this author by now.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

After trying and failing to finish reading Lock Every Door (and not totally loving Last Time I Lied), I’m really hesitant to read anything else by this author.  Home Before Dark though… it sounds so good and I feel like maybe I should give it a try, even though I might hate it.  Honestly, almost everyone loves this book – including Vera – so surely there’s a good chance that I will too?  On the other hand, I haven’t read an adult mystery/thriller that I’ve completely loved in a while so maybe I won’t love it.  Definitely on the fence about this one.

Lovely War by Julie Berry

Like with WWII, I prefer not to read books that take place during WWI, and that’s when this book mostly takes place.  And the rest of it takes place during WWII 🙂 🙂  Though this book is multi-layered and one of those layers involves some Greek gods and goddesses, which I love the idea of, I have to admit that I don’t think this one is for me.  So many people love this story, and it has a great average rating, but I think it’s just going to be too depressing.  Feel free to try and change my mind though, lol, because I am obviously still considering it.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

This series is so popular and I would almost say universally loved – I even remember friends from outside the online book community recommending this one to me.  But, I have a gut feeling that I won’t enjoy it.  I think it’s a mix of the subject matter and the fact that it is so popular that makes me think it won’t be unique enough for it to keep my interest.  I’ve already read and enjoyed Unwind by this author, and I feel as though this book will revisit similar themes so I can probably go without reading it?  Still, I have a fear of missing out by writing this book off entirely, so maybe I will pick it up in the future after all.

Blackbringer by Laini Taylor

It’s no secret that Laini Taylor is one of my favourite authors – Strange the Dreamer is so near and dear to my heart, I love the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and the short stories contained in Lips Touch: Three Times had me feeling so many emotions.  But, I have yet to read the Faeries of Dreamdark books.  Like with Tess of the Road, I’ve heard next to nothing about these books, so I have no idea what to expect!  I’m also really hesitant to pick them up because of what it might mean for me if I don’t like them.  Will I still be able to call Laini Taylor one of my favourite authors?  I’ve had this experience with an author I called a favourite before – I didn’t like or finish Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, and I was so embarrassed about it – so I’m worried it will happen again.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

I have absolutely no desire to read this book, to be honest, but my mum wants me to so I feel a bit of an obligation to at least give it a go.  I don’t think I’ll like it at all even though it is a classic and lots of my Goodreads friends enjoyed it.  I guess it would be nice to understand when people reference this story though, and I can’t see myself ever sitting through the movie, so maybe the book is the way to go…

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

I’ve been vaguely interested in this book ever since I read a really well written review of it on a book blog early last year.  I wish I could remember where I read this review but sadly I can’t find it now, and it’s also possible that the review was for a totally different book and I’ve got it all mixed up (as seen with the Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All + A Room Away From The Wolves debacle illustrated earlier in this post).  I can say that I don’t think it was an overall positive review, but the political aspects mentioned in it intrigued me enough to put this book on my radar.  Since then, I have seen multiple reviews either loving or hating this book, and though I’m interested to see where I fall on that scale, I have recently read The One’s We’re Meant to Find by the same author, and I didn’t totally love that, so I have less hope for this one.

Fire, Bitterblue and Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore

I super enjoyed Graceling back when I read it, but something stopped me from picking up the next book in this series of companion novels – I think that “something” was the fact that this was not a traditional series.  My main concern is that I’ll be sad if I don’t see cameos of my favourite characters from Graceling in a good place.  I am still considering reading these books though, especially because the author is continuing the series – and I have heard the latest book, Winterkeep, get really good reviews!

What do you think?

Have your read any of these books?  Are you on the fence about any particular books, or do you just not read them if you’re not completely drawn to them?  Let me know!


22 thoughts on “On The Fence: Should I Read These Books?

  1. I was a fan of Fire. The last book of the series was the only one that fell a bit flat to me. It was too quiet an ending in my opinion (but now there’s another book, maybe I should read it). My daughter constantly waxes poetic about Scythe. It must be pretty good.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OK, I’m a total Nova Ren Suma fangirl, so you might say I’m a tad biased 😜 – but seriously, I can’t recommend her books enough based on two things alone (out of the many I love them for): the exquisite writing and vibrant female characters (most of them have an all-female cast too). Mind you, they ARE dark books, but also poetic and often mindblowing. I can’t very well say if this one could be TOO dark or triggering for you, but here are the content warnings from my review: “Domestic violence (off-page). Physical bullying. Touches upon suicidal thoughts, underage drinking and drugs.” I hope it helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this thoughtful comment! The content warnings definitely help.
      I did really love The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma (I think we might have discussed that book in the past, actually!), so I’m glad to hear that the writing style is something her books all/mostly have in common 😀


  3. Here’s what I *think* I can help you with:
    – I’ve read Lock Every Door and you were completely right to not finish it because that book really wasn’t it (the plot twist was super bad imo). However, I’ve read Final Girls by Riley Sager and I really liked it and I’m planning to read Home Before Dark too. I say give that one a chance and if you end up not enjoying it, you can just DNF it and give up on the author.
    – When it comes to Scythe, I personally don’t recommend it. I do think it’s guilty of too much hype and it leading to disappointment. But then again, some people really love it and I know I’m the odd one out. I think you should trust your gut and perhaps pass on that one.
    The rest of the books, I don’t have anything to say but I hope what I wrote above was helpful.
    This was a great post idea (I might borrow it someday, if you don’t mind)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your help Susana!
      I think you might have the right idea there with Home Before Dark – it’s probably worth giving it at least a chance! Also, I hope you enjoy that one!
      Your thoughts on Scythe definitely have me feeling that I should trust my gut, haha.
      Feel free to borrow the post idea! I would love to see what books you’re on the fence about 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I really enjoyed Tess of the Road! I thought it was very well done, and I was excited to see a slower-paced YA fantasy that focuses on character growth rather than on flashy battle scenes. That being said, it’s probably not a book for people who prefer plot-driven stories over character-driven stories.

    I also highly recommend Scythe. I read Unwind, and didn’t like it. I thought the premise was ridiculous and it read a lot like a standard YA novel. Scythe is sort of like a standard YA novel with the whole “two must battle, but only one survives” bit, but the next two books get away from that and are far more original. Also, while I didn’t read the whole Unwind series, I think the books treat different topics. Unwind is focused primarily on abortion/right to life issues, whereas Scythe is more about what makes life worth living, as well as the nature of God. (I’ve seen exactly zero people mention the God aspect, but my reading is that the Thunderhead is sort of a stand-in for a divine presence since it’s meant to be omnipotent and omniscient.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed Tess of the Road! My preference definitely oscillates between characters and plot, so I will have to make sure I pick the right time to read this one.
      It’s interesting to hear that you enjoyed Scythe much more than Unwind! I can understand your criticisms of the latter – I read it a long time ago when I wasn’t as used to/bored of the typical YA dystopian format. It’s also interesting that you say the sequels to Scythe are more original! Plus it’s good to know that the themes are a bit different.
      Thanks for your comment Krysta!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved Scythe, so I’m a bit biased in saying that it’s worth it 😄 I like the themes and characters so much (they are a bit different from Unwind in my opinion), but I understand if the subject isn’t something you’d enjoy! I’m also on the fence about Lovely War, I saw some praise reviews, but idk if it’s something for me 😅

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The only book from this list that I’ve read is Descendant of the Crane, which I LOVED. My main complaint with The Ones We’re Meant to Find is the pacing, and DotC didn’t suffer from that. But if open endings aren’t your thing be warned that Joan’s style is to leave things ambiguous at the end.

    I really don’t like Riley Sager at all, I found The Last Time I Lied a little… weird? IDK how to describe it but the way he writes female characters just is offputting and I won’t read anything else from him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, I’m so glad you enjoyed Descendant of the Crane! It’s a relief to hear the pacing is different too. I’m totally fine with open endings too, so I’m pretty confident that I should give this book a go now! Thanks!

      I know what you mean about The Last Time I Lied. I remember reading it and at some point thinking “oh, I don’t think Riley Sager is a woman” because of the way certain things were described.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve only read two books from this list- Lovely war and Scythe. I adored Lovely war ,its not too depressing don’t worry haha, and indeed the perspective with greek gods is really fascinating. I read scythe and though i enjoyed it, its kinda overhyped.


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