Top Ten (Fairy Tale/Mythology-Themed) Books I Initially Struggled to Get Into (+Bonus GIVEAWAY!!!)

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.
Every once in a while I participate in this one when I either
1) Like the theme, and/or 2) Have the time!

This week's topic:
Top Ten (Fairy Tale/Mythology-Themed) Books I Initially Struggled to Get Into!

Some of these books I wound up LOVING and consider them to be favorites. Others I may or may not give a second chance sometime!

I decided to keep TTT to the theme so it could be a part of Magic, Myth, and Mischief. I'll be curious to see if you've read any of these and what you thought!

In no particular order...

1) ENCHANTED by Alethea Kontis

The first time I ever read ENCHANTED, I was MEH. I liked it, but didn't LOVE it. I obviously wasn't in the right frame of mind, though, because when I thumbed through it a second time, I fell in love! I've read this book a few times and love it every single time! Plus, such a pretty cover!!! This is a retelling of The Frog Prince, but it has a lot of other fairy tales mashed up into it as well!


2) THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas

This might be a surprise to you, since I love Sarah SO MUCH and have been following her for at least a year--if not two--before her debut novel THRONE OF GLASS released. YOU GUYS, I went to a really early signing that had, like, 5 people. Last year, I was at her signing with about 500 other people!!!

I had been looking for original fairy tales on FictionPress that were actually good, and I googled a list. A lot of people were buzzing about a series by Sarah J. Maas. There was a note that it had been pulled for publication. I followed Sarah via her LiveJournal on her long journey to publication.

Originally, ToG was inspired by Cinderella...with assassins! I never read that original FP story, so I don't know how much has changed, but when I got my hands on an ARC of the first book, I was expecting a lot of fairy tale and a lot of Cinderella. And I got.....original fantasy. I was let down because it wasn't what I was expecting. I had to go back to it later with a fresh mind and an unbiased POV, and now I love the series!

3) THE GODDESS TEST by Aimée Carter

I struggled a bit with this one. I wish there had been more "show" and less "tell," and I REALLY wish the gods and goddesses matched the personalities we all associate with them. Plus, this is a Persephone and Hades retelling, but Hades wasn't....Hades. You know? It was an interesting take, but I definitely struggled at times, and I have yet to go back and read the rest of the series.


4) CRUEL BEAUTY by Rosamund Hodge

Initially, I couldn't get into this book AT ALL. I DNF within a couple of chapters. I thought it was going to be a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and it was so...paranormal? BUT THEN I decided to read an online novella from the same world, GILDED ASHES, and I began to understand who the Gentle Lord was. I gave CRUEL BEAUTY a second chance and wound up really loving the book and going on to devour new books from Rosamund Hodge!!


5) MIDNIGHT SISTERS by Sarah E. Boucher

At first, I had trouble getting into this one because I thought the fact that all the sisters were in their twenties and only just starting to look for suitors didn't fit the time period. But I really liked the way magic was NOT used in the retelling, which is unusual for The Twelve Dancing Princesses!



I was REALLY looking forward to this one. A contemporary The Little Mermaid? YES!!! AND THAT COVER!!! This time around, it was the love interest that did me in. I was like, "Girl, can you not see how horrible of a choice Christian is!?" It made me REALLY not care for this book, and that's a shame, because it was one of my MOST highly-anticipated books to get my hands on when it came out!


7) DOROTHY MUST DIE by Danielle Paige

This book had such a great tagline, and SO MUCH online buzz. But when I started reading it? Amy Gumm annoyed me SO MUCH that I really have no desire to read the rest of this series. I just wanted to bash the character  upside the head and knock some sense into her!!! I'm the kind of person who doesn't like a book/movie/whatever if I can't connect with the character.

I was also annoyed that the summary for the first book's climax was on the freaking book as the tag, but that's another story. I love Danielle Paige as a person and want to read more from her, but I really don't want to go back to this world!


8) SPELLED by Betsy Schow

This one is billed as a cleaner version of DOROTHY MUST DIE, and since I'd wanted to love DMD and failed to do so, I was hoping to strike lightning this time around. This one reads more middle-grade, even though it's YA, which isn't a problem, because I love a lot of MG, but this one was hard for me to get into. 

It's one of those books where the adventure is so full that readers constantly go from one event straight into the next and then the next and then the next. All three of these books are very similar in that vein. For me, such consistent action makes me start to lose focus because there isn't as much character development and action happening. It feels like when, growing up, I'd watch animated TV shows and there would be all these battle scenes and so little "normal stuff." The "normal stuff" was always my favorite part and I couldn't wait to get to the beginning/end of an episode and would wish I could cut out the middle. That said, I was a weird kid. A lot of kids LOVE that jam-packed action. I think SPELLED will appeal to many such readers. It's just not a style I personally love.


9) THE SON OF NEPTUNE by Rick Riordan

I love all the Camp Half-Blood books  but for some reason, this one didn't do much for me. I don't know if it was due to burn out from reading so many of them or what, but it felt like I had read it before. All this stuff had HAPPENED before. Was Riordan getting formulaic? I was SO bummed!!! Thankfully, the next couple of books would be some of the best stuff he's ever written. But this book was a drag for me to get through. I should go back and re-read it sometime!

10) DEEP BLUE by Jennifer Donnelly

I was really excited for DEEP BLUE from the moment I first heard about it, sensing the darker tone and hoping it would be like my favorite mermaid series, the Lost Voices trilogy by Sarah Porter. It's not as dark and gritty, so it wasn't quite what I was expecting, so I decided to wait until the whole quartet was out and then read it again through fresh eyes. And, well, I just haven't had time!

Like with SPELLED, there's quite a bit of action and a lot is going on. As more characters joined the cast, it was a little harder to keep track of everyone because there was just so much information, and it all came so fast. I've come to expect this type of "info dump" in the first book in a series, though, and think the next three books will be much tighter as Donnelly plays with the world she's introduced us to. I'm hoping for more character exploration so I'll really care about these six mermaids of prophecy and be rooting for their success by the saga's conclusion.


What books were hard for you to get through? Did you wind up loving them???



During Magic, Myth, & Mischief,
we're giving away a book of YOUR CHOICE
from the event!

It could be any of these 10 featured titles!

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL to any country that Book Depository ships to.  You can also claim an e-book as a prize; it doesn't have to be a physical copy!

You must be at least 13 years old to enter or have a parent's permission!