Top 5 books that started out iffy but ended up spiffy

Copy of Top 5 Wednesday Banner

https://i.imgur.com/XS0XVS1.gifAnd if you can bare with me here, we’ll be done in a jiffy!

Hello, Happy Hump Day! Today’s T5W topic is books I thought I would hate but ended up liking. Problem is, I don’t pick up books I think I would hate. So I’m altering the topic a bit. Today will be books that started out iffy: either books I knew had mixed reviews going in, or books that when I started them, they weren’t really speaking to me, and then ended up spiffy: then I ended up really liking them! So.. a milder form of the topic, I guess?

If you’d like to participate in T5W, you can do so here!


Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)

So, this series overall I like pretty decently. It’s not my favorite, but I like it. Going into this one, I had heard it was very divisive among the fan base. Plot and world-expansion wise, it went over well… with some people. And with other people, it basically caused them to drop the series. Well, I read it, and I really liked it. This is probably my favorite one in the series, honestly. I really like the direction the plot went in it, so I’m hoping the next one will be good, too.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)

I read this back long before I started my blog. At the time, I didn’t read too many long novels (shocker I know) so the size of this one intimidated me. I had also never read a mystery thriller of its scope. And when I started it… the writing dragged at me. I remember struggling through the first hundred and fifty pages or so. But soon after that, the plot picked up and I buzzed through the rest of it in a few days. I really liked this one.

Hyperion by Dan Simmons

Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1)

Same as above here – the writing was dense for me at first and I couldn’t really connect with anything. I picked it up on audio though, and then I was able to fly through it. Once it got to the point where the characters started telling their stories, I was hooked. It just took me a bit to adapt to the premise, I guess? Who knows. I really enjoyed this book though.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)

This book, it was the writing – again! The main character in this book speaks in an accent, and the accent is written out in the book. Since the book is told from his point of view, the words are written out how he would spell them. It definitely took me a few chapters to get into the book because of it, and I didn’t find myself invested until maybe half way through. I’m glad I stuck with it though – this series ended up being one of my all-time favorites.

Twelve Kings of Sharakhai by Bradley P Beaulieu

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai (The Song of the Shattered Sands #1)

This is number one because it’s the most recent case. I started this book back in July or so and got about half way into it. I honestly was rather bored. I can’t even put my finger on why. But since it was a buddy read, instead of DNFing it, I put it on the back burner. My buddy reader did as well. Only in the last week or so did I pick it back up. And man, I don’t know what changed, but I must have been in the mood for it this time around, because I really liked the second half of it. The book, had I forced myself through it last summer, would have gotten a 1 or 2 stars from me. But putting it down and letting myself come back on a fresh start bumped the book up to 3.25 stars. It was solidly entertaining, and I’m glad I gave it that break.


And that’s it! Have you read any of the above? Do you plan to? Lemme know!

9 thoughts on “Top 5 books that started out iffy but ended up spiffy

  1. I haven’t read the others, but I had almost the same experience with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It took me about a week to get to the part where the pace picked up, then I flew through the rest in 2-3 days.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It makes me smile to see Hyperion on this list, because I had the same experience as you: the start was incredibly dense and slow and didn’t grab me at all… until the characters started telling their stories, and I was drawn right in. Fortunately, the person who recommended it to me warned me about the beginning, so now every time I recommend it to someone I do the same thing, and several of those people told me they had trouble with the beginning too but ended up loving it. Funny to have such a great book with such a poor start!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I’ve read the second one ‘Fall of Hyperion’ – it completed the story arc from the first one (actually Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion feel a bit to me like two halves of one insanely long book) but I haven’t read any beyond that yet. I really liked the second book – not quite as much as the first, but it had great parts and I loved the ending and knowing how the story concluded. Also a lot mysteries from the first book were answered… but I won’t spoil anything by saying how 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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