I was tagged by Lori @ lorisbookshelfreads to do this tag that I don’t quite know what it’s about but I assume just. Answering questions with the theme of spring cleaning? (Not that I ever do spring cleaning, it’s only ever more like procrastination cleaning.)
But anyway. Let’s go!
The struggle of getting started: a book or series you struggle to begin because of its size
This one has to be The Wheel of Time/The Eye of the World. Because this series is 14 books long and each book is over 700 pages. It’s less that I’m struggling to begin it, more that I am so intimidated by this series I’m just sat staring at the ebook and not starting it. Also I really need to have like a whole month where I have no work to do at all to get to this so I can read them all in a row because that’s the only way I’ll manage to make it through the entire series.
Cleaning out the closet: a book or series you want to unhaul
Does this mean unhaul like get rid of? Because there are a couple of books on my shelves that would fit that description. I don’t tend to get rid of books that I haven’t yet read (though maybe I should given just how many books I own that I haven’t got round to yet). But anyway. The book for this question is going to have to be History is All You Left Me. I did like it when I read it, but the likelihood of me rereading it has gone down exponentially since reading What If It’s Us and also since seeing Adam Silvera on twitter. (I’m also going to get rid of my copy of They Both Die at the End for similar reasons, but also because who has the time to read tragic gay books? I don’t even know why I bought it.)
Opening the window and letting fresh air in: a book that was refreshing
Oh, so many, and for so many different reasons. But right now, it’s probably After the Eclipse because it’s a tense adult thriller with an f/f relationship and I loved it so so much. It was pretty much everything I wanted from a mystery. Plus it’s a second-chance romance and you know the kind of unique and brilliant angst that comes with those. (Basically, please read it I need people to read it.)
Washing out the sheets: a scene that you wish you could rewrite
Not that I’m still bitter about this, but there’s a scene in Blue Lily, Lily Blue where Adam basically reverts on all the conflict between him and Gansey in The Dream Thieves and tells Blue that Gansey was right all along (about the money thing, etc, etc) which I really hated because it felt like a complete change of character from the previous book. And also I liked that conflict. It gave the books something else than romantic conflict (which, let’s be honest, gets boring when there are hets involved). Plus I’m not convinced I was at all in agreement with Gansey on this and then suddenly we have to be because Adam is? It’s almost like Stiefvater couldn’t be bothered to work out how to defuse that conflict without a complete about-face by Adam (who, let’s be real, was always going to be the one whose characterisation would suffer in this).
But like I said. I’m not bitter.
Throwing out unnecessary knick-knacks: a book in a series you didn’t think was necessary
Always and Forever, Lara Jean. I love Lara Jean, and I loved book one of the series (less so book two), but honestly, I didn’t really see any point to this book. It was cute, I did still like it, and obviously I don’t begrudge Jenny Han writing it (because I did actually want to see the cuteness and read it), but overall, I feel like the whole series could have been condensed into a single book, and dispensed with a lot of unnecessary drama (the whole dual love triangle plot of book two?). Even though I loved the characters.
Polishing doorknobs: a book that had a clean finish
What does a clean finish even entail? Like one that I was satisfied with? That tied up all the loose ends? I’m not sure I can think of any like that really. So I’m just going to go with an ending I really loved. Which I’m absolutely blanking on right now. But I’m going to have to go with Red, White & Royal Blue (even though it’s not yet published). The romance as a whole is just so satisfying and I loved it so so much.
Reaching to dust the fan: a book that tried too hard to relay a certain message
If I’m honest, I’m way too bad at picking up messages, but the first that comes to mind is Anger is a Gift. There were issues besides its relaying of a message (namely its treatment of women, how the disabled character gets no agency in deciding whether to protest, the shitty science, That Particular Plot Point, the part where the author made a comparison I didn’t like, poor writing – okay, a lot of other issues), but I almost feel as though this would be more satisfying to me if it had focused on Moss learning to manage his anxiety and not gone down the route it did? I don’t know. I guess there was a catalyst needed for that but yeah. It just felt too much like riffing on the same things that others have done way better.
The tiring yet satisfying finish: a series that was tiring but satisfying to get through
The Brothers Karamazov! Okay, so it’s not a series, but God if it didn’t feel like one. I’m not kidding when I say this book took me ten months to finish. And I still haven’t worked out whether I was satisfied by the ending itself (I think I wasn’t?) or whether I was just relieved to have finally finished. (But, honestly, what kind of ending was that! Ten months reading, over 1000 pages, and that’s what I get? Dostoyevsky can meet me in the goddamn pit.)
Ok, that was a hard one, not least because me remembering all the books I have read/want to read is basically impossible and I blanked on half the questions. But anyway.