Top 5 Wednesday: Well That Dragged

Hey guys! Today I am bringing you my first Top 5 Wednesday post of 2021 (yes, it has really been that long!) and the topic is well that dragged. Pretty self-explanatory, but I’m going to be discussing books that had a strange pacing and/or went on for longer than was necessary. I hope you enjoy!

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

I feel bad including this one because I do like Leigh Bardugo’s books for the most part, but the plot in this was all over the place. It has a great premise, but it needed more work. The first half of the story definitely dragged because there was so much worldbuilding going on, which resulted in a lot of info dumping and a lot of skim reading on my part. There really wasn’t a lot happening in the first half and we were just being told what the differences are between each society. Then there’s the really confusing timeline, which is indicated by the chapter headings. I could not get my head around that and honestly didn’t know what was happening half the time. It just resulted in this book being a bit boring and underwhelming considering it had been sold as creepy and disturbing.

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

The entire time I was reading this I was wondering where on earth the plot was and what the point of the book was because it literally felt like nothing was happening. I think this story was supposed to be more character-driven than plot-driven but it would actually help if the characters were likeable. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t like any of the characters and I just could not care less about their problems. Even though this book is a spin-off about Ronan, it felt like he had barely any chapters and I went into this book for Ronan and Adam so to have to read about other characters, it made the story drag out so much. I was actually devastated to give this such a low rating but I didn’t enjoy it at all and it felt like a massive downgrade from The Raven Cycle.

Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler

I read this one recently and I am gutted that I didn’t end up enjoying it because it was one I was really looking forward to reading. The premise sounded incredible but the execution was very poor and it massively fell short of my expectations. The plot felt very repetitive as the same scene happened three different times – the main character Alex Taylor is abducted and strapped down on an operating table. Afterwards, she tries to tell her colleagues and the police what happened but no one believes her. Considering the entire plot was the same scene and the same conversations over and over again, it made the book feel very dragged out and it definitely could have been shorter. It also would have been better if we didn’t know Alex was telling the truth. Throughout the story, there’s no doubt about Alex telling the truth so the only thing that was making me turn the pages was finding out who her abductor was. If Alex was painted as an unreliable narrator and unstable character it might have been more gripping, but because we knew she was sane and she really was abducted, it felt very lacklustre. The characters were also very one-dimensional and only seemed to be there to tell Alex she was making it up. They didn’t do anything else and, again, since we knew Alex was telling the truth, the other characters felt incredibly pointless. The ending was very outlandish and ridiculous, especially when we find out the abductor’s motive. This could have been so much better honestly.

The Fireman by Joe Hill

This was one of my biggest disappointing reads last year because I struggled through this thinking it was going to get better but it kept getting worse! It’s 800 pages and an apocalyptic novel about Dragonscale, an incurable spore that kills its host through spontaneous combustion. Yes, it sounds horrifying but also thrilling and I was excited to read it. Unfortunately, while the first 100 pages lived up to my expectations, it seemed to hit a wall after that and never recovered. The main character, Harper Grayson, ends up finding a group of survivors and that’s when the plot just seemed to grind to a halt. Nothing was happening and I got so bored. It took such a bizarre turn and became a cult novel because it focused on a group of survivors with all these bizarre rules, you know, like a cult. That took up the majority of the book and I really struggled to finish it because it became so dragged out. I honestly wish I’d DNF’ed this because it wasn’t worth finishing.

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

This one dragged because there was no plot and I’m not even joking. It was the most pointless book I’ve ever read and I really regret buying it. It follows nine strangers who go to a spa for a wellness retreat and have a lovely time until like the last 10%. Before you ask, no, it is not worth reading nearly the entire book for a tiny, but ridiculous, plot right at the end. Steer clear of this one!

So these are the books that I struggled with due to issues with pacing, plot and characters. Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? I hope you enjoyed this post and thank you so much for reading!

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