DAY 10: A Book You Thought You Wouldn’t Like But Ended up Loving.

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Hmm, I find this an odd question. After all, I never pick up books that I think I am going to dislike. When I walk into my local Waterstones I don’t rush over to a non-fiction book on Maths and think ‘You know what? I feel like mushing my brain into a pulp by reading something I don’t like today! Yaaaaaaaaayy!’ (Yes you are detecting a hint of sarcasm.) I mean, where would the fun be in that?! I know several of my readers enjoy my occasional sarcastic ranty reviews, but I never set out intending to write them. I like to pick books that I will enjoy if I can. 🙂 However, after searching around the deep dark cobwebby areas of my brain I’ve finally come up with a book that somewhat fits this question. (excluding Stephen King’s On Writing, which I already blabbered about).

A few years ago my mum received a book called The Pact by Jodi Picoult for her birthday. I had never heard of the author before but on reading the blurb I was curious. When no one was looking I sneakily read the first few pages. The novel started full force in the middle of the action, a young girl was being rushed to the hospital with her family and friends close behind distraught and confused. After such a fantastic opening I couldn’t just leave it there! So I ended up reading the book, whisking it away before my mum even got to touch it.. *Looks around guiltily.* IMG_6554edited

Having said that, by the half way point the book became a bit stagnant and eventually seemed to fizzle out altogether. So what started out as a gripping read became an utter letdown. The book follows a romance between two teens Emily and Chris, who’s families were close knit from the moment they were born. The two had grown up together and their friendship eventually blossomed into something more. So when Emily dies from a gunshot to the head and Chris is the only one with her that night, everything erupts into a mess of confusion and accusations turning the two families against each other. The story was interesting at first, but soon the focus became more on the court case which became increasingly boring.

So when I was bought a second hand copy of Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult I didn’t have overly positive expectations and I was worried I would be left with more disappointment. Luckily the worry turned out to be completely false!SDC14071edited
Handle With Care centre’s around a family with a child named Willow who has osteogenesis imperfecta (also know as brittle bone disease, a condition which means a simple fall, twisting or reaching for something can become a life threatening situation causing a bone break). The stress of this condition takes its toll on the family, their other daughter Amelia feels ignored and irrelevant, Willow’s parents are stressed and drained from 24 hour care and the worry that something could go wrong at any minute, it even leads to a feud between the mother Charlotte and her long term best friend.
Although the prose are easy to read and fly by without much effort, this is not in any way a ‘light read’. It tackles illness, depression, self harm, marital breakdown, betrayal and controversial lawsuits. It is one of those books that gives you an emotional sucker punch to the gut. The amount of pain Willow goes through each year is excruciating and I honestly can’t imagine how someone could live with a serious brittle bone disease without going insane. Yet the character Willow deals with her situation in such a dignified, positive way and usually with a smile of her face too; it just broke my heart. Mental or physical illness unfortunately all too often has an impact on the rest of the family too. The other characters go through the burden of guilt, anger and the feeling of being trapped, and while this was painful to read I also felt it was realistic.

I felt like this was a well rounded, thoroughly researched, sensitive book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a heart wrenching or thought provoking read!

Have you read any books over the years that you didn’t think you would like but ended up enjoying?  Are you a fan of Jodi Picoult’s books? 🙂

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36 thoughts on “DAY 10: A Book You Thought You Wouldn’t Like But Ended up Loving.

  1. Jodi Picoult’s really popular here in the US, maybe she is there, too. Lifetime Movie Network (movies made “for women” or so the advertising goes) is constantly churning out made-for-TV film adaptations of her novels, but I haven’t watched any. I did see a trailer for My Sister’s Keeper when it came out and it looked good, but I haven’t read any of Picoult’s books. It’s a shame about The Pact dawdling off into stagnation because it sounds like it could have been a book I’d have bought today! I was reading along like “Oooooooooooh…. oh. Dammit.” Lol, but maybe if I see it bargain priced I’ll get it some time! Great post! 😀

    • Yepp, she’s pretty popular here too! You know, I think I’ve seen a few of the TV film’s based around her novels too, at least one anyway (it was pretty terrible :S)
      My Sisters Keeper seems to be her most favourerd novel by most people, although the film ending is entirely different to the novel! (I haven’t read it, I just heard the spoilers. :() I thought the film was pretty good though, definitely a tear jerker. 🙂
      it really was because it could have been so good! I was hooked at the beginning but she started to lose me around a third of the way in, never a good sign. LOL! That was pretty much my reaction as I was reading the book. 😛 Well I would be interested to see what you think.
      Thank you. 😀

  2. The first book I picked up for Jodi Picoult was My Sister’s Keeper, which I absolutely loved. I then came over that same exact copy you’ve put up there of the Pact, and I LOVED the cover and I LOVED the blurb. But 100 pages into the book and I started feeling quite bored… I then read the last, like, 30 pages to see what it’d all come to, and somehow, I managed to follow up even though I hadn’t read the 300 pages in between. Weird, I know. Sadly, even the ending wasn’t that grand. :/

    BUT! I’m so glad you brought up Handle with Care! I bought it based on a friend’s recommendation before my disappointment over the Pact. She said she read it Portuguese and it made her cry, so I thought it’d probably be incredible in English. But I kind of keep putting it off because of the Pact. And also because it’s 600+ pages.

    As always, lovely post! I really am enjoying the things you’re putting up for this challenge. 😀

    • Glad to hear My Sister’s Keeper was a great read! I’m bound to end up getting it at some point because it’s on The Rory Gilmore Challenge I’m participating in. 🙂
      I do love the cover, there’s something quite mysterious and haunting about it. That’s sounds exactly the same as my experience, great premise, great start to the book and then got sort of stagnant half way with a lot of dithering and boring back and forth. I completely agree about the ending too, it was naff and odd, it was kind of like really?!?! I slogged though the rest of the pages for that? A vague unresolved mess. Great.
      Harsh but true.

      Ohh awesome! I hope you enjoy it and that this post might have given you the boost to pick it up. 🙂 I thought it had a much better plot than The Pact ans while it did still stall at a few point it was ultimately a great read!

      Thank you so much, that means a lot, and it shows I’m doing my job properly. 😉

  3. The question for the challenge confused me too at first! It’s not like we go to the book store, see a book we have no interest in and buy over one we do have interest in. That’s why I had to use a school book for mine. Your choice sounds good, great pick! 🙂

    • Haha indeed! I mean, I get the sentiment behind it but I don’t think it was worded in quite the right way. 😛 Haha yes, because we all like to go out and spend lots of money on something we think we won’t like, lol! That was a good idea actually, I guess I could have used Of Mice and Men that I studied at school but I didn’t really have any preconceptions about it beforehand so I’m not sure it would quite fit!

      Thank you. 🙂

  4. The only Piccoult book I have read is My Sister’s Keeper. I tend to stray away from commercially successful authors because usually I find that they are not up to par with other literature, but man if that book didn’t make me cry ugly ugly tears. It really surprised me and touched my heart.

    • Hmm, I believe I am sensing a trend here with My Sisters Keeper, it’s definitely her most popular book! I guess the film adaption helped too.

      I don’t think I would ever have picked up one of her books by chance if it hadn’t of ended up in my house. It’s not the kind of book I normally go for but Handle With Care made me ‘cry ugly tears’ as you’ve said! 😛

  5. First of all, we LOVEEEEE your sarcastic ranty reviews!! As for Piccoult, I am definitely a fan – I think she really makes her readers dig deep into their souls to consider so many sensitive issues. I really need to read more of her books :).

    • Heheee, thank you!! I’m glad they entertain. 😀
      I totally agree, I love that she takes on topics other authors would be too terrified to go near, she brings out great more dilemma’s that really make you think, and normally tear you to pieces! I have three or four unread books by her still on my shelf, I need to get round to reading them. 🙂

  6. I’ve tried to read a few books by Picoult, but I have to admit that I didn’t get very far. I’m a woman of action and prefer stories where characters make things happen rather than stories about things that happen to characters. I need characters who try to affect change and her characters just seem so mopey but never do anything about it. Or maybe they just annoy me so much that I don’t get far enough to see if they take action. I’m not sure, but after a few abortive attempts to read some of her books, I just couldn’t get into them. She’s definitely not for me.

    And, like you, I can’t imagine picking up a book that I don’t think that I’ll like. Life’s too short to read books that I don’t think will blow my socks off.

    • Yepp, that is quite an apt description for her books, they’re much more about moral dilemma’s and the emotion as opposed to action or twisting plots, it’s definitely a case of what you see is what you get. 🙂
      It can be a thin line when it comes to her characters I think, some she nails and while they come across as down they are realistic and interesting, whereas when she gets it wrong they just become as you’ve said mopey, depressing and irritating, there needs to be a balance!
      I can definitely understand why a lot of people wouldn’t get on with her books, I’m not sure I would ever label her as a favourite author but there’s a lot of interesting elements to her stories.

      Exactly. 🙂

  7. I actually recognise the cover of Handle With Care, I think I’ve seen it in my local Waitrose before.

    I think David Copperfield would fit this criteria. After you talked about Great Expectations I decided to give Dickens another go (after having hated him at school) and found it surprisingly enjoyable. It also made me realise why people always go on about the importance of reading the classics.

    Mind you, I’ve once again put it on hold so I can read yet another book about Nazis.

    • Hahaa that’s probably a good place for it, generally I would say her demographic would be females in their 30s.

      Oooh that’s a good point, I could have used Great Expectations for this question too! I’ve probably already rambled about that enough in my review though. 😛 I’m so glad to hear you found Dickens so much more enjoyable the second time around! It’s strange how our tastes can change.

      Hahaa, it is a veryyyyyyy long book though, I think you definitely need an interval at least. 🙂

  8. Mmmm. Strange question isn’t it? I guess it’s more of what did you read outside your comfort zone that you enjoyed…why would anyone pick a book they hated?

    I skirted reading IT by Stephen King for a long while – a horror-reading aunt had a copy, and I’d pick it up, put it down again, pick it up again…More nervous about the story rather than expecting to hate it though, I guess.

    The same with my first brush with Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities again!); I expected to at least be bored by it, but it sucked me in when I gave it a try.

    • It is indeed, I agree I think that’s what I it’s supposed to mean, but the wording is probably just a bit off or vague!

      That’s interesting, there was obviously something about it that kept drawing you back! The length might have been a bit intimidating as well I imagine.

      Dickens would definitely fit in to this category for me too. As you know I was terrified to try Great Expectations but loved it when I did. 😀 I hope I like A Tale of Two Cities as much as you!

  9. I started 15 minutes by Jodi Piccoult and couldn’t get into it. My Sisters Keeper on the other hand was an amazing read! I had the same feeling in my struggle to read “It” by Stephen King and Eragon. 2+ attempts and I can never get more than a hundredish pages in.

    One book I wasn’t sure I’d like and ended up loving…Game of Thrones. I’m very particular with fantasy books, but I loved it.

    • Do you mean 19 minutes, the one about a small town tragedy? Or is there a 15 minute one too? Yeah, judging from my own experience with Picoult and many others who have commented I think she can be very hit or miss. When she gets it right, it’s really right! But other times it falls flat…
      Awwh that’s a shame, I really loved Eragon! But I think that’s partly because I read it during my childhood so it has good memories attached. 🙂

      So glad you liked Games of Thrones even though it wasn’t your normal type of book! I’ve been looking forward to reading it.

  10. I read House Rules by Jodi Picoult and loved it and it was the first of her novels I’ve actually read but the problem I’m having with her books is that they all seem to be along the same lines. Although their all thoroughly researched and have a lot of dark topics in them they all seem to revolve around a child/teen who has something wrong with them, then something bad happens and they end up in court. I’m in the middle of reading Nineteen Minutes and I’ve read so many reviews of that book saying how wonderful it is but I just can’t get into it and I think it’s because I kind of already know what’s coming even though I’m only a quarter of the way through ugh!

    • Oooh, I’m so happy to hear that because I actually own House Rules too and I need some inspiration to make me pick it up! I agree, even having only read two of her books and looked at a few blurbs of some of the others I do get the impression that they follow a very set formula, and you’ve summed it up well! There’s always a different issue tackled and a court case nearly always ensues! You’d think she would try and switch it up a bit.

      Ohh no! Maybe one Picoult too many eh? I hope it improves for you. 🙂

  11. Jodi Piccoult is one of my all time favourite writers! The Pact wasn’t the best but 19 Minutes is my all time favourite. I think it’s amazing how she’s able to tackle all these tough issues. First book I read by her was Perfect Match and I was hooked immediately.

    I haven’t really read a book that I didn’t think I’d like, as you said, it’s not like you’re going to buy a book that you think isn’t good.. However, I am a bit hesitant about the Mortal Instruments series.. I don’t know why. But I bet that I end up loving them anyway. 😛

    • I remember you saying how much you loved her when you were doing the 30 Day Challenge! I’m glad to hear even you as a big fan didn’t enjoy The Pact as much. It makes me feel less mean and hopefully it means I have more good books from her to come. 🙂 A few people have mentioned 19 Minutes now so I think I’m going to look that one up.

      Ohh I’m so glad you brought that up because I am very hesitant about that series as well and I also don’t know why! How odd. I own the first two books now though, so fingers crossed. 😉

  12. Time Travellers Wife. My wife read it and kept going on about it, so I said I’d check out the first few chapters, thinking I wouldn;t get further than that.
    Read it through to the end and loved it.

    • Oooh that’s an interesting choice. I own The Time Travellers Wife but haven’t read it yet. So glad to hear you loved it! Your wife must know your taste in books which is always good. 😉

  13. LOL, I totally agree with your intro. The only time I can imagine someone picking up a book they think they wouldn’t enjoy and end up liking it is for English in school or uni. Otherwise why would you read it in the first place? 😛

    I guess for me the closest I can come to answering this question would be when I was in school and we had the daunting task of reading Shakespeare for the first time. As famous as he is, the dude doesn’t have a very good reputation amongst schoolkids, so like everyone else I expected it to be a painful, laborious chore. Now I’m one of those strange people that read Shakespeare for fun. Errrr… #dontjudge 😀

    • Hahaa exactly, it is a bit of a random question. I think they probably meant which book ended up surprising you by the amount you enjoyed it but it’s worded….oddly. 😛

      Ahh, I’m afraid I was one of those people that never liked Shakespeare, I found it really painful! :S I think that’s a lot to do with me no getting on with poetry as well because his work resembles poetry far more than it does prose, at least that’s how it feels to me! It’s great that you love Shakespeare for fun and aren’t afraid to show it. 😀 Rock the knowledge Nisha!!! It’s what makes you, you. 😉

  14. I personally love Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, it’s one of my all time favorites and I even kinda liked it better than My Sister’s Keeper. You should give it a read! 🙂

    • It’s great to find another Jodi Picoult fan! I will make sure to be on the lookout for Nineteen Minutes, it sounds like it tackles a delicate topic and I’m interested to see how she will go about it.
      Thank you for the recommendation and for following. 😀

  15. i am currently reading nineteen minutes by jodi piccoult & i love it! it’s such a good read, so yeah… i’d say i’m a fan of hers!

    • Hi Stephanie, I’ve heard a lot of great things about Nineteen Minutes so I’m really glad to hear you are enjoying it! I hope when I read a few more of Picoult’s books I will be able to say I am a fan too. 🙂

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