Top Ten Tuesday: Books I struggled to get into

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!  Today is about our struggles as readers, specifically ten books that I struggled to get into.  You’ve probably noticed by now that I don’t really DNF books anymore, which just means that I end up slogging my way through, hoping that they get better.

Regardless of what I thought in the end (or whether I even finished), here are ten books that I really had trouble with at the beginning:

  1. You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner
  2. Stroked by Meghan Quinn
  3. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
  4. Double Team by Sabrina Paige
  5. Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
  6. Sula by Toni Morrison
  7. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  8. By Blood by Ellen Ullman
  9. The Returned by Jason Mott
  10. Going Bovine by Libba Bray

What are some books that you’ve struggled with? Do you like to keep going, or do you DNF and move on to the next book?

ARC review: Arm Candy by Jessica Lemmon

Goodreads   Amazon

Davis Price is a well-dressed stock analyst with a thing for blondes. Grace Buchanan is a feisty bartender who knows what she wants and when she wants it. They’ve had a steady stream of banter for months now, but it’s not like Grace is oblivious to Davis’ non-stop parade of one night stands. When Grace dares Davis to take out a non-blonde, she certainly didn’t think he’s set his sights on her, but she’d also be lying if she said she didn’t want him too.

I absolutely fell in love with Davis in Eye Candy, the first book in the series. In that book, he was Vince’s best friend, the guy who stuck around through all of the drama and heartaches in Vince’s life, the guy who pushed Vince into the best relationship of his life, and the guy who mysteriously clammed up around redheads. Sure, Eye Candy was a good book, but I was just counting down the days until I could read about Davis.

Though this book is technically a standalone, you’d be doing yourself a huge disservice by skipping the first book in the series. Davis and Grace might be secondary characters, but if you pay attention, you’ll see their relationship start to develop in the background.

This book is, like every Jessica Lemmon book I’ve read, cute and well-written. Lemmon knows how to build her characters so that you’ll not only care about what happens to them but so that they’ll also feel like real people. I feel like I could hop over to a local bar and meet Davis and Vince. They’re not caricatures. They’re not unrealistic.  They aren’t multi-billionaires with their own private islands and castles and fleets of expensive cars.  They’re regular people, and I love that about her books.

Okay, so let’s talk about Davis. If he were a real person, I would quite literally leave my current life for him.  In a heartbeat. Without a second thought. He rivals all other men (real and fictional) for a place in my heart because he is just such a good person. You should see my Kindle notes. Every time that Davis did something sweet or cute or wonderful I have comments like, “swoon” or “heart eyes” or “Where do I find my own Davis Price.”

I’m not sure what’s up with me and fictional men lately, but it’s getting to be a thing.

Now, all the love in the world for Davis cannot make up for the distaste that I had for Grace. She’s not awful.  Not at all.  She’d probably actually make a great friend.  She’s just so immature and wishy-washy when it comes to relationships. And I get it, really, I do.  Especially at the beginning, and sometimes even after a few years, relationships are scary. You have to push past your own self-imposed barriers to get to bigger and better things.  The problem is that whenever Grace feels an emotion, she shuts down. In one particular scene, she described herself as a pinata filled with terror, and that’s about when I stopped taking her seriously.

All of these contemporaries involve the characters separating and getting back together, so I don’t think it’s really a spoiler to mention that it happens here. I’m being purposely vague, but I don’t think that Grace deserved her second chance at the reunion. She made her choice and I don’t honestly care if she was crying in the back room of the bar over it. You’re an adult and once you’ve made your choices, it’s your job to own them and deal with them.

Honestly, Davis deserved the world and I’m not sure that he’ll get it with Grace. (But, as long as this fictional character is happy with his fictional girlfriend, I’m happy.) If it doesn’t work out with Grace, though, I’m not afraid of commitment. Just sayin’.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC!

Final rating: ★★★★☆