Friday, September 23, 2011

Blog Chain: 3 Slow Starts That Are SO Worth It

Yep. It's blog chain time again!

For this chain, the uber-awesome Shaun wants us to answer this:

What are three books you would tell people that they need to keep reading even if they aren't immediately sucked in by the first page?

It took me a while to come up with my options, to be honest. Many openings appeal to me, but of course, there are exceptions (weather is a big no-no, for example...). So here are my picks for books with slow starts that are worth reading:

1) THE GIRL WHO COULD FLY by Victoria Forester.
This MG is un-be-lie-va-ble. Funny, charming, super sad yet hopeful. But since I felt like the beginning was all voice/backstory and no action, I read it veeeeeery slowly. MG isn't my forte, so I attributed my lack of interest at first to the fact that I read primarily YA. Then Forester introduces readers to the top secret government facility for "gifted" kids, where Piper McCloud, the main character, is sent to study and hone her power of flying. Piper's voice, the variety of awesome characters, and the insanely evil obstacles (both physical and emotional) Piper faces are what kept me pushing through. 

2) WARM BODIES by Isaac Marion
Yes, this is a best-selling YA zombie novel. Yes, I was excited to read it. The first line even hooked me: "I am dead, but it's not so bad." Even so, this book wasn't what I expected. It's not a zombie slaughterfest. It has a lot of interiority. Don't get me wrong--R, the main character (who's a zombie with no recollection of his past), is a joy to read about. And the writing is top-notch. BUT again, I like my fiction voice-y and action-filled. Things pick up when R meets his love interest, but it does go slow for a while again. The romance is so, so, so sweet. Too sweet, I think. I was rooting for R to reach his goal and all, but I wanted him to be more proactive. By the final page, though, I couldn't stop marveling at how wonderful the story is.

3) THE NAME OF THE ROSE by Umberto Eco
I adore thriller/mystery films. Books? Haven't had much experience with them. This one by Eco, though, happens to be one of my faves. Despite that fact, I couldn't get through it when I read it during my sophomore year in college. First of all, it's a detective novel. The detective isn't really a detective, but a monk. He sets out to uncover the truth behind seven weird deaths at an abbey. And there are a lot of clues. Sounds promising, right? Well, when I first read it, I was overwhelmed with heavy world-building and references to Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and world mythology. The mystery unfolds at a painfully slow pace. It's almost torture to find yourself uncovering one clue, then three others pop up. But the ending makes the wait SO worth it. I swear.

So there you have them, folks. My three picks for books you should read, but beware: they start a little slow.

Don't forget to check out Abby's post, and go see what Sandra says tomorrow!


  1. Yes! I've read The Name of the Rose and I completely agree. Finally one that I've actually read.

  2. I read The Name of the Rose a long time ago; this post makes me want to reread it.

  3. I've heard of The Name of the Rose, but I've never read it... maybe I should! That zombie book looks pretty awesome too. :)

  4. I haven't read any of these, but Warm Bodies sound pretty awesome! :)

  5. Great question!!!

    Will have to check out these books. I try to give a book at least 100 pages to pick up. I hear the dragon tattoo lady series is like that.

  6. Good to know!
    I haven't read any of those but they look great. I loved the movie based on the Name of the Rose. Lame, I know.

    I actually thought the first Harry Potter was a bit slow before I got totally sucked in.

  7. I haven't read any of those but they sound great! More books to add to my TBR pile lol

  8. I haven't read any of these books, but read good reviews for Warm Bodies. It's amazing how you can be on the fence throughout a whole book, but then after finishing it and being able to see it as a whole - suddenly feel totally different about it.

  9. Ooh, from your review, I really want to read The Girl Who Could Fly. The others, meh. :) The great thing about this blog chain is how totally different people's tastes are, and yet there are some books we all agree on. Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder.

  10. Loved the Name of the Rose movie with Sean Connery. Never knew it was based on a book!

  11. I have heard of the first one, but the too familiar title turned me off. Your review has changed my mind! And I want to check out warm bodies now too.

  12. Haven't heard of these but I love the first line of the zombie book! I love how many ideas for books I'm getting through the chain!

  13. I haven't read any of these books, but I've heard good things about The Girl Who Could Fly. I'll to check them out! :)

  14. Nice list! I loved Name of the Rose, but totally agree is was a slow starter. Have you read Focault's Pendulum? It's like The DaVinci Code for smart people (I kid, I loved The DaVinci Code).

    I keep seeing Warm Bodies. Now I'm going to have to pick it up.