Two Books I Could Not Finish (The Night Circus and The Windup Girl)

Posted November 17, 2011 by Kara in Uncategorized / 6 Comments

Let me make this clear. Just because I cannot finish a book doesn’t mean it is a bad book. It just means it was not for me. I understand that we all have differing opinions and that is alright by me. That being said, the following books (both of which are award winners), I would not recommend to anyone I know. I just thought they had a lot of faults.

Which books are they?

I know. I’m taking a big risk for posting this, and I’m kind of afraid of what other readers will think of me. I know a lot of people really loved these books and great for them. I decided to include both of them in the same post because I disliked them for the same reasons. They bored me to tears, and where the heck was the plot??
The Night Circus was gorgeously written. But the characters were as flat as a pancake. And there was very little plot to be heard of. This book took forever to get to any sort of point. It was possibly one of the most drawn out books I have ever read. I found myself getting very restless while reading this book. Every time I was about to pick it up again to read more, I found myself dreading the chore. It was just not a good reading experience for me.
The Windup Girl was also a brilliantly imagined novel. This book won the Hugo award. The concept of it was great. And the writing was richly descriptive. But after 50 pages and literally nothing had happened, I  just couldn’t take it anymore. Not only that, but there was a fairly graphic scene of animal abuse which put me off the book as well. That is a topic I have a hard time reading about and try to avoid whenever possible.

I didn’t rate either of these books because I didn’t feel I read far enough into them to do so. I don’t want to discourage you from trying them, but if your tastes are remotely similar to mine, I have a feeling you may come across some of the same issues that I did. Any thoughts to share?

6 responses to “Two Books I Could Not Finish (The Night Circus and The Windup Girl)

  1. my wife tried Windup Girl a while ago and like you she had to put it aside. I’ll say this, the cover art is really good but the art inside didn’t fit the bill for her and she’s generally one to read anything fantasy. She gave it up after about 100 pages—same thing, just didn’t grab her at all.

  2. Thanks for your comments ladies! There’a a bit more to it than just a circus, but it plays out so slowly that I just didn’t have the patience to stick it out. It wasn’t captivating me like it did so many others.

    TCA, I love the cover of The Windup Girl. I think that’s part of the problem. It and the setting are what drew me in in the first place and then ended up being nothing like what I expected. And then it made me fall asleep. ;)Thanks for your comment.

  3. I’ve been tossing around the idea of reading Night Circus because of the hoopla surrounding it. Maybe now I’ll just sample it and see how it goes. Thx for this, Kara!

  4. I actually loved both. I haven’t read Circus for about 10 years so I’m not that fresh on it, but I remember loving the description and sheer craziness of it. I do prefer Wise Children and her short stories though.

    The Windup Girl I read at the beginning of this year. I agree it was a bit of a slow burner to start with, but I found the detail and world building absorbing. And then I was hooked – I loved the intricate political aspect. As for the animal abuse – well, it’s unpleasant to read about of course. But it wasn’t gratuitous and it did link into the plot.

    But hey! We all have different tastes!

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