A box of…what?

Sep 16, 2021 | Book Reviews | 0 comments

I have a confession to make. I don’t like any of my Box of Stories books.

There, I said it. I was umming and ahhing over whether to post this so soon after my initial post, where I was so excited to dive right into the books I’d received. But after battling my way through 1.5 books, I have to admit defeat, and so, I thought honesty would be the best policy here.

Now, don’t get me wrong – loads of people online seem to love their boxes, so I’m fairly sure this could be a one-off and I just received a batch of books that didn’t suit me. On the downside however, it has really put me off using either their service again, or any other book subscription club.

I like to think I’m not particularly snobby when it comes to books – I love reading a wide range of genres and authors depending on my mood/the season. Although I will always love fantasy above all else, I also enjoy rom-coms, non-fiction, YA, general fiction, horror, and sci-fi – there’s only one genre I will freely admit I’m not that keen on, and that’s crime. No idea why, just crime/thriller books don’t tend to do a lot for me. Anything else, I will gladly give it a go.

But the books in this box…I tried so hard to like them and I just couldn’t. This was a bitter disappointment to me, as I was so looking forward to discovering a new favourite author or book.

I’ll probably review the one book I did manage to read through to the end (Every Sky A Grave) separately, but I don’t think it’s fair if I tried to review the other two (Weave the Lightning and The King of Elfland’s Daughter). All I will say, is that I googled Weave the Lightning after I gave up around the 100 page mark, and it seems a lot of people had the same difficulties I did. There was a lot of explanation about the magic system given in a short space of time, and I really really struggled to understand what was going on. I also didn’t care about any of the characters, as I was trying so hard to get my head around the story, I didn’t have any headspace left to bother about them. As for The King of Elfland’s Daughter, I can see how this would’ve been a classic in its day – I may pick it up again at some point, but I was so over being told everything rather than shown from the previous two books I tried to read, I couldn’t face a third book of the same.

Unfortunately, this also means that I’ve decided to also hold off reading Steel Frame for now too. Perhaps once I’ve gotten over my disappointment I’ll return to it and be pleasantly surprised, but for now, I’ll leave it. I’m sure there are lots of people out there who would love these books and could rave about them all day along…but I’m not one of them. As a writer, I hate admitting when I don’t like other books as I know the blood, sweat and tears that can go into every word – but I also have to be honest with myself and others. Perhaps I should look on this as a good writerly lesson – you can’t please everyone, so don’t try. Just write what YOU enjoy, and there will be people out there who will love it too.

For now, I’m off to make my list of books to buy once payday rolls around – and in the meantime, I’ll be over here reading Lord of the Rings for the first time in about ten years if anyone wants me.

Have you ever tried a book subscription service? Have you ever been disappointed in the titles you’ve received, or did you enjoy them?

Z x


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