Top 5 Books that I Want to Give a Second Chance

  This Top 5 series started back in October 2018 and I kind of lost motivation for making it every week. But it’s back! This is a series of books that I want to read that all have a common theme. Previously on the blog I have focused on witches, werewolves, thrillers, faeries, fairy tale re-tellings, high fantasy and many more. I am going to try and bring this series back for every Saturday.

The Upcoming Schedule Is:

5/23/20 — Books about Plants/Flowers (Can be on cover, in title or plot)

5/30/20 — Books from a Male POV

6/6/20 — Books Set Near/On the Sea

6/13/20 — Books with One Word Titles

6/20/20 — Books You’d Give a Second Chance

6/27/20 —  Books with Morally Grey Characters


  • Share your top 5 books of the current topic– these can be books that you want to read, have read and loved, have read and hated, you can do it any way you want.
  • Tag the original post (This one!)
  • Tag 5 people

Second Chance Books

There are many times that I give a book a second chance. Often when I finish a book I will read the first few chapters of several books before I find the next book that I want to read. I will set books aside all the time for many reasons. Sometimes it’s just not the right time for that book and other times the book is starting kind of slow. I rarely DNF books, I tend to come back to the books most of the time and give them a second shot. I’ve been doing this a lot lately because since the pandemic hit I haven’t had the patience for slower paced books. If the book isn’t captivating me I will try a different one and hopefully return to it later. These are all books that I want to give a second chance, hoping that I will enjoy them.

Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal

A lush, dark YA fantasy debut that weaves together tattoo magic, faith, and eccentric theater in a world where lies are currency and ink is a weapon, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake.

Celia Sand and her best friend, Anya Burtoni, are inklings for the esteemed religion of Profeta. Using magic, they tattoo followers with beautiful images that represent the Divine’s will and guide the actions of the recipients. It’s considered a noble calling, but ten years into their servitude Celia and Anya know the truth: Profeta is built on lies, the tattooed orders strip away freedom, and the revered temple is actually a brutal, torturous prison.

Their opportunity to escape arrives with the Rabble Mob, a traveling theater troupe. Using their inkling abilities for performance instead of propaganda, Celia and Anya are content for the first time . . . until they realize who followed them. The Divine they never believed in is very real, very angry, and determined to use Celia, Anya, and the Rabble Mob’s now-infamous stage to spread her deceitful influence even further.

To protect their new family from the wrath of a malicious deity and the zealots who work in her name, Celia and Anya must unmask the biggest lie of all—Profeta itself.

Ink in the Blood is a book that several of my trusted blogger friends have enjoyed, but it didn’t grab my attention right away. I only read the first chapter or two before finding a different book. I really want to return to this book though, because I know that it’s one that I will probably love. The synopsis sounds so good and it looks like a darker fantasy that has a fascinating plot. So many of my friends have given this book 4 or 5 stars that I have to give it a second chance.

The Seventh Sun by Lani Forbes Book Cover

The Seventh Sun by Lani Forbes

Thrust into leadership upon the death of his emperor father, young Prince Ahkin feels completely unready for his new position. Though his royal blood controls the power of the sun, he’s now responsible for the lives of all the Chicome people. And despite all Ahkin’s efforts, the sun is fading–and the end of the world may be at hand.

For Mayana, the only daughter of the Chicome family whose blood controls the power of water, the old emperor’s death may mean that she is next. Prince Ahkin must be married before he can ascend the throne, and Mayana is one of six noble daughters presented to him as a possible wife. Those who are not chosen will be sacrificed to the gods.

Only one girl can become Ahkin’s bride. Mayana and Ahkin feel an immediate connection, but the gods themselves may be against them. Both recognize that the ancient rites of blood that keep the gods appeased may be harming the Chicome more than they help. As a bloodred comet and the fading sun bring a growing sense of dread, only two young people may hope to change their world.

Rich in imagination and romance, and based on the legends and history of the Aztec and Maya people, The Seventh Sun brings to vivid life a world on the edge of apocalyptic disaster.

This fantasy is inspired by Aztec and Mayan culture and I love books that are cultural and inspired by cultural myths. I read the first couple chapters and found the world really cool, but I didn’t love Mayana and I felt like the narrative of “I have to do my duty to the gods” was getting repetitive. I do think I’m going to give this one another shot, mainly because I’ve heard it compared to The Selection and I know there is going to be royal matchmaking. But it also sounds like the competition to marry the prince gets pretty intense and that this book is more than girly drama. Once again a bunch of my friends have given this book 4 or 5 stars, so I’m inclined to give it another chance.

The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska book cover

The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska

The Wicked Deep meets A Curse So Dark and Lonely in this gripping, dark fairy-tale fantasy about two girls who must choose between saving themselves, each other, or their sinking island city.

Every year on St. Walpurga’s Eve, Caldella’s Witch Queen lures a boy back to her palace. An innocent life to be sacrificed on the full moon to keep the island city from sinking.

Lina Kirk is convinced her brother is going to be taken this year. To save him, she enlists the help of Thomas Lin, the boy she secretly loves, and the only person to ever escape from the palace. But they draw the queen’s attention, and Thomas is chosen as the sacrifice.

Queen Eva watched her sister die to save the boy she loved. Now as queen, she won’t make the same mistake. She’s willing to sacrifice anyone if it means saving herself and her city.

When Lina offers herself to the queen in exchange for Thomas’s freedom, the two girls await the full moon together. But Lina is not at all what Eva expected, and the queen is nothing like Lina envisioned. Against their will, they find themselves falling for each other. As water floods Caldella’s streets and the dark tide demands its sacrifice, they must choose who to save: themselves, each other, or the island city relying on them both.

I’ve actually read the first third of this book and I really like the atmosphere and I’m interested in the story, but it has some slower parts and the characters aren’t super well developed. I will definitely return to this book, and I might wind up reading it in between other books, but I’m definitely not going to give up on this one. The dark atmosphere and witchy vibes are really cool, but I hope that the story picks up a bit.

Furyborn by claire legrand book cover

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.

I was really excited for this book and I got a copy for by birthday. I got an audiobook copy and an ebook, and I immediately hated the voice of the narrator. Her voice made the main character sound super snobby and I could just not get past it. Even when I tried to read the book without the narration I still had that voice in my head and it changed my perception of the main character. It has been long enough since I first tried to listen to the audiobook that I think I could make my own judgements without the narrator’s voice influencing me. So I would totally give this book a chance since it was the narrator that turned me off, not the book itself.

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers Book Cover

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

I strongly believe that my experience with Grave Mercy was a case of reading the wrong book at the wrong time. I read a few chapters and I was not enjoying it. But it was also several years ago. My interests now are very aligned with this book and it totally seems like a title that I would love. This book has an assassin at the heart of it and is filled with political intrigue and sounds like it has a cool world. This is also a series and these are long fantasy books, I tend to need to be in the right mood for fantasies over 400 pages, so I want to give this book a real shot when I’m feeling like I need a huge fantasy book.

Check out other Book Blogger’s Top 5!

Nen & Jen @ Nen & Jen — Top 5 Sat: Second Chance Reads
Louise @ Life in the Book Lane — Top 5 Saturday… Books You’d Give a Second Chance
Jill @ Jill’s Book Blog — Top 5 Saturday — Books I’d Give a Second Chance
Dini @ Dinipandareads — Top 5 Saturday: Books I Need to Finish!


Let’s Chat!

Do you give books a second chance? Do you DNF or just set books aside? Have you read any of these? What did you think? Are there any that I should give up on or that you think I should definitely give a second chance? Make sure to comment below so we can talk about books you would give a second chance!

23 thoughts on “Top 5 Books that I Want to Give a Second Chance

Add yours

      1. City of Brass almost made this list as well. I tried to read it right after reading The Candle and the Flame and the two had a lot of similarities so I couldnt stop comparing them. But I’d like to give that one another shot

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree. I’m such a mood reader plus my tastes have changed over time. I remember looking back to an old review where I said I didnt like the amount of politics in a fantasy yet now I’m all about political fantasy

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I haven’t read any of these but all of them are on my TBR. I’m quite excited for Ink the Blood although I don’t think it’s very hyped (at least that I know of). As a tattoo aficionado, the first mention of tattoo magic immediately had me intrigued! I’m much the same as you with DNF’ing often/at all and always coming back to a book. I hope you enjoy these the second time around 🙂 Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

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