Books I’m Scared to Read

Posted April 6, 2023 / Book Lists, Features / 0 Comments

I hope I’m not the only person out there who has books on their TBR that they’re genuinely afraid to read… You know the ones. The big chonky fantasy books, or the super literary and flowery fiction, or the author that’s way smarter than you are… All of the books below fall into some of these categories for me and while I’m interested in reading them someday, I’m afraid to even crack the spine open.

BABEL by RF Kuang // This is such a dense book! I’ve heard that it can read like a textbook at times which sounds boring and tedious, but it’s on SO many people’s “best of” lists from 2022! I’m so drawn to it because of the college setting and high ratings, but it’s such a scary length. I’m also for sure convinced that Kuang is way smarter than me and that this whole book will go right over my head.

CRESCENT CITY series by SJM // The only reason I’m less afraid of this one than others on the list is because I trust SJM to write a pretty good story at this point. I’m rereading ToG to finally finish it off and adored all things ACOTAR, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy this one. The book is LONG though. I’ve seen semi mixed reviews (if not for this book, definitely the second book) so I’m just a bit cautious to devote the time to it!

THE KIND WORTH KILLING by Peter Swanson // This author is on a lot of my favorite booktubers’ auto-read lists so I know I should give him a try. I have a few on my TBR that I hope to read at some point but this particular book by him is a bit scary. I don’t know (yet) if I like books centered around a villain necessary, especially one plotting a murder (you’ll see this come up again on my list)… so we’ll see if and when I read this one.

BUNNY by Mona Awad // I am so desperate to read this and be a part of the cool kid club but I am equally afraid. I’ve heard “this book makes no sense until the end and then it all comes together.” Okay?? What does that even mean? Confusing but clearly interesting enough to keep reading throughout due to the payoff at the end? I don’t know if this is more literary fiction or horror or a mash-up of both of them but someday I will overcome my fear and read this… hopefully.

LORE OLYMPUS by Rachel Smythe // Maybe I shouldn’t be afraid of a graphic novel series but hey, there are plenty of creepy ones out there that would definitely scare me. This one has a lot of dark themes apparently but SO many people love it. I bought it recently when I was in too big of a book buying mood and now I’m afraid to open it up. The illustrations are gorgeous but really not sure what to expect from the content. I don’t read dark/sad books, only dark-ish mysteries haha.

48 CLUES INTO THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MY SISTER by Joyce Carol Oates // I’ve never read from this author but she’s just a liiiittle bit famous, no? I similarly haven’t read anything by Ann Patchett because I’m scared of the award-winning hype and talent lol. The premise of this book is RIGHT up my alley, which is why I added it to my TBR in the first place, but we’ll see if or when I decide to read it haha.


PACHINKO by Min Jin Lee // Needless to say, this book is probably incredibly powerful and heartbreaking. I’m not entirely sure I can handle it but I am dying to see what it’s all about! Like I’ve said, I don’t read a lot of sad, sweeping literary fiction and this book certainly falls into that category. I’m sure it would mess me up a bit and I’ll really need to be in the mood to read it when I maybe, finally do.

FAIRY TALE by Stephen King // Fun fact: I’ve never read a Stephen King book. His stories are intimidating for me in general, but this one seems daunting… and great! My dad read it (he reads all of King’s books) and really enjoyed it. It’s a longgg fantasy book so I know I can handle it and it would be a great segue into maybe reading more by him, but it’s definitely hefty.

THE ONE by John Marrs // As I mentioned in another book summary here, I’m not sure I could read a book narrated by a character who is a serial killer. Maybe I’d enjoy the villain POV but who knows. The premise of this one is so intriguing but I’m definitely not sure how it’ll go for me. I think it’s pretty likely I’ll consider this one soon but it scares me.

THE WOMAN IN THE LIBRARY by Sulari Gentill // This is another one like BUNNY where I want to be a cool girl and read it with the rest of my booktube faves. It seems like a really interesting and confusing premise, which is probably why I’m nervous about reading it. I’m sure it will just take a little getting used to and then click. It’s also a little bit polarizing with some people loving and some people hating it. So we’ll see!

NETTLE AND BONE by T. Kingfisher // I can’t really put my finger on why this one makes me nervous because I do enjoy fantasy books and this has SUCH high ratings, especially from people I trust. I think it could be a little bit of hype scaring me. I think some of her books have horror-ish elements (it’s the second genre tagged for this on Goodreads) and anything bordering on horror is not usually up my alley. I think I need to give it a shot though!

THE FIFTH SEASON by N.K. Jemison // This book is scary for many of the reasons I’ve mentioned for other books. The hype, the fact that the magic system and world is apparently super confusing for like half the book, the fact that Jemison is way smarter than me and I’m not sure how I’ll do reading it… all of those things are true. But people straight-up adore this book and maybe I’ll get the courage to read it someday.

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