Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Unfinished Collection...

Start. Stop. Drop.
Pick up. Skim. Put down.
The End.

At what point do you finally say "It's over?" I'm not talking about relationships...although...there may be some truth in the matter. But no, I'm talking about that book you were excited to pick up and read...only to realize a few pages into it, that it's just not-gonna-happen. But how long do you give that book a fighting chance? 10 pages in? 100? Half-way point? What makes you stop? The plot, the characters, writing style, mood, lighting? There should be an entire field devoted to literary psychology.

With Summer almost over, here's this season's unfinished collection:

Switched. By Amanda Hocking. Paperback, 304 pages. St. Martin's Griffin. 
I was SO looking forward to reading this one (a paranormal girl switched at birth! Sounds promising!) but when I finally sat down to read it, it was all sorts of disappointment. It all started with Wendy's first dance/encounter with the mysterious Finn-where out-of-the-blue, he starts insulting her. Afterwards he tries to apologize and later on, we find out he acted that way because he didn't want to get too "involved." Okay, uh...Can we please move beyond the "I'm going to be mean because it's for your own good" plot phase? I was also under the impression that the story was about faeries because well..uh, Wendy is a changeling (and isn't that a Fey type of thing to do?)...but it's actually about trolls...and so, I got all confused and just couldn't keep going. Tried and Died around page 114.

Enchanted. By Alethea Kontis. Hardback, 305 pages. Harcourt Children's Books, May 2012.  
I learned a lot about myself with this one: my days of fairy tales are over. I just can't get into them like I used to. I think I'm becoming more of an urban fantasy kind of a girl. In Enchanted, Kontis weaves together all the fairy tale stories into one with the story of the frog prince as the catalyst. While I admire her creativity and imagination, I felt that her world was very confusing with too much information and fairy tale adaptations thrown at me. Also, each of the 7 children are named after the days of the week, which while unique, somehow made it equally distracting. Likewise, the backdrop of the family's history and magical source had so many explanations and reasons that I couldn't keep track. And at that point, I decided it was better that we part ways. But WHAT a beautiful dress! Tried and Died around page 100.

Partials. By Dan Wells. Hardcover, 468 pages. Balzer + Bray, February 2012. 
Oh, how I wanted to love this one: apocalypse, engineered organic beings, was everything I ever wanted in a story...Unfortunately, the only thing I got out of this was a good night's sleep. The main challenge I had with this story was its pacing. It just took too long to get going. I also felt like the writing was somewhat bland for my an apocalyptic militarized world, I expected more suspense, more action, more snide remarks, less talking. There just wasn't enough to keep me going. And after meeting Dan Wells, I felt even worse for not finishing. Tried and Died around page 70.

All 3 books do have some pretty decent ratings on Goodreads so you may end up enjoying them...even if it wasn't my cup of hot chocolate.

So I'm curious...what was your summer's unfinished novel and why?

1 comment:

E said...

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. I usually don't get into regular fiction (as opposed to YA) but I loved A Discovery of Witches. Unfortunately Shadow of Night was filled with way too many historical descriptions that it felt more like a thesis than a novel. It's still sitting half way finished on my nightstand. Maybe I'll go back. But for now, tried and died on page 295.

P.S. I really am loving how you guys are mixing it up lately with the FAB to DRAB and this! So many fantastic ideas! x