Well, of course there are always going to be some books that don’t live up to the hype or to the expectations we have for them, but man I get so frustrated when that happens. I like to commit to a book and see it through. I used to feel the pressure to finish a book I wasn’t enjoying… I decided at some point in the last couple years to let that go. There are just way too many outstanding books and not NEARLY enough time to spend on something less than satisfactory.
Now, having said that, there are some times when I will finish a book that isn’t awesome because it’s just interesting enough for me to see how it plays out. There are times I have been rewarded richly, and times where I still went, ‘meh’. Either way, no regrets. Usually.
This past couple months I have had some downers, mostly due to overhype on Instagram or social media that set my expectations high. I’m writing this to absolve myself of any guilt now that I publicly pronounce the “books I will read”, in addition to maybe re-setting any expectations YOU may have for some of the following:
FLIGHT OF DREAMS
Try as I did, I just could NOT for the life of me care one bit about any of the characters in this story (and there are a lot of them). And I mean, from the very beginning.. just no feelings. Even the fascination of this real life tragedy (the Hindenburg disaster) could not lure me to the finish. It felt too contrived and shallow. I had high hopes because a blogger I enjoy had given it good reviews and even offered it as a giveaway! But I eventually had to abandon this one. It was putting me in a major slump, which is annoying because I picked it up to counter some major slumpage due to another high hopeful…
Man. I wanted to like this one… I thought for sure I would devour it and name my unborn daughter Guinevere. Not a chance. I can’t even put my finger on what wasn’t working here… I loved the cover which is a weakness of mine – grabbing a book with a great cover and immediately expecting the inside to match the outside (so much obvious naivete here! I’m almost 40 for cryin out loud!). But I got some positive feedback from some fellow bookstagrammers, and got excited. Well, I’d say I read almost 100 pages, MAYBE, before I just gave up. It was a little too unrealistic and I didn’t love the characterization, so looking at the length of the book and how long it already felt did me in. No regrets.
This was a really popular Book of the Month Club selection popping up everywhere! It looked adorable, the premise sounded interesting enough, again, another enticing cover… But – Blah. I did finish this one because, thank you mediocre author, it was more or less 200 pages and easy to read. There were some cute moments and I did hang in toward the end because I was interested enough to see how it all came together, but I never really connected with the writing or the main character. She had this weird personality, and I think the author meant for her to be quirky and adorable – like a Zoe Deschanel-type, but she would spout off these trivial facts and it was actually quite annoying instead of endearing. The key relationship in this book was that of the main girl and her father who was a former professor suffering from degenerative dementia. She has to face several unsavory truths about who her dad really was, and what she had never seen before in her parents’ marriage and family dynamics. That gave me enough impetus to finish because there was some reality and heart in that story. The whole rest of the book is just a boring short story.
Another Book of the Month Club Selection that was all over the place! I was excited to read this one because I wondered how someone would write an “active shooter” situation and make a whole book out of a three-hour time frame. The point of view is that of a mother and her three-year-old son who are trapped in a zoo when a couple of young men come in and start randomly shooting. She and her little boy navigate the time by hiding alone, hiding with some strangers, running, hiding more… on and on. Also, she spends a lot of time “wondering” and “reflecting”, and frankly, it was just boring. I did finish this one as well, because I really thought it could become interesting and as FAST-PACED and THRILLING as everyone promised. But oh my gosh if I had to read another paragraph about memories she had of her childhood… I honestly preferred reading about how hungry her son was and how they would get food out of the vending machine across from their hiding place! It just fell flat in my opinion.
So, read at your own risk. You’re welcome.