Where do the unfinished books go? Why here, of course.
It used to be that I would muscle my way through every book I started – even if it meant skimming my way to the end. I don’t do that anymore. With 500+ books on my tbr shelf I give the book the good ol’ college try, but I don’t finish every one of them. I thought I’d keep track of books I abandon and the reasons why here. Feel free to prod me if you think any of these books are worth revisiting.
The Uninvited – Tim Wynne-Jones 70/359
Why I stopped: I was really looking forward to this book – although I can’t quite remember why now. I had to abandon it though because I just found it odd and slow and not, after all, my cup of tea.
Grief Girl – Erin Vincent 98/306
Why I stopped: It seems heartless to give up on a memoir about a girl who is just fourteen when her parents are involved in a horrific accident. Erin’s mother dies at the scene, but her father survives and seems to be making a recovery when, a month on, a blood clot passes through his heart and he dies. It’s heart-wrenching, for sure, but I found the writing a little plodding and I just couldn’t stick with it.
Why I stopped: Come on. The New York Times called this a “smart, propulsive, tightrope-walking mystery” but I was on page 71 and it was b-o-r-i-n-g. The characters were grating and unbelievable and I just lost interest.
Why I stopped: I really, really tried to get through this book because a couple boys from my 2012-13 grade ten English class wanted me to read it. But, try as I might, I just couldn’t muster enough enthusiasm to get through this wacky horror-comedy hybrid.
Why I stopped: Although girls in my 2012-13 grade 10 class gobbled this book up, I just couldn’t carry on. The whole thing just seemed so derivative – cookie cutter characters that were somehow familiar. Stands to reason: Cassandra Clare was a BFN (Big Fandom Name) a few years ago when she wrote – mostly – Harry Potter fanfiction under the name Cassie Clare. There was a huge kerfluffle surrounding her work and the fact that much of it was plagiarized.
Why I stopped: I knew early on that this was Christian fiction; God made an appearance on the first page. But then I thought, don’t be such a snob; give it a chance. But then when the two pastors were waiting on the front porch for the arrival of the prodigal son I just couldn’t go on. Blech.
Why I stopped: Seriously. Why is this even a book and why did I read 300 pages? It’s HORRIBLE. In every possible way. Poorly written, often non-sensical (how, exactly, does one clench their palms?), with so many instances of clunky exposition and laughable dialogue that I just…had to read out loud to my thirteen year old son. Never mind the dhampirs. OMG. And I thought Twilight was bad. I must do a post on the glut of vampire fiction because I am sure Bram Stoker and Joss Whedon are bent double with nausea.
Why I stopped: Not even my girlhood crush on Robby could compel me to read this “insiders” look at Hollywood. The ‘nudge, nudge; wink, wink’ approach to story telling probably works for people who get the joke, but pulling back the veil of Hollywood wasn’t all that interesting to me.
Why I stopped: I really wanted to like this book. I did. But in the end, it was just all over the place for me. Accolades aside, I just didn’t get it. And I ran out of patience.
Why I stopped: Hmm. First of all despite the claim that the girls who committed this crime are ‘infamous’, I’d never heard of them. I don’t read too much true crime anymore, but I’ve read enough to prefer that the story read like fiction. This is straight up ‘reporting’ which makes sense since the author was (is?) a reporter for the Toronto Star. The crime was cold-blooded; the sisters whacked, their friends heartless but none of it added up to too much.
Why I stopped: I wanted to like this book. The writer is clearly talented. The premise was intriguing: a young teacher begins an affair with the father of one of her students. His wife is well-known for having written the true-crime story of an adulterous affair gone horribly wrong. But then there’s this whole thing where animals retell the story of the affair and it was slow and all right, I give up.
Why I stopped: I probably should have given up on this book sooner than I did. It was a classic case of a three dressed up as a nine. The characters just weren’t believable (even though they were all beautiful and smart and amazing and damaged.) I felt like I was reading a gussied up Harlequin.
Why I stopped: Despite the subject matter, a journalist leaves the safety of his fiance and begins down a dark road of domination and submission, and despite the fact that Gary Kadat can write…this book was too slow moving for me.