I’ve decided that one New Year’s resolution should be the prevalence of grumpiness and bitterness throughout my days, that way I can ensure one resolution will come true.
To start: I keep a list of books that I’ve read, but let me also keep a list of books that were so bad I just gave up on them:
Juliet takes a breath, Gabby Rivera – I got to hear this author talk as part of a panel, and she seemed really cool, and her book sounded really cool, so I got it from the library. Now the first chapter or two were really good and well-written, but after that, things just fell apart. It was boring, and not making sense, and characters were just popping in and out. Now, surprises are fun in books, but this book did not have surprises – it just jerked you around sloppily because the organization of the writing didn’t make sense. So I put it down. Have you ever noticed that some books are very nicely and creatively written for the first two pages, but after that they fall down a hole (Twilight books, for example.) It’s like the author was ordered to go back and make the introduction especially well-crafted, so that no one would notice the rest of the book is just bad? This was one of them.
A wrinkle in time, Madeleine L’engle – I’ve read quite a few of this author’s books that I liked, and since the ‘Wrinkle in time’ movie was coming out, I thought I should read it. However, how is it people like this book? It’s kind of ridiculous. I gave up about 70 or 100 pages in, after they’ve been flying on birds for a long time, and just happen to land on a planet, and they see a big dark cloud coming, and get scared. I mean, there is no sense of puzzle pieces fitting together. There’s just, oh, let’s land on this planet and make up something dangerous before we can get off it.
Six of crows, Leigh Bardugo – I saw a very intelligent girl rave about this book, so I thought, let me read it! Must be really good. Except it was not. I gave up after a chapter or two. I just had a sense of a very disjointed piece of work, that was unrelentingly dark and humorless, and I just didn’t care if the main character got ambushed by rival gangs or not, and I really didn’t feel like reading scenes of violence just for the sake of the violence, with nothing else going on.
Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons — a book written in the 1930s. I saw it in the library. It was praised on the cover as full of humor, etc, etc. In the tradition of old English Victorian literature, was my impression — friendless girl out on the moors. But I only got about 30 pages in, and I lost all interest. It was just not well-written. The dialogue was boring. There was some mystery or secret hinted at while the man of the farm was milking cows, but by that point, I didn’t really care about any of the characters, and the mysterious secret annoyed me — because not enough was let known about it to make it tantalizing, so I felt sure whatever it turned out to be would be a let-down, like the rest of the book.
White oleander — I peeked into this sometime in middle school. I read the first pages, and decided it was really bad. It was written in this stilted, spare, profound way, except nothing of what was said or described actually was profound. It was silly things described in a wanna-be elegant way. In middle school, all that I mostly read was Anne of Green Gables books. So it didn’t take me long to see that this book was a fake.