Monday, September 10, 2012

Books You Have Trouble Getting *Into* or Finishing

I don't know if it's just me, or perhaps my ability (DIS-ability) to concentrate is the issue ... but there have been several books, of late, that I'm struggling with.

You know how it goes, by the 3rd chapter your interest is waning, or the plot is so glaringly obvious that you already know what's going to happen. This is especially disappointing when the book in question received gallons of high praise across three major continents.

Then again, there are days I can't write my way out of a paper bag, so who am I to judge? But here follows a few (purportedly) great books that either I had trouble with, or currently do. Caution, the following DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS:

The Death Cure by James Dashner:
Though I gobbled up the first two novels in this exciting series, so far this one comes across as chaotic and messy. It doesn't feel *linear*, and I'm having trouble making sense out of all the fights/battles that keep springing up. Basically everyone's running around yelling without much purpose. Plus, there's no way in hell these kids should have successfully navigated their through the first few chapters, so ... once again ... it's probably a set up by Wicked. The problem is, will I care?

Divergent by Veronica Roth:
It seems almost sacrilegious to cast aspersions on this epically-praised novel, but there you have it. I'm going to hell. Anyway, the first half of the book I loved, loved, loved. The world building was unique, and the idea of society being parceled out into factions was a minor stroke of genius. But, by the final quarter of the book everything just went to shit. For me. The fights seemed surrealistic, and ... again ... I don't think the kids should have fared nearly so well as the author had them do. Additionally, near the end, having Beatrice/Tris lose not one but both parents in such a short amount of time came across as an afterthought. There was literally no time, for Tris or the reader, to emotionally process what should have been a monumental blow. Luckily, Tris was more concerned with her love interest, Four.

Partials by Dan Wells:
Here I want to stress that I am very much impressed with the world building, the descriptions, and the depth of character development. In fact, I would absolutely fan-girl this book were it not for the fact that, as soon as Kira became involved with her Partial/prisoner/medical lab-rat, the plot became clear as day from that point onward. While I could be wrong, the question is ... will I invest the reading time to find out? However, I predict that Kira will find herself increasingly sympathetic, curious, protective of her Partial, whilst her relationship with Marcus becomes a real drag. Eventually, I'm guessing, Kira and Partial will elope, take off, escape the evil adults yada yada, but will Marcus narc them out? Don't know, don't care.

Scored by Lauren McLaughlin:
I've got to come clean - I didn't like Imani from the get go.
She's prickly, deceitful, rude and I see no logical reason for non-scored, rich boy Diago's unflagging devotion/infatuation with her. He could do so much better. On the plus side, the author takes Orwell's 1984 *big brother's watching* to deliciously dangerous heights, and, damn if it isn't near plausible. One of these days I'll get around to finishing Scored, if only in the hopes that Diago will eventually tell Imani to go 'eff herself.

Well, that's it for now. Mind you, the above is merely one person's opinion. And, with opinions being ephemeral creatures, they may change for the better - once I get around to finishing the above mentioned books, or series.

Don't hold your breath. Better yet, go bake a batch of cookies and share with an elderly neighbor. Play catch with the dog/kids. Tell your significant other they're not nearly as annoying as usual. ;D


  1. Ya know, I didn't even try to review Divergent for fear I was gonna get all the negative feedback that a super popular book brings. To be honest, there was nothing about this book that I enjoyed except maybe some of the fights. It was predictable and boring and similar to every other dystopian I'd read.

    Another dystopian I can't stand is Delirium. I don't know why everyone loves it so much, but I stopped a quarter of the way through with no intention of ever picking it up again.

  2. *waves* Hi Ana :D
    Yeah, know what you mean. As soon as you mention something negative about an ultra popular book, it gets so quiet you can hear a pin drop! O-O

    Now, I did enjoy Delirium - personally, I think it's the last 3rd of the book that made all the difference. We'll see how Pandemonium *pans* out ... heh heh

    Maybe it's just me (how unexpected), but my ideal dystopian would be Lord Of The Rings Meets The Night of The Living Dead or some such ;D

  3. Awww. Sad you didn't like Divergent. :( Partials seemed interesting, but I might just check it out from the library if I get around to it. BTW, your ideal dystopia sounds awesome and you should totally write it.

  4. @Elizabeth - lol, better YOU should write it and I'll come up with some gruesome title ;D

    *Shaun of the Rings*
    *Night of the Living Golem*

    Ps - I'm hoping Insurgent will better pull me in ;D
    And, Partials might end up different than what I'm expecting, I'll get back around to it before too long and maybe I'll be eating my words (braiiiiiiiiiinnzzzz)

  5. "It doesn't feel *linear*" -- Yikes! Good thing you haven't read my Halos & Horns fantasy series; it's episodic fiction, which is a genre as far from linear as fiction can get ;) (By analogy, linear fiction looks at the forest, while episodic fiction focuses on the individual trees and lets you slowly grasp that you're in a forest).

  6. @Keith - lol, admittedly, I'm spatially challenged ;P
    But, having read (and enjoyed!)so many of your beautifully articulated posts, I'm inclined to think your Halos & Horns fantasy series would be hugely interesting <3

    ... curious, can you give me some examples of episodic fiction sometime? Maybe I can follow the crumbs ... ;D