I have a backlog of books I need to review here and haven’t gotten around to. In the meantime, I thought I’d pose a question along with a sort of nonreview. Do you ever start a book and then give up on it? I got a stack of newish YA titles out of the library the other day, including the chick lit YA title The Kid Table by Andrea Seigel. I’m not always a big chick lit reader, but I enjoy some occasionally, like Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s awesome Dairy Queen series, for example. The book had a nice cover, an amusing sounding premise, and I vaguely recalled having read a positive blog review about it at some point.
Well, fifty pages in, I gave up on it. Ingrid, the main character, was so self-absorbed that I wanted to throttle her. Nor was she amusing enough to make up for her shortcomings. In fact, all the characters and their concerns were amazingly shallow. Ingrid’s whole extended family seemed to inhabit a universe I couldn’t quite reconcile with reality. The quirky bits in the book were just trying too hard and the snappy dialogue just fell flat for me. Oh well. Not the book for me.
But I have to admit something. I do this somewhat often with books. I pick them up, give them a try and then, when they don’t please me pretty quickly, I toss them aside. Part of me says that life is too short and I’m too busy to waste time on books that aren’t very good or, at least, won’t be enjoyable or thought-provoking for me personally. But another part of me says I’m lazy and I don’t want to be challenged or take the time to get to know a book. Someone saw something in it and maybe it gets good after the first fifty pages. Not every book can grab you from moment one, you know?