Monday, July 23, 2018
What I've DNF'd So Far This Year
Astor Place Vintage by Stephanie Lehman - I really wanted to love this. I love dual timelines, I love vintage clothes, and I actually own a piece of china that my great-grandparents bought at the Wannamakers in Manhattan in the early 1900s which overlaps with on of the timelines in this book so there was even an extra bit of personal connection. However, I just couldn't get into it. Both present and past voices were exactly the same and both unlikable. I could never connect with the characters or get into the plot which felt a bit like reading a deposition.
An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler - This is another one I really wanted to love. I love foodie books and I love the idea of cooking with what's on hand and to suit your mood neither of which I'm particularly great at doing. She does a lot of contemplating of vegetables or other simple ingredients which for a chapter or two is interesting and even at times inspiring but after two chapters turns into three and then more it kind of became redundant. I am intrigued by the parsley oil and there are a number of very simple dishes that she makes that sound tasty. However, after investing 120 pages of time into it I just simply couldn't make myself pick the book up again. Honestly I was just bored with it.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare - This was one of my favorite books as a child so I was really excited to listen to it. I'm not disputing that this is well written and well executed but I just couldn't get into it. I felt so sorry for Kit who was clearly out of her element and completely blindsided by the difference in the new community she lands in after a fairly carefree life in Barbados that it became unpleasant to listen to. I think my issue is that this isn't what I want out of a Middle Grade fiction right now. I don't mind more serious tone but I am looking for an adventure theme and this just felt grueling and cheerless. I do believe this is a case of "It's not you, it's me" but I'm trying to get better at ditching books that I'm really not enjoying and this was definitely the case here.
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs - I really enjoyed Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children. It had such a delightful weirdness and was such a fun short little story with some creepiness and a selection of truly bizarre vintage photos thrown in for good measure. I expect to love this one just as much but right from the start it fell flat for me. It was missing the quirkiness that I had so enjoyed in the first book and just felt too long and cumbersome. It wasn't awful but when I was able to put it down for a week and had zero interest in picking it back up I figured it was time to let it go.
The Boy at the Door by Alex Dahl - I really wanted to love this. I've been enjoying thrillers lately and the fact that this is one set in Norway really intrigued me. I feel like I could have dealt with the fact that the main character was so incredibly unlikable but I just couldn't get past that the premise was so unlikely. I live in a community similar to what she described (though in the States) and there is no way that the people at the swimming pool would have released the child they didn't know into the custody of an adult who was a stranger to the child and Cecilia's actions following this were equally unbelievable. Coupled with the fact I felt the writing was a bit clunky and the fact that Cecilia is just the worst I decided this one just wasn't for me. I do think my experience did hamper my enjoyment of the book somewhat as I just couldn't get past what to me felt too absurd.
What have you DNF'd this year?