Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Don't Start, or Don't Finish

On July 3, I blogged about dropping books I wasn't enjoying: "I had an epiphany. I do NOT have to finish every book I start. If it's bad, I'm allowed to stop wasting time on it."

So...what books haven't I finished recently?

Temping Fate by Esther Friesner - Okay, this is Young Adult, not my usual reading material, but I've been trying to expand, to taste other genres and see what's popular. And I've read a lot of Ms. Friesner's older fantasy books - they tend to be light, quick, reasonably entertaining reads when you don't want to have to think too much or feel too much. This contemporary paranormal YA got good reviews and many YA fantasy books do seem popular with more, umm, "mature" adult readers, so I decided to give it a try. I'm not saying it's a bad book - if you are a teenager you may love it. But I'm not a teenager - heck, my kids are no longer teenagers. I enjoyed the world she creates, the paranormal elements. But by halfway through, it was getting a bit tedious. And I was REALLY tired of the teenage angst and cliques and petty jealousies. So I stopped - I wasn't enjoying it, so I didn't spend any more time on it.

The Silver Fox and the Red-Hot Dove by Deborah Smith - This is an old (1991) LoveSwept. Hey, my TBR shelves have a long history! I'll catch up someday. Not bothering to waste time finishing this one allowed me to move on to other books from those overloaded shelves. This isn't badly written in style, but it is full of factual inaccuracies, cliches, and generally silly and unbelievable behavior by the characters. Oh, and since I skipped to the end just to see what happened, I discovered the heroine descends into a TSTL moment (not that she was particularly bright from the beginning) in order to bring about the big dramatic moment and self-sacrifice for looove.

Don of the Dead by Casey Daniels - I believe this is the start of a mystery series. Ex-rich girl now poor takes a job as tour guide in a Cleveland cemetery, falls and hits her head, and now can communicate with ghosts. It isn't bad, it just didn't grab me fast enough or hard enough to keep me going past Chapter One. I think maybe I was more in the mood for romance and deep emotion, and this isn't that. So I have put it aside for a while; maybe I'll give it another try someday.

With Nine You Get Vanyr by Jean Marie Ward & Teri Smith - If you decide to read this, keep a pad of paper and a pen handy from the start. There are SO many characters it's impossible to keep them all straight. Some of the personalities are not well defined, which makes it harder to remember the identity and role of each. And it goes from our world to an alternate universe with a whole other set of names and terms. The book definitely would have benefited by having in the front a list of characters and place names. The main characters of this story (I assume there will be sequels) just lacked something and I couldn't get into them even after a couple of chapters, so I put the book down. It's fantasy/scifi, not romance, so next time I'm in the mood for that genre I may give this another try - AND make those lists as I read, so I can keep checking on who is whom or what or where. But for now, I'll "just say No". (Oh, and the damned thing is printed in incredibly tiny font, making it really difficult to read.)

So, with the time I saved by not continuing to read the books I was not enjoying, I've been able to wallow in truly good books. Reviews to come, maybe.

No comments: