I don't keep strict track of books I've abandoned -- I just don't like them being on my Goodreads account, affecting my stats & algorithms, and I'm too lazy to jot them down anywhere else -- so I really appreciate this week for allowing me to dig back through my memory banks of the past 6-8 months. I was surprised by how many I had given up on in such a short time, actually. (Maybe I SHOULD keep track in the future. Could be interesting.) Fortunately, the sum total I spent on these abandoned books was $1.07, so no big loss.
1. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend - Katarina Bivald
I got this so I'd have an audiobook, but 30-40% of the way through I just couldn't take the weird twang in everyone's voice (it's set in Iowa, a place I do not think of as having an accent), and there was nothing compelling enough about the plot to switch to print. The main character was supposed to be around 30, but she came across as 45-50, acting too old for me to relate. And a Goodreads review suggested that addressing racism would somehow become a plot point, which...no thanks.
2. A Frozen Heart - Elizabeth Rudnick
Normally I love movies that are transformed into novels -- a proper novel with added material, not a cheap junior novelization -- but I realized about halfway through that I don't care about these characters enough to dig into a deeper text reading of them or imagine the cartoons as real people. The Disney movie is fun, but that's all it needs to be.
3. The Captives - Debra Jo Immergut
This was one of my prospective novels to cast Spencer Reid in, because the summary suggested a Cat v. Reid type of dynamic between the prisoner and therapist, but it was all quite dull and the style too literary (or faux-literary) for my taste.
[edit: ah damn there my brain goes like "okay but now it looks like a 68 Kill dynamic, yes? you can still have your Gubler casting, just in a different style. Tell me this fop of a therapist doesn't remind you of Chip." IT WAS STILL BORING, BRAIN.]
4. About a Dog - Jenn McKinlay
It had been a while since I'd read mass-market romance and I just could not acclimate to the cheesy writing of this one that day. Honestly, I'm not a fan of "hooked up once and now we're Here" stories anyway; I was only in this for the promise of a vet and it was not worth it. (fortunately, Debbie Burns proved more palatable on the dog romance front)
5. City Love - Susane Colasanti
I bought this YA novel at the dollar store because it was so shiny and prettily colored, and what's not to love about summer in NYC just before college? I kept it for months, and then one day while on a book purge I idly picked it up, paged through it and found...a girl randomly hooking up with a guy in a clothing store dressing room? Without even knowing his name? Flipping ahead, it appeared that would not be the only hookup. No thanks @ all that.
6. The Promise of Us - Jamie Beck
It crushed me to have to quit this, because it's one of the prettiest covers I have ever seen in my life (click the link and the full size picture, you will not regret it) and the entire premise of an interior designer (!) who is also a very shy mass-shooting-survivor sounded so appealing I actually anticipated its release from the moment Goodreads began displaying it in banner ads...but I will tell you what I told Goodreads when I gave up on page 70:
There is such pretty scene-setting and great potential, but I cannot handle one more second of this "she blushed. I loved the effect I had on her. she was somehow so alluring despite dressing like a grandma" and "I bit my lip. he was so close...but no! I couldn't like him! his sister Betrayed Me"-style nonsense of a plot.
7. Bad Romance - Heather Demetrios
I HATED I'll Meet You There and I was 50/50 on this one, which I may come back to someday, because it's good writing...but not until I am in a less judgmental place, because after struggling through about 60 pages I was in danger of rage-stroking out from the narrator's inability to notice Mr. Hot Guy was poor dating material from roughly their first or second meeting.
8. Mariam Sharma Hits The Road - Sheba Karim
Lured by the bright cover, I came for the road trip aspect despite some trepidation over how many issues it might try to address, but I was so fed up and grossed out within 5 (five) pages that I chucked it back to the library unread and will not be trying again.
Update, found my original flouncing comment: so far we've had teen drinking, a friend whose dumb idea to be an underwear model is about to be revealed to her conservative parents, commentary on a guy having "just the right amount of chest hair" (literally the first line), talk of nose-picking, and the word "dick" + related worse commentary. Yeahhhh, we're done here
9. Outside In - Beverly Sommers
Please see Tumblr for visual aids and related amusement.
To summarize: I wanted to reread a YA novel from this author to see why I rated it 2 stars in high school, but it wasn't on OpenLibrary and this was. I fully intended to enjoy the heck out of snarking my way through this "Never Been Kissed meets Nancy Drew but make it sexy kind of" premise, but it was so bad I bailed after 25 pages. Just super dated and tonally weird -- half trying to be coyly flirty while maintaining a PG-13 rating, half This Is A Serious Message About Gun Violence, Poverty and Homelessness. With murder! (seriously, a homeless man gets beaten to death in the first ten pages. it's not graphic but it's also like THIS IS NOT HOW ROMANCE NOVELS GO)
10. Horrorstor - Grady Hendrix
Cool premise, ridiculously boring execution.
And an extra one, because I wrote this post (complete w/ graphic) a month ago out of optimism, but I have abandoned a new book since then:
+11. Into the Jungle - Erica Ferencik
Billed as a thriller but in practice, tries to be too literary and clever by half, and is also gross/unnecessarily graphic. I pulled a face on page ONE and made a valiant attempt to skip from prologue to chapter 1 in hopes things would improve, but they did not. This review sealed it.
Your Turn: Did any of these titles fare better with you, and/or were there any you abandoned/disliked from this set as well? Opinions of all kinds accepted!
Note: Most comments are screened and will be unscreened at my earliest opportunity, even if it says they are flagged as spam. However, in the latter case I have to check manually for them (no automatic notifications), so if it is over a week later they might be missed.