Monday, 28 May 2012

The Books That Didn't Quite Make It

I'm certain that I will surprise no one by confessing that I read a lot. Obsessively. On my way to and from work. At lunchtime. Before bed. More or less any time that hasn't been dedicated to my work, social life, housework or writing. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that every book I read is good. And seeing as I usually blog about the books I have read and loved, today I thought that I would do something different and blog about the books I have read since I started this site and either did not enjoy or did not finish. And so, in no particular order, here are some of the books that didn't end up being reviewed.


Article 5 - Kirsten Simmons (Never finished)

This book gets top billing, simply because it was the one that inspired this post. It's difficult to say what I didn't like about this dystopian tale of post war America, apart from the fact that it failed to draw me in. Maybe it's just the fact that I'm part of the generation who grew up waiting for the next installment in the Tomorrow series by John Marsden, but the characters and situations in this book seemed rather dull by comparison. 

Sing You Home - Jodi Picoult (Never finished) 

Jodi Picoult has written some fantastic novels in her time. My Sisters Keeper, The Pact and Nineteen Minutes are fine examples of her ability to show that there is more than one side to every story. Unfortunately, Sing You Home isn't one of those great novels. Maybe I'm just getting older and my tastes more discerning (this was actually the first Picoult novel I have read in many years,) but every character in this book felt more like an urban myth of what it is like to experience a stillbirth, be a lesbian, convert to a fundamentalist sect, or to conceive a child through IVF.

Never Knowing - Chevy Stevens

An absolutely brilliant idea for a thriller. Imagine being adopted by an abusive family and then, when you grow up deciding enough is enough and that you're going to search for your biological parents. Then you discover that your biological father is a serial killer. What could have been a brilliant story (or at least a decent page turner,) is let down by less than believable characters and an unnecessary twist at the end.

Into the Darkness - VC Andrews

Okay, I admit. I'm a huge fan of VC Andrews. Every time I tell someone that Flowers in the Attic isn't very literary and I wouldn't really recommend it, I'm actually secretly urging them to indulge in this awesome guilty pleasure read. The problem is that after the real VC Andrews died, her family hired a ghost writer to complete her unfinished work and then write additional novels in her name. In the past twenty years, more than sixty novels baring her name have been published, all of varying quality. Into the Darkness is easily one of the worst in what the ghostwriter calls the "VC franchise", telling the story of a young woman who falls in love with the boy next door, who only she can see. Oh, and he turns out to be a ghost and she ends up in therapy.


2 comments:

  1. I read Article 5 and it was a 2 star book for me. I felt like it was too cookie cutter of a book. Like she made a list of elements of a dystopian novel and checked off as many as she could without writing engaging characters or having any really compelling plot elements.

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  2. Yes! That's exactly what was wrong with Article 5. It wasn't that I hated the characters or the situation, just that there was not enough in them to hold my interest. It was a different experience from reading say, The Hunger Games, where I felt emotionally involved with the characters and enjoyed watching Katniss as she grew and matured in the most brutal of situations. Granted, it's a tough job to write a book and not everybody is going to love it, but I felt that the author of Article 5 was capable of something far greater.

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