Statistically, we’re not all going to enjoy every book. There are so many books published per year that you’re bound to come across plenty that sounds great but just aren’t your thing. I don’t really request things from NetGalley very often but I went a bit mad towards the end of last year. There were just so many books that sounded really great. I’m slowly trying to catch up but it’s taking some time. Anyone who has been keeping up with my Sunday Rundowns may well be sick of seeing this book title. So am I. It’s been weeks. Thankfully, I finished it this weekend. I’ve never been happier to put a book down.
How long to do you struggle with a book before deciding to give up on it? When I was younger, I used to percevier with books I didn’t enjoy just so I could feel like I’d achieved something. Although, that was back during the days when it would take me around a month to finish a single book. Now, my time is so precious that I can’t waste my time on books I don’t like. Although, there are times when I go back into that mindset. I get so far and just think “I might as well get all the way through.” This was one of those times. It took me around a week to get this finished and it wasn’t even that long a book. It’s one that I’ve had on my TBR for a while and one that I was quite excited about. So, what went wrong?
Holiday is over and it’s back down to Earth with a bump. Not only am I straight back to work but I’ve got some blogging to catch up on. I’m going to try and review as many books as possible this week, which sounds good in theory. However, it’s been a while since I’ve read some of them. Well, it’s been over a week with this one. Thankfully, we discussed it at book club on Wednesday. That should give me a bit of a chance to remember what I think about it.
What’s the longest that you’ve had a book on your shelves for? I’m not sure of the exact number but I’ve had You by Austin Grossman since 2015. I’d also bought his book Soon I Will Be Invincible because it sounded really fun. I did try and read that book but I couldn’t get to the end of it. It just spent too long going round the houses and not getting to the point. I guess it didn’t exactly get me in the mood to keep going with him. It also didn’t help that I’d recently read Ready Player One and not enjoyed myself at all. I really wasn’t ready to get into another video game book. I picked it up in May because I was in need of a book starting with “Y” for my Spell the Month challenge. I’ll be honest, if I hadn’t needed this book for that challenge, I definitely wouldn’t have finished it.
I must have bought a copy of this book when it was super cheap on the Kindle store because it definitely isn’t the kind of thing that I normally have much hope in. I’ve also never read anything by Louise Candlish before. Still, there was obviously a time when it appealed to me and I ended up buying the ebook and audiobook version. After finishing Animal Farm last week, I decided that I wanted to read something silly and an audiobook sounded like a great idea. I’ve been so tired that even reading exhausts me. I had reached a point when I couldn’t get my way through a chapter before I started falling asleep and I hate stopping halfway. It just makes me feel uneasy. As if I’ll have no idea where I am when I start reading again.
Recently, there was a drama on Channel 4 starring David Tennant called Deadwater. I was really excited about it because, you know, David Tennant but I only ended up watching the first episode. It just didn’t grip me but that’s okay. The reason that I bring it up is that I read a review about it that revealed a big plot twist. The review talked about how great and unexpected it was. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. The twist was so obvious that you could tell from the trailer. It’s infuriating. Am I seeing something different from other people? Or are they just unwilling to see what’s right in front of their face? Maybe I’m just too cynical to take anything at face value? I don’t know but what I do know is that psychological thrillers never surprise me these days. Just look back at all my book reviews for this genre and you’ll see the phrase “painfully obvious” crop up plenty of times. I just don’t think anyone has any original ideas anymore. All psychological thrillers try and do is be darker and sexier than the last one. And, though I’m happy for those things to exist in a book, they shouldn’t be the only reason for a novel’s existence. There is no substance in novels like that. It’s just a writer trying to shock but not being good enough to hide their intentions. It makes me angry to see so many shit books being published and then praised by so many people. Of course, I also never learn and continually get drawn into them. Most recently with this one.
I’ll be honest, when I picked this up I knew it wasn’t going to be the greatest thing I ever read. I mean, a YA detective story based on the pre-Eleven life of Detective Hopper from Stranger Things. It was an absolute cash-grab. Something that is instantly confirmed by the price. This book cost me £20 and there is nothing about it that looks worth it. It’s not got a very good cover nor does it feel like super great quality. It’s just plastered the faces of familiar characters on the front, used the Stranger Things logo, and made it an official novel. Then let the die-hard fas shell out their money without a second thought. I say that knowing full well I bought it but, in my defence, I had a book token so I don’t really count it. I didn’t spend my hard-earned cash on it. It was essentially a present. And I was a little intrigued by this. I’ve never had a great time with the novelisations of films or television shows. I want to love them but, more often than not, I just think it’s cringe. Can it ever not come across as fan fiction? Anything written as part of an expanded universe that doesn’t come first-hand from the original creators will always feel weird and desperate. Let’s not forget the curse of The Cursed Child.
As you know, I’ve been trying to get my way through all of the NetGalley books I’ve had waiting on my shelf for months. I always feel really guilty when I go on a requesting binge and then buy a load of new books to read. Plus, I have my ratio to think about. I requested Campusland because it sounded fun. It’s almost impossible to not think about Animal House in this situation. Which is both a good and a bad thing I guess. When you’ve already been lucky enough to watch the best college-based comedy we’re ever likely to see, it means nothing else will compare. But it also means you’re willing to try and find the next one. So, when I saw Campusland on NetGalley I couldn’t resist giving it a go. I should have known better. I really should have known better. It’s what I go through with psychological thrillers every time. I expect something new and different but just end up angry and full of regret. Shame I’ve got nobody but myself to blame.
What were your least favourite books in 2018?
You may have noticed that I didn’t post a Sunday Rundown yesterday. That was mostly because, after a bad night’s sleep, I fell asleep before writing it. But it was also a tactical choice. After all, it’s New Years Eve so it’s time I started doing my rundown of the year. And what a year it’s been. I’ve already posted my Top 10 Books, Top 10 Films, and Top 10 TBT Films lists. But, let’s not forget that 2018 wasn’t a completely positive year. The political situation of the UK is pretty shitty moving into the new year so it seems only fair I add my least favourite books to the pile. Thankfully, after my top 10, most of the books were fairly middling so I could only scrabble together 5. I guess reading-wise, 2018 wasn’t so bad after all.
For the first time in a really long time I haven’t got a new book to review. So, for the first time in a really long time I haven’t got any inspiration for my Wednesday post. It definitely doesn’t help that my current read is so bloody uninspiring. I don’t really know what possessed me to start reading To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, especially as I didn’t even like the film that much. I guess I thought it would be an easy read but I just can’t get into it. It’s fallen into so many awful YA traps and I genuinely hate reading parts of it. There is something about an adult writer trying to write the voice of a 16 year old that never quite works. I know that there is no way that I could write a convincing 16 year old yet, still, YA writers keep trying. It got super bad when she used the word “beotch” twice in quick succession. This was a book that was only written a few years ago. Who was still using the word “beotch”? It’s ridiculous. I’ve spent so much of this novel cringing. Which is why I’m being so bad at reading right now. I just don’t want to pick up this book.