I don’t always finish every book I start. I typically give a book 40 pages to grab me, but if I’m bored, uninterested, annoyed, or I think it’s poorly written, I move on. I’m not going to spend my time on books I’m not digging when my to-read list in Goodreads tops 250.
That being said, here are some books I couldn’t get through in the past few months.
The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers
The premise of the book is intriguing, that there is a virus killing pregnant women. The first half of the book sets up this world and it was really good. Then the second half hit. The book is told in the first person by a young, narcissistic teenager, and the second half is focused so much on her. I got sick of hearing her talk about herself and her plight. If the book had been more about the crumbling society I might’ve kept reading it, but this teenager was too annoying for me.
Red Moon by Benjamin Percy
I really thought I’d love Red Moon. Werewolves? Check. Humans fighting werewolves? Yep. Werewolves on the run? You got it. This book sounds like it’s designed for me, but it never kept my attention. There were too many scenes that weren’t played out but were later examined by a character. I want to see those scenes play out. The writing is really good, but I wanted something more. I wrote a really long review on Goodreads on why I didn’t connect with this one.
Penelope by Rebecca Harrington
I gave this one 40 pages. I didn’t like the lead character, and what is with all the exclamation points? They don’t seem to fit. I doubt she’s saying “Sure!” so enthusiastically all the time. I had no doubts when I stopped reading this one.
Grave Mercy by R. L. LaFevers
So many people praised this book, so I thought I’d enjoy it, but it all moved too quickly for me. First, a girl is beaten by her father and her soon-to-be husband, but she is stolen away by a priest who gives her to a convent full of assassin nuns. In an extremely short conversation, she’s told that if she wants to stay with them she’ll have to be trained as an assassin and kill people based upon what an old god tells them. I don’t know how this old god lets them know who is to be killed, but somehow they know and if she wants to stay with them she has to kill. She agrees to this VERY quickly. I rolled my eyes at how fast it happened. Then, after this very brief conversation where she magically agrees to this silliness, she convinces another girl to stay. She has no clue what she even signed up for, but she’s going to convince someone else to stay? And then it jumps three years ahead to the night of her first kill. So I’m supposed to believe that she’s now this badass assassin? It all happened too quickly for me, and I found myself scoffing and rolling my eyes, so 50 pages in, I was done.
I do reserve the right to try books a second time, usually years later, after I have forgotten why I didn’t like them in the first place. I could see myself trying Red Moon again, because I still feel like that should be my kind of book. Maybe next year I’ll try it again and you’ll see me praising it.