I made a commitment last year to quit books if I wasn’t enjoying them. I still wanted to talk about those books a little because even though I didn’t like them, you might. And if you loved a book I abandoned feel free to tell me what I missed out on!
The Other Normals
by Ned Vizzini
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Given the chance, fifteen-year-old Peregrine “Perry” Eckert would dedicate every waking moment to Creatures & Caverns, an epic role-playing game rich with magical creatures, spell casting, and deadly weapons. The world of C&C is where he feels most comfortable in his own skin. But that isn’t happening–not if his parents have anything to do with it. Concerned their son lacks social skills, they ship him off to summer camp to become a man. They want him to be outdoors playing with kids his own age and meeting girls–rather than indoors alone, with only his gaming alter ego for company. Perry knows he’s in for the worst summer of his life.
Everything changes, however, when Perry gets to camp and stumbles into the World of the Other Normals. There he meets Mortin Enaw, one of the creators of C&C, and other mythical creatures from the game, including the alluring Ada Ember, whom Perry finds more beautiful than any human girl he’s ever met. Perry’s new otherworldly friends need his help to save their princess and prevent mass violence. As they embark on their quest, Perry realizes that his nerdy childhood has uniquely prepared him to be a great warrior in this world, and maybe even a hero. But to save the princess, Perry will have to learn how to make real connections in the human world as well.
Bestselling author Ned Vizzini delivers a compulsively readable and wildly original story about the winding and often hilarious path to manhood.
Why I abandoned it: I made it to page 77 which is when the conflict started to show up and it just didn’t interest me. Kiss the girl to save the world wasn’t enough to pull me in. Having a role playing game come to life was an interesting idea. I like how it ties in the role playing game to change his real life but…I was bored since I’m not into role playing games. I just felt disconnected from the story. As far as content there were a few f-words and some crude sexual references.
The World’s Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette’s, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family
by Josh Hanagarne
Release Date: May 2, 2013
The World’s Strongest Librarian illuminates the mysteries of this little-understood disorder, as well as the very different worlds of strongman training and modern libraries. With humor and candor, this unlikely hero traces his journey to overcome his disability — and navigate his wavering Mormon faith — to find love and create a life worth living.
Why I abandoned it: I stopped reading at 62%. I really enjoyed the beginning of this book. His childhood was so interesting to read about. He talks about growing up Mormon, his family whom he loved a lot, and the struggles he had with bullying. When there were about 3 hours left in the 8 hour audiobook, I just didn’t feel like reading anymore. There had been a lot of f-words which I don’t enjoy but the main reason I put this one down was because when he gets to his adult life, he goes in this vicious circle of going to school, quitting school, getting a job, quitting a job because it was hard for him to do these things with Tourrettes. I liked his honesty about his life but at the same time I didn’t see why I should continue listening to the audiobook. At the beginning of each chapter he talks about experiences he has at the library he works at in Salt Lake City so I know he becomes a librarian. I just didn’t see why it would take three more hours to get to that point. This is a nice way of me saying that I got bored. I feel like I learned a lot from what I did read. I have more empathy and understanding of what Tourettes is. I think if you aren’t Mormon and want to learn more about Mormon culture in a funny and bluntly honest way, then this book might be for you (if you don’t mind the strong language). I didn’t think this was a terrible book in any way but I feel like it’s time for me to move on.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
by Neil Gaiman
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.
Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.
A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.
Why I abandoned it: I stopped reading at 39%. Wow. Horror is just not for me. I can’t handle graphic and disturbing. I was invested in the story and the writing was good so I went to wiki and read the plot summary to see how things work out. In short, things do not work out. It’s horror. That’s how it goes. I’m glad I tried it. Horror is one of the only genres I list as one I won’t read and it feels nice to have that confirmed. The fact that I hated it says that this was excellent horror for any horror fans out there.
The Unhappening of Genesis Lee
by Shallee McArthur
Release Date: November 18, 2014
Seventeen-year-old Genesis Lee has never forgotten anything. As one of the Mementi—a small group of genetically-enhanced humans—Gena remembers everything with the help of her Link bracelets, which preserve memories perfectly. But Links can be stolen, and six people have already lost their lives to a memory thief, including Gena’s best friend.
Anyone could be next. Which is why Gena is less than pleased to meet a strange but charming boy named Kalan who claims that they’ve not only met, but that Gena knows who the thief is.
The problem is, Gena doesn’t remember Kalan, she doesn’t remember seeing the thief, and she doesn’t know why she’s forgetting things— or how much else she might forget. As growing tensions between Mementi and ordinary humans drive the city of Havendale into chaos, Gena and Kalan team up to search for the thief. And as Gena loses more memories, they realize they have to solve the mystery fast.
Because Gena’s life is unhappening around her.
Why I abandoned it: I stopped reading at 26%. The writing was good but I just couldn’t get into the story. I didn’t care that much about the memories being stolen. Since memories being stolen was the whole point of the book, I didn’t see it working out between us. It’s not you book – it’s me. Well, not really. I felt like the conflict needed to developed a little more. But the world building is unique and if you’re looking for something new, give it a try. If you care by a quarter of the way through this might be a good match for you.