Sunday, October 3, 2010

Reckless - the book that wasn't

Part of the reason I started the 100 Books in 2010 challenge (other than to go head-to-head with my BF), was to curb my habit of not finishing novels. I had a reputation for giving up before the first 50 pages if the story didn't engage me.

My resolve to finish every book has served me well this year. Novels that started out slow almost always ended with a bang - or at least a pop.

I've struggled through the first 100 pages of books like the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and then been mesmerized by the end.

But Reckless?

I just couldn't do it.

Honestly, I tried. The back cover blurb was brilliant - and enticing. The story line sounded like something I'd love - a mash-up of fairy tales told with a thriller-esque twist, like the original Grimm stories, only more modern. And something youth could like.

The book is slotted as YA, but even from the start, it felt older. The characters are in college, and they have adult problems. I'm by no means a prude when it comes to fiction, for myself or my stepdaughter. There's many books she reads I'm sure my mother wouldn't have allowed me to read at 14 - but society has changed, and while I'm not going to hand over the erotica, I understand my appropriateness filters need to be adjusted.

In addition to feeling too old for the age category, Reckless was almost too gory. Not in a way that would make Karen (who prefers her books creepy) squirm, but in a nonsensical way. It didn't fit with the plot.

Or maybe it did. The story lost me by about the fifth chapter. I tried to keep plugging through, questioning what other distractions might be making me lose interest in the book, but about three quarters of the way through, I surrendered to my instinct and shut the novel.

Which kind of breaks my heart because the premise is so good. And truthfully, Cornelia Funke is a wonderful writer. The opening scene is delicious - vivid, emotional, effective. And despite the confusing plot, I could pick out envy-inspiring paragraphs throughout the book.

But even at the three-quarter mark I had no idea of what happened, or where the book was going. I can't remember a single character's name, and obviously haven't connected with any of them. It had become a chore to read.

Sadly, Reckless won't count in my 100 Books in 2010 challenge, either.

If anyone else has read this book and loved it, I'd love to hear from you. I wanted to love it, really, I did. Maybe I missed something?

The Book In My Bag Today: Another One Bites the Dust, Jennifer Rardin


  1. Wow I've never known you not to be able to finish a book. Had to be particularly bad.
    Next one, I'm sure, will more than make up for it thus helping you catch up to wherever your BF is in her challenge.

  2. I'm sorry babe I know you love your books and it looks good on you for trying. It should count as half a book.

  3. Actually Jamie, we are both pretty much neck and neck in our goal of 100 books for the year. I just finished book 46, and Reckless was book 47 for Dawn.

    If you like you can follow my progress as well as Dawns at :D

  4. Jamie - last year I had a string of books I simply couldn't finish. Too much stress, maybe even some depression, made reading...difficult. Which made writing impossible. The "challenge" helped rekindle that passion for literature again. Reckless wasn't horrible in terms of writing, but it was a tough read. :-(

    Husband <3 - I DO love my books. Thank you for making sure I always have my fill. xo

    Karen - since you got your Kobo, I figured you'd be WAY ahead of me, but my early morning schedule has allowed me some unexpected reading time :-D

  5. Honestly I have been reading more with my Kobo than without it...but kids get in the way..everyday I take that electronic friend with me and hope to squish in some reading time. :)

  6. I've heard other people say that about The Girls with the Dragon Tattoo. I enjoyed Ink Heart.

  7. Karen - I downloaded the Kobo app on my iPhone. Not quite the same :-)

    Jan - I have not read Ink Heart, though I pick it up regularly. I'll have to check that out.

  8. Yes, there are some books I just can't finish. I try, but it doesn't happen.

  9. WW - I don't mind when said books are from the library, but I hate when I spend money on them!