Sunday, October 3, 2010
Reckless - the book that wasn't
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.
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