Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I have high expectations for books, and most of them really live up to at least half of my expectations.  If they reach more than half, they're on my list of freakin awesome books.  However, every once in a while, my expectations are dashed, stomped on and thrown in the trash right along side the rabid possum. (No, really, but that's a whole other story!) What's worse is that I don't want to write about books like these.  I would much rather rave about a fantastic story and tell you all to rush to your nearest indie to buy it. (That's independent bookstore for all of my non-book loving followers and few family members who will have no clue what I mean.)

Unfortunately, this stinkin book won't leave me alone. I finally finished Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. If you notice on my 'What I'm reading" list, I think I started it back in November.  I just finished it. I know most people just give up when they can't get through a book.  Not me. I'm the 'power through to the end no matter how long it takes' type.  I can't help it.  I have to give the author at least that much respect for having a published novel.  But this one was painful most of the way through.

The premise is fantastic. A group of teens create an underground internet to subvert the government after being treated like terrorists. It's hailed as a cyber geek rebellion.  I love this kind of story...most of the time.  Here's the main problem I had with this story:  There was too much description of how this underground internet thing worked.  Pages upon pages of explanations about privacy keys and unlocking someone else's stuff if you had this but not that and only on the third Tuesday of the month if it was raining.  I COULDN'T FOLLOW.

I get that there has to be some amount of explanation for a futuristic novel like this one, but it was way too much. So much it took away from the story. Then all the weird groups these kids organized were just strange and I couldn't fully understand the purpose of them. One was a group dressed like vampires who gathered in the middle of a train station and yelled, "bite, bite, bite,bite,bite" at each other in order to kill one another.  Apparently, it was supposed to be some distraction that went awry, but I didn't catch that.  It just seemed incredibly bizarre.

I can't even describe any more. Let's just say, after months of taking little bite, bite, bite, bite, bites out of this story, I barely survived.

So how about you?  Are you the type to finish a book no matter how difficult, or do you put it down when you lose interest?  What are the books you just couldn't stomach?


  1. Danielle RaymondMarch 9, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    As a general rule, I plow through a book to the very end, no matter what. There were a couple, however, that I eventually just gave up on entirely. One not to long ago was Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. I don't remember who it was by and I don't care. It was a pretty awfully written vampire romance book. It's actually in SFL, if you want to look for yourself. And one book I absolutely LOATHED was Prep by Curtis Sittenfield. At least, I think that's what the author's name was. Again, don't care. That book was god awful and pointless. Not to mention it had me sit through a ton of awkward and slightly creepy moments for nothing. Hate hate HATE.

  2. HA! I find it funny that you loathed Prep. I have a post on that back from last year. There was one person who disagreed with me on that one. read the comments. :) I've heard of the book you're talking about. The funny thing about the books we hate is that when we tell others about them, it still makes us want to read them just to see how horrible they are, right?

  3. I hated The Gathering by one Anne Enright (I think that's her name.) It was some prestigious book award. It was so so so awful and pretentious.

    I read Prep a few years back, and though it didn't stand out, I enjoyed it. But I looked back at that comment you mentioned and think it's funny that YOU, Mrs. Andersen, DO NOT understand teenage angst.

    If you want, I'll lend you my notebook of teenage angst poetry from my high school years.


  4. Interesting! Loved your take on reading books.