Again, I’m going to deviate a little from today’s #BookADayUK prompt. This one’s a bit negative, isn’t it? Usually, I prefer not to talk about books I don’t like. Call it concern for my own karma or just the fact that there’s more than enough negativity in the world. That’s not to say it’s wrong not to like something. Because it’s not! There are tons of things I don’t like: humidity, excessive heat, almonds, dry ice, reviewers who forget Wheaton’s Law—I mean, I could go on and on.
But I won’t.
Anyway, it occurs to me that I could write about a book that I didn’t finish—Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, which I started reading while on a Christmas visit to my brother’s house. It was my niece’s copy (she loves the Twilight series, though I’m not sure if she’s Team Edward or Team—it’s Jacob, right?). Anyway, I’d finished reading the books I’d already brought, and since I’d had occasion to giggle about sparkly vampires in the past (and please, no bashing of sparkly vampires in the comments; I won’t post them) without having read the book, I thought, to be fair, I should give it a go.
When Bella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret.
What Bella doesn’t realize is the closer she gets to him, the more she is putting herself and those around her at risk. And it might be too late to turn back… (from Goodreads)
I got to around page 250, I think, before we were due to leave, so that’s where I left it. It wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t the reader for it. I would have preferred a faster pace and a protagonist with more agency, but it was competently written and I don’t think Mrs. Meyer is lacking for my not reading them. Good on her; I’d much rather see someone gain success through writing than through the petrochemical industry.
That’s the thing, though; the book wasn’t for me, and I wasn’t for the book, so I was fine with not finishing it.
There is one book that I did finish that I wish I never had. I’m not going to even link to it here, because I loathe it that much:
I wish I’d never finished Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.
Unlike Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist, this one did deserve to be thrown with great force. When I finished it, I don’t think I even turned it in at the used bookstore. I think I recycled it. The story was hamhanded, the writing clunky, and the philosophies it supported about as sophisticated as what a five-year-old would come up with. No wonder it’s beloved by Tea Party faithful.
And the only reason I feel comfortable saying any of that is because Ayn Rand is dead. Which puts me in mind of what Bette Davis said about Joan Crawford, but I’m not going to repeat that here. (Although I did wind up reading an entire page online of Bette Davis bon mots and boy was she quotable. My favourite might be “Getting old is not for sissies.”)