Minority Report: It’s not you, it’s me

Posted 15 November, 2013 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 20 Comments

There are some times when I read fantastic reviews of a book that make me really excited about reading it…and then I start it. For whatever reason, that particular book doesn’t click with me. It makes me feel bad, like it’s my fault I can’t fall as deeply in love with it as others have, especially when it’s a recommendation from a blogger I like/trust. 

Sometimes, it actually is my fault. I do get into reading slumps where nothing pleases me and I keep starting and setting aside books like there’s no tomorrow. It’s depressing, really. I so want to love every book but, as you well know, that’s impossible.

JUST ONE YEAR (Just One Day #2) by Gayle Forman
YA Contemporary Romance
336 pages, hardcover
Available now (October 2013)
Publisher: Dutton Children’s
Review copy purchased

While I highly enjoyed Just One Day, I did have some quibbles with the navel-gazing aspects of it. Thrilled when Just One Year arrived on my doorstep (yes, I’m an Amazon buyer. Sorry.), I dove into it right away but then there was Willem (to be fair, this is his story. Yes, I knew it was his story. Still). Just…um…no. No purpose, lots of moping, lots of navel-gazing. I put it down. I might pick it back up again.

THE DREAM THIEVES (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Steifvater
YA Fantasy
439 pages, hardcover
Available now (October 2013)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

The Dream Thieves was great. It was beautifully written, had solid characters and an intriguing plotline. But when I picked up The Dream Thieves, I couldn’t remember a damn thing. Nope. WTF is Cabeswater? Why are they so obsessed with some old, dead king? Who are these characters to one another? I swear. Getting old sucks. So, because I spent the entire time with my brow knit, wondering what the hell was going on, I put this one to the side until I can read through the first book again and refresh my aging memory.

THE DIVINERS (The Diviners #1) by Libba Bray
YA Historical Fantasy
578 pages, hardcover
Available now (September 2013)
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

Libba’s always entertained and there were a ton of great reviews lauding this one but, holy cow, I just couldn’t. The beginning was so boring and it just dragged on. I had the overwhelming desire to smack Evie as she flitted and fluttered around. Still, I blamed my inability to continue on with this book on an overwhelming reading slump so, again, I put another one to the side to hopefully pick up later.

Tell me, do you have this issue? Do you keep reading, DNF or set it aside with plans to try again later?



About Mary @ TheBookSwarm

20 Responses to “Minority Report: It’s not you, it’s me”

  1. Oh yes, I have this issue Mary! I’m actually just starting to come out of a slump that’s lasted the past few weeks, and the same thing happened – none of the books I picked up held my interest. I set them aside and just took a break from reading entirely. I got obsessed with a TV show instead and binge watched the first two season on my iPad. That helped. Now I’m more in the mood to read, though I don’t know if I’m going to return to the ones I set aside originally. I need to hunt for something awesome to cement this slump as a thing of the past!

  2. I’m disappointed to hear about Just One Year. Enjoyed the first one like you did.

    I didn’t have probs with the Dream Thieves because I hadn’t read the first one until I got that one for review. I was able to read them back to back. ‘Twas nice! 🙂

    Have the third one, but haven’t read it yet.

    I do DNF, but reluctantly. I will try again if it is an author or a series I enjoy otherwise.

  3. Ha not remembering ANYTHING from that first Stiefvater series is why I never bothered reading the sequel. I doubt I’d like it especially that I only rated the first 3 stars. Black sheep is me >.< I have been wanting to read Just One Year though but the amazing reviews intimidate me and I’m worried it won’t live up to the hype. The Diviners I really enjoyed but it does take a certain patience and t’s not the kind of book to pick up if you’re not in the mood for the genre/style. Great reviews! 🙂

  4. I use to finish every last page fearful that it would turn around, which it never did. Now I DNF. I usually give the book till page 100. I have not read any of these, and probably won’t.

  5. Hah hah, I am the black sheep all the time when it comes to books. Join me in the pen, Mary!

    I haven’t read JUST ONE YEAR yet because I felt a similar block to it, despite liking the first one a great deal. I read the first couple of chapters, but then was very relieved when my coblogger expressed an interest in reading/reviewing it for us. Got me off the hook.

    Sad you didn’t like DREAM THIEVES, but I am still confused about a lot of stuff, too! It is weird that they’re so obsessed with Glendower, but what can you do. 😉

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  6. I get in moods where I’m picking up book after book, starting it and then putting it aside because I’m not in the mood for it. I hate that feeling. Sometimes it’s better to go watch movie or something.

    I do not blame you one bit about Just One Year. I was annoyed to find out that it wasn’t a continuation of the story but the same time but from Willem’s side! He came off as a womanizing douche in the first one. I had plans to read his story but I just couldn’t bring myself to pick it up.

    I loved the Dream Thieves. I had read The Raven boys last year and so like you I had forgotten so much so I listened to the audio version before picking up The Dream Thieves. Made all the difference.

    I can see where you’d have issues with Evie. She was flitting and fluttering about! Such a flighty thing! And, dang, it was one LONG book!! But I do love Libba’s quirky sense of humor and I think I picked this up when I had some patience. Great review, Mary! 🙂

  7. I completely understand what you’re going through, Mary. I’m a huge mood reader, and if my mood is just off, or if I’m in a slump, no matter how amazing a book is, I can find a problem with it. And sometimes, a book everyone else loves just doesn’t do it for me, slump or not. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts about these! Sorry they turned out to be DNFers, but maybe one day you’ll pick them up again and they’ll be kinder to you. 🙂

  8. I agree about the mood thing, it makes a big difference. I love Willem. He was kind of a downer, but that made me happy, I wanted him to be sad about what he lost!

    I haven’t read The Raven Cycle books yet but I have them and now I know I need to read them closer together so I don’t forget everything.

    I liked The Diviners a lot but at the same time I get what you’re saying. It’s a huge book too. The scary parts were almost too scary for me. But I LOVED the setting and time period.

  9. I think Stiefvater wrote a very detailed Raven Boys summary online precisely for this reason. I have yet to start The Dream Thieves, but before I do, I’ll read that for sure. It’s been a year and a half after all.
    Sorry to hear about The Diviners, I had better luck with that one. And Gayle Forman simply isn’t for me so I won’t be reading this duology at all.

  10. Sometimes I go through phases where I’ll start a lot of books only to set them aside until I find one that grabs my attention. I do eventually go back to the books I set aside.

    Sorry you didn’t like The Diviners!

  11. I definitely have this issue sometimes! It sucks, especially when everyone loves a book, and it was just blah for me. My mood definitely affects my reading sometimes!

    I felt much the same about The Dream Thieves. I couldn’t for the life of me remember what happened in the last book, and even after I had read the recap written by Stiefvater, I was still confused. Also, while I loved the storyline and characters, the book was a little boring. 🙁 I haven’t read the other two books yet.

  12. I didn’t love Just One Day so I haven’t bothered with Just One Year – I’ve heard similar things about The Dream Thieves so I passed and I had The Diviners but loaned it to a friend. It was so darn big it intimidated me! lol

  13. Okay I loved all of these, but I can see your points on all of them. For complicated series like the Raven Cycle, I try to take lots of notes so I can refresh my memory before the next one comes out. It would be frustrating not to remember.

    GREAT question about DNFing. I am notoriously BAD at doing it. I just keep going and pushing through, hoping the book will get better, but it usually doesn’t. Sometimes putting a story down for awhile and picking it up again will help me out. SOmetimes not. However, I’ve DNF’d several or told myself they’re “on hold” because it’s less final, but I’ve not felt any desire to go back to them, which means they’re going to be officially abandoned. I have so many books to read, that I don’t want to waste my time with something I’m not loving. BUt it is hard when it’s something that everyone else seems to rave about and you just couldn’t connect with. That happens to me sometimes and it’s frustrating! Good luck with these if you continue them. If not, feel good about letting them go!

  14. I had similar thoughts about The Dream Thieves-I remember loving the atmosphere for The Raven Boys but a lot of the specifics eluded me. Then of course this was a lot about Ronan who’s my least favorite so that made this especially trying. I’m hoping the third book will focus on him a lot less or I may have to throw in the towel on these books.

  15. Aly

    Okay that I feel like about Just One Year. There’s no progression in the story. I hate that it virtually ends exactly the way that Just One Day did. It was cool to learn what happened to Willem but if that’s all I was going to get, I’d rather that been a novella. I felt kind of cheated.