In which I try to read outside of my genres and remember why that doesn’t work

It feels like I’ve been on a bookish speed date, trying different reads and quickly dropping them. These are some of my latest misses.

True Love by Jude Deveraux

loveMy first and probably last book by the author. I received an ARC of the book during a conference and thought I’d give it a try. It started as a light, summer read but it was long and dull. Too many characters with vague connection, too much talk about Nantucket, inexplicable secrets (as in, they were pointless secrets and I couldn’t understand why they were being kept in the first place), and a romantic couple that didn’t really work for me as a reader. Alix did not read like a 20-something and Jared was not particularly sexy as a love match. I finished it, but only because I felt I was in too deep to give up. Nothing is really resolved, but there’s an epilogue to package it all neatly.

Received via Random House rep.

Losing It by Cora Carmack

losingI wanted to love this book. I was so excited when it went on sale for the Nook, I downloaded it right away, but about 30 pages in, I knew it was not going to work. I like the idea of independent 20-somethings taking life on their own terms, but there was too much cheese and not enough substance. I just couldn’t take it seriously when the main character picks up a boy who just happens to be British (OMG! Accent! And Shakespeare! He’s so hot!!) and immediately goes all gaga and clumsy. I quickly lost it with this one.

The Edge of Never by JA Redmerski

neverThis started in much the same vein as Losing It–skanky friend wants to take sensible friend out so she can get wild and get laid–but it soon became depressed girl goes on trip to nowhere after having a bitchfight with skanky friend. There’s a lot of riding in buses and being clueless about potential dangers, but there’s an equally troubled, hot guy to save the day. I got about a quarter of the way into the book, but just didn’t care enough to find out what happens between Cam and Andrew.

Received this one via NetGalley.

Silver Phoenix

Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon

I so wanted to like this book. When I first read about it (during the great cover controversy), I was taking a class on multicultural books for children and teens and I thought it sounded perfect for the unit on literature on Asian culture, but I wasn’t able to get a hold of one of the three copies in my local library system until two weeks ago.

The premise (highly reduced to the basic plot): Asian fantasy with a female hero.

Ancient Chinese fantasy world? Definitely something I can enjoy. Female hero? Have you read this blog before? I crave books with sheroes.

The execution, however, was another matter. The writing is flowy and lyrical, just what you would want in a story that almost reads like a myth, but I just couldn’t get into it. It took me a week to get halfway through the novel, which felt terribly long considering this is a genre I usually gobble-up in a day. I asked myself if I really cared if I never learned what happened to Ai Ling at the end and realized that I didn’t and could just let it go.

I wish I could have enjoyed this, but something about the pacing and writing style just didn’t work for me. It sounds like a very interesting book and I’m sure other readers will really enjoy it, but it was starting to feel like I was reading it just to prove some point that I didn’t need to prove.