I don’t leave a book unfinished often. Even if I hate a book, sometimes I’ll keep reading to see if it gets any better, or to make sure nothing good happens so I can make fun of it (yes, I am a terrible person). There are other times, though, when I’m just not in the mood, it’s boring, etc. I am officially adopting Lori of Pure Imagination’s feature, Book Breakups, so I can nobly and (fairly) guiltlessly stop reading a book.
Lori talks about her process here, and before I break up with J. J. Howard’s That Time I Joined the Circus, I’m going to go through mine as well.
1. Checking the lay of the land
This step involves going on Goodreads to see the average ratings and peruse some spoiler-free reviews. A low rating won’t always stop me from reading a book, because everyone has different opinions, but maybe I should pay more mind to the ratings to save myself…
2. Starting the book
If it takes me a week or longer to get halfway through the book, that means trouble. This is especially true in the summer, when I have so much more time to read. If I don’t feel like reading the book I’ve chosen, there’s an issue.
4. Powering through
Okay, more like trudging. This actually tends to work for me, and I finish everything I start.
5. Critique central
I resent the book for keeping me trapped in its pages, and the longer I stay, the more I start to pick apart every. Little. Thing. that’s wrong with the story.
I finish the book, and write a negative and/or half-assed review.
Onto the breakup. I’m sorry, That Time I Joined the Circus, but I couldn’t get into you. It took me almost five days to read half of you, and as I kept reading, I kept noticing things I didn’t like. I didn’t feel connected to the main character, Lexi, even though we both share a love of music. The pop culture references from the 90s didn’t help either, and even though I knew Lexi was meant to be passionate about music, I didn’t feel it. I was also confused why she left New York for about 10% (sorry, Kindle user) after the fact, because it was never directly stated that her father died. I thought perhaps Eli had raped her or something, and she wanted to leave, but her father had no money. I wasn’t a fan of the father either. He seemed super irresponsible, as did the mother, and I never understood why she left. The plot was also pretty predictable, and I don’t have to finish the book to know Eli cheated on Bailey with Lexi or that Lexi and Nick end up together. Am I right or am I right?
The circus part was interesting, and I did like Liska and Lina, but sometimes it seemed like Lexi just saw them as oddities. All in all, I was not impressed. I really wanted to like it, but Lexi just didn’t keep it going for me.
For now, book, I wash my hands of you. Perhaps, another time, another place?