Good Thing I Got These From the Library…

In which I talk about some books I won’t be finishing.


Hello everyone! I should say first that I really enjoy those rare occasions when I buy a book before I read it (for example, most recently, I Am the Messenger) because I can annotate while I’m reading it for the first time. It’s fun to go back later, when I know how it ends, and watch my tortured past self like “WHAT?!?! PLEASE TELL ME THIS ISN’T GOING TO HAPPEN!” It’s like watching a movie with someone who hasn’t watched it before; I chuckle darkly and shove popcorn into my mouth. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to do this all the time, which is why I make use of the public library. Sometimes, that is really a good thing.

These are a couple of books I know I won’t finish. (Obviously there won’t be spoilers because I didn’t get far enough).

The Girl From Everywhere, by Heidi Heilig49f5f3cd-d73a-4adc-b6e9-cb40275305fb-_cb300381115_

I wanted to love this book, I really did. It was an intriguing premise, and I just don’t read imaginative books as often as I used to these days. I’ve been reading a lot of historical fiction and slightly depressing contemporaries, so I thought this would be a nice bit of fantastical escapism.

Unfortunately, I was not loving it. My issue was the characters. The main character, whose name I can’t even remember off the top of my head (and I’m so lazy I’m not going to check) seemed like your very mediocre YA heroine. I was reading it like, “Haven’t I seen this gal before in something else? What was it? It’s on the tip of my tongue…hang on…She’s in a lot of things, I see her all the time…” Except this isn’t a movie with actors. It’s a book. I don’t want to recognise anyone. I want original characters, people! Original!

I would have totally read a book from Kashmir’s point of view, though. He was awesome.

But yeah. I made it to page 53 out of 443.

Highly Illogical Behavior, by John Corey26109391 Whaley

I really expected that I would like this book (and the cover is amazing!) My interest was piqued by the wording of the jacket: that Lisa was going to try to “fix” Solomon (it was in quotes there, too, otherwise I might have been warier). Approaching a person with the idea that you’re going to be able to fix them, especially when you’re not experienced at life yourself, is a pretty good recipe for learning a thing or two about humans.

I started reading, and I really liked Solomon. (Love his Star Trek obsession! Especially because when I read the title, I immediately thought of Spock, and I guess that wasn’t an accident.) I liked his parents too, at first, and how they were worried about him but were accepting and supportive.

But then, I got a teensy bit uncomfortable when his mom tried to lure him out with a cute girl. Hang on, I got lost there for a second, let’s recap this. He has been in the house for three years and two months, yes? And his parents  are supposed to be really concerned, but understand him, yes? And this kid was actually having panic attacks at school, am I right? So this isn’t just a phase?

Okay. Glad I got this all straight. So, then, why would his understanding mother think that mentioning—mentioning—an attractive girl is going to suddenly get her agoraphobic son out of the house? He was amused, but I would be pretty insulted. Like, “How petty do you think I am? I mean, three years and two months—this isn’t a phase or something, mom.”

And I just…they never tried to get this kid professional help?! Not when he was having panic attacks all the time, not when he—what even was that, was he trying to drown himself in the fountain??? And not when he made the decision never to leave the house again?

All he was doing was living instead of dying. Some people get cancer. Some people get crazy. Nobody tries to take the chemo away.

STAYING INSIDE OF YOUR HOUSE ALL THE TIME IS THE CANCER! PROFESSIONAL HELP IS THE CHEMO, SILLY!

I’m sure the author doesn’t actually believe that, these are pretty much Solomon’s thoughts, and that’s fine, but I find his parents really irresponsible for just letting their son make the decision never to leave the house again without, I don’t know, at least taking him to a doctor!

And then his mom—gah. This part made me really mad.

The last time he listened was when his mom asked his dad if they were going to be “stuck with him forever.”

MAYBE NOT IF YOU GET THE KID SOME PSYCHIATRIC HELP FOR HIS PSYCHIATRIC CONDITION!!!!

This immediately made me think of the part in TFiOS when Hazel is really close to death and overhears her mother crying that she’s not going to be a mom anymore. That scene? Incredibly heart-breaking. This scene? Nope. And I’m sorry, I know you’re concerned that your son is never going to leave the house and live his life, but that’s just a jerky way to word it. Not cool, Solomon’s mom. Not cool. I think Hazel’s mom should have a little chat with her.

But I was going to keep reading, and then the stupidest of things made me stop. Should I tell you guys? I’m thinking I don’t want to tell you guys.

First, I should explain that I already hated the tone of the writing in this book. I don’t know that I could read a whole book written that way. And then I got to page 9 and read this:

…his tree-bark brown hair parted in a way that was particularly appealing to Lisa.

I don’t know what comes next. I closed the book. I couldn’t take it anymore. I cannot do hair described as tree-bark brown, or girls who are attracted to the way a guy parts his hair. I’m sorry. Cannot.

So yeah. Made it to the very top of page 9, out of 249.

Anyway, Apologies for Rantiness…

As you can see, there’s not always a really good reason for me to not finish a book. Sometimes all it takes is tree-bark brown hair, described in a way that was particularly UN-appealing to Chloe. I’m actually kind of ashamed of myself after typing out those reasons, but not ashamed enough to finish those books.

And thank goodness for libraries, am I right! Without them, I’d either have these on my shelf making me feel guilty, or have forced myself to finish them. I feel like I try more books as a result of having a really good public library that I can make use of. There’s no risk involved, so why not try it?

Sad thing is, I’m going to be kicked out of the library next time I go in. I just know it. I’ve been waiting for it to happen for a while now. Because my current fine is $12.74. I’m so sorry, librarians. I promise to pay it one day, I’m just really lazy and paying fines is a really complicated process when it shouldn’t be.

Okay, well, that’s all for today! What books have you decided not to finish recently? Additionally, if you’ve read either of these books, I’d like to hear your thoughts, even if your thoughts are: “CHLOE YOU ARE SUCH AN IDIOT THAT WAS MY FAVOURITE BOOK EVER!!!”

Oh, and I didn’t take the time to mention it before, but thank you guys so, so, so much for your positive responses to that little snippet of my novel I shared with you. It really made me so happy and encouraged.

My mom was going through pictures the other day, and so I’m going to leave you of this picture of me, proud author of that sure-to-be-a-classic, The Brown Horse!

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That serious face though.

Have a lovely day!

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21 thoughts on “Good Thing I Got These From the Library…

  1. Today I signed all three of my kiddos up for the summer reading program at our library. (After I paid a $3.00 late fee.) I always look at my late fees as payment for the awesomeness the library provides my life. If you are just hanging out in the YA section, give Notes from a Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick a try. It is probably a lower reading level than your normally like but it is HILARIOUS. I have read it with a number of my students and we all enjoyed it. Definitely “late fee” worthy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know that late fees pay for more books and I am totally willing to pay them, but my library has a complicated process of doing so, haha! 🙂 And I’ll be sure to check it out. I’m really not snobby about my books, and though there are a lot of books I don’t finish, it’s never because of reading level 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t worry, I once had to pay a $36 fine at the library…thanks to autistic children demanding to re-watch certain videos a million times over, and not yet understanding the concept of borrowing. 😛

    Lately I’ve only been reading the Warriors series, and therefore haven’t started other books, so not finishing hasn’t come into the mix. But definitely, take advantage of not buying if you’re not sure about liking, because something that you don’t like sitting on the shelf, glaring out at you, is no fun…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh dear! Mine is just accumulated late fees. I’m pretty sure they cut you off at some point when it gets too high (actually I know, because it happened to me) and actually I thought that point was $11, but book checkout is still going smoothly so maybe they raised it.

      Yeah, being able to borrow is terrific. Not everyone has that option, but since I do, I’m taking full advantage. 🙂

      Like

      1. I’d be lost without a library. I simply can’t afford to just waltz into a bookstore or onto a website and purchase everything I see that looks good…And I’d have extreme buyer’s remorse if I did that, anyway, and then didn’t like the selections. So getting the chance to borrow them first, and then just chuck them in the return bin if they’re terrible, is so great.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. There’s this library really close to where I live, and I used to go there a lot to borrow books. Then I realised that the library doesn’t always have the hip YA books I might want to read occasionally, so if I really do want to read them, I have to go to a library much further away, request the book, or buy it. I don’t make it a habit to buy books on impulse, so I make sure I have all the reviews lined up in front of me to see if it’s worth it. So most of my books are second-hand 🙂 Unless I really love the book, then I’ll try and get a new edition.

    Anyway, I loved this rant! I wouldn’t have bought that second book, sounds bloody awful. “stuck with him forever.”? That’s your son! Why don’t you do something instead of throw a girl his way. Not cool.

    Adorable picture, by the way! 🙂 I’ll be sure to pick up The Brown Horse when it’s released.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wasn’t aware until recently that my library is us unusually good. It has new releases as soon as they come out (though if it’s a popular book, you’ll have to request it and wait). It also has most of the books you would look for in YA, children’s, adult, and nonfiction. Really good selection. You can get most TV shows and movies, also. The one time that they didn’t have the book I wanted (How the Other Half Lives by Jacob Riis) I requested it and they had a brand new copy checked out to me within two weeks. I didn’t know that was unusual until maybe a year ago. Anyway, yeah, that book was not great at all. I went and read/watched some reviews on it last night, though, and I’m definitely the unpopular opinion on this one.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh wow! *hides jealousy* My school library was a bit different. They had most new books, and I was on pretty good terms with the librarian, so she’d let me know what was new. 🙂 My local library is quite small though, so it’s understandable.

        Really? Yours is an unpopular opinion? How? Surely what you’ve pointed out should be cause for concern?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Aww that’s nice that you were on good terms with the school librarian. The reason mine has so many books is that all the libraries in the neighbouring cities and towns are connected in one big library system. So they’re all just different branches, and they can send books back and forth and stuff.

        I thought so? His parents were clearly being depicted as great parents, and I just don’t think they were at all. At least one review specifically mentioned how great his parents were. I’m sorry but I think there’s a reason you don’t hear of many agoraphobic children. The reason is that most parents are like “Heh. Sorry. You’re going to school.” And then hopefully also get their child some help. It may sound harsh, but it is worlds better than just letting your kid stay at home, not getting him help, and then crying because you’re going to be “stuck with him.”

        Liked by 2 people

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