Sunday, September 2, 2012

Stopped-Short Sunday (experimental?)

Alright, I'm going to be super creative here and start a meme thing for today. Maybe it'll stick, maybe it won't. I haven't seen one like this so far, and I want to rant. Just a little.

Now, every time I have to write a bad review I feel sorry to the author that I didn't like their book, and even though ranting is fun it can hurt feelings an bring down ratings. My totally brilliant plan to avoid that is when a book is sucking and I find myself skimming pages, I drop it. That way I can go on Goodreads with an average 3 star or lower, and say only a sentence: "I couldn't get into it, couldn't finish it." or something of the like.

But what I'm really doing in my head is listing the reasons why I didn't like it (to further judge books later), what small parts I did enjoy (but unfortunately weren't strong enough to outweigh the bad), and figure out why so many other people absolutely loved it. That way my thought process is sort of constructive criticism. Because the weird thing is, usually the books I drop are insanely popular and there are tons of 4-5 star reviews on why this book is so absolutely amazing. Why do I have such different views to the norm?

The book I'm going to use right now is Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi.

Before Shatter Me came out, I didn't really hear much about it. I even turned down the ARC because I thought the cover was funny looking. But I put it on hold at the library once it came out, and dropped just over halfway, on page 162. (I wrote it down.)

Oh I just found my Goodreads review from last year when I read it. Well, here were my initial thoughts then:

Started out pretty great. The writing style is very cool, and has lots of little distinguishable features which I really like. The protag herself though, annoys me, she is always talking about how much she wants to do these things to stand up for herself and to help, but really, she is all talk and wayy to naive for my liking. Sure, her 'powers' may be like the awesome Rogue from x-men, but unfortunately she isn't as likeable.

Too much mushy romantic moments too. Not enough concrete details, just a blanket of...what's the word? Figurative? Yeah. That part is good, but I don't think the author is living up to her potential. Weak.

Why I thought I might like it: It wasn't like I just randomly picked it up off the lame-books shelf. I took an honest try. It's dystopian ya, which is one of my favorite genres; has super powers in it, angry person on the cover, cool writing on the summary, and a catchy title.

Why I didn't like it: Honestly I did like it for the first...oh twenty pages or so? If that? Whenever until the boy showed up. Yes, the boy. There is always one of those. So from that point, it went downhill for me. From above I sort of explain why, with the overly figurative language and not actually enough happening for real.

What I did like: The off-beat writing style, visually. The crossing out lines that looked really hand-done and the main character's pov at being slightly...psychotic? No, maybe just sheltered for her whole life. I love a good crazy person story.

Why is it so popular?: At the moment the average rating-o-meter on Goodreads is 4.06 from about 17,000 people worth of rates. Overall that's quite excellent. I usually love books with that high of a rating. So I know it's not why don't I at all enjoy this über popular book but what makes this significantly better and stand out through the rest of the current ya dystopian? Why this one? It's the author's debut, so it's not like people were already expecting something great from a favorite author of theirs, and the cover kinda makes me go o.O (Why the hell is she in a wedding dress in isolation?) so perhaps it's the summary that gets people hooked. It's a pretty enticing summary, I'll admit. Because it did make me want to open it right up and start reading.

There's the dark and mysterious boy from her past who seems to know more than he's giving. And WHOA what are the odds, he is immune to her deadly touch or whatever. If I'm remembering correctly. Because that's original. And then she get's kidnapped for her powers by another equally hot (so they say) dude who is very important or something, and he is all creepy mastery like, and offputting, but she acts drawn to him. From my impression. So then there are some moments between the two past kid-friends where they declare their love after half an hour and plan to run away into the ruined world together, taking her super powers to be ever unuseful. (Why is that not a word according to my spellcheck?) Where's the interesting quirky and memorable characters? The moments of bravery? Significant plot-line?

That's kind of where I shut the book and never looked back, until now.


I'm not trying to give a bunch of bad news to the book, I just can't figure out why everyone's in love with it!!!

What are your thoughts? If you've read it, why did you like it/dislike it? Are you annoyed at my rantings on the book?



  1. This is great, sometimes I feel like book bloggers embellish reviews to not hurt Authors' feelings. It bothers me, because I'm like ... if you like every book you read how are you a legit book blogger?

  2. I think this is a nice way to review "bad" books. I think all bloggers have this problem, because it's just hard to give a bad review. So I love this new idea! I actually loved Shatter Me, but I can understand why you didn't.
    New follower :)

    Helene @ Helene's World of Books

  3. I agree with you. I didn't really find myself liking Shatter Me as much as other readers did. I tried, but the ending was just so cliche. The crossed off writing was very original though, and I enjoyed the beginning. What I'm trying to say is, the beginning had this certain tone that was captivating and different. Then it just got predictable and I lost interest. And yes, once the boy got involved, the story went down the drain.
    But I didn't hate it. Shatter Me had soooo much potential, I'm just sad at how much it lacked.
    Love this way of reviewing! Great idea :)

  4. I like this new meme. I try to force myself though every book but I think we all have DNFs.

    I was kind of torn by Shatter Me too. I loved the uniqueness but at the same time I was frustrated by the romance. I really wish the author had ended the story differently.