Monday, February 14, 2011

Recent rejects

Happy Valentimes Day!  On this day of love I give you a post of hate.  Or, more accurately, a post of rejection.

Nancy Pearl says you should give every book you read fifty pages to make sure it doesn't suddenly become wonderful.  (She also has an algorithm based on how old you are, so that if you're old you can put books down faster.  I approve.)  I'm a great admirer of Nancy Pearl, and I'm sure I would be a wiser, more well-rounded person if I always read at least fifty pages of each book I picked up.  But I don't. 

Here is the first installment in what will be an ongoing series of rejects.

Stork, by Wendy Delsol

The deal:  So I guess this girl moves from L.A. to Minnesota and discovers that she is part of an ancient order of mystical ladies.  But I don't really know, because . . .

How far I got: pg. 2.

Why rejected:  "Clutching my Juicy Couture velour jacket to my throat, I hurried across the road." --pg. 2

Okay.  It's not just the Juicy Couture name dropping that bugs me.  Does anyone's internal monologue actually note the brand and material of your coat each time you "clutch it to [your] throat"?  (Which, p.s., get a scarf.)  We're probably supposed to realize that this character* is still a superficial L.A. gal right now, but will soon become a mystical Minnesotan who cares little for such frippery.  I just don't care to take that journey.

Found, by Margaret Peterson Haddix

The deal: Thirteen years ago, a plane showed up on a runway, filled with babies!  And no adults!  Weird.  Now, a couple of middle school kids--both adopted--have gotten notes saying "You are one of the missing."  And their parents don't seem to want to answer their questions.

How far I got:  pg. 53!  Yay me.

Why rejected:  This book isn't bad.  I like Margaret Peterson Haddix in general.  The writing seemed a little more stilted than her usual stuff (I wonder how old she is now?), and I didn't find myself desperate to find out the deal with the babies on the plane.  I've already booktalked it to middle schoolers using the few sentences above, and that's enough to get them interested.  Also, I'm balking at getting involved in series these days.

Do you read at least fifty pages of every book?  Or even--gasp--finish every book you start?  How do you decide when you've given a book a fair shake?

*Her name is Katla. Is it me, or is there a rule right now that every fantasy/sci fi protagonist girl has to have a name beginning with "Kat"?  Katsa, Katniss, etc.

1 comment:

  1. Regarding the clutching of the blah blah velour jacket: I think people take Fiction Writing 101 and learn that DETAILS are the most important thing in fiction! Cram as many in there as you can, and things will only improve! This is the same school of thought that claims "he said" and "she said" are just so boring, and dialogue attributions are so much better when they say things like "she said sycophantically" and "he said furiously".